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dimanche 30 juin 2013

Album de la Semaine : Naam - Vow



Interview de Naam, par The Obelisk

Describe where you went to record the album.
We were fortunate enough to have [manager MikeBigel get us this house up in the Catskills, and it was amazing. We had it for 12 days and it was kind of like whatever we wanted. We were out in the woods and we got to get away from everything and have our only focus be on recording the record. It was really cool, we had 100 acres of land to roam around on in between recording, and when we got the house set up, we got there, pulled up with two vans pulled of gear, set it up within that day. The next day we started record. It just came together so easily. We went up with probably around 40 minutes’ worth of material. We went up and we got to write some new stuff, and the vibe was there, the atmosphere created exactly what we needed to get it done for what we’re doing. It was good. It was good to be out in nature and have that whole vibe brought upon us instead of the city. Living in Brooklyn, the daily stresses of whatever. Then you go and play music and your focus is not all there. Out in the woods, it was just all there.

You were there for two weeks?
Yeah, we had it for 12 days. Within the first five days or so, we nailed the live recordings for the main songs. The bass, guitar, drums. Got that done real quick, and then continued on to put the record together the way we thought it should be.

So you recorded the basic tracks live and everything else was built on top of that?
Right. We’ve had, when we first started playing we had this guy Caleb playing keys and theremin and stuff like that, so we already had a good idea of what we wanted certain things to sound like, and Bundy and Ryan also play keys and organs and synthesizers. They knew what they were getting themselves into with overdubbing. Some of the interludes, 
Here's Eli. (Photo by Diane Suarez)
we just on the spot wrote up there. We had four or five days of straight rain, so it was just cloudy and rainy and it brought that dreary vibe to it. It was perfect for the songs they wrote.

A little doom in the atmosphere never hurts.
(Laughs) Exactly. A little darkness, man.

Do you think, even though you had most of the songs already written, that the location bled into the final product, the album itself?
Definitely. We knew where we wanted to place the songs, we knew what order we wanted them to go into — this is all before going up — and we knew the kind of feel we wanted to have throughout. It was pretty easy for us to do, and it was really fun, really enjoyable. It wasn’t forced. Nothing was forced. It was all good. But yeah, we had a good idea of what to do. Bundy and Ryan had some ideas and we just pulled it together.

Can you compare that to making the Kingdom EP?
Making the EP was a lot more work for us, because we were recording at John‘s work, at The End Records. We were just using the warehouse, setting our gear up at the end of the work day and going at it for hours. We all have jobs and stuff and it was tiring. We got it done, we got it accomplished, but it was definitely more of a raw version of what we were doing. The straightforward. We didn’t have the time to really overlay all the stuff that we could at the mountain, nor did we have recording capabilities. We did what we could with what we had and I feel like it came out the way it should have. I like it. I like everything that we’ve done so far. Comparing that to going to the mountain, the mountain we went into with a lot more ease and a lot more excitement. It was something to look forward to, so it was more of a positive feeling to it and less of grueling to get it done.

12 days is plenty of time too, especially if you’re doing the basic tracks live.
Yeah, it was perfect.

I saw the equipment list you guys brought with you on your MySpace.
Here's Ryan and John. (Photo by Diane Suarez)
Yeah, there was a ridiculous amount of stuff (laughs). Two vans completely packed. We had to leave gear because we were taking too much stuff. We were packing up the vans, there was a couple things we were like, ?Ah, I guess we don’t need that.? But whatever (laughs). We just wanted to make sure we had enough shit to keep ourselves busy up there. The more the merrier. Gear for days, man (laughs).

Since you had the songs written, did you know what you needed to add on once the basic tracks were done in overdubs? How much of that was improvised?
For instance, the new recording of ?Kingdom? is about three minutes longer. Before we went up, John had restructured our intro to ?Kingdom.? That’s just one example. There were a couple other songs where we knew we wanted to keep a gap for things here and there. The sitar in ?Kingdom? as well, the big sitar part we had in there, we had Matt Robeson from Brooklyn Street Raga come up and record. We had some friends come up and hang out and pitch in. Some of the other stuff though was improvised. Even on a live recording, when I play drums, I kind of play songs the way I feel they should be played at the time. I don’t necessarily play beat for beat exact from recording to playing live, and rerecording the songs it always a bit different. For at least, it’s not so much about trying to play the song exactly the same every time. It’s more or less trying to convey my feeling through what I’m playing on the drums and what I feel like doing. For Bundy and Ryan, it’s more precise as far as note for note. For me, it keeps it interesting. A big part of what I do is improvisation, whether it be recording it live. The structure’s all there. It’s little things. Little fills or different ways of keeping things together.

How have things been for you on Tee Pee Records?
I feel like we got really lucky with Tee Pee being so interested in us. I’m fucking psyched that we’re on Tee Pee, because the roster is ridiculous and it’s the music that we are all into, for the most part. Even bands like Annihilation Time and Iron Age, more of the faster-paced thrash or hardcore, that’s my style too, because before I moved to New York, I was playing a lot of hardcore punk. I’m from Massachusetts and I lived in Boston for a little bit. When I was growing up, my music interests revolved around early age hardcore, Black Flag and Citizens Arrest or whatever. It’s cool to be on a label with such a wide range of good music. Heavy psychedelic, hard, aggressive or even just light, weird drone 
Hard at work. (Photo by Diane Suarez)
or whatever. It’s awesome. The kind of music that matters, I guess. There’s so much bullshit, but Tee Pee‘s got exactly what we fit into.

Well, even just for the amount of bands they have from around Brooklyn and New York. It seems like there’s a real vibe there between everybody.
Oh yeah, for sure. Playing shows here, I couldn’t ask for better shows for a hometown. I’ve played around the US in different cities. And even Boston. The scene in Boston is very small and conservative and opinionated. The difference being in New York, people are more into it for the music, I feel. There’s just so many people for every genre of music, but especially ours. I never thought there would be such a big scene for it, but it is New York City and there are millions of people here. There’s something for everybody and there’s a lot for us, I feel. It’s a big, growing scene and it’s awesome. I love it.

Talk to me about CMJ. The lineups for those showcases, the day party and the night showcase, is pretty unbelievable.
I’m really excited to play with Nebula again. We went on tour with those guys for a couple days and it was awesome. We went out with them for about six dates and toward the end of that, they were still going and we didn’t want to go home. It’s going to be really cool to play with those guys again. I’m really psyched to play with them again. Fucking 
The album cover.
awesome. The lineups for those shows are awesome. The venues too. The venues are all good times. We just got added to another day show as well with Nebula as well. The Cake Shop and Union Pool shows, and now I think we’re playing at Fontana‘s. The Cake Shop is the day party. There’s another show — I can’t keep up with all the dates. We’re playing a BrooklynVegan thing. It’s a BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase during the day. That’s at Fontana’s, and I don’t know the date, but Nebula’s playing that one too. It might be the date of the Union Poolshow. Lot of good shit for CMJ. We’re real busy this month for shows.

And you’re hitting the road after?
Yeah, we’re hitting the road with Priestess for a couple East Coast dates. It’s going to be pretty fun. We all just want to aim to be on the road as much as possible, playing music and touring around. Hopefully we can get to that point and do longer and longer, rather than just a week. But we’ve got a little tour coming together in January as well that’s gonna be good. It’s still kind of indefinite now, but it’s going to be on the West Coast, I believe. That’s all coming together right now and that’ll be good.

Line Up :
  • Ryan Lugar
  • John Bundy
  • Eli Pizzuto
  • Johnny "Fingers" Weingarten

Label :
Tee Pee Records

Tracklist :
1. Silent Call
2. Vow
3. In And Thru
4. Pardoned Pleasure
5. Laid To Rest
6. Brightest Sight
7. On The Hour
8. Skyscraper
9. Midnight Glow
10. Beyond
11. Adagio

dimanche 23 juin 2013

Album de la Semaine : Listener - Time Is a Machine


Time Is a Machine

Interview de Dan Smith, par Brandon Ryan d'Enoch Magazine


Enoch Magazine ) Can you please give us a brief background of your life and how you came to love music?
Dan ) I started making music in grade 5 in school band. I played the cornet. I don’t know if I loved it. I started listening to rap music when I was 11 years old. I loved that for sure, and made a ton of it growing up. I was really in to it in high school and stuff. I grew up in southern Missouri, and so it was more of a curiosity to me than something I really knew too much about. You only know what you’re told or the little you get to learn about, so I had a pretty small vision of what the world and that music was about. It was until probably later in high school and in to college that I started to see other genres of music and explore those and like them more.
Enoch Magazine ) For those that don’t know, Listener is a two person band. How did you guys meet?
Dan ) Chris and I met in Nevada about 5 years ago at a house show he threw. “Listener” has always been the name I’ve given my/our project. It’s had different members over the years, but Chris and I have made the last 2 records together and they are the best by far. We met at that show, and then a couple years later I needed a drummer and I overheard him talking about giving drumming lessons and asked him if he wanted to tour and then we started touring a making music together. I used to make hiphop music and I also called what I did Listener too, and some people get confused about that….so I explain it as Listener is the name that I use for the projects I put out.
Enoch Magazine ) On your album Return to Struggleville, there tends to be a lot of pain on that record. What songs best desribe you as a person?
Dan ) Well, none of them really. It’s mostly a social commentary and a concept record. I saw a lot of my friends and peers and country undergoing this sort of drain with buying and selling things and climbing ladders and chasing possessions and not putting worth in people and wanted to write about that. I don’t know if any of those songs describe me as a person really. Sometimes I feel like we’re out here on the road like traveling salesmen selling stuff, but it’s more than that.
Enoch Magazine ) In my understanding life is very hard for most of us, what helps you keep doing what your doing everyday?
Dan ) Yeah, life can be hard, but it’s only as hard as you make it I think. Chris has a song called the truth about tragedy, and basically it’s about the fact that we need tragedy in our lives to help us round ourselves out as people and learn the things we need to learn in life. I’m not a fan of tragedy, but it happens and those are the things that make life. You can’t always have it easy, because you will never learn the truths you need to learn to survive. I like to tour and make music and play shows, and we get to. Life isn’t necessarily hard. I put tight restrictions on myself and set goals and work hard to accomplish them
Enoch Magazine ) When I think of “Talk Music” for some reason the band Mewithoutyou, with all the different genres of music out there. Why does spoken word/talk muic suit you the best
Dan ) Poems are how I have always written the words that I’ve written….and so that’s just how I know how to write a song. I like the band mewithoutyou. I think they make very open honest music and their words are great too. I started doing house shows about 5 years ago and I wanted to play for everyone and not just hiphop fans…..because at the time that’s all we played for, and so we wanted to do something different and have our promoters put something different on the flier….so we called it talk music.
Enoch Magazine ) What inspires your poems?
Dan ) Boringly enough, just life….quotes and thoughts and daydreams and visions. I try and log it all down on my phone or papers or my computer or wherever and when I get some quiet time to sit and think about my thoughts I pull out other words and make a poem about it all.
Enoch Magazine ) How did you come to faith in God, and how do you “keep the faith” on the road?
Dan ) I was raised in a Christian church by my mom. she’s a great lady. I believed most of what I was taught and didn’t have a problem with it….and it was until maybe later in high school and college that I started to believe the things I do about faith and community and God the creator and made that a personal thing….and something I believe in. Keeping faith isn’t hard on the road….it’s just as hard as doing that when you’re working a dead end job or are happy with life…..there are good times and bad times, but I know that faith is about decisions and making them….so it’s a daily thing and a want to renew my mind and body and do the things I’m passionate about and have a vision for.
Enoch Magazine ) Do you guys record all your music by yourselves? And do you like doing things yourselves, rather than searching out a record deal?
Dan ) Yeah, we record everything we do ourselves. I’ve put out projects on record labels before and that’s been great and so is doing it ourselves…..I’ve actually always recorded songs and albums myself anyways, and just handed the finished product in to be distributed…..we may work with a record label in the future….we’d be just fine with that actually….but none of them have come calling and the packages we’ve sent out so far have fallen on deaf ears I imagine….so we’ll just keep making music that is from us and our hearts and keep touring and do what we love to do. I’m not in the business of waiting around for someone or some company to “validate” me or us as a band. This is something we do already whether or not a record label wants to be a part of that or not.
Enoch Magazine ) You have a new album coming out called “wooden hearts” why did you choose that name?
Dan ) It’s pretty much off of the song wooden heart…that’s about it. The song is about a realization that I had about how we’re all a big and small family and community pieced together of shipwrecked parts and bits….all of us on our own voyages and wrecked in one way or another in different cities and places in life, and we come together all just pieces to form a whole….and the album is pretty much about that too, so I called it that.
Enoch Magazine ) Did you feel in pressure writing the new album? What do you hope to get across through it?
Dan ) No pressure at all…..perhaps personal pressure to put out a new record and time-lines of getting things done and right….but no pressure in saying things. We made the music and words that we wanted to make from our lives.
Enoch Magazine ) Do you have inspiring words of wisdom for our readers?
Dan ) I don’t know. there’s a lot of inspiring words out there…..my favorite is “chop your own wood and it will warm you twice”.

Line Up :
Christin Nelson - guitar
Dan Smith - vocals, bass
Kris Rochelle - drums

Label :
Tangled Talk Records

Tracklist :
01 – Eyes To The Ground For Change
02 – Good News First
03 – Not Today
04 – Tornadoes
05 – I Think It’s Called Survival
06 – Everything Sleeps
07 – There Are Wrecking Balls Inside Us
08 – It Will All Happen The Way It Should

dimanche 9 juin 2013

Album de la Semaine : Electric Eye - Pick-Up, Lift-Off, Space, Time

Electric Eye

Pick-Up, Lift-Off, Space, Time

Interview d'Electric Eye, par TBTCI de The Blog That Celebrates Itself

Q. When did Electric Eye start? Tell us about the history...
We grew up together in a small town on the west coast of Norway, called Haugesund. We've been playing togheter and making music together for a long time in Bergen, Norway. We started Electric Eye about a year ago.

Q: Who are your influences?
Really a lot of different bands and genres. Blues, Indian classical music, kraut, space etc. Pink Floyd in Pompeii, Bo Diddley, BRMC, Wooden Shjips. The list goes on forever...

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Pink Floyd - The Piper at The Gates of Dawn
Can - Tago Mago
Beatles - Revolver
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - B.R.M.C
Captain Beefheart - Safe as Milk

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Awesome! Live is where our songs get their true shape. Most of our songs were written to be played live. We always try to incorporate some improvisation in our set to keep it exciting for us too..

Q. How do you describe Electric Eye's sounds?
True Norwegian space-psych-drone-rock!

Q: Tell us about the process of recording your debut album, Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time.
We recorded it on our own during the summer and fall of 2012 in our rehearsal space in Bergen, Norway. Our organ-player, Anders, works in a studio, so he mixed it in a small studio called Tinnitus recordings.
Doing it by ourselves gave us time to really experiment with a lot of cool intruments and weird sounds. We're really happy with how it turned out, and can't wait to share it with the world!

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Really liked the latest UFO-Club record. Goat from Sweden are pretty awesome. You spaceheads out there should also check out some pretty cool Norwegian bands: The Low Frequency in Stereo, Serena Maneesh and The Megaphonic Thrift. Loads of great bands over here!

Q: Which bands you love to make a cover version?
Something by JJ. Cale could be cool.

Q: What´s the plans for future....
Our album is out April 5th worldwide through Klangkollektivet (Norway) / Fuzz Club Records (Worldwide). After that we're going on tour in Scandinavia and Europe the rest of 2013. Plus we're going to make another album soon..

Q: Any parting words?
Keep up the good work and keep spreading great music around the globe!

Line Up :
Øystein Braut
Njaal Clementsen
Anders Bjelland
Øyvind Hegg-Lunde

Label :
Fuzz Club Records

Tracklist :
01 – 6 AM
02 – Lake Geneva
03 – Tangerine
04 – Morning Light
05 – The Road
06 – Kruskontroll
07 – Electric Eye