quarta-feira, 1 de novembro de 2017

Drowning with Small Planets - An Interview

Escute as demos do quinteto novato de Los Angeles, Small Planets e me diga, são demos? 

É quase impossível acreditar que "Drowning", "Blue", Window" e "Tonight" são meras demos, tamanha a qualidade, e principalmente, tamanha intensidade com a qual o Small Planets conduz seu shoegaze cinematográfico, em tons épicos, sem contar o vocal evocando paisagens quase trágicas.

A força da música do Small Planets impressiona, ainda mais, levando em consideração que estamos lidando apenas com "demos".

Que venha urgentemente os registros oficiais, agora meus caros, prestem atenção e guardem esse nome, Small Planets.

***** Interview with Small Planets *****

Q. When did Small Planets start? Tell us about the history...
Jeff: My friend invited me to see Slowdive a few years back. I had this grin on my face the entire show. The wave of sound hitting me was incredibly inspiring. From that moment, all I wanted to do was create music in the hopes of having that same effect on someone else. And I got really lucky by finding the right people to work with. Josh (bass), Phil (drums), Dani (keys) and Jen (vocals) give me complete confidence what we’re doing is going to achieve a level of success. Which in this case, means recording a full length LP.

Josh: A few years ago, Jeff, being inspired by Slowdive show, felt the calling to start a musical project. He already had a handful of songs when he asked if I would want to be involved. After hearing them, I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of. Next, came Phil on the drums. We’ve played in quite a few bands together so I knew he would be perfect. We were fortunate to find Dani for keyboards. She not only rounded out our sound but added the layers and textures we were missing. Then Jen came along and she hit the ground running. Not only was her voice the final piece needed but her hard work ethic is inspiring.

Q: Who are your influences?
Jeff: We all have different backgrounds and influences and you will hear it on the record. Each song sounds really different for the other, but in the end, it all sounds like us. But influences bleed in and you will hear some nods to Joy Division or The Cure… sometimes Van Halen.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Jeff: 69 Love Songs – The Magnetic Fields

Jen: I’m sure everyone says this, because it’s true, but that’s a terribly tough question to answer. Excluding soundtracks, scores, and compilations, at this point in my life I’d have to say “Superstition” by The Birthday Massacre. I do feel odd picking a relatively recent album, but there’s not a single song on it that I skip. It’s beautiful.

Josh: Very hard to answer. It’s constantly evolving. Currently It’s Party by Aldous Harding

Dani: Script of The Bridge by The Chameleons

Phil: Propagandhi - How to Clean Everything

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Jeff: We’re constantly working on making the live show something memorable, it’s a huge part of what we’re setting out to accomplish. So, we tend to take it pretty seriously but at the same time if someone really fucks up, like me, we’re easy to shrug it off.

Jen: It’s such an amazingly surreal sensation. Pre-show, I start out really nervous and anxious, but when I feel that I immediately change how I process those emotions. I’m not nervous, I’m excited. I’m not anxious, I’m eager to get on stage. It creates a really positive experience. Then when I’m on stage, I feel free to experience the music fully because now that’s all it’s about, and hopefully that resonates with the audience and they feel that connection.

Josh: Lucky to have this outlet to express myself with art and music

Q. How do you describe Small Planets sounds?
Jeff: Melodic hooks with layers of melodies living below the surface. Dark, but hopeful and sometimes tragic but often beautiful. The happy ending to any John Hughes films

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
Josh: We actually recorded these songs in a pretty traditional way. Scratch tracks for the drums and then each instrument/vocals was added in one at a time. The benefit of this is really spending time with each part to make sure it fits and serves the song.

Jeff: Typically, one of us will bring in what we call "scratch demos" and then in the rehearsal studio, we work out all the particulars. Once we have the song structure completed, words and vocals follow. In music, I have no formal training but I can hear everything in my head and I can identify hidden melodies hidden in the mix and I can just pluck them out. My struggle is relating these ideas to the others in a somewhat intelligible way. I literally will mumble ideas out barely forming words. Thankfully, Josh understands me 90% of the time, and Phil picks up the other 10%.

Jen: I try to really feel out the emotions of each song inside and out, not just through the lyrics, but also through the music itself. I have to allow myself to enter a really open and vulnerable state of mind so that I can embrace whatever feelings the song wants to convey without any manipulation from my own or other’s expectations; which can be intimidating when other people are present. But I learn to shut that out through a sort of meditative state. I start daydreaming as I sing without trying to control it so everything and everyone physically around me sort of disappears. The end goal for me is not just about whether or not I sing a note correctly, though it helps. It’s about communicating, connecting and empathizing genuine emotions. If I can do that, then I’ve succeeded.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
Jen: I don’t know if I’d call them new, but I like The Struts. I really dig their songs and energy; and Luke has such a great voice.

Dani: Girlfriends and Boyfriends, Drab Majesty, and Girls Names

Jeff: The Cure toured in 2016 and brought along a band called The Twilight Sad. While they are not really new, they were new to us and a lot of Cure fans. The energy and passion they brought to the stage was amazing.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Jeff: I was actually just talking to Dani about a potential song from The Smiths, she loved the idea but we’ll see if it works. Think museum scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but with a lot FUZZ. Actually, we do have a really heavy version of Love Will Tear Us Apart in our back pocket. One day I’m sure we’ll play that live.

Jen: Again, there are so many that completely inspire me and whose songs I absolutely love so it’s a really tough question. Picking just one though, I know it’s not a unique idea, but I really love Queen. Their songs are so diverse and Freddie’s vocal range was spectacular; I’d have a lot of fun with that.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
Jeff: Shows and recording the album... which we hope will be out early to mid 2018.

Jen: Music is always in my future. I want to continue stretching my voice and challenging myself so I can sing well in any style that best serves the song. I hope to tour, a lot, and see more of the world. It would be pretty rad to do a world tour; or maybe even a lot of world tours! Only time will tell....

Josh: World Domination

Q: Any parting words?
Jeff: Check out our self-titled demo at: www.smallplanets.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2017 or follow us here: www.instagram.com/smallplanetsband/ here www.twitter.com/small_planets or here www.facebook.com/smallplanetsband/