terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2016

Escapists with The Autumn Stones - An Interview

Eis que via contatos imediatos na web dei de cara com uma sofisticada, elegante e porque não espetacular mistura de Teardrop Explodes, Magnetic Fields, Waterboys e a lista poderia ser basicamente nesse nível.

Escapists é o segundo álbum dos canadenses do The Autumn Stones, lançado no ano passado e que por obra dos deuses da música finalmente chegou a meu conhecimento. Fora as referências já citadas pode incluir ai conexões com aquele áurea fase de grupos da Creation como Biff Bang Pow e The Weather Prophets. A terceira faixa End of Faith beira a perfeição evocando The Smiths e Julian Cope ao mesmo tempo, é fantástico.

O The Autumn Stones cometeu simplesmente um dos álbuns mais inusitados e elegantes do ano passado. 

Mesmo que tardiamente, enfim o TBTCI pode contemplar a exaustão a excelência dos caras. Acima.

***** Interview with The Autumn Stones *****

Q. When did The Autumn Stones start? Tell us about your history.
A: The Autumn Stones was born from the ashes of my old band The Assistants in 2009. I enlisted the drummer from that band then a few months later met our bass player. The Autumn Stones have always been based around my songs and initially I thought we would just do one album in order to document all of the songs I had been writing up to that point and never got to record with the old band. However, after our debut record was released in 2011 we realized we had a lot more strong material on our hands and we wanted to keep progressing. So we got a full time sax player (Gary) and a new era of The Autumn Stones was born. Gary brought some much-needed bravado and energy to the band. We are a much more confident outfit now than in the early days. We went through a few lineup changes in the last few years but each player who was with us contributed something to our second album, Escapists, which was a pretty big leap forward. We spent more time arranging and rearranging the songs this time around and after about three years of that we were finally ready to get in the studio and finish it.

Q: Who are your influences?
A: Musically we are influenced a lot by cult rock, post punk, dream pop, jazz, and dub. Some of our favorites include The Magnetic Fields, The Smiths, Echo and The Bunnymen and Guided By Voices. But we are also influenced by lots of things outside of music like film, the news, life, friends, politics, comedy, TV, etc.

Q. List your five favourite albums of all time.
A: Gladly! 1. The 6ths, Wasp’s Nests;
2. Echo and The Bunnymen, Ocean Rain;
3. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses;
4. The Smiths, Louder Than Bombs;
5. Galaxie 500, On Fire.

Q. How do you feel playing live?
A: When the show is going really well and everything sounds good and everyone is in the zone, it’s almost magical. Audiences can sense when you are in that zone and they feed off of it and then the performer in turn feeds off of that energy. That’s what live performance is all about. Having an experience together that’s out of the ordinary and feeling a sense of connection with everyone in the room. That is what we are always after.

Q. Describe The Autumn Stones's sound.?
It’s definitely guitar pop. Dreamy, melodic, raunchy, elegant, smooth, simmering, and brash.

Q: Tell us about your recording process.
A: We start with live bed tracks. That means bass, drums and rhythm guitar are simultaneously recorded. Then we overdub everything else. Most of our parts are figured out beforehand but we always end up adding extra “gravy” in the studio in the moment. I get to play vibraphone in the studio which is a real treat as I love that instrument and wish I could afford one. It’s great for adding secondary melodies which I think are essential. We also had a few guest players contribute to the songs on Escapists. The violinist Hannah Morgan (Rumour Cubes), who plays on a few songs, emailed us her tracks from England. We had a pedal steel player, Blake Enemark (Snoqualmie), come in to play on one song. We just told them where to start and where to end and gave them a few suggestions. They were great. Also, my sister Claire did some backing vocals. Each of our albums has featured a lot of guest players. That always adds an unusual and exciting flavour to the recordings.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
A. There are a lot of really great bands out there today. Beach House, Colleen Green, Alvvays, The National, Still Corners, Twin Voices, The Holiday Crowd. I could really go on, but…

Q: What band would you love to cover?
A: We have covered a few artists at live shows and fooling around at practice. In terms of a recording, I’m not really into doing covers but if we were game for it our cover of Pulp’s “Babies” is pretty solid. We also did a live cover of Feist’s “One Evening” for a video series for NOW magazine here in Toronto a few years ago. That turned out pretty nice and you can still find the video online if you ‘search engine’ it.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: We have been working on some new songs over the last few months and will continue to flesh out more and more material for the next album. We also intend to do some touring soon. We are just itching to get out there but it is tough to coordinate with our day jobs and families and so forth. For now we just have a couple of shows lined up here in Toronto on January 28 and April 15, and we are also participating in a just-announced multi-artist David Bowie tribute concert on January 23.

Q: Any parting words?
A: Explore and support your local arts scene!