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.
Branden: My parents started me out very young on piano. After that I played anything I could get my hands on and eventually found myself sticking with guitar for the long run as my primary instrument
Drew- Unfortunately the person who brought us all together is no longer in the band. His name is Will and he plays with an awesome post-rock band called Sullen Brother in Baltimore now. I responded to a Craigslist ad he posted about wanting to start a post-hardcore band. After joining, I did my best to push my post-rock influences into the music. Once Branden joined the band, we were strictly playing post music. Once Will moved away for work, Branden recommended Keith who he had played music with before. It’s kind of insane because we’d been searching for a band like this for most of our lives and couldn’t people to start a project like this in bigger cities that we have lived in. To my knowledge, we are the only post-rock/post-metal band in Maine.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Drew- We just released Nearer in April! As soon as Keith came on board, we pushed forward to write new songs with him and it was incredible how quickly some songs came together. We wrote the whole EP in roughly 6 months and recorded it with our good friend Andy Porta (drummer for CT post-rock band Wess Meets West) at his studio Black Cat Sounds. Looking back on it, it’s crazy to me how quickly we made that EP considering Keith had just joined.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Branden: Any music that tells a story without having to force feed it to you is what draws me in. Instrumental music tends to do that for me more consistently than any other genre. As for non-music: Nature, primarily winter. It’s this neat juxtaposition of calm and harsh intertwined.
Drew- As a composer, I draw influence from many different genres. Bands like Cult of Luna and Heaven in Her Arms are giant influences on me and their uses of space, intensity, and climax. I try to pull elements from doom, sludge, and black metal. Outside of more obvious genre comparisons: The Cure, Talk Talk, Cocteau Twins, Japan’s “city pop” genre (a subgenre of 80’s J-pop), and I listen to a ton of retrowave, chiptune, future funk, and post-punk. Lately I’ve been zoning out to ambient stuff like the Wave Notation trilogy. I’m all over the place. Non-music: goth and cyberpunk culture are big influences. I travel frequently to get perspective, and it helps me musically. Retro games are in my blood and will always have some sort of influence on my music.
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?
Branden: All 4 of us come from vastly different backgrounds of playing and performing. In my teens and 20’s I focused on tech metal/metal in general. This led me to “post” music which, in my summation, has no rules. I try to write things that can cover several genres or feelings. The intent for that is to have each song take you on highs and lows.
Drew- My biggest problem with post-rock is that a lot of bands keep the listener in a space where they aren’t completely in a entranced state, and they don’t take an engaged listener to different places while listening to the song. I don’t think music should be listened to passively, so I attempt to make music that takes the listener on a journey. I think typical post-rock by itself can’t produce a broad spectrum of emotions and it limits the highs and lows a person can experience. Because of this, it’s important that we mix in elements of ambient, metal, doom, and sludge. Our music is incredibly cathartic. Post-metal does not define us accurately, and calling us post-rock would also be missing the mark. We are somewhere in between.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Books: Tokyo Vice: Jake Adelstein.
Music: If These Trees Could Talk – The Bones of a Dying World, Misery Signals: Malice and the Magnum Heart and Coheed and Cambria: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Drew- I’m going to pretend you said 3 desert island video games. I’d probably take 3 roguelike games for the replay value! IVAN, ADOM, and maybe something newer and not so RPG-like. The two games I play once a year though are King’s Quest II and Leisure Suit Larry II, honorable mentions there. Oh and Street Fighter. Music is excruciating to pick 3, but The Cure’s Disintegration comes to mind, so does Duplex Coated Obstruction by Heaven in Her Arms. The extended version of Borderline by Asylum Party too.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Drew- It’s a balance. The songs just feel more powerful to me live, especially against the energy of a crowd, and hearing the song back on a track does not sound how the song is supposed to sound to me, I’ve only heard the songs sound perfect to me playing live. However since we are currently writing new songs I very much prefer the studio right now. What we write keeps getting better and better, and because of that I want nothing more than to keep putting the time in to see what else we can do with it.
Branden: Hands down studio work wins for me, the ability to tweak things, add neat little sections or sounds people really need to listen for to pick up; it’s like a “Where’s Waldo” for music.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Drew- Keith’s young daughter named our band. She ran up to him and told him something to effect of “Daddy, this world has bees!” which Keith immediately recognized as a sick band name.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Branden: From our most recent release “Nearer” the title track would have to win that. It’s ever changing, a bit of a gauntlet and hits a few different feelings throughout.
Drew- We are currently writing what I feel is our most unique track. However, the title track off Nearer is by far the most unique we’ve ever recorded. It has a lot of emotional highs and lows and went to a lot of places I didn’t expect it to. That song was very close to getting scrapped, it was quite difficult to write at the time. However since we’ve completed it, I feel like it really took us to the next level in how we write as a band.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Branden: We’re headed back to record out 2nd EP this December with Andy Porta of Black Cat Sounds/Wess Meets West. The music is ramping up as we’ve grown as a group, we’re adding more instruments like violin, synth, piano and viola. The songs are taking shape as we find out one another strong suites and niches.
Drew- We are working on another EP. One song is already done, and we are currently working on another. I think it will be two or three songs, but we aren’t sure yet. We are incorporating elements and instruments that I’ve been wanting to write with for a while now. The standard guitar/bass/drum combo isn’t enough, and I don’t like to feel limited in my options. Branden has an electric violin, and I plan to play piano on at least one of the songs. There will definitely be some programming involved. I’m really excited for it. We expect everything should be done by early Summer of 2019 provided everything goes according to plan.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Branden: I think we should say places or festivals where we’d like to play.
Belgium for dunk!festival
Post Festival in Indianapolis
The UK and Netherlands tend to really dig instrumental music and seeing that scene would be great.
Drew- Besides what Branden has mentioned, Vivid in Norway comes to mind. I also would love to tour Asia.
Photo credits: Kay Roux (1st one), Bill Pennings (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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