sábado, 10 de julho de 2010

The Sky´s Gone Out with Bloody Knives - An Interview

2010 esta realmente espetacular, inumeros albuns simplesmente essenciais vem saindo semanalmente, o nivel de qualidade esta acima da media e isso vem com o aumento gradativo de bandas nos quatro cantos do mundo, noise, shoegazer, psychedelic, stone rock, indie, post pounk, gotico, eletronicos, enfim cada segmento tem seus apices neste 2010, e logicamente não poderia deixar de incluir nesta lista que vem aumentando mais e mais o debut de um dos prediletos deste que vos escreve, trata-se do duo insano de Austin, Texas, que diga-se de passagem vem fazendo frente a NY e Londres facilmente, o Bloody Knives que tem a frente Preston Maddox e Jake Mccown divindo tudo na banda e neste absurdo Burn It All Down, pegue todas as tendencias desde shoegazer a eletronicos das quas eu citei ai para cima e inclua a paranoia total da vida atual, escute Tell me I´m Wrong, You Know You Will, Slow It Down, I Saw the Ghost That Follows You e perceba o gothic, shoegazer, pos punk, eletronico, psychedelic tudo condensado de forma agressivamente brutal e rapida, eu diria que o Bloody Knives é algo entre o Ceremony e o SVI, um daqueles albuns imperdiveis que deve ser escutado em qualquer lugar a qualquer hora, e aproveitando o lançamento de uma tiragem exclusiva em cd que pode ser adquirida no link que esta no termino deste post os caras ainda disponibilizaram o album totalmente gratis, mas veja, baixe e tente não querer ter o original....de qualquer forma a escolha é sua, mas existem mais argumentos para que você fique mais viciado pelo Bloody Knives, leia com atenção a entrevista concedida ao TBTCI e veja o porque de tudo isso.
***** Interview with Bloody Knives *****

1. When did the band start?
A. Jake and I have been playing music together since 1998. The first time I met Jake I was working at a music store in Dallas Texas called Zoo Music, Jake was playing guitar in a metal band and I sold him a PV 5150 head and a 4x12 cabinet. Eventually he started working there too. I was playing bass in a metal band, guitar in Pixies style pop band, and playing guitar in an experimental punk band called Red Rocket. The bass player in Red Rocket left, so I asked Jake to play bass, which he didn't want to do, but eventually accepted. Eventually both our metal bands went under and Red Rocket became more experimental, sometimes just showing up at shows and jamming the whole time. People thought we were playing songs that we rehearsed! Our singer left and we could not find a singer, so I started to sing. The style of the band got darker and we changed the name of the band to Killredrocket.

We moved to Austin in 2003 and our drummer got involved in a prosperity gospel church. He would make excuses about why he couldn't practice with us, but still went to church and played with them. The drummer also disliked my singing voice and wanted to sing, which did not work out well at all. At that point Jake and I started an electronic project called Your Life in Sixty Seconds, with both of us playing different instruments, sampling from records and programming. Things finally came to a head with our drummer and Killredrocket broke up. We made Killredrocket the name of our label and started Killredrocketrecords. Jake and I tried to find a drummer and other people to play with, but nothing worked out. So we started a band with a longtime friend of ours, Josh Vaughn. Josh played guitar much like I did, so our styles complimented each other, and we wrote songs easily. We couldn't find a drummer, so Jake decided to play drums. This was the beginning of The Joy Bus. The Joy Bus played around all the time, pretty much anywhere we could, put out a few records, toured with Me You Us Them, played Kalamashoegazer. Then Josh got worn out on the touring and playing so much and left the band, and that was the end of Joy Bus.

We had all lived together, so when the band broke up we moved out of the house. Jake moved back to Dallas Texas and I moved in with my girlfriend. She lived at the Metropolis, which is a multicolored psychedelic hipster apartment complex with a reputation for drugs and all night partying. I started writing songs on bass on the front porch of her apartment complex, imagining the other parts in my head. I sold some of my gear and bought a laptop and the footpedal. Jake eventually made his way back to Austin and we started the band on the principles that it would only be the two of us and there would be no guitar player. Eventually I got a house and we set up our studio in the garage. The songs I wrote on the porch ended up being the Bloody Knives EP.

2. What are the bands influences?
A. Electronic music had a big influence on us both. Dallas has a thriving Drum and Bass/Jungle scene, and friends of ours are DJs and producers, so we would go to see DJs more often than bands. House, trance, Jungle/Drum and Bass, Dub-step, Acid House, French House, all of it really. We went to raves and the whole bit.

The bands we played with when we were kids were influential. I grew up in the beginning of the grunge/alternative/punk era, and my ideals and musical ethics come from that scene. Local Dallas music influenced us as well; Doosu, Hagfish, Caulk, Slow Roosevelt, Tripping Daisy, Urine Trouble. I really like alot of music that is considered "uncool" by the hipsters, like Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, Chicago, Pet Shop Boys, Bruce Hornsby; all huge influences. Metal, industrial and heavy punk were big for us both too. Slayer, Sepultura, Slipknot, Deftones, High on Fire, Genghis Tron, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Hot Snakes.

Hip Hop and Rap music is a big part of our sound. The artistic concept of sampling is a huge part of our music. UGK, Three Six Mafia, DJ Shadow, Wu Tang, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, NWA, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, Black Star, Binary Star, Tribe Called Quest. I used to work at a music store that sold mainly Dirty South and Screw music, it all worked its way into the brain. DJ Screw, Z-Ro, Ghetto Boys, Lil Wayne. Mannie Fresh produced all the early Cash Money records, his musical ideas played a big part in my thinking on hooks, sampling and song arrangement. Rappers phrasing and placement helped shape my vocals as well, especially Tupac, he is one of the best at that.

Visual influence is bigger for this band than musical influence. Horror movies, especially Japanese horror films, and sci-fi films. There is an emphasis on making music from a listeners perspective, or a non musical perspective, and gaining influence from non-musical sources.

Old Nintendo games and music are one of our biggest influences. We spent hours and hours playing Ninja Gaiden, Megaman, Metroid, Contra, all the classic 8 bit Nintendo games; this has shown up without any effort toward that sound.

If I had to narrow it down to a few bands, it would be Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Lightning Bolt, DFA 1979, Sparta, Hot Snakes, Massive Attack, Miles Davis, Aphex Twin, Led Zeppelin, Tool, Curve, DJ Shadow, Smashing Pumpkins and At the Drive In.

My Dad has a massive record collection that spans most music done from the beginnings of recorded music to present day, so I was well versed in different types of music before I started playing. 40's big band, 50's rock, 70's psyche, blues of all eras, 80's synth music.

3. Tell us about the Bloody Knives gigs, how is it?
A. Our first show was on Halloween at a warehouse party in San Antonio called the 5th Dimension. Our friends in the band IoK helped set it up. There was a group of kids flying high on mushrooms, feeling the good happy groovy vibes and then we went on and it sent their trip in the wrong direction, they all ran out of the room! So it was us and maybe five people watching. It was fitting in an odd way.

The rest of our shows have been well attended and well received for the most part. Our music appeals to a wider group of people than I thought it would, which allows us to be able to play with lots of different kinds of bands. The shoegaze scene, the punk scene, electro-pop, psychedelic, dance music, all of these scenes like what we do. We make our way into all of these groups.

People have caught on to the dance element in our sound, so there is often people dancing at our shows. I think this is one of the coolest things to happen to rock shows, it's about time dancing came back. People just standing there has gotten boring, dancing is more fun for lots of people, and its more fun for us too.
We are antisocial and disconnected people, to be able to connect with the audience on a subliminal level is rewarding.

I always hear about how loud we are, even though I don't think we are that loud. Its a rock show, it's supposed to be loud, right??

We also have visuals projected behind us, that's a big part of our shows. This is part of the rave scene that has stayed with us. Horror movies, sci-fi movies, other oddball visuals. It all helps the music come across to the crowd.

4. Tell us about the process of recording the album.
A. We spent about three or four months writing songs. The studio is set up in my garage, so we have all the time we want to record. We wrote around thirty songs for the record. We kept writing until we thought there were enough good songs that were diverse enough for a complete record. Its our first record and we wanted it to be a good representation of the spectrum or our sound. Jake wrote demo beats on the computer and I would write all of my parts then he would come back and finish the drums.

After that we sent the record to our producer Josh Pursur, who helped pick the songs and made suggestions to try and make the songs as good as they could be. The biggest thing he did was help us understand how we appealed to people in an immediate sense; we wanted a record that would be as accessible as we could be. We went back into the studio and added some extra things, re-tracked some parts, trying to take the songs as far as they could go.

Then I spent another couple of months mixing and remixing the songs, getting the drums right, adjusting minor details that probably only me and my audiophile friends can hear! It takes exponentially more effort to make the record 10% better, but that 10% is worth it, it was the difference between a professional sounding record and a demo.

Kramer had approached us a while back about mastering. He has worked with a wide range of great music (Low, Galaxie 500, Alice Donut, Daniel Johnston, Butthole Surfers, Sareena Maneesh, Bongwater, Ween) and had the Shimmy-Disc label. He comes from a similar ethic as us, emphasis on ears and understanding over expensive equipment, and did a great job polishing up the record, making it sound like we recorded it in an expensive studio instead of in my garage on my $200 computer, taking it to a radio-ready quality level. His ear for specific frequencies is unreal, and his ability to hear through the noisy mess of our music was impressive.

5. What do you think about the classic Shoegaze era?
A. I think its appropriate and funny that shoegaze became a mainstream thing later on. If you told me 10 years ago that all the hipsters would be talking about MBV I would have laughed at you. I got made fun of all the time for listening to shoegaze, so I had to listen to these bands on my own time away from my friends! I remember finishing practice with my metal band a putting on My Bloody Valentine on the way home.

I didn't catch onto shoegaze until 1999. I was about 10 years old when all this was out at first, I missed all the original bands when they came out, I was playing pee-wee sports and listening to 2LiveCrew, Motley Crue, Public Enemy, Guns & Roses and Naughty By Nature!!!!

All I heard from friends were negative things about shoegaze bands. With MBV it was that you couldn't hear the vocals or drums, with Cocteau Twins it was that the singer sang like a dramatic chirping bird. I didn't care, I loved it. What impressed me sonically with these bands was the sweeping massiveness of the music, it seems to fill up all the space around me almost, its like I'm surrounded by the music when listening, as opposed to being attacked by the music, like metal or heavy punk. Once I caught onto it I was hooked, it was a completion of the kind of music I wanted to hear and make.

When you put it into context of when the music came out, the original shoegaze bands were all extreme fringe bands, bands that drew influence from diverse kinds of music but didn't relate or fit in with their surroundings or any specific crowd. They didn't seem to care either. This aspect is what I relate to more than anything. These bands followed their ears and hearts to the music they made, not any trend or movement in music, or corporate persuasion.

This created bands that were different from one another but founded on similar principles, which created similar music. The massive sound of the original bands was so overwhelming and different, at the time it was destined to fail, it was so far away from mainstream and even underground music. None of these bands seemed to care. Nothing promotes music better than good music, and the people who loved these bands carried them along with them, and then the younger people noticed and popularity grew. Its well deserved.

6. Which bands would you like to do a cover version of?
A. I just got into JAMC this year, the song "The Living End" encompasses much of the influence we drew from them, someday I would like to cover that song.
Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" is an all time favorite, as well as "Wildflowers".
Iron Maiden's first record is a classic. We could do a sick version of anything on that record.

I am influenced by female singers almost exclusively. If there is a Curve tribute album count me in!!!! "Perish" and "Horror Head" are two huge favorites. Fleetwood Mac would be fun too, "Gypsy" or "Sweet Little Lies" or "Everywhere". Any MBV song. I love 50's music too, that would be fun. Motorhead would be fun, Lemmy is one of my favorite bass players. Or anything by The Cure.

7. Which new bands would you recommend?
A. Check out our label Killredrocketrecords. We have free downloads of lots of the great bands I come across.


I'm going to miss someone on this list, but here it goes: Me You Us Them, IoK, Screen Vinyl Image, Laserz, Powerlifer, Infinity Rider, Dirty Dishes, Ribs, Dead Leaf Echo, Burnt Ones, We Are Hex, The Lost Rivers, Suicide Party, Stellarium, Between the Cities are Stars, Was She A Vampire, Ceremony, Victorie & Hyde, the Black Hole Lovers, Gift Horse, Erode and Dissapear, Paperthreat, Black Nite Crash, SPC ECO, Real Book Fake Book, Panda Riot, Brief Candles, A Place to Bury Strangers, Double Ugly, MFM, Stinking Lizaveta, One Day as a Lion, Holy Fuck, Medicine Theory, Gran Moff, The Fever Dreams.

8. What are your plans for the future?
A. We go on tour July 12th through August 1st through the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. I can't wait, we are playing with some of my favorite bands, its going to be so cool to see them play, visit all the cities and have some fun. We are going to try and make it to the west coast next, and then we are going to try to make it to Europe to play there. I think we would go over well there, considering that the bands we sound like came from there.

Our first record "Burn It All Down" comes out July 13th, we are looking forward to that. Its the first day of our tour, it makes more sense to me to celebrate the release of our record in a city we have never been to with a party band like Powerlifter!! haha. We will have an official release show in Austin when we get back, probably in the fall.

Our next release is going to be a split 7" vinyl with Me You Us Them coming out in the fall. We used samples from the Me You Us Them song "Drugs" in the song. I hope to find some more artists that will let me re-sample their music and turn it into songs, its fun to integrate their style into our music and make it work, and the bands dig it too.

We are doing a dance remix of our new record called "Burn It All Up". We hope to make the party happen with this remix record. Probably be done next winter.
I'm recording the IoK record in August. I'm also doing videos for Black Nite Crash and Infinity Rider.

As far as our next record, there will be more obscure sampling, and we are going to take a more improvisational approach to creating it. Try to keep it the same while still doing something different. We are never entirely happy with what we create, its always a chase to try and get what we want. That's most of the fun! Its good to have a challenge, I hope we never get where we want to go so we keep chasing it. Rejection and failure have helped us out quite a bit! .

The studio itself is an instrument, our approach to it changes with each record. It will be fun to try and figure out how to take our music to the next level and what part the studio plays in it.

9. Any parting words?
A. When we were kids, before the internet and album leaks, we would wait for months for our favorite band to put something out. Sometimes we would skip school to go to the music store and get the record on release day. When we finally got the record we would listen to the whole thing all the way through, usually more than once. We would give the record a chance whether we liked the songs on the first listen or not. It was almost a religious experiance, and it bred a amount of respect for music and art.

The internet has killed off this experience. Now most people just cycle through mp3's and throw them away like yesterdays garbage.

If you love a band, buy the whole album. Listen to the whole album. Most artists are trying to tell you something and take you somewhere; let them do it. Its worth it.

Thank You Renato!!!! I appreciate your interest in our music and I wish you the best of luck with everything you do.

Thanks Preston, I love it!!!....Renato

Bloody knives - Burn It All Down