quinta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2018

Somewhere with Reduction Plan - An Interview

Daniel Manning é a mente por trás do soturno Reduction Plan, de Connecticut, Estados Unidos.

Com alguns EPs no currículo e três álbuns, sendo o último, "Somewhere", o que melhor sintetiza o que é o Reduction Plan. Um espectro cinzento, o lado mais soturno do pós punk clássico, leia-se, conexões com The Cure, The Chameleons, The Sound, e o reatualizando, ciclicamente, passando por Interpol, Have a Nice Life e outros.

A referências existem, é claro, mas o Reduction Plan, não chega a dar-nos a sensação de cortar os pulsos, como o Cure em "Faith", ou a frieza romântica de um "Script of The Bridge", ou o desespero cruel do "Deathconsciousness", a banda capta todos os extremos dessas obras e as deixa mais gélidas, com uma imensa sensação de vazio.

A bipolaridade entre escuridão e luz, é o centro da obra do Reduction Plan, intenso e introspeção resumem.

***** Interview with Reduction Plan *****

Q. When did Reduction Plan begin? Tell us about the history...
The real start of Reduction Plan was around 4 years ago, during the winter of 2014 when I was on break from school. I had an idea to start a home recording project with a friend making darker, more atmospheric stuff than I had been writing in my band at the time. That kinda fell apart once we both went back to school, but the name stuck with me for a while.

So, when I started writing a few more songs and getting ideas together in the summer of 2015 I decided to resurrect the project and release the first record under the name Reduction Plan. A few of those old ideas from the project’s inception ended up cycling back into a few releases, and the general ethos behind it has remained the same from the start.

Q: Who are your influences?
The Cure have been one of my favorite bands for a while, so they’ve been a constant influence on our sound. Lately, probably because of the cold weather, I’ve been especially into Faith and Pornography. The overall sense of dread and isolation on both those records is something that I really latch onto.

For similar reasons, I’ve also been very into black metal since the start of winter. The raw emotion and darker atmosphere present in that style of music has definitely been influencing the newer songs I’ve been writing. Bands like The Smiths, Killing Joke, The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, and Sisters of Mercy have all been super influential to our sound as well.

Otherwise, more modern bands like Have A Nice Life, Mount Eerie, and Merchandise have all been huge inspirations for different reasons. I think Merchandise is one of the most underrated bands of the past few years, their musical output is so interesting.

Q. Make a list of 5 albuns of all time…
This is super hard, I go back and forth on this all the time. Here’s a few:

1. The Cure - Disintegration
2. The Smiths - Meat is Murder
3. Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights
4. Prince - Purple Rain
5. New Order - Power, Corruption, & Lies

Q. How do you feel playing live?
The live show has changed a lot throughout the years the project has existed. I used to do it all by myself, running various loops and synths and drum machines all on my own, which was incredibly stressful. Since then it’s gone back and forth between a two piece and three piece live setup. I’ve had my pal Lou helping out on second guitar and synth for almost a year now, which has been really great. Before he joined I was back to doing it myself and really hated playing live, but since he’s been involved I’ve felt really confident about our live show. Our friend Shane has joined us on bass in the past few months as well, which has made things even better.

Q. How do you describe Reduction Plan sounds?
The sound has kinda shifted from record to record, but has always stayed grounded in the same core elements. Most of the songs are centered around a drum machine, synths, and guitar, which is usually drenched in chorus and reverb. We have a few songs that are more straightforward, almost poppy, but lately I've been focusing more on the atmosphere and feeling that the songs create, especially with the newer material. We tend to tow the line between goth, post-punk, shoegaze, and other darker sub-genres.

Some of the newer stuff I've been writing is a bit heavier, which again is probably a byproduct of what I've been listening to in recent months. Overall though if I had to boil it down the goal of the sound has been to find a balance between the dark and the light - sonically, thematically, lyrically, etc. I try to not fall off the deep end too much in one direction or the other.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
I do all of my recording at home in Connecticut. It's a pretty modest setup but all of my basic needs are met and I've been able to get the sound that I want out of my equipment. Some of the older stuff is way more lo-fi sounding, which was partly intentional and partly just because of the equipment I had at the time. I mix everything myself as well, so at the same time that I've been trying to expand and learn as a writer, I've also been striving to improve my engineering and production skills. The goal is to reach a point where the sound I have in my head matches the sound that I'm able to produce. As of now it's pretty close, which feels nice.

The biggest thing I've been trying to focus on while recording the newest material is exercising some restraint. ‘Somewhere’ was a deeper foray into “big” sounding production, adding layer upon layer of guitar and trying to fill in the gaps in each song so there was no empty space. The newest material I've been working on is a little more spread out production-wise, I wanted to give the songs room to breathe and not overcrowd the mix.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
There's a bunch of great bands from Connecticut, which is where we're currently based, that never get any recognition. So from the great nutmeg state I'd recommend: Pinfinger, Pleasure Beach, Spit-take, Bilge Rat, Headroom, and Birth of Flower.

Otherwise Elizabeth Colour Wheel from Boston are incredible, as is A Virgin from Philadelphia and War War War from Michigan.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
We occasionally cover The Cure live and are collectively obsessed with them, so that would probably make the most sense.

It would be awesome to cover Tears for Fears or Interpol though. I'd really love to be in a Pink Floyd cover band as well, that would make my childhood dreams come true.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
The goal right now is to finish up the new record. If I had to stick a number on it I'd say it's about 70% done. Ideally it would be out before the end of the winter so everyone can listen to it in the cold and the dark, but I don't want to rush things so it probably won't be out for a little while.

Otherwise, we're gonna keep playing shows and try to stay busy. I'd like to tour again but I'm unsure how possible that is for us right now. We're just gonna keep playing and putting out music and see where it takes us.

Q: Any parting words?
Thanks for asking to interview me, this was really great. I never thought anyone in Brazil would ever hear my music let alone be interested enough to ask me questions about it.