Michael: When you’re on a tour and you’re playing 30 shows in a row or something like that sometimes it becomes a challenge to find the emotion that was in the song the first time you played it, when you wrote it. The hundredth time or the five hundredth time, you have to work at it a little bit but that’s what being an artist I think is all about. Finding that special feeling even on the five hundredth time because it can be found. You have to look for it and find it but you know, playing the song can just be a way for me to work through my emotional life that I’m living that particular day. So there’s always something to be found in the music I think.
Munaf: I think that people appreciate quality over quantity, absolutely. Many others might think ‘You need to do it now, you need to go go go!’ but as quickly as it took you to write a song like that, is how quickly, more often than not, it is forgotten. So somebody who sits and crafts anything, there’s not a guarantee that that is going to be great either but in my opinion there is a better chance it will have a lasting impression. So yeah, I don’t think we’ve ever worried about getting a song written by next week or having an album out by next year. This is why we take as much time as we do because we are comfortable in who we are, we are comfortable in what we’re trying to achieve and some of these marks that we’ve placed on ourselves take a little while to get to.
Munaf: Not for everybody! Somehow – it’s not exclusively for us that it is allowed that, others try this too – but we weren’t even concerned with what it would be that the music industry allowed or now. We are very lucky we are on indie labels throughout the world. We’ve made well by our previous records that we have bought a little bit of… what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s not ‘time’…
Munaf: [Laughs] I hope so too!
Munaf: No, that’s very fair and it does [impact the music] in ways that we’re probably not even aware of because I think every one of us is a product of our environments so if we were coming from say Washington State or California, I think we would sound a little different than we do. Even if we were playing the same music it would have a variation on it you know? If we were coming from New York it would have this other feel to it but because we come from Texas, when we were starting to write music and coming from a place at that time molded this sound. For us, growing up in west Texas – Michael and I have known each other almost all of our lives. We grew up in a place that was quite desolate you know… well, ‘desolate’ is maybe not the right word but it was a bit off on its own in west Texas, ‘deserty’ is too strong of a word, but flatlands and not much happening… those I think subconsciously have placed an impression in our minds that when we write melodies this is what we were calling on, these are the pictures that we saw. So the pictures that we saw made this sound and absolutely, coming from Texas has an effect.
Munaf: It’s quite remarkable every time because it’s different every time. So the song that we wrote and the pictures that we had are very different from whoever heard the music and said ‘You know what, this goes with this’. That always kind of blew my mind and made me appreciate the song that much more because it allowed it to have more layers than the ones that we saw. It’s a bit strange but then I think it’s all strange because we never dreamed that people would listen to our music the way they do and then apply it to the things in their life the way they do.
Michael: I think a lot of it has to do with instrumentation, like how much is going on at any one time. Particularly when you’re writing for a movie, that’s sort of something that you take into consideration the entire time. Like how many instruments are playing versus how many things are going on onscreen, how much dialogue is being spoken. You can’t overwhelm the dialogue. For a film the dialogue is the melody and that’s what you have to hear first, that’s the most important thing. A lot of times it’s like ‘We can’t have three guitars going right here, we have to pull it back to one guitar and maybe a bass or something else’. It is a very fine line you have to walk because you want to add something to what’s happening but you cannot overwhelm. It’s a fine line, it’s a challenge and it’s such a big collaboration with a director that you are constantly working with them and trying to figure it out. It’s fun, it’s really fun.
Michael and Munaf: No! No way! [Laugh]
02 – The Ecstatics
03 – Tangle Formations
04 – Logic of a Dream
05 – Disintegration Anxiety
06 – Losing the Light
07 – Infinite Orbit
08 – Colors in Space
09 – Landing Cliffs