sexta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2009

White Noise Revisited by SexConsciousYoungModerns - An Interview with Don

Aqui começa um dos post mais especiais que já publiquei por aqui, simplesmente porque a história inicia-se basicamente em maio deste ano, quando consegui encontrar primeiramente atraves do Myspace, Chris ex baterista do SCYM, que inclusive já foi comentado por aqui com seu novo projeto We Miss The Earth, e foi através dele que consegui chegar até Don, o mentor, criador e dono do SexConsciousYoungModerns, banda das mais fodas, mas que infelizmente sucumbiu a si mesma, como o próprio Don comentara na entrevista que me concedeu durante nossos contatos desde então. No inicio minha intenção era adquirir a obra completa da banda, que esta completamente out of print já fazem anos, obra esta que resume-se a um EP e um album, que simplesmente torna-se obrigatorio em qualquer coleção de shoegazer, noise, punk bubblegum, ou simplesmente para quem gosta de puro rock´n´roll, com qualidade inegavel e conhecimento de causa absurdamente underground, o som do SCYM é mais ou menos assim, como se Joey, Dee Dee e Johnny Ramone tocassem junto com os irmãos Reid, em meio a devastação sonora de um Sisters of Mercy, acha pouco????Punk, noise, bubblegum, shoegazer, psych, total condensado de forma abrasiva e autêntica, o album homonimo é um dos melhores albuns da decada facilmente, esporros sonoros como It´s Over, Home, Best Friend, Rock´n´Roll Lifestyle, Untitled expurgam todos os demonios que supostamente possam vir a existir, e se existem mesmo, certamente todos sem exceção são fanaticos por Don e seu SexConsciousYoungModerns.

Com muito orgulho, coloco abaixo um longa entrevista, abordando desde as origens, influências, shows, letras, inspirações, o tragico fim e o futuro barulhento, e logicamente para os interessados o album homonimo e o EP que como souvenir traz um cover altamente barulhento do classico do J&MC Upside Down.

********* Interview with Don from SexConsciousYoungModerns *********

Q: When did SCYM start?
A: The Young Moderns officially started in 2002, when, on the urging of my friends, I recorded a handful of the songs that I had written over the years.

I took the band name from a trailer for the Ed Wood film, The Sinister Urge. It was a stupid movie about juvenile delinquents that smoked dope, fucked around, and drove fast. All while wearing leather jackets. Perfect. As for removing the spaces, I thought it was different, and also a hidden nod to the Jesus and Mary chain art circa 1998.

The original lineup was Bill Reger on Drums (He also recorded the album in his home studio), and Chris Phillips on Bass. That lineup only lasted a few shows, as Bill was in like, a dozen bands, and Chris was just a good friend giving me a hand.

I met Chris Koza (Drums), and Patrick Covert (Bass), through the internet. They were playing in Hoomdorm, a shoegaze band that was in the same town. After talking to them, I quickly conned them into playing with me. That was the lineup that most people saw live, and that you see in pictures. There were a couple of other drummers, but they didn't last long for different reasons.

Q: Who are your influences/heroes?
A: I personally have a top 5 favorite bands of all time. The Ramones, The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spiritualized, and The Replacements/Paul Westerberg. If you listen, I think you can see those different influences throughout my songs...

When I took up the guitar (I'm primarily a bass player), I made a conscious effort to play like Johnny Ramone: Buzzsaw downstrokes, played really fucking fast. Add to that the noise and melody of William Reid's Guitar, and you have a wall of sound unlike any other.

I brought my Cure influence in the lyrics: Cryptic, yet out in the open. Introspective, but also aloof.

I always wanted to make the giant, layered songs that Spiritualized do, and there were a few live songs that were in that vein....though, they came out more like Spacemen 3. Hell, we even did a live cover of Revolution for a long time!As for The Replacements...I think I can better answer it in the next question...

Q: Tell us about the (fucking loud) gigs:
A: I think this can be a good place to mention the influence The Replacements had on me. Our shows were what really set us apart. Sometimes they were great, sometimes, they were awful. Sometimes, we'd play with punk bands and do a 30 minute drone instrumental. Sometimes we'd play with indie rock bands, and we'd play everything like The Germs. We had fun when we played, and didn't care who liked it or who hated it. We did whatever we wanted.

Something else that was different was the fact that we were loud. Very loud. It was never volume for volume's sake, either. It's just that we thought shows should be loud...if you can hear the audience talking, then something's wrong. All of the great bands played at ear splitting volumes...The Ramones, Motorhead, The Who...Rock and roll isn't supposed to be played at coffee-shop volume.

Of course, volume was also used as a tool to get the sounds that we got. I played with a hollow-body guitar, so the guitar reacted to the volume at which I played...the same thing worked for feedback loops and such..As time went on though, the volume decreased a bit, but our antics got worse...towards the end, I'd find myself climbing on tables, and knocking things over. Sometimes, gravity would conspire against me, and I'd find myself on the ground more often than not...

Q:What was your relation to Skywave?
A: They were good friends of ours, and sadly, we never got the chance to pplay together....I first "met" Oliver Ackermann in 2000 via (back when it existed). It was like Myspace for unsigned bands...anybody could put up their music, and people could write you, comment, and download songs. I was looking up bands similar to The Jesus and Mary Chain when I came across Skywave. And they blew me away. I was currently writing the songs that would make up the SCYM album, and was interested in the different ways bands would record. I wrote Oliver, and he wrote me back. That began a long communication about bands, recording, effects, and music in general. He even made me a custom pedal in the early days of his Death By Audio business.I always considered us (and would strive to be) the Skywave of the West Coast. I'd like to think I came close.

I finally got to meet Oliver when A Place To Bury Strangers played LA. I wasn't surprised when he turned out to be just as cool in person as he was in all the letters we wrote.

Q: Tell us about the end of the band...A: This one is hard, and tends to bring back some frustrating memories. There was actually a 2 part ending to SCYM.

The first time, Chris decided that he wanted to focus more on his side project, so he left. It was unexpected, and set us back a great deal. We were starting to get a lot of attention, show offers with bands that were quite well known, and in venues that are typically hard to play in. We were gaining momentum, and bam! We were forced into hiatus while looked for a new drummer. We auditioned a couple, and thought that we found one...but it didn't work out.

At the same time, Chris' side project's band mates had all left for different reasons, so he was left with time on his hands. I always loved his drumming, and after a lot of drinking, we decided that the time was right to get things going again. I remember we were all quite gung-ho about starting up and moving forward.

In that time we switched our sound quite a bit; to more of a garage punk/noise pop sound...something that I always loved, and felt more comfortable with. Our live shows got even more spirited, Sure enough, we started gaining some of that lost momentum...we were even offered the chance to work with a legendary musician and producer from the early days of LA Punk.

Things got tense for a bit, with Patrick moving out of the area, and contemplating leaving...he decided to stay, but almost immediately, Chris again departed to focus on his side project. That took the wind out of my sails. I tried to get together a "final show", so we could really put an end to SCYM, in our own way, which would have been volume, chaos, and every song we'd ever done live....but it didn't work out. That made me even more disillusioned, and prompted me to end it all for good.

It's still a sensitive subject, as I always envisioned us going out in a much more interesting way. But whatever, life goes on....

Q:Tell us about the SCYM Members post-breakup. New bands, etc?:A: After SCYM ended with it's whimper, rather than explosion, we all went on to do different things. Patrick has continued his education, and is currently working on a Masters Degree. He hasn't been in any bands since; though he's expressed interest in helping me with any future plans I have...if it doesn't get in the way of his studies. We're still very close friends.

Chris moved, and is still trying to get something going with his band.

As for me, I took a long break after the band's breakup. I first tried to get something going right away, but I wasn't feeling it. So I put everything away, and didn't think about music for a long time. In that time, I have begun martial arts training, which takes up most of my spare time. I've also become a father, so I'm also focusing on working and raising my child.

I've been meaning to start playing again...I made up a project called The Resurrection Men. It's a continuation of what SCYM was doing in the end...darker Garage Punk. I've also written some hillbilly/folk songs, and some things more in the vein of Spacemen 3 (drones, minimalist layering, that sort of thing)...Hell, maybe I'll start a bunch of projects and just release a crapload of different 45s...hahahaha! Just remember, I started SCYM in my head as far back as 1998, so sometimes it takes me a while to get motivated...I'm not gone for good though.

Q: Any parting words?A: Thanks a lot to Renato for finding me, and for finding SCYM. It's great to know that people still like us, and haven't forgotten. I never thought we were any good, but it seems that we struck a chord with some people. Good. I had a lot of fun with that band, and met a lot of great people. Sure, the ending is a sore subject, but it's far outweighed by the good times. Music is starting to suck nowadays, so c'mon people, get up and start something.

Thanks a lot Don, you´re always welcome here!!!!