terça-feira, 24 de maio de 2016

Blood Dancer with Crown Larks - An Interview

Ok, vamos fazer o seguinte, caso você espere algo sonhador ou talvez, digamos, de fácil absorção, fica aqui o aviso, o que esta por vir, certamente, não é recomendado a ouvidos não iniciados, ou calejados.

Não que soe, presunçoso ou arrogante, longe disso, o fato é que a música do Crown Larks, freaks de Chicago, ultrapassa qualquer rotulação ou classificação. 

A partir do momento que é dado play, por exemplo, em "Blood Dancer", ultimo trabalho deles, fico explicitado, que estamos diante de uma subversão sonora. Pense em "Funhouse", "Autobahn", ou qualquer álbum do Faust, e por aí vai, todavia, veja bem, são apenas referências ok.

Prepare-se porque o Crown Larks pode te levar a lugares que você jamais imaginou existir.

***** Interview with Crown Larks *****

Q. When did Crown Larks start? tell us about the history...
Lorraine: We started jamming and coming up with ideas that made their way into the band in the summer of 2012 and were playing shows regularly by 2013. For three years, the band’s had a solid core trio of me (keys/vocals/sax/flute), Jack (guitar/vocals/keys), and Bill (drums) with a lot of different friends and collaborators coming through, playing everything from trumpet to synth to piano. Matt joined last year on bass and has been the most stable fourth member we’ve had, kind of enabled us to do a lot of things we couldn’t before.

Jack: Part of what’s been fun about this band is that a lot of the songs are written in an open-ended way, with room for different musicians to jump in as long as they can follow cues. The newer stuff is way more structured and rhythm-focused now that we have a dedicated bass player, so that’s changing, but we still want to keep some of that spontaneous energy of the jam space. And we’ve been touring a ton from the get-go, so that influences it too.

Q: Who are your influences?
Jack: The music’s all over the place because our influences are. Originally, before I found so many new bands through touring, it was a mix of old favorites. So we wanna have the visceral energy of a band like The Stooges or Big Black mixed with the brutal minimalism of Oneida or CAVE, the unpredictability and adventurousness of free jazz and the personal, eccentric vibe of someone like David Bowie or Neil Young. Other influences, not all of which you can hear probably, would be Faust, Suicide, Dark Magus-era electric Miles Davis, Albert Ayler, Roland Kirk, poppier stuff like New Order or Deerhunter. The way early King Crimson or Pink Floyd swings between pop songs and freakout jams… noise and experimental stuff like Black Dice, crazy shit happening in basements everywhere…

Lorraine: Yeah, which is really the main influence now – I mean, the new music we’re encountering on tour all the time, and at home. So some of those would be Guerilla Toss, Horse Lords, Toupee, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Guardian Alien, Health&Beauty, Matchess, Goodwill Smith, CAVE, BAMBARA, Yonatan Gat.

Jack: And we’ve discovered a lot of stuff on the west coast tour we’re on now… bands I really dig like Slow Rose, Media Jeweler, Temple Echoes, Sunn Trio, Empty Guest, Spencer Owen, Galaxy Research, Mugen Huso. But then again, some of the influences that keep us wanting to play music at all, you can’t necessarily hear in our own music, whether Jimmy Cliff or John Fahey or Isaac Hayes or Mobb Deep or Vladimir Horowitz.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Jack: Tonight’s the Night (Neil Young), The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (Charles Mingus), Low (David Bowie), Entertainment (Gang of Four), Paranoid (Black Sabbath), Hot Buttered Soul (Isaac Hayes). That’s more just a list of 5 of the top 100 that come to mind but yeah. It’s also 6.

Lorraine: Hmm, how about Forever Changes (Love), In a Silent Way (Miles Davis), Spirit of Eden (Talk Talk), Shape of Punk to Come (Refused), Night Beat (Sam Cooke).

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Jack: The environment plays a big role, I feel like the goal live is to conjure up this magic for people, but you’re channeling what’s already there too. A sweaty, packed, tiny basement in Albuquerque is different than a big festival stage. But always, the idea is to have something raw, visceral, unpredictable in the mix while at the same time being tight and hard-hitting. So to me, that puts you in this trance-like state… you’re alert, but not so alert that you can’t hear the music happening independently of your hands. If I think too much about what I’m doing, I play like shit.

Lorraine: Yeah, trying to be fully present… it’s an ego thing because you’re on stage with people staring at you, but you don’t want to be detached at all. That’s why the best shows often happen when you’re playing on the floor and can’t hear shit, just because everyone’s so plugged in.

Q. How do you describe Crown Larks sounds?
Jack: I try not to! Usually I just tell people to listen to the record. Like I don’t know how I’d describe the albums I listed above really. To me, it’s kind of experimental noise rock with a lot of that minimalist krautrock vibe thrown in and some harsher spazzy punk or no wave inflection. A lot of the time we get compared to jazz just because we have horns, but anyone who listens to jazz knows our music isn’t really jazz at all haha. The songs are pretty strictly structured, have a lot of vocals, repetitive and even mechanical grooves. But some of the energy and vibe is there.

Lorraine: The live show now is a lot more focused on lots of rhythms happening at once, very driving with a lot of changes, but hopefully not in that showoff prog kind of sense… yeah, they’re still structured songs with vocals, you can follow what’s happening without having to count or something. Hopefully people can jam it whether they just sit back and let it flow or whether they decide to dig deeper into the technical side.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
Lorraine: We try to live-track as much as we can and keep the live band energy and spontaneity, leave some “mistakes” in and everything, not pro-tools the shit out of it… then again, we just finished a second LP, and it was way more intensely produced and mixed than Blood Dancer. Jack and I got a lot more into that aspect. It’s still basically the sound of our band playing live though, not too clean and polished.

Jack: Often we’ll jam in the basement for hours, listen back, find some good stuff we want to develop further, go from there… lyrics get written, stuff gets structured over time. This time, things developed further in the studio since I took more time in the production phase, so some songs are now played live like they are on the record, as opposed to how they were when we went in, if that makes sense.

Q. Which new bands do you recommended?
(We just put the answer to this in the “influences” question above)

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Jack: I’d wanna do something not very obvious to people who know our current sound. Maybe New Order or Television, something sparse and rhythmic or really dancey, maybe LP #3 will be more like that.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Lorraine: Keep doing it! We’ve got this new record we’re looking to have released, more tours coming up, new spark plugs in the van, it’s good to go. We’re finishing up a long tour right now, driving through Montana back east as I write this. We’ve got our homecoming show with Besnard Lakes, then a couple east coast tours this summer and hopefully it just keeps flowing.