sexta-feira, 10 de agosto de 2012

Transient Random Noisebursts with This Scarlet Mourning - An Interview

Skylight lhe diz algo?! Para os iniciados no inicio dos 90´s Perry Pelonero e Brent Martino estavam a frente desta preciosidade que chama-se Skylight, uma daquelas bandas que infelzimente sucumbiram a si mesma, por inumeros motivos dos quais a grande maioria das bandas entram em colapso, o principal frustação, por ter talento e materiais tão espetaculares e ao mesmo tempo rejeitados.

O tempo passou e Perry tomou um novo rumo ao lado de Kim Welsh e montou inumeras bandas dentre elas, Morpheme e A*Star, enquanto Brent dedicou-se a seu mais novo interesse This Scarlet Mourning, e depois de muito trabalho chega a nós o debut Spinning, uma enorme e grata surpresa, principalmente porque para o TBTCI é com extrema felicidade e retorno de Brent ao mundo shoegazer ainda mais com a qualidade e a exuberância de Spinning. Uma das caracteristicas marcantes do debut é a voz d Rachel Drucker e o emaranhado de guitarras estridentes que por oras urram e em outras cristalizam todos nós.

Há tempos o TBTCI vinha namorando junto a Brent uma entrevista que em conjunt haviamos decidido que soltariamos assim que Spinning estava liberado, e finalmente a hora chegou.

O TBTCI recomenda a todos audição imediata desta preciosidade que mantem a aura do Skylight viava e pulsando até hoje.

***** Interview with This Scarlet Mourning *****

Q. When did this Scarlet Mourning start, tell us about the history...
Brent: The band started after the end of my former band Skylight. Perry (Skylight, Bliss.City.East, A Star) and I were looking for a singer and another guitar player for Skylight, He found Kim out in Chicago and I found Pete in Massachusetts. We wrote several songs but it was eventually decided we all wanted to work on projects that would allow us to play live, so Perry and Kim Started B.C.E and Pete and I started This Scarlet Mourning.

After a little more than a year of trying to find bass, drums and vocals we found our first singer and drummer Katie Bunting and Aaron Chase, then added Don Barry on bass. We began writing and eventually parted ways with Katie and Aaron replacing them with Patrick Barry and Rachel Drucker. This line up seemed to come together quickly and between august and October of 2011 we wrote enough material for a live set and started hitting the Boston area clubs.

Rachel: In August 2011 I met these fine gentleman and we have been making music and playing shows since then.

Pete: Brent can answer that one:)

Pat: My personal history/introduction into the band: My brother Don(bassist) asked if I knew of any drummers as their old one quit/exiled himself from the band. I was interested in getting back into drumming after focusing primarily on guitar for the past 8 years, and volunteered to try out. Apparently it went well.

Q: Who are your influences?
Brent: My influences are all over the place, I think the ones that have had the most impact on my playing are, Robert Smith, Adam Jones, Neil Halstead, Toni Iommi and Dave Navarro.

Rachel: Too many to name, but a few are Portishead, Imogen Heap,** Depeche Mode, Sarah McLauchlan and The Birthday Massacre. Pete: My personal influences are David Gilmour, John Fahey, Bob Mould, Jimi Hendrix, Kevin Shields. My influences for this band are, My Bloody Valentine, Sugar, Sigur Ros, The Pixies, Stereolab.

Pat: My drumming is specifically influenced by Matt Cameron, Mike Bordin, Dave Grohl, Jimmy Chamberlain, Steve Shelley, Stewart Copeland, Phil Collins, and Bill Bruford.

Outside the realm of drumming, I am extremely influenced by the likes of Mike Patton, Peter Gabriel, Josh Homme, and Roger Waters.

Being a former band geek and multi-instrumentalist, I have a lot more abstract influences that affect what I contribute to each song, including being trained in classical music, jazz, and some world music. I don't really consider myself the greatest drummer, and am more interested in coming up with rhythms that suit the song in a melodic sense rather than being flashy and technical.


Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Brent: Not sure these are the best of all time but they certainly expanded my musical horizon. The Cure: Disintegration, The Sisters of Mercy: First and last and always, Slowdive: Souvlaki, Black Sabbath: Paranoid, and Tool: Aenima.

Rachel: Poem by Delerium, Violater by Depeche Mode, The Book of Secrets by ****Loreena
McKennitt, The Doors by The Doors and Looking Glass by The Birthday Massacre.

1) Pink Floyd: Dark side. May sound cliche, but the album is absolutely perfect.
2) Stereolab: Transient Random Noisebursts with Announcements. Perfect combination of drone, pop and layered walls of sound.
3) The Orb: Orblivion. Quite possibly the trippiest album ever made.
4) Hum: You'd Prefer an Astronaut. Heavy, spacey, and we all love the song "Stars" I mean, come on now!
5) Sublime: 40 oz. of Freedom. Amazingly executed album. Great players, great music, fantastic production. The album flows together like no other. Always have a smile on my face when listening to this one

Pat: Faith No More - "Angel Dust" : My favorite record of all time. I am extremely influenced my FNM's attitude towards songwriting; which seems to disavow lazy writing, and with the mentality of a rock band who is sick of writing rock music. It manages to encapsulate everything I love about music: Dark/brutal guitar tones, ethereal keyboards, juxtaposed with precision poppy hooks and tight funk rhythms. It's like they knew I loved goth, metal, funk, pop, and prog rock and found a way to forge them all together. This of course intertwined with Mike Patton's brilliant vocal work(who can switch between R&B crooning and grindcore squealing at the drop of the hat), which of course is unparalleled… and his David Lynch-ian lyrical content to boot. I think they were the first to sort of push me to "think outside the box" in terms of songwriting. I could go on and on about this record.

Peter Gabriel - "III(Melt)": I think what I love most about Peter Gabriel's sound is this sort of dichotomy between electronic and world instruments... like a sort of industrial/primordial cacophony. The percussion on this record is simultaneously relentless and minimalist, but what really stands out is the melody and songwriting on its own.
Soundgarden - "Superunknown" : An album from the formative years of my music absorption. Still love it to this day.
Queens of the Stone Age - "Songs for the Deaf": What a fantastic sound these guys have. I think what I found most appealing about this record is they manage to indulge in certain styles without letting themselves get pigeonholed. They delve into metal without sounding over-macho, prog-rock without sounding pretentious, stoner-rock without sounding lazy, and straight-ahead blues rock without sounding generic. Much like FNM, these guys avoid lazy songwriting and keep you entranced for the whole ride. Plus, Dave Grohl plays drums on for them on this record; your argument is invalid.
Yes - "Fragile": One of the best recordings put to tape circa 1972. These guys wrote the rules on prog rock as far as I'm concerned. Only Steve Howe could make a hollow-bodied barely distorted guitar rock.


Q. How do you feel playing alive?
Brent: I enjoy playing live, but I am naturally introverted, I don’t like to be the center of attention so when I play live I feel like I’m in kind of a bubble, I am focused on what I’m doing and have no recollection of the audience or anything after we are done (unless I mess up, I always remember that).

Rachel: Each song to me is like a different act in a play. Sharing that with the audience, drawing them and and holding their attention is something I live for.

Pete: Alive. Playing live is the only time I feel like I know what I'm doing. Every other aspect in my life is a constant guessing game. " How should I act now?" "What would this person think if I..." "Do I really Need that?" "Which one of these products that are exactly the same thing should I get?" And so on. On stage I'm me. I don't need to guess, I just know. I'm no longer the shy awkward guy, I beat the crap out of my guitar, let my demons fly around, and become myself.

Pat: Easily much better than playing dead.

Q. How do you describe This Scarlet Mourning's sounds?
Brent: That’s been hard for me to describe, there are definite shoegaze/dream pop elements but some of the heavier influences work their way into it as well. I think that we all have such diverse backgrounds in music that our approach has been to just let things go in the direction they naturally go in. Sometimes it’s shoegaze sometimes it’s more rock.

Rachel: To me, our sound is a mix of all the good components of ambient, shoegaze and in your face rock music.

Pete: Heavily influenced by shoegaze, with a touch of Radiohead, and a splash of Motorhead.

Pat: A mix between Cannibal Corpse and Fine Young Cannibals.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the debut?
Brent: We had spent several months working the songs out so we all came into it with a good idea of what was going to go where. We spent one very long day at The Space in Lowell MA putting down the basic tracks with scratch vocals then took a couple weeks to live with the tracks, then we went in and fixed or replaced what we didn’t like and then added the final vocals. We had a great engineer (Brian Redmond)and used protools for the recording. I use all line 6 gear and went direct to the board, Pete used a vintage Fender amp and Don ran the bass into two channels, one direct and the other through his pedal board.

Rachel: Recording is always fun for me. I love to play around with harmony and percussion in the studio, and try to come up with ideas to enhance our sound. *

Pat: I tried to stay out of it for the most part. As much as it's a group effort, I respect that TSM is not my baby and left a lot of the decisions regarding sonic textures on Brent and Pete.

Q. What´s represents the shoegazer classic era to the band?
Brent: To me the classic era was between 88 and 94 or so. So much great music from then, MBV, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, Swervedriver, Galaxy 500, Boo Radleys, Kitchens of Distinction, to name a few. I like the early years of a scene like that because even though people eventually force a genre on it the beginning is very organic, the bands sound different, look different. The look and sound happen naturally. We are now in a “revival” period, tons of great bands but for some shoegaze is a style now that has a look. It’s less organic and more calculated at least as far as the more mainstream bands go. On the other hand I am constantly amazed by the number of really good, diverse bands out there, and thanks to blogs like this and several awesome communities on the internet (The Shoegaze Collective, Ambient Airwaves, When the Sun Hits to name a few) I rarely listen to mainstream bands anymore.

Rachel: I recall sometimes while working on a song, I hear "Hey! That sounds like it could be a (insert shoegaze band here) song" from either myself or the guys.*

Q. Which new bands do you recommended?
Brent: It’s hard to narrow down, but off the top of my head, Screen Vinyl Image, The New Highway Hymnal, Bloody Knives, SPC ECO and pretty much everything Tom Lugo puts out on Patetico.

Rachel: Not sure about new new bands, but bands/Artists that I recommend are Plumb, Florence + The Machine and Imogen Heap.

Pete: Exit Music, The Joy Formidable

Pat: Four Point Restraints: Just an all around solid alt-rock group also based out of Boston, MA. Elements of the Pixies, Tom Waits, Radiohead, and Joy Division seem to combine into a completely original sound that should render them pretentious hipsters, yet they remain completely devoid of that downfall.

Exitmusic: Saw them open for the Joy Formidable last April(with Pete, actually) and they killed. Reminded me of a mix between Jefferson Airplane and Sigur Ros with a gothic twist. Sonically, melodically, and even aesthetically they just nailed it.

Q: Which bands you love to made a cover version?
Brent: Our track record with covers isn’t great, we have so many we would like to do so we usually can’t decide. We have toyed with the idea of covering Ceremony by Joy Division or Stars by Hum.

Rachel: Portishead and Dead Can Dance

Pete: We always try to come up with cover songs but we never decide which ones to do. In the Past we've covered The Misfits "London Dungeon" and My Bloody Valentine's Only shallow.

Pat: I've always really wanted to cover Peter Gabriel. He's always been really good about somehow combining sparse instrumentation with intricate songwriting which really leaves it open for anyone to put their own personal stamp on it. "I Have The Touch" comes to mind as one that I think TSM could pull off.

Q: What´s the plans for future....
Brent: For right now the plan is to build as much of an audience as we can, Boston is an oversaturated market so for a new original band it’s really hard to draw. Could be an EP at some point we are starting to have a good sized catalog of material.

Rachel: Future plans include would be to keep making music with This Scarlet Mourning, having it reach as many people as possible and having lots of fun while doing it!

Pete: Keep playing, keep writing, try to get our music out there. There may be an E.P. in the future, stay tuned!

Pat: Hopefully writing more great music, and playing more shows!

Q: Any parting words?
Brent: I’d like to thank you for your support of us and the other musical projects I’ve been a part of.

Rachel: It's hard for me personally to relate with the old "Dance like no one is watching Sing like no one is listening." Even though it may not be meant to be taken literally, I want to share music and dance with the world and see that everyone is watching, listening and hopefully enjoying it.

Pete: To quote Hunter S. Thompson,
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Pat: "We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination." - David Lynch
Thanks Brent and all This Scarlet Mourning