quinta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2017

Sunspots with All Sparks Burn Out - An Interview

O submundo dos bons sons, é um lugar de certo pequeno, onde quase todos se conhecem, ou conhecem alguém que conhece você, ou vice e versa, e foi assim que tomei conhecimento dos australianos sônicos do All Sparks Burn Out.

A amiga, conhecedora dos bons sons, Breda Massman, publicou há menos de uma semana atrás uma banda com um nome que me chamou atenção de imediato, All Sparks Burn Out, nome de uma música do primeiro trabalho dos ingleses do Editors, e como curioso que sou, fui diretamente para a audição, e pow!!

Uma tapa na cara, uma chinelada nos tímpanos foi o que aconteceu desde os primeiros momentos de "Sunspots" música que abre e dá título ao primeiro trabalho dos caras. Um esporro electro noise, nos moldes de um Screen Vinyl Image cruzando com violência com o APTBS. Na sequência a eletrônica pesada toma conta de "The Trees They Sway", uma trip ácida guiada por synths, loops em alta tensão, e "Daysend" fecha violentamente o trabalho evocando Killing Joke e Skywave lado a lado.

Fora tudo isso, os caras do All Sparks Burn Out, são velhos conhecidos do TBTCI, Ant e Dave são membros do Skullsquadron, ou seja, tudo em casa mesmo.

Mas diferentemente das bandas originais, o All Sparks Burn Out é música para deixar cicatrizes abertas, intenso e frenético, como deve ser.

***** Interview with All Sparks Burn Out *****

Q. When did All Sparks Burn Out start? Tell us about the history...
I love Sounds Like Sunset, particularly their Invisible album (2005) in which Anthony The had a hand in recording/engineering/mixing the album. I got in touch with him when in a Sydney band called apianLOW to see if he would be interested in working with the us but the band finished up as the boys were already doing it for 10 years and wanted a break.

I still kept in touch with Anthony, sent some demos that’d I’d been doing in the shed at home between 2006-2008 and he said he’d be happy to record them. I then chased up Simon Cox, I loved his drumming in Australian band Died Pretty (notably their Using My Gills As a Roadmap album 1998).

We recorded the first EP 'Exactly What It Sounds Like' in early 2009. After it was finished Anthony joined on guitar.

Spent a few years piecing together the second EP 'Red Sky At Night' but wanted to add vocals to a few tracks so got in touch with Rachel Staggs from Austin band Experimental Aircraft to see if she could do some work. We were pretty lucky to have her sing on 3 tracks. It was released 2012.

As we’re a fairly part-time band the recording process for the next 5 years has morphed from an EP, to an Album to a debut double album! Guess it’s our sense of humour that we’re pretty unknown and yet we’re going to have a double album to kick us off. Anthony’s brother David has added some guitars as well and we have a host of guest vocalists helping out.

Our first single Sunspots from the album ‘Shapes In The Shadows’ is out and about now.

Q. Who are your influences?
I guess we have different influences from an individual point of view but collectively we love a lot of the 90’s bands. My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Swirlies, Ride, Catherine Wheel, Curve, Underground Lovers, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Whipping Boy, Therapy?, Compulsion, Starflyer 59, Ammonia, Big Heavy Stuff, Doughboys, Nirvana, Failure, Sugar, Chapterhouse, Sleater-Kinney, Jesus Jones, Yo La Tengo, James, Sugar, Pavement, JAMC, Screamfeeder, Placebo.

Earlier bands like Killing Joke, New Order and Joy Division also pretty up there. Bands outside the 90s; Sounds Like Sunset, Interpol, Editors (our band name comes from their All Sparks track), A Perfect Circle, New Pornographers, Mew, The Go! Team, Pia Fraus, Cheatahs and Amusement Parks On Fire.

The second disc for our album incorporates the above bands with electronic artists like Leftfield, Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Nick Fish, Severed Heads, Southend, Pop Will Eat Itself, Deadmau5, Orbital, Cut Copy, Presets.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
Now this is tough - trying to think of the other boys as well, could have gone with MBV’s ‘Isn’t Anything’, The Go! Team’s ‘The Scene Between’, Ride’s ‘Nowhere’, Amusement Parks On Fire ‘Out of the Angeles’, Underground Lovers ‘Leaves Me Blind’ or Failure’s ‘Fantastic Planet’ but would probably go with;

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine
Invisible - Sounds Like Sunset
The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails
Ferment - Catherine Wheel
They Spent Their Youthful Days... - Swirlies

Q. How do you feel playing live?
We haven’t played live yet! We’ve rehearsed a lot over the years but as we’re fairly part time and I live about 2 hours away from the others makes it trickier, so it’s something we’ve put aside to concentrate on recording. We’re looking to change that in 2018 to help promote the album.

We’ve all played live in other bands; Anthony with Ides of Space and Skullsquadron, Dave with Ides of Space, Line Drawings and Skullsquadron, Simon with Died Pretty and Tumbleweed and myself with lekkerding and apianLOW.

The 3rd track on our single Daysend (via bandcamp) is with one mic through one track on a 4 track tape recorder and gives an idea of what we’re like live (a bit raw!). We’ll have vocals for the upcoming gigs as well as incorporate some of the samples/loops that have come about on the album.

There will be nerves when we do gig but excited to play these songs in front of people.

Q. How do you describe All Sparks Burn Out sounds?
We like the wall of noise thing but are always looking to add melody in there as well. I think a lot of our songs stem from good/interesting drums patterns and build from there. Pretty keen not to have a too perfect clean sound, really like the feeling distortion/fuzz/feedback can give, like a big warm blanket to wrap up in.

The first EP was let it all go and turn it to 11 but we’re slowly refining our sound without hopefully losing the interest and power.

Q. Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
For the upcoming album we’ve done a mix of studio/rehearse with all of us playing together as well as developing songs from loops and overdubs at home. I use Ableton and have written a lot of the material on it. Anthony records our sessions in a studio with Pro Tools. I’ll go away and work on things then bring the stems across and then we mix and add some more in Pro Tools.

Simon also recorded a series of drum loops in the studio that I then took away and worked on and fleshed them out into songs. From memory we had two or three small studio sessions as a band and mostly getting Simon's drum tracks down. Most of the time I'll bring some ideas in and let the boys add their own style while a few came about from jams.

The time taken (over 5 years) has made these tracks evolve. I think sometimes you could keep refining them till the end of time but for the album it’s actually worked in our favour. It’s given time to get them right. When we listen back to the earlier versions we feel that we’ve made progress.

All the vocals have come about towards the end where we've sent out pre-mix or mixed versions to see if anyone is interested. Luckily we've had Rachel Staggs from Experimental Aircraft, Pat Haid (Ides of Space/Line Drawings/Key Out), Greg Atkinson (Big Heavy Stuff/Ups & Downs), Kelly Hanlon (Terra Pines/DEAFCULT), Chris Dubrow (Insurge), Kate Halcrow (friend who sings in local jazz bands), Jasmine Yee (Halogen) work with us.

For the final album mix we ran through a vintage Neve 8026 console that Aussie music producer guru Wayne Connelly has at Turning Studios.

As mentioned earlier, initially it was going to be an EP (with our current single a part of that). As I was arranging more tracks at home it started to grow to an album.

I loved the double album concept that UK band James did with Brian Eno for Laid/Wah Wah. Recording the main album then doing more experimental stuff from the second album next door.

This process ended up being something similar where I was looking to do more beats/noise/darker stuff in downtime but thought it still had a tie to the main album so why not release them together.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
There are so many awesome bands out there, it’s amazing. Some of the bands in our influences or we like are releasing new stuff which is cool; Swervedriver, Jesus Jones, Nine Inch Nails, Slowdive, Screamfeeder, Pia Fraus, Underground Lovers, Failure, The Bats.

For new bands though, we’ll give ourselves a bit of artistic license and can include bands that have been around for a little while as well as the new.

Power Pyramid (love everything they knock out)
Ringo Deathstarr (great sound and mix of lead locals)
Minatures (cool new album)
Lowtide (released some great material and have new stuff coming out)
DEAFCULT (one of our faves, brilliant EP and new album Auras
Terra Pines (formerly Tall Pines) (released some really cool singles, looking forward to their next release)
Drape (really love I Would Never, could play that on endless loop)
pinkshinyultrablast (continue to outdo themselves)
Lapse (Can/Syd nab awaiting further new sounds)
Flyying Colours (continue to flourish love their first releases)
Crusch (great guitar sound with a vocal similar to Paul Dempsey from Something For Kate)
Grinding Eyes (fairly new Australian band with awesome wall of sound live)
Contrast (another Aussie beaut)
Indoor Voices (mesmerising!)
High/Low (great guitar lines and energy with catchy songs)
Iris (love their wall of sound and vocals)
Key Out (great new EP out)
Panda Riot (love their new album Infinity Maps)
Nothing (Vertigo Flowers is awesome and love both their albums)
SPC ECO (high output volume, high quality)
Sheer (enjoyable album, played Uneasy a lot!)
Wildhoney (track Seventeen was brilliant and look forward to more from them)
Whirr (love all their music except for their hacked twitter account)
The Enters (great sound)
Air Formation (good to have them back)
Loomer (really cool new album Deserter)
Cull (new single, good signs)
Skullsquadron (both Ant and Dave's main band, new material sounding great)
Egoism (cool sounds and great vocals)

Apologies for any similar bands we've missed, there is so much we're still discovering.


Q. Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
I think we have a different idea on what songs we’d like to to cover in a live setting as opposed to recording. Live we’d be happy to stay fairly true to the original and just have that extra feedback while recording we’d want to make it a bit different without losing elements of the original.

Live we’d like to knock out tracks like ‘Perfume V’ by Pavement, ‘Another Space Song’ by Failure, ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’ by Primal Scream, ‘Android Dreams’ by Mega City Four or Outskirts of Me’ by Pia Fraus or 'Honest Joe' by James.

Recording-wise, something like ‘Solaris’ by Failure, Catherine Wheel’s ‘Tongue Twisted’, Swirlies ‘Bell’ or ‘Sterling Moss’, ‘Like a Daydream’ by Ride or Curve’s ‘Recovery’, something from Whipping Boy’s ‘Heartworm’ Album or 'You Are Invited' by Dismemberment Plan.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
Just released our first single ‘Sunspots’ (Greg Atkinson on vocals (Big Heavy Stuff/Ups & Downs)). We’ll have another single ‘Seconds Like Days’ in January 2018 featuring Kelly Hanlon (Terra Pines/DEAFCULT) on vocals. A 3rd single will be from the second album ‘Never Question Why?’ featuring Chris Dubrow from Insurge on vocals and a 4th single ‘Trip Over Traps’ featuring Jasmine Yee from Halogen after the album release. They’ll all be released digitally with extra tracks and alternative versions of other songs and b-sides.

We’re pretty excited by our debut album. It will hopefully come out around March/April 2018. Just have to get it mastered and a few tweaks to the second disc. Also look to do a few shows with that.

See what happens...

Q. Any parting words?
Thanks for the support Renato, there is a wonderful shoegaze noise-rock community out there and we hope to be more of a part of it. Also hope to knock out a cover for one of the TBTCI compilations in the future too :)