sexta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2018

Past, Preset and Future with Echodrone - An Interview

Posso dizer tranquilamente aqui, que, o Echodrone é uma das bandas mais queridas do TBTCI.

Durante os quase 10 anos de atividade do TBTCI, tive o imenso prazer de não somente acompanhar a trajetória do hoje, quarteto, desde seu início, mas ter a honra de contar com eles em vários projetos do TBTCI.

E, eis, que, depois de uma longa espera, o sexto álbum deles veio ao mundo no mês passado. "Past, Preset, Future", sucede o excepcional "Five" de 2015, e como o nome sugere, o álbum é um passeio com passagens pelo início dos trabalhos da banda, seguindo pelo ponto atual deles, um tanto mais sonhador e de certa forma até mesmo mais pop,sem jamais perder o charme e a sofisticação, características marcantes na sonoridade do Echodrone.

E fechando esta viagem, "Past, Preset and Future" acena por novos caminhos, talvez mais experimentais, talvez mais oitentistas, talvez, talvez, as possibilidades são infinitas para o grande e majestoso Echodrone.

Simplesmente apaixonante.
***** Interview with Echodrone *****

Q. First of all, I must say that "Past, Preset, Future" is great! Are you happy with the result of the record?
Brandon: Couldn’t be happier! We had set some unusual challenges for ourselves in terms of songwriting for this album that could have derailed us, but the end result exceeded our expectations.

Eugene: I think we did a great job! It was a challenge to put together, but everyone put in amazing contributions!

Mike: *thumbs up*

Rachel: I also think we did a good job, considering we live on opposite sides of the country!

Q. How was the process of recording the new album?
Brandon: Much more drawn out than our past albums. Our actual recording process wasn’t different than for Five - we still recorded our parts separately, for example. “Real life” got in the way of our process to an unexpected degree this time around, and it took much longer to finish songs than in the past.

Eugene: Songwriting and recording for this album went in fits and starts. I actually started writing/recording basic song structures for this album before our last album, Five, was even released! As Brandon stated, however, life got in the way. We tried to tackle recording whenever we could fit it into our schedules. It was a difficult process, but it ended up being very rewarding.

Mike: I take full responsibility for how slow this album took to make LOL

Rachel: It was trickier this time around because I recorded my vocals during a busy work season. I didn’t have as much leisure time as Five, which for my part was recorded during the summer.

Q. What is the big difference between "Past, Preset, Future" and "Five"?
Brandon: “Past, Preset and Future” is our take on pop, which definitely shows through the 3:30 song length but also came through in our approach to each song. In some ways, it was a return to our style after “Five’s” foray into electronic music, but the essential “Echodrone-ness” came through I think. “Five” was definitely more claustrophobic and heavy than “Past, Preset and Future”, which has more space in its songs.

Eugene: For me, Five was about exploring long structures that ebbed and flowed in slow waves. It was kind of an attempt to take the things we love about shoegaze/dreampop and stretch them to their limit, both from a songwriting perspective and from a textural perspective.

Past, Preset and Future, however, was about the exact opposite; take the things we loved about shoegaze/dreampop and compress them into smaller, concise, taut songs.

I see “Five” and “Past, Preset and Future” as the yin and yang of the Echodrone discography. Visually, if “Five” was the long stretches of night that occur in winter, “Past, Preset and Future” is the short bursts of radiant sunlight that occur during the day in winter.

Mike: This is our pop album

Rachel: I think it still sounds like us, but I think we had to dig deeper into songwriting in a smaller song length. It was trickier than I thought it would be. I think I found my voice a little bit more this time around.

Q. Tell us about the lyrics?
Eugene: A lot of my lyrics on this album have to do with a longing for the past. As children, we take so much for granted in our rush to become adults. Now that I’ve reached adulthood, I can safely say that it’s not that cool haha. The horizon was limitless as a child, everything was within our reach, our imaginations could run unchecked. As we grow older, however, the boundaries close in on us. We can’t become all the things that we wanted to become as children. We can’t dream like we once did, imagine like we once could...I think my lyrics attempt to touch on these topics.

Rachel: I could write essays on them. The songs I wrote hit on different topics, like nostalgia of simpler times in childhood & youth (“Home”), craziness in our modern world (“Save Me”), & how it affects us mentally & spiritually (“Failure”, “Low”). I had a lot on my mind, & only a 3 minute timeframe to work the ideas in… so it was an interesting challenge. I was also reminded of a Portuguese term I learned about just a few years ago called Saudade, which takes nostalgia to another level because it’s a longing of something, someone, or somewhere that’s not possible. It fit the mood of my lyrics rather well. My underlying theme behind all of them is generally peace & unity, & I hope people can relate to them in their own way.

Q. What do you guys think about the recent avalanche of shoegaze / dreampop and post punk bands around the globe?
Brandon: The more the merrier! I don’t listen to as many new bands in the genres as I would like, but those have always been my favorite musical genres and I’m glad to find that others share the same interests. These days, I’m listening to a lot of classical as well as my old faves and new discoveries from the 80’s.

Eugene: I wish I had a well informed opinion, but I honestly don’t listen to much shoegaze/dreampop music nowadays...

Mike: We’ve always been about taking those genres to new territory and we’re that fans are receptive to go along on that journey.

Rachel: I’m still stuck in the 80s & 90s… but there’re a few recent bands i like, such as The Soft Moon, Screen Vinyl Image, & A Place To Bury Strangers, just to name a few.

Q. What have you been listening to these days? Any recommendations?
Brandon: I am excited about the new Voices record, and really liked Blankenberge’s release from last year. Slowdive is still my favorite band and their latest album made me happy the whole year!

Eugene: I’m really not listening to a whole lot of music lately. I spent most of my free time chasing my one year old daughter around the house. If I get a chance to relax, I will usually listen to a comedy podcast.

If I’m in the mood for music, though, I end up listening to older stuff. I’ve had Fred Frith “Guitar Solos” on repeat for quite awhile, along with Eliane Radigue’s L'Île Re-Sonante. I’ve also been listening to soundtrack music while I work (Goblin, John Carpenter, Drive soundtrack, etc.).

Hmmm...trying to think of recent bands that are rocking it. Definitely check out our friends, the Visiting Diplomats. Their last EP “The Big Swell” is shoegaze at its finest!! Also, Vast Robot Armies are putting out some of the catchiest, anthemic music I’ve heard, definitely an inspiration.

Mike: With Mark E. Smith’s passing, I’ve been listening to a lot of The Fall. Been a fan for decades. I would have to say my favorite era of that band is when they were signed to Beggars Banquet: Frightening World of The Fall, This Nation’s Saving Grace, Frenz Experiment and I Am Kurious Oranj - those albums are a great introduction to the band.

Rachel: I’m listening to Public Image Ltd as I type this. When I’m not listening to 80s & 90s alt, goth, grunge, post-punk, & other types of rock, haha, I listen to & perform orchestral music for a living. I’ve played Russian composers in recent months like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, & Prokofiev. They were really good orchestrators & wrote some very fun & interesting works.

Q. What future plans does Echodrone reserve for us?
Brandon: We seem to change every album, and the next one will definitely be that. :)

Eugene: We’re already discussing our next kooky project :) It’s a secret for now, but we’ll let you know!

Mike: We started conceptualizing the next album while making the current album

Rachel: Hopefully more albums & fun covers!

Q. Final considerations ....
Brandon: Thanks to you, Renato, for all the support over our career!

Eugene: Thank you so much to everyone that takes a few moments out of their day to listen to Echodrone. We are such a small band...I’m absolutely blown away that anyone is even listening to what we do!!

Mike: Shout out to my kids, my wife, my bandmates, our engineer Colin, Shawn and Jeff who lent me mics (takes a lot of mics to record drums - should’ve picked a different instrument :P) and YOU!

Rachel: Thanks to all who are drawn to our music! Esp. thanks to my parents for being so encouraging during years of uncertainty as I tried to make a life as a musician. It was tough, but well worth it!