What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Cory: Well, I’ve played on and off with john for the last 20 years. We were both in Airiel, and during that time we worked with both Zeeshan and Adam Thompson. We played a few times with Jane’s band and worked with her a bit in the studio. So after John and I parted Airiel, we both started projects that weren’t really part of the Shoegaze scene, I was doing some weird post-metal stuff and John was playing smug indie rock in a band with Neil. So after a couple years I found myself longing to wax ethereal again, so I called John, Zee, Adam, and Neil and was pleased as punch that they agreed to work with me again. John had been working with Nicole in a different project, she eventually came aboard as our vocalist. Eventually Adam moved on and Nicole left. While searching craigslist for a new singer, I answered an ad that turned out to be from Jane. We were super stoked that she was available, and that’s how we got here.
John: We’ve all been kicking around the music scene for a very long time. I started playing drums out of boredom in my late teens (crap jobs + lots of free time + lack of motivation to do much else) and I ended up loving it. Being in bands is a great challenge, sometimes, but it’s worth it to create awesome music with your friends.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Cory: Chambers is the culmination of a couple years of writing and recording. Even though there are “only” 5 songs, it clocks in at over half an hour of music, making it kind of an “LP EP”. Although we recorded the entire album with the amazing Adam Stilson at Decade Music Studios, the actual studio itself changed location several times. I feel that this is perhaps our most focused record to date- we spent a lot of time tracking and mixing in order to get everything where it needed to be. I give huge props to Adam Stilson- his keen ear and knowledge of our sound really helped us capture the essence of our songs. We’re very proud of the record, and can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Jane: In a way I think this album really captures who we are and our dynamic as a band. We all bring different elements to the table, different backgrounds and influences, but I think ultimately we’re working toward a certain sound, a consensus of vision – and you can hear that play out in this record.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Neil: More recent guitar work that has inspired me: Protomartyr, Cheatahs, pinkshinyultrablast. Classics: Sunny Day Real Estate, early U2, Joy Division. Non-music: Discoveries off the beaten path, be it abroad or right at home. Midwest camping, cycling.
Cory: Hahaha I’m listening to so much stuff these days. In terms of what influences our sound, though I’d say we all share a love of early Ride, Pale Saints, MBV- I’ve also been known to nick a Verve bass fill or two. 😉 Non-musically I suppose that video games, band life, and the city of Chicago all shape our music in their own odd ways.
Zeeshan: Non-music influences:Friends, family, experiences, progress. Musical influences:Lately I’ve been finding a source of musical influence in classical Indian Raaga and Qawwali, which you obviously won’t hear on any of our tracks.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Cory: I feel that most of the stuff we do is tinged with melancholy, ranging from strident and noisy to more quiet and bittersweet. We try to evoke sounds that are wistful, soulful, and full of longing, both requited and not.
Jane: There’s a certain iciness to our sound that I don’t think is as vibrant in other genre-related artists. A chill that nips at your toes, though overall you feel warm and content.
John: I think we have a better rhythm section than most shoegaze bands, but I might be biased.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Neil: Albums: Bloom by Beach House, End Hits by Fugazi, RTJ2 by Run the Jewels. Movies: The Godfather Part 2, The Witch, Mad Max Fury Road. Books: Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut, Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Dune by Frank Herbert
Cory: Albums: Ferment by Catherine Wheel, Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest,
Brutalism by IDLES. Movies: Children of Men, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cabin Fever
Books: Anything by William Gibson or Neal Stephenson. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
Jane: Echo & The Bunnymen: Ocean Rain, Cocteau Twins: Bluebell Knoll, The Cure: Faith
Pulp Fiction, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation
Zeeshan: Albums: Stone Roses – Self Titled, My Bloody Valentine – Ecstasy and Wine, The Smiths – The Queen is Dead. Books: The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho, Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie, The Black Album – Hanif Kureishi. Movies: The Breakfast Club, Goodfellas, The Shining
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Cory: Both are cool for several reasons, but nothing really touches playing a great live gig. I love the immediate feedback, playing alongside awesome artists, and the great feeling of traveling to play music for people. We pride ourselves on our live shows.
Jane: Both are such different experiences it’s impossible to compare.
John: I would say live shows, except for the part where we have to carry our gear.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Cory: There are a ton of stories, but they’re all drug/alcohol infused and probably more sad than funny. 😂😂😂
John: There was that time Cory and I were made royalty in a quasi-legal country called Sealand.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Cory: It’s difficult for me to assess my own music in that way, but “The Bitter Over” is a song that draws a lot of comments at our practice spot. People seem to like the bass line and how the guitars wrap themselves around it.
Jane: The Bitter Over – I often hear from friends that the song surprises them – like they found themselves unexpectedly captured by it, especially during live shows.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Cory: We’re hoping to get out on the road in the spring. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing new stuff as well!
John: But first, enjoy our album “Chambers” which came out in November!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Photo credits: Neil Yodnane
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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