quinta-feira, 26 de outubro de 2017

Lost Moon with Here Knows When - An Interview

Uma curiosa história onde três cientistas que estudavam na Universidade da Califórnia em Davis se cruzaram por um daqueles acasos, onde logicamente tem as mãos dos deuses da música, e assim surgiu o trio Here Knows When.

Charan Ranganath, Jeff Sherman e Danielle Stolzenberg, os cientistas, e agora juntos sob o espectro de influências tão dispares quanto Led Zeppelin, como Replacements, ou.... bem, a lista de referências deles é interminável, mesmo porque são décadas de boa música condensada numa sonoridade intensa, barulhenta, por vezes melancólica em outras raivosa.

Tudo isso, esta explicitado no primeiro EP deles, "Lost Moon", onde o Here Knows When tritura o pós punk sob uma visão dos subúrbios barulhentos e caóticos das cidades que cada um deles vem, leia-se Chicago, Boston e Califórnia, talvez por isso mesmo, em alguns momentos, ecos de Throwing Muses, Pixies, Jesus Lizard e outras barulheiras apareçam gritando durante as cinco canções do EP, com direito a uma releitura impagável de "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

O Here Know Whens é barulho de primeira grandeza.

***** Interview with To Here Knows When *****

Q. When did Here Knows When start? Tell us about the history…
CR: Danielle, Jeff, and I are all scientists at the University of California at Davis. Earlier, we had each played in bands in California, Chicago, and Boston, and I think we first got together about 2 years ago.

DS: Honestly, it seems like magic to me. Years prior, Jeff found out that I played music from a "google search of this new faculty member"... but never in a million years did I imagine that I would actually find musicians to play with in Davis, much less in my department! I don't think I had ever actually spoken to Charan until our first practice! In my memory it just fell together in this perfect way.

Q: Who are your influences?
DS: In no real order: Madonna, Tom Petty, Alice in Chains, American Analog Set, Death Cab for Cutie, Cat power, Heart, Smashing Pumpkins, Mariah Carey.. I could go on, but Im embarrassing my band mates.

JS: Dinosaur Jr., Replacements, Rolling Stones, REM, Minor Threat, Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychedelic Furs, Smiths

CR: So, so many. Led Zeppelin is probably the biggest influence, because their songs were so diverse, and they pushed the boundaries in so many ways. When I was growing up, I first got into hard rock and metal (Def Leppard, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth), then hip hop (Public Enemy, NWA, etc.) and then punk (Clash, Ramones, Black Flag, Descendants, Husker Du, and the Minutemen. And then bands that are harder to classify like fIREHOSE, the Cult, R.E.M., Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, Joy Division, Gang of Four, Bauhaus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Specials. In the 90's, I got into Sonic Youth, Archers of Loaf, Dinosaur, Mudhoney, PJ Harvey, Tad, Big Black, Tar, Jesus Lizard, Smashing Pumpkins, Screaming Trees, Hum, Glenn Branca, McLusky, Future of the Left, Don Caballero, Slint, My Bloody Valentine, Band of Susans, The Ex, Seam, Jawbox, Slint, Sonic Youth, The Joy Formidable, Spacemen 3, the faith healers... And I also got into jazz—John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Ken Vandermark. I got kind of out of touch with new music for the past 15 years, and I've been trying to play catchup since then! Probably my most out-there discovery has been Ethiopian r&b from the 1960s, like Alameyehu Eshete. Awesome stuff!

Having said all that, I don't think that our music we do is particularly like anything I listen to-maybe the closest would be Hum, the Joy Formidable, My Bloody Valentine, Band of Susans, and Seam.

I'm not embarrassed by Danielle's response btw—my guilty pleasure is Phil Collins.

Q. Make a list of 5 albuns of all time…
1. Jar of Flies- Alice in Chains
2. Gish- Smashing Pumpkins
3. We have the facts and we're voting yes- Death Cab for Cutie
4. Wildflowers- Tom Petty
5. The moon & Antarctica- Modest Mouse

Springsteen: Born to Run
The Clash: The Clash
Replacements: Tim
Dinosaur Jr.: You’re Living All Over Me
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.

CR: Only 5? That is difficult but right now, I'd say:
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti or IV or II
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
Don Caballero: What Burns Never Returns
Def Leppard: High and Dry/Pyromania (it's a tie, I can't choose)

Q. How do you feel playing live?
DS: It's literally the best thing I've ever felt in my life. I mean, it's terrifying, but also like a million orgasms at once.

JS: Playing live is phenomenal. One of the few occasions when I am living purely in the moment.

Q. How do you describe Here Knows When sounds?
JS: Transmissions from deep ocean, deep space, and deep noise

DS: Shooting stars on a foggy night.

CR: One of the key elements of our sound is that Danielle and I have a yin and yang thing going on. We write our parts differently and we go for different tones so that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. On about half our songs, I play baritone guitar, which is tuned from B to B instead of E to E, so it's somewhere between a bass and a guitar. I'll tend to go for guitar sounds that have a sharp attack. Danielle, on the other hand, plays a Stratocaster that normally trebly sound, and she always uses a ton of reverb. I build effects pedals that Danielle and I use in the band, and that lets us generate some unusual sounds and textures.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
DS: It was really fun! The room we recorded in allowed me to transport to this perfect mental space. I felt really alive while recording and the energy from my band mates was incredible.

CR: It was a great experience, and my first with a totally digital recording setup. We worked with Patrick Hills, an amazing engineer at Earthtone studios. He set up the drum mics in about 20 minutes, and was able to get the best drum sound I've ever had on a recording. Patrick encouraged us to take the time we needed on each song, so we got to do the recording and mixing here and there over a period of 3 months. We don't have a bassist, so I ended up adding bass tracks, and we also double tracked the guitars. On the endings of Hydrogen Isotope and Love Will Tear Us Apart, I got to layer on a few extra guitar tracks and swell them in as the song reached the finale. Then, during the mixing and mastering, we put on some samples, noise loops that Patrick had recorded, and random spring reverb effects in some places. That was awesome.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
CR: This band sounds nothing like us, but my favorite new discovery is Kowloon Walled City. Their album, "Grievances" is absolutely amazing. They play heavy music, almost like metal, but instead of bashing you with a wall of sound, they'll play these single notes and chords and let them ring out. The recordings capture that space in between the notes, so it's almost like the room reverberation is an instrument unto itself. Another artist I like a lot is the Soft Moon from Oakland.

JS: Alvvays

DS: I've been really into this new-ish band Sunflower Bean.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
CR: I like to mess around with covers, but artistically, I'm really more interested in taking an existing song and totally deconstructing it. That was our approach with "Love will tear us apart". Someday, I'd love to do a shoegaze version of Metallica's Master of Puppets.

DS: We have lots of ideas for covers, but ultimately we would rather spend the little time we have creating music.

JS: Would love to cover Alvvays

Q: What are your plans for the future?
DS: To quit my day job and play music ALL THE TIME. Just kidding. I think a short tour would be really amazing.

CR: I'd like to keep pushing the boundaries with more experimental sounds and arrangements, and it would be great to try some interesting multimedia stuff in our live shows. I also have been working on building a lo-fi synthesizer and analog sequencer and it would be great to squeeze that in somehow!

Q: Any parting words?
DS: This question is too open ended for me... I need direction!

CR: I'm just thankful to make music I love with people that I connect with. We're not doing this with the expectation of getting rich or famous—we just want to write and play music and hopefully have people hear it. And, we have a little pile of t-shirts we'd like to sell :)