quarta-feira, 27 de abril de 2011

Lazer Guided Melodies with Slowness - An Interview

Diretamente da ensolarada São Francisco, California, um EP complementamente intenso e fascinante com canções que de cara te jogam para o inicio da Scene, shoegazer classico com nuances de pos punk assim caminham Black & White, Duck & Cover, Slowboat e Little King as quatro magistrais musicas do debut Hopeless but Otherwise, ah sim já ia me esquecendo, esta maravilha atende pelo nome de Slowness. Geoffrey Scott, guitarras e vocais, Julie Lynn baixo e vocais e Scott Putnam bateria e vocais são os responsaveis pelas viagens envoltas de wall of sound etereo e denso, vocalização menino, menina quase soando como um instrumento a mais no contexto climatico do EP, um deleite indispensavel e artefato primordial para qualquer coleção de amantes de shoegazer, pos punk que se preze.

Aproveitando a ocasião, o TBTCI em contato com Geoffrey viabilizou uma entrevista que desde já torna-se clássica aqui em nossas paginas, delicie-se com Slowness.

***** Interview with Geoffrey Scott - Slowness *****

Q. When did Slowness form, tell us about the beginning…

A. Slowness formed with no name during the summer of 2008 in a house I was house-sitting in, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Julie was encouraging me to turn some guitar sketches into actual songs. And our friend Erik would come up to help me with the yard and the animals, and he brought his drums up and we started doing demos in this great big living room.

Q. What are the band’s influences?

A. There are so many. Aside from the obvious independent-alternative rock, we all love jazz and ambient and some classical and electronic experimental stuff too.

Q. Tell us about the recording process for the debut EP?

A. We shared our demos with our friend Conor and he suggested we record with Monte Vallier. We went in with about 11 songs. "Duck an Cover" we engineered on our own, in our rehearsal space, and did overdubs and vocals in our apartments. In the end, seven seemed to work, but after we mastered and pressed a bunch for a US tour, we came home feeling that only four really represented us well. So we re-mastered with Kramer and did a new pressing with new artwork and all. Now we're finally really happy with it.

Q. Make a list of your top five albums from all time.

1. R.E.M. "Reconstruction of the Fables"
2. The Cure "Disintegration"
3. Stereolab "Mars Audiac Quintet"
4. Spiritualized "Lazer Guided Melodies"
5. The Smiths "The Smiths"

Q. Tell us about playing live.

A. We love it. We don't play much in San Francisco because we don't see ourselves as a local band. We did the tour last year and it was great playing every night for three and a half weeks. You get so much better as a band, and it's the best 40 minutes of your day. We just played in March for the first time in nine months with our new drummer, Scott Putnam, and it felt great. Our best shows tend to be in small, dingy basement-like places full with about 60 people. We'll do a mini-tour in July between New York and Washington, DC.

Q. What do you think about the classic shoegaze era?

A. It's very strange because I started playing the guitar during the height of that era, but I was starting to write songs, you know, cheesy stuff with three chords and the truth. In other words, nothing shoegaze. But somehow something shoegazey started coming out when I started recording demos on a two-track cassette boom-box. But Slowness never sat down and went, "okay, let's be a shoegaze band." Scott and I are metalheads at the core, and Julie is a porch musician.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?

A: I'm not really one to have a pulse on the latest thing. When I buy records, I'm mostly digging into the past and gathering what I missed, you know, like For Against or Spectrum, or even super early Rolling Stones. There is so much great stuff that snuck by me, probably because I was the oldest sibling and didn't have many older friends. Most modern music I hear, that has broken through to indie stardom, as in the latest Pitchfork craze, I'm not crazy about, but then there's so much good stuff out there. It's a bit overwhelming in the new age of digital distribution. Most of what we like are bands we've come to know in San Francisco or while touring, like Foreign Cinema, Dead Leaf Echo, and Moonbeams.

Q. Could you explain the songs from "Hopeless but Otherwise" and your inspirations to compose them?

A. "Black & White" I guess is both personal and political. I guess I just realized at the time that the last eight years of life in the US had been been pretty shitty. Ever since 9/11 things have been weird, and things still don't seem right. But then I suppose it was just a case of me growing up. As if dropping the bomb in 1945, or the Holocaust, or the Rape of Nanking were any lighter. "Duck & Cover" is about someone getting out of your life because of choice or circumstance, and you suddenly realize that the relationship was actually poisoning you at the time. "Slowboat" somehow morphed into something completely different than how it began, basically because of Julie's bass line. Thank heavens for it. I had all these verses, but then we stepped back and thought about repeating just the one phrase, plus a few asides in the second verse. It's about the need to change our entire way of life. To start over, rebuild and, god-forbid, actually take care of each other as a society. But before that we would need to see the footage of all the destruction we've caused up until now. Unfortunately, American public schools generally don't do a good enough job actually educating our youth about what's really gone on in our shared history. Take the details of the Civil Rights Movement and the 100 years of Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws that led up to it. Only a few people get educated on subjects like these growing up, so we have a public that is essentially ignorant, or in denial. "Little King" is about keeping your sense of humor amidst all this dark stuff.

Q. Which songs by other bands would you like to do cover versions of?

A. We've only ever performed two covers, but in my fantasy world we'd have these in our arsenal: "A Short Term Effect" by The Cure, "Silver Rider" by Low, "Kahoutek" by R.E.M., "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" by the Smiths, "Leave Them All Behind" by Ride-- but we'll probably do none of them since we're just trying to write and arrange new songs, and practice what we have so far.

Q. What are the plans for the future?

A. We are in the studio now working on what was supposed to be a follow-up EP but we think it might be turning into a full-length LP. It's about half finished. We're doing the tour in July and we're all spending the summer months on the East Coast, mainly in New York. Then we'll come back in September and continue working on the record. It should be done by November or December, but who knows with these things. We're also planning to tour Europe and Japan in 2012.

Q. Any important news to tell us…

A. We have Sean Eden (Luna) playing on a couple tracks for the new LP. We're lucky we bumped into him at Maxwell's last summer at a Feelies show. Oh yeah, and I've written two songs with Julie's six year-old daughter. We only need to wait another 15years before she can go on tour with us and play keyboards. Until then, we'll probably use a few magic tricks when we play live.
Thanks Geoffrey....