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1. Could you begin by telling us who or what were your inspirations when recording EMPIRE SOUND?
I was breaking up the band I had been in for 7 years and was really confused about what a ‘band’ even was and really analyzing everything about myself and what I liked about music. I am completely unable to express myself in day-to-day life and I feel like if I didn’t have music as this outlet I wouldn’t be able to be myself at all, but I was completely hating the rock formula musically and haircuts and branding and playing for people to stand and drink to and everything.

I made each song in one day, made a video and put the thing on Youtube by the end of the night. I did the Portishead cover (“Chase the Tear”) the day after they released that song, which is why they found it and decided to release it – I guess they were googling themselves and my video popped up 2nd! Anyways, so 8 of these songs were put together for a VHS EP called Parrot Talk, which I made on my VCR by stitching together bits of my favorite movies. This is also pretty much how the beats get made, so it makes sense. My favorite parts of that were definitely the commercials. 1997 Supersoaker and shampoo ads that stick in my head so well. Diet Coke, purple stuff. . .  HEY! SUNNY D

But the VHS thing was meant to be kind of tongue and cheek. Like, everyone in the music scene was really into cassettes and having an existential crisis because they couldn’t sell CDs anymore. But who cares. Why should you sell your stuff? Its not worth money – worth something else.

The music I was listening to during that time was Missy Elliot, Erykah Badu, M.I.A., Animal Collective and great Bollywood psych comps. and locals from Toronto and Montreal like Slim Twig and Blue Hawaii. And I was living in a diy venue art colony crust warehouse called the House Of Everlasting Superjoy, so that was a big influence. And its called Empire Sound because I was reading the Jay Z autobiography and thought he would approve. And my friend Kyle thought it was good and he is smart.

2. How would you describe your sound in the simplest way?
A rhinoceros repeatedly banging it’s head into an aluminum shed.

3. We sense your music as a crash between two worlds: the digital and the human. How does this relate to your life?
Yeah – actually, you hit the nail on the head there – though its not so much the digital world that the human is conflicting with, it’s more the spectacle of humanity with no core, feeling like a representation of yourself. This is more tangible than ever in the digital age but is a phenomenon so closely tied in with culture that I think it is also human in its own way.

4. What can we expect to hear on your debut album?
More space. Stuff that sounds good in a club.

5. How has your sound evolved since you started making music?
See above.

6. Tell us about your making-music process, from conceptualization to the final version.
Nah

7. If you were stranded on an island, which would be the ONE album you would like to have with you?
Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring .  . no wait, Slayer – Reign in Blood.
Thanks so much for the love on the EP guys!

Check out Lost in my Head from Empire Sound EP

Lost in my head by Doldrums from Empire Sound EP

 

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On our Freedom Session with Rey Pila we had the opportunity of asking them a couple of questions, check it out:

Tell us a little bit about where the inspiration came from for your debut album Rey Pila.

Feng Shui practice maybe? Haha. There were 18 songs in total, 10 of which made it to the album during a one-year recording session on an apartment I had at Colonia Narvarte. Afterwards I sought out producers and started emailing people I knew, I finally decided on Paul who had previously worked with TV on the Radio, The National and Liars and after a trial week we decided it was a good match so I flew for a one month stay to finish the album.

Can each of you tell us which would be THE album you would like to have with you if you were stranded on an island?

Luis (Drummer): Only one album? Can it be a mix tape?….. Gus Gus “Polidistortion”, it has it all… Ballads, songs that make you laugh and cry… songs to make love to… wait, I’m alone on an island…

Mateo (Bass): I would probably take the Beatles White Record cause it’s double and has more songs…

Rodrigo (Guitar): One of those 400 mp3 cds that have artists like the rolling stones

Diego (Vocals and Guitar): Heroes by David Bowie, easy as that.

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and about the music you make:

I’m 19, and started playing guitar at around 12. I have over 300 songs written. I like Manta Rays and Pandas. 90s nickelodeon is the best, and “The Giver” is my favorite book…… um….yeah.

I try to make music that brings feelings of nostalgia. My songs are simple indie pop tunes with dashes of other influences such as surf rock and folk. The melody of a song is the most important part in my mind. I like to use the acoustic guitar as the background and main structure for most of my songs. “Tweaker in the Park” is my first album. I recommend listening to it as a whole, its not a concept album, but it has an odd complete feel to it. I have a telecaster and a Vox amp, they are my friends.

When did you start working on Tweaker in the Park and how was the process?

I started working on it in the fall of 2010. The album started when a friend asked me to record a few songs for his music school application (for recording arts). So I think I recorded “Funeral Playlist” and “King Fisher’s Landing” in his dorm room. After we mastered them, he suggested I should record a whole album. I knew I had plenty of songs that would work for an album (a few of the songs on tweaker go three or so years back), so it sounded like a good idea. So we recorded them in 2 or 3 sessions in the basement of his dorm over a few weekends, then had a few mixing sessions. Next thing we knew we had an album. A few master edits later, we had an album ready to be released.

Who would you say are your major influences, musically or not, while writing this record?

Musically, I would have to say a lot of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Elliott Smith, and Grandaddy. Many of the ideas for the songs either came from imaginative stories, or from real life situations. Have fun trying to tell which is which.

What do you think about LA Weekly considering you as one of the 5 worst indie band names?

That was kind of flattering in a funny way. I am glad they consider me something. I knew most people would probably hate the name, and a lot of blogs/press have said jokingly negative things about it. But seeing the name on that list kind of proved my point as to why i chose the name. “Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt” has an odd negativity that brings it attention. “Take that hipsters.”

What genre or category do you think your music falls into?

Indie pop surf rock/ Psychedelic folk

Any musical guilty pleasures?

I have a guilty pleasure for pop. I am an embarrassingly deep Weezer fan, and I have almost every song that they have ever written and could tell you anything about them (b sides, unreleased gems, and band history).

Best Coast and Cults perhaps, do those count?

I also like a lot of doo-wop, girl groups, and bands that represent that innocent 50s/early 60s era like the Shirelles, The Ronettes,The Chiffons, The Chantels, Del Shannon, Dion, The Coasters, The Everly Brothers, Sam Cooke, The Platters, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly.

If you could collaborate with any artists dead or alive, who would it be?

Syd Barrett. I feel like seeing his mind work out a song and the madness behind his thought process would be pretty intense. Just listen to the Madcap Laughs.

What bands would you recommend to our readers that they may not know of?

Old school ones: The Zombies and Nick Drake

Middle aged bands: Grandaddy, Pedro the Lion, Thrush Hermit, The Rentals, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Newer bands: Triptides, Harlem, Pure X, Nana Grizol, Girls, and Lemonade.

Check out his amazing debut album:

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3995806916/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/

After we finished recording our Freedom Sessions, Pablo Cantú of The Y’s let us borrow some of his time for an interview where he talks about how the project came to life, an explanation of the band’s name, the recording of their debut album, what inspires him to write songs and what is his favorite album of all time. Check out the video of the humorous and honest talk we had with him. Enjoy.

Savoir Adore is one of the promising acts that you’ll be hearing more and more about throughout the year. In this interview they talk about how it all started and how they describe themselves. You’ll also find out more about their future and their side projects. Read on and become familiar withPaul and Deirde of Savoir Adore.

While you read listen to their latest single, “Sparrow“. Afterwards, check out our other posts about them here.

Tell us about how the project started and how Savoir Adore was consolidated. Savoir Adore was very much formed around our first recording experiment together. Deidre and I had been playing in the city solo for a few years, but we were interested in collaborating and breaking out of our respective shells. We were both really into experimental ambient music as well as classic pop songs and we were very interested to see what we could come up with together. We set a goal to record an EP over 48 hours (the only rule was no acoustic guitars) and the result was “The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals in her Throat”. The EP got passed around and eventually into the hands of the guys at Cantora Records. After that we were encouraged to record more and perform the songs live with a full band. Since then we’ve gone through several different formations and lineups but we’re currently a 4-piece band with Tim McCoy on drums and Gary Atturio on bass.

What does Savoir Adore mean to you and how does it complement your music? Literally, Savoir Adore means to “to know love” or “to know how to love”. I think it complements the music in a couple ways – although our music isn’t explicitly or literally “romantic”, there’s a kindof implicit emphasis on a traditional “romantic” sound… an emphasis on tension and release, and emotion in our songwriting and arrangements. I also feel like it complements the magical or fantasy-based elements of the music as well.

Describe you music using the fewest words possible. Magical. Wumpy.

Tell us about your plans for your next album Pretty much all the details of the next album are being worked out right now… we’re in the middle of recording and finalizing a batch of new songs that are all part of a narrative. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from “the wooded forest” – the setting of our first two releases, but we’re also focusing on more specific themes and characters this time around. A lot of that is still being worked out, but we’re hoping to release the record this fall.

Do you guys have any other projects or bands that you are part of?

I have my own project called DEIDRE that is a blend of ghostly influences from surf to blues to klezmer.  We also both moonlight in French Horn Rebellion (Paul on drums, Deidre singing). Paul also plays in an alt-country band called The District. – D

What bands would you like to recommend to our readers?

Starlight Girls, Violens – D

Max Richter, Body Language, Washed Out   – P

Share with us what band or album you would consider a guilty pleasure.

Tom Jones – D

Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” – P

If you had to pick one album, which one would be your favorite album of all time? (Or if you had to go to an island and take only one album, which one would it be?

If we were stuck on an island…

The Zombies – greatest hits – D

The Beatles – White Album – P

 

Tell us a little bit about your project, where are you from, how you met, who plays what…etc…?

Jer Robert Paulin (Guitar, Bass): I was born in Buffalo and moved to Florida at age 11. I met Maria Usbeck (vocals) while attending art school in South Florida around 2004. She started a quarter after me and had just moved to the states from South America. We both had some similar and different tastes in music, but the 80′s era was something we could always 100% agree on.

Around 2006 we started playing music together, which is when early versions of “Time” and “Audition” where created. It started as a side project for fun, recording music was very new for us. Those tracks sat on the computer for almost two years, until we decided to put them on myspace to show friends, and got some pretty good responses from random people as well.

Living Dead by Selebrities

We decided in ’09 to move to New York, where I started working a random job. Max Peterson (keyboards) was one of my co-workers, and had recently moved to the city. He was always playing amazing tracks through the community speakers. When I found out it was his own music, I thought he’d be great to produce our stuff so I sent him our myspace and crossed my fingers. He loved it, and we reworked everything plus adding a new layer of synth bass and amazing drumbeats. He became the 3rd member and thus Selebrities was born.

Where do you take your name from? Does it have anything to do with being a Celebrity?

Jer: The “Selebrities” name came from an image I had in a book which is a compilation of old vintage comics. Nerd Alert. Three kids (two boys and a girl) had set up a show, featuring their idols Wonder Woman, The Flash and Superman, and a sign that read : “3 coins to see 3 Selebrities” I thought this was a perfect metaphor, the three of us with music that is in a way an ode to our idols. Yeah I know, I’m really deep. I also liked how it was spelled wrong. It relates to our music and image, we’re not glamourous but the music is. It’s a contradiction.

What are your plans for this year, do you have any tours planned, maybe a festival?

Maria: We are in the planning stages of a tour! We would really love to travel Europe. We always get emails or Facebook comments from fans from over there asking us. We’ll go where ever they want us. If some people from Sheboygan, Wisconsin want us there, we’re there.

What has been your funniest incident while on the road?

Max: We actually haven’t really been on the road yet. We’re that new. We did go to Delaware, where I grew up, for a show 5 months ago. That was the first time (and only, so far) we’ve been outside the city. We had just finished recording the album so it was cool to test out a couple new songs before we played it back in NYC.

Jer: On the way there we passed by the headquarters of my student loan provider Sallie Mae. I got to scream offensive language out the window towards it. It was very therapeutic. Haha I’m in Debt!

Can’t Make Up My Mind by Selebrities

Which were your major influences for Delusions?

“Delusions” consists of thoughts on how we as a band used to view the “pop music” genre. Heavy beats, angular guitars, lyrics that made you want to move your feet, but was also accessible to everyone. Sure we’re inspired by countless New Wave bands, but also talents like Madonna, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. There was a time when all this meshed together, and with our album we tried to revive that idea.

Last but not least, any musical guilty pleasures?

Maria: Where do I begin? haha!  You know who I love?  Celia Cruz, she had an amazing voice. That’s not so guilty. New kids maybe 😛

Max: Being that it’s such a polarizing thing, I’d have to say sampling.  People are so against it when it’s used by someone like Washed Out, but personally, I’m really used to it.  I produce Disco-House tracks on the side as Panther Hands, and that kind of music is basically only samples!  So I still love that song Feel It All Around, even though almost the entire song is just a track by Gary Low slowed down.

Jer: I was really into Sky Ferreira’s “One” single. It has some really awesome production, and gets stuck in your head all day. I actually met her at bar in the city, a few months back, and nerded out. New York is like that, you hear a song somewhere, then you see the artist on the street the next day…then you bombard them.

To buy their debut album just click it: Delusions, to learn more about the band follow them @Selebrities