Originally Published on June 16, 2011 on Aquarium Drunkard.
The Rosebuds just released their fifth studio album, Loud Planes Fly Low; their most inventive, inspired, and honest record to date. Following their fourth release, 2008’s Life Like, the relationship that inspired the group in the first place came to an end and the couple chose divorce in order to save themselves and their music. Leaving North Carolina’s sweethearts at a crossroads, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, chose to look at this as a chance for a new beginning—a chance to push reset. The songs on Loud Planes Fly Low allow the listener to peer into the most intimate of conversations and the catharsis that had to take place if the band was going to give themselves an honest chance at moving forward. I recently caught up with Ivan and Kelly to discuss the process in making the album, and the second chance they have at making the “first” Rosebuds record.
Originally Published on May 24, 2011 on Sunset in the Rearview
Musing about Seattle’s The Cave Singers, I recall the video for , off their 2007 debut, Invitation Songs. It’s coarse, cryptic, and eerily captivating. No Witch, the band’s third release, and first on Jagjaguwar, harnesses that same dusky energy and infuses it with polished instrumentation and abounding influence; An effort that successfully distills a new sound, while staying true to their rain soaked roots. If Lou Reed made folk records; If Mellencamp lived in New Weird America; If Parsons lived past 26 – The Cave Singers’ No Witch not only provides a solid example of new “cosmic American music”, it’s what Ryan Adams was supposed to sound like.
No Witch presents a rock confidence that’s borderline aggressive, creating compositions that are rich and robust, no doubt a maturity that will bode well in broadening their audience. Songs like “Gifts and the Rafts”, “All Land Crabs and Divinity Ghosts” and “Swim Club” will recall the past, but overall, these songs are a balanced blend of rock, blues, and folk, with the energized “Black Leaf” standing out among them. The Cave Singers are currently on tour with Fleet Foxes and come recommended.
Must Be Blind
Originally Published on May 21, 2011 on Sunset in the Rearview
Must Be Blind revisits the hallowed ground left by 2005′s Superwolf, the stunning collaboration by Will Oldham’s alter ego Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and guitarist Matt Sweeney. As with their prior feat, this partnership produces a bountiful harvest of eloquent verse and acute instrumentation. The A-side recalls the most refined of Palace material; a crooning compassion set to subtle composition. If you enjoyed Oldham’s new interpretations on Greatest Place Music, you’ll find “Must Be Blind” cut from the same cloth.
While Oldham carries the lead on both tracks, the real gem is the Sweeney penned B-side,“Life in Muscle.” A poetic musing of life, death, and creation. A Genesis metaphor set to flourishing arrangements, riddled with overlooked delicacies; it builds, peaks, and gives way to a fading pulse. From the warm distortion that opens the collection, to the exhaling strings that close it, the Must Be Blind EP is very much alive and comes highly recommended.
Originally Published on May 19, 2011 on Aquarium Drunkard
You wouldn’t be wrong to categorize North Carolina’s Mount Moriah as “Country Rock,” but might I suggest the term “Southern” be used instead. While the songs are often set in motion by electric guitars that lead down country roads, Mount Moriah garnishes their sound with a faithful declaration of spirit. Be it Heather McEntire’s sorrowful psalms, the haunting organ on “Lament” or the weeping violin on “Old Gowns,” theirs is a requiem with a palpable sense of place. It’s the sound of a band reflecting on, and embracing, the musical roots that entangle the region they call home.
The collaboration of Heather McEntire (Bellafea) and Jenks Miller (Horseback), Mount Moriah formed in part to explore their mutual interest in rural American music. Here, on their eponymous debut, the band has enlisted a veritable who’s who of North Carolina musicians to lend their talents. From the Cook Brothers (Megafaun/Gayngs), to the Bowerbirds and Old Ceremony, Mount Moriah is something of a North Carolina “super-group” on the album.
Lyrically, one of the strongest tracks on the album is “Only Way Out.” Layered upon Miller’s often ethereal guitar, the subtle twang of McEntire’s voice sings about love and loss; an honest portrayal, in plain terms, of a delicate love gone awry. “Love is something that will lead you, not something you can choose;” a mournful acknowledgment that will continue throughout the record.
While somber themes may set the mood, it’s the instrumentation that allows you to absorb unscathed. Paired with McEntire’s candid offerings, Mount Moriah provides a retreat that demands constant revisitation. Set to a Southern pace, with Southern sounds, Mount Moriah places themselves before the congregation for all to hear.
Originally Published May 9, 2011 on Aquarium Drunkard
Megafaun’s Phil Cook has had another run in with nature. During the recording of his 2009 eponymous debut he battled a violent thunderstorm. This time around, “Mother Nature” has locked him in a room and asked him for more. With guitar, banjo, and dobro in hand, Phil Cook and His Feat offer upHungry Mother Blues.
But before the first note is heard there’s the matter of the collage style cover art created by Catherine Edgerton of Midtown Dickens. It’s one of eroded images, worn out single paper dreams, and layers of a bit of one’s soul. Earth toned elements, taped and pasted together, re-figure and recycle creating something new; something beautiful. It’s a fine example of what good album art should do, one that accentuates the intimate, vulnerable and personal journey that embodies Cook’s Hungry Mother Blues.
Although recorded in a back room during a rare North Carolina ice storm, the album, conversely, acts as the perfect front porch summertime soundtrack. Providing us with unaltered instrumentals, Cook creates a score that invokes a polite nod to John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotton, and the finger-picking, slide stylings of early 20th century country and blues. Following an initial listen I wrote down three words in my notebook: birth / re-birth / and new beginnings. Those are the themes, or characters, I kept returning to as one song lead into the next. With each song, Cook allows his instruments to become alive, not in an effort to create perfection, but to justify their soul. He doesn’t play by the book; he plays from the heart. That’s what makes this record so real.
As a song-cycle, each of Hungry Mother Blues tracks are dedicated to someone in Cook’s life, be it a friend, a bandmate, or more importantly, Cook’s unborn child. Each one of these songs seems to be a chapter, or celebration, of those in his life. They play out so naturally and with ease, that you honestly feel the album is just for him. You’re welcome to pull up a stool, but whether you’re there or not, these songs are going to be played. The most accessible, longest and possibly the most refined track on the album is “Ballad Of A Hungry Mother.” An elegant mix of sharp slide work and deft fingerpicking, it may be the most visually inspiring song on the record. Dried creek beds, loose dressing gowns and red clay stained feet—dawning skies that break over pristine, dew laden fields—terrain sliced by the bare feet of a sacrificial mother.
Another standout lies with the last cut on the album, the slower paced calming that is “The Jensens.” Unlike anything else on the record, it is the “end of the show” track. The slide work is haunting as it saws the strings ever so eloquently. The chorus subtlety traces the lines left behind by “Lament and Lullabye.” It’s Cook’s El Dorado; His own “Tired Eyes”. The lanterns are dimmed and once again Cook tips his hat to the past. Sunset themes as the journey concludes. But does it? As the sun nips the horizon and the ice cover melts, there’s a sense this isn’t the end. Tomorrow’s a new day, a new beginning. The forces of nature will rear their heads once again, and thankfully Phil Cook will be there waiting for them.
Stranger In My Own Hometown
Originally Published on April 18, 2011 on Aquarium Drunkard
One on my favorite Elvis albums, even though it’s a bootleg, is Cut Me & I Bleed released on Double G Records. The album is a collection of alternate studio, home, and live rehearsal recordings that present “another side” of Elvis. Pedestal removed, Cut Me & I Bleed chooses to present “The King” in a raw, more human, and often explicit manner, one that often eschews the family friendly image constructed by the Elvis foundation.
Of all the tracks (22 in all), the real gem of the bunch, and a personal favorite, is Presley’s stripped down rendition of Percy Mayfield’s “Stranger in My Own Home Town” (studio rehearsal version, July 24, 1970). I can’t think of a more appropriate song for Elvis to cover at this time in his life. Set amongst friends in a rehearsal jam session, Elvis gives one of the rawest, grittiest, yet honest and soulful performances I’ve ever heard from him.
Riffing on the blues, we hear, “I came home with good intentions about five or six years ago, but my hometown won’t accept me just don’t feel welcome here no more.”
What makes the song so powerful is Presley’s voice, attitude, and his interaction with the other musicians. It’s included in this set of songs as after Presley performs a more traditional rendition of “Stranger in My Own Home Town,” he then continues the jam with a few more verses, adding a few choice words and a personal touch all his own.
I won’t spoil it for you here, but Elvis fans will want to listen to this track with urgency.
Lou Reed, Street Hassle
Originally Published April 18, 2011 on Aquarium Drunkard
Expectations. We all have them, for better or worse, and with music these expectations are often heightened.
Lou Reed was supposed to be the second coming. Based on his Velvet Undergroundgenius, some expected him to be the next “Bob Dylan,” a voice for a new generation, and whileBerlin was strong and Transformer hit on most cylinders, the work Reed put out in the seventies rarely met the expectations of his audience. True, he had his fans, and select songs that could stand up to others of the period, but I think a good portion of his fans expected something else. Then you throw Sally Can’t Dance into the mix, not to mention Metal Machine Music Pt. 1, and it’s just a rebellious slap in the face to “others” expectations. A real punk rock move before punk rock even knew what it was.
I love Lou Reed, and I love most of Reed’s early albums, but I think expectations from others ultimately led to his downward soul searching spiral…that is until he found it with Street Hassle.
Street Hassle is about acceptance and power. It’s Reed finally acknowledging how much a self-parody he had become. With Street Hassle, Reed had finally both recognized and accepted his prior roles, facades and incarnations, and was now willing to face them head on. Simply put, Lou Reed was finally ready to make a “Lou Reed” album.
Street Hassle’s LP cover explains it all, exuding arrogance, confidence, and fear. From the distressed title font letting you know it’s not perfect, that he’s not perfect, to the “self portrait” with the smug shooting star glimmer in his eye. He has a new found realization and acceptance of his own self-destruction with a “fuck you” mentality. And how does he start this battle off…by sacrificing one of his own children, “Sweet Jane.”
The album starts off with remanence chords, immediately providing the listener with a reference point, a familiarity, a sense of, “welcome back.” The lyrics to “Gimmie Some Good Times” begin with Reed having a conversation with, ostensibly, a fan, but I see it more as a conversation with himself:
Hey, if that ain’t the rock ‘n’ roll animal himself, what you doing bro.
(Standing on the corner)
Well, I can see that, what you got in your hand
(Suitcase in my hand)
No, shit, what’s this
(Jack is in his corset, Jane is in her vest)
Fucking faggot junkie
(Jack, sweet Jane, I’m in a rock ‘n’ roll band)
Well, I can see that
Any thoughts about Reed returning, or even possessing the desire to return, to his prior spoils are squashed in this initial exchange. He manages to mock his past in the intro and chooses to start off the LP with a song that slaps back.
The album continues with “Dirt, which could be said to be an exploration of Reed’s own self. The LP’s cover reflects this with the “self portrait;” a perceived image of one’s self. Is this Reed or who Reed wants to be…or have you to believe him to be? With lyrics like…
“It’s been a long time, since I’ve spoken to you.
Was it the right time?
Your current troubles, and you know, they’ll get much worse.
I hope you know how much you enjoy them”
and a “chorus” that uses the famous “I fought the law and the law won”
…it’s almost a realization and recognition of the internal battle, and finally now being able to set the record straight.
While amazing in it’s own right, it’s not nearly as amazing as the album’s centerpiece, the third track, or last track on the A Side. The epic collage, the holy trinity, arguably one of the best songs of the seventies, “Street Hassle.”
The song in which the album takes its title from personifies the cover, the LP, Lou Reed, and underground life on the New York streets during the time. In this one song, Reed creates one of the most brutal, yet beautiful and tender epics of his career. With this one song, Reed returns himself to the poet he has always been. A three part spoken word masterpiece set to music: A. “Waltzing Matilda” B. “Street Hassle, ” and C. “Slipaway.”
In this eleven minute song, Reed describes a woman picking up and paying a male prostitute for sex, A drug dealer’s “monologue” about the death of a woman in his apartment, and finally, a spoken word intro by none other than Bruce Springsteen, ending with “Tramps like us, Baby we were born to pay“, which leads into Reed’s, almost soliloquy like, poem about love and death.
Reoccurring themes set to a simple, yet elegant, musical riff, with a bass line to die for in part C. Truly amazing poetry on any level, and certainly the heir apparent to anything ever released by the Velvet Underground.
If nothing else came from this album, it would be worth it just for that one song, but we also get the politically incorrect gem, “I Wanna Be Black”. With lyrics such as,
“I wanna be black,
wanna be like Martin Luther King,
And get myself shot in the spring,
And lead a whole generation, too,
And fuck up the jews”
Racial stereotypes, middle class white rebellion, and self acknowledgment set to rhythm and blues accompanied by black background singers…I don’t think you get anymore tongue in cheek punk rock than that.
From this point in the LP, Reed continues to interlock his songs. Linking the past with the present with “Real Good Time Together” (a VU cover), the “Shooting Star,” and the blatant “Leave me Alone,” Reed almost creates the perfect concept album, that is, until the upbeat “Wait.” A song that almost second guesses the seven previous tracks. A song that let’s us know he still cares what we think juxtaposed with backing vocals of “disgrace” and “what a waste.” A song that honestly makes a lot of sense here. After the gutters we’ve been dragged through, the pimps, prostitutes, and punks, the things we have seen, there’s still that moment of “wishing that we’d wait.” The vulnerability that was non existent has now shown up, and the Reed of the past, for however brief, asks us to wait.
The first four songs are the real highlights from Street Hassle; the songs that immediately grab your attention and reflect the art of the album’s stark, yet powerful rockstar image. Looking back on Street Hassle I’m reminded how much the LP’s cover art choice made an impact on me; not only by grabbing my attention, but by setting the tone for my expectations. I was not disappointed.
Drakkar Sauna: WARS AND TORNADOES
Released on Marriage Records, Drakkar Sauna put forth Wars and Tornadoes: Drakkar Sauna Faithfully Sings Songs of The Louvin Brothers. Easily one of their best releases to date. The reason why you ask; it’s because Drakkar Sauna actually plays this one straight forward, no humor, no wackiness, just pure American Country / Bluegrass backwoods hymns. There is such a devotion here, such a respect level that comes through on these renditions, that you can’t help but get excited and stomp your boot. These songs embrace the true talents of Drakkar Sauna and allow them to shine like never before. Now don’t get me wrong, you know I love Drakkar Sauna and all their releases, but to hear them preform these songs justs lights the kerosene lamp in my soul.
Now some may shy away from this, and it’s kind of bold of Drakkar Sauna to even release this album. I mean, songs about God and religion aren’t flying of the shelves these days, not to mention these are Louvin Brothers songs, and while I love the Louvin Brothers (no pun intended), they are not everybody’s flask of whiskey. All I can say is give it a shot. If you don’t know of the Louvin Brothers yet, but you love Drakkar Sauna, let this be a great introduction to two of country’s godfathers, and vice versa, if you dig the Louvin’s and don’t know Drakkar Sauna, or haven’t really dug their prior material, give this a chance. It’s truly a fantastic LP!
c. January 2009
I wrote about Forest Fire back in ’06 on TPATS, and to me their sound has changed quite a bit since then. Thankfully someone else with some resources took notice of this band from Brooklyn and released a cd this past year. The album, Survival, the label, our friends at Cat Bird Records; A perfect fit if you ask me.
I came across Forest Fire like I said in ’06, but it was only because band member Adam Spittler told me about them. I was in contact with him about his side project Black Dragon (which is still phenomenal…I once had hopes of releasing it on the my never created label, oh, how ambitious we were…), but anyway, he told me to check out his other band, which happened to be Forrest Fire. That was all she wrote. I downloaded what tracks I could, back when Myspace let you do so, and have been stuck with those, that is, until Survival.
I was thrilled to see on another blog a mention about Forrest Fire. I was immediately smiling from ear to ear. Finally a proper release! I mean, this is one of those bands that you are literally shocked they don’t have an LP out there. Well they do now, and it’s a good one!
Somewhere between an almost jaded not quite lo-fi rock instrumentation, but a lo-fi rock persona and a broken down fishing cabin out of place in the heart of the city, lives Forest Fire’s Mark Thresher’s urban cowboy voice. Haunting at times, Parsonesque at others. Are they folk, well no, do they have slide guitars and a kind of a “city” folk feel, yes they do. And that’s welcomed with open arms, because these guys pull it off well, but they also can harness soundscapes of electro knob turning fuzz, unusual percussion, acoustic guitars, slightly out of tune brass, screachable violins, and layers of electronics; Making Forest Fire a “genre” unto themselves.
c. January 2009
Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
Poetry may be the only way to describe the music that couple, Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique make on their Self Titled release for Asthmatic Kitty. With the help of Sufjan Stevens, Welcome to the Welcome Wagon unlocks the doors of their sanctuary and invites the public in to be washed over with their simple hymns of love for God and for each other. Pre-album, I picture these two around a fire place, on a rug, in a humble home, with Vito strumming a swapmeet guitar and Monique tapping out time on the table, singing out old time hymns and smiles from ear to ear.
Originally published June 26, 2007
*Note - At the time, I had taken the first month of many to come from contributing to The Perm & The Skullet. I became overwhelmed at the time with life, music, writing…and had to step back to find the place where I could enjoy music again. I’m including this only as a reference that will make the following paragraphs make sense. Enjoy the interview.
From the moment I heard the name of the North Carolina based Megafaun, I knew I was in for a backwoods treat. Sometimes, just by a name you can conjure up an idea, sometimes this disappoints, but in this case, Megafaun succeeds on all accounts.
This band, and their cd Bury the Square, was one of the reasons for not only my hiatus, but for renewing my desire to just touch on music that touches me. I can’t write about mindless music that just passes by on other sites, but I need to have an investment in what I’m writing about. When I heard Bury the Square the first time I was blown away. Enough so, that I had to stop what I was doing to re-listen to this amazing album that was created by Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund, and Phil Cook.
It made me realize that I needed to stop and just listen. I feel like I’m a better person because of it and I owe that to Megafaun.
I know that I just put alot on them there, but music speaks differently to everyone and for me and that moment, it said stop and just listen…so I listened. Of course numerous albums, songs, and musician were listened to during the past month, but only Bury the Square can say it caused it, and the track Where We Belong specifically.
Below is an interview with Brad Cook about the band, where they’ve been and where they are going. Also below is the track Lazy Suicide from Bury the Square…enjoy.
MH: I read somewhere that you moved to North Carolina in 2005 (same as me). Is that correct? Where did you move here from?
BC: Yeah! We came here from a college town in northwest Wisconsin called Eau Claire. It is roughly an hour and a half east of Minneapolis.
MH: Before Megafaun, you where in the band DeYarmond Edison. Tell me about DeYarmond Edison briefly and about the transformation into Megafaun?
BC: DeYarmond Edison was a band that was initially centered around the songwriting of Justin Vernon, a friend that we had all grown up with. My brother, Phil, also in Megafaun, and I had been performing with Justin for about three years prior to moving to North Carolina. We had two other drummers and then enlisted Joe with the move. We spent our first year here redefining our creative process and group dynamic, mainly through an outlet at the Bickett Gallery here in Raleigh. I think we really exhausted our possibilities within that time frame and felt like last August was a good time to move on. Part of that transition was that Phil, Joe and I really discovered a great working relationship during that time. Justin decided to pursue other interests (solo recordings and bands Ticonderoga and The Rosebuds) and we started writing songs together.
MH: Who writes most of the material?
BC: We all do, it is pretty collaborative. Someone usually brings in the majority of an idea and then we put it through the edit process, which for us has really been recording.
MH: I know how you sound to me, and it’s stated above, but how would you describe your sound?
BC: I guess I would say we are folk reconstructionalists. We really subscribe to the idea of reconstructing folk songs and folk ideology. We have collectively and individually spent a lot of time studying pre war string bands and depression era folk, simultaneously immersed in 20th century avant-garde composers and a lot of 60’s free jazz. Finding that balance between improvisation and structure. I guess it sounds pretty common these days, but we really try to take it’s understanding serious beyond trend.
MH: Your music seems to be laden with folk and Appalachian influences. Who/What are some of your / the bands influences?
BC: First and foremost, The Band. I can’t tell you what that group has done for us. We all grew up in Band households and the older we get, the more that takes effect. Older folks like Fred McDowell, Roscoe Holcomb, Reverend Gary Davis and James Booker from New Orleans have been huge. David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves, Albert Ayler and Xenakis from the classical/jazz school. Modern folks like Gastr Del Sol and the Akron/Family have been inspiring as well.
MH: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer? Do you think it can be transformational?
BC: God, yes. I don’t think I could tell you how important that is to us. We like pop music and what not, but I just prefer the energy of spontaneity and I love the auditory tradition of folk music. I love feeling like I am learning and involved and Inspired and that has happened to us many times! So it can happen. We try to search it out in artists/performers and we try to reflect that in our music as well.
MH: I want to say once again, if I haven’t already that “Bury the
Square” is an outstanding album and tracks like “Where We Belong” are so amazing it’s scary. How did you approach that song? It’s over 11 minutes and just about in the middle, 5:28 in or so, it switches gears and becomes an intense, yet beautiful journey. I guess what I’m asking is tell me more about this song and how it came about.
BC: I actually wrote that particular piece about a week before DeYarmond Edison parted ways. It is lyrically and musically very much about that transitional process. We really tried to reflect the element of hope in change and moving forward.
MH: Just to lighten it back up a bit, can you name me a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out love and think more people should be listening to. What’s one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?
BC: Collections of Colonies of Bees. They are flat out incredible! Their last record came out on Polyvinyl, which is awfully surprising on an aesthetic level since they are a heavily improvisational electro-acoutstic quartet! The album is called Customer and it is just plain incredible. Their live show rivals any of the post-rock luminaries as well.
MH: As I was listening to the cd, when I got to Tired and Troubled, I was taken to a strange place. Where did I go?
BC: Joey’s brain! Joey wrote this song that was initially inspired by a cut from the Harry Smith anthology. He spent a lot of time finding the rhythmic identity of the song, than completely recontextualized it as a tape piece ala musique concrete.
MH: I know you just co-founded Burly Time Records with Grayson Currin. How is it running a label?
BC: I love it! It really taps into an energy that isn’t being consumed with trying to promote you own band, which after eight years, can be quite frustrating. Gray and I have very similar approach, yet our differences really keep us from getting lazy. We couldn’t be more excited about the two records we released and the feedback has been very positive!
MH: I think Grayson told me there was a limited run of “Bury the Square”. Will we have a full out re-release on Burly Time? Is there new material that we have to look forward too?
BC: Well, I kind of eluded to this in the last response, but I am reluctant about using Burly Time to release Megafaun at this time. Right now I can put all of my business/cheerleader energy into Bowerbirds and Horseback, which is really nice. Having to share that energy with Megafaun would feel unfair to everyone involved. We would love to find a home for Megafaun most definitely, but I want to keep the two separate for now. I would love to get our own thing going and retire to BTR! As for new material, we are well underway!
MH: What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).
BC: Megafaun is putting together a fall tour at the moment, which we are really excited for! Joey and I are also doing the long distance recording thing with our other group, Emotional Joystick. EJ is the mastermind of a Minneapolis artist named Tom Wincek. We have been working with him for almost four years. His new record is heavily based on recontextualizing 70’s German minimalism. It is really fun and challenging material!
MH: And finally for some fun, if you could `redeem” any piece of music, what song do you feel needs redemption, whether it’s by Megafaun or someone else?
BC: Man, good question. Probably a Phish song. We love 80’s Phish and not for irony’s sake!
MH: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all the success.
BC: Man, thank you!
E Bird Interview
Originally Published June 25, 2007
Tue Ebert, lead singer and founder of the Copenhagen band E Bird, took the time to sit down with us to talk about their latest effort. Below is a track from the release and mark my words, this is a band to watch. Enjoy.
MH: First off, let me say thanks for sitting down to talk with us about the band and your recent EP, Real Tigers Made of Paper. I know you already told me in the initial email, but how did E Bird form and where does the name of your band come from?
TE: Well, E Bird started out as a solo project. I had recorded some songs of mine, but didn’t really know what to do with them. Shortly after I was invited to perform a show at a club in Copenhagen, and within a week I had to pull a band together. So we had to make the songs work and arrange them really fast, but I think that was a good thing.
MH: You are a relatively new band. How would you describe your sound and who are some of your key influences?
TE: I don’t like the term indie, I guess, you could say, that it’s been worn out, but still if I had to I would probably call the music a kind of indie folk. It’s melodious but at the same time there are always elements that’s trying to play “against” the melody and leave some sort of tension to the song, and I think it’s that tension in music that excites me, combined with other things like the lyrics and melody, of course, but I don’t like music that’s to clean in the sound.
MH: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
TE: Right now I am in the process of writing new songs. That excites me, but of course it’s not exciting all of the time. I guess I always like the feeling when you finish something, like recording or writing a new song, and you can move on to something new.
MH: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer, or just be made as entertainment?
TE: I think music should be inspiring, challenging and entertaining. Music as merely entertainment doesn’t interest me.
MH: What is the music scene like in Copenhagen, and how are you guys being received?
TE: I think there are a lot of good things happening right now. You see a lot of new bands and independent labels coming up and it seems like the possibilities to do things your own way, without a major label in your back, is getting much better. We are still quite unknown in Copenhagen. I am living in Berlin at the moment and we have just finished our first EP, and before that we had only played a few shows, so naturally we’re still an upcoming band.
MH: How was the recording process for the REAL TIGERS MADE OF PAPER EP?
TE: Well, I think it was a good process, a bit tough, though. We have a small basement studio where we did all the recordings and mixing. We did everything our self and none us had done much recording before so we had to try a lot of things to see what worked and what didn’t work. It was both exciting and tiring. But in the end, I am really happy about the final result and there is of course a great deal of freedom in doing everything yourself, which I really enjoy.
MH: Morten Bue did the mastering for the EP and I know he has produced Figurines’ LP, “Skeleton” and has mastered such artists like Arab Strap and Junior Senior. How was it working with Morten Bue on the mastering of the EP?
TE: It was really cool. When you have spent so much time on something it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to remain objective about it, so it’s really nice to have someone seeing things from another point of view. Morten Bue was easy to work with and he is really good at what does.
MH: Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What’s one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?
TE: At the moment I am listening to a lot of Canadian stuff, and especially the three bands Destroyer, Sunset Rubdown and Frog Eyes. They most definitely have something in common, but I also think that each one of them have something that makes them quite unique. They are still rather unknown here in Europe and I don’t really know why, I mean, they’re making pretty amazing music! Besides that I like a lot of the things Will Oldham has done, and especially the “I See A Darkness” LP.
MH: With an EP under your belt, what’s next? What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).
TE: At the moment we’re not playing together, because I moved to Berlin after we finished the EP, while the rest of the band is still living in Copenhagen. Right now I am in the process of writing new songs, as I said before, but in the beginning of the fall I will return to Copenhagen and we’ll play a couple of shows. Recently, a couple of small labels have shown some interest in the band. Hopefully, we’ll be recording our debut album in the beginning of next year.
MH: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all the success.
TE: My pleasure.