Archive for May, 2010

Interview with The Devil Whale


1.  How would you describe your music to someone who has no clue who you are or what you sound like?

One of the hardest questions to answer.  So I usually settle on a vague and unhelpful description that goes something like: we’re a rock band but one with no screaming, ever.

2.  Influences? Musical, cosmic or otherwise!?

I feel heavily influenced by my peers.  Not in a “Here, smoke this” kind of way, but influenced in that I find myself feeding off of the energy of a collective that’s all kind of working towards the same things.  An energy similar to the “competitive spirit” minus the competitive part.  I have lots of talented friends.  I also really really really like Dan Bejar and Theodore Roethke and Bob Pollard.

3.  Do you write collectively as a band? What inspires the music? The lyrics? What defines the impetus for a song: is it a lyric or a line?

At least until this point, I do the writing and then we kind of arrange things together as a band.  For me, the music/melody comes first and I’ll kind of spit out made-up lyrics until I find a line that I like or something that seems worth latching onto.  So there’s a kind of stream-of-consciousness element to it, I guess.  Not to get too cheesy but I really feel like the best ideas I’ve had (the best songs I’ve written, the best parts of songs, etc.) weren’t things I felt like I created as much as they were ideas that felt like were floating in space and I was the one that happened to catch them.  And there is a weird quality to those ideas like you don’t remember writing them.  It’s all kind of a blur because it feels less like something you created and more like something that was given to you.  The process seems a bit fuzzy.  Lame, I know.  But that’s just how it is sometimes.

4.  Recording process: How do you capture realized songs or ideas?

I use recording a lot in the songwriting process.  Since I usually write the music first, recording those ideas allows me to kind of suspend the ideas.  I can pull myself out of the moment and hear them as they stand on their own.  It’s been a helpful way for me to experiment with different melodies, lyrics, secondary and auxiliary parts, etc, and hear how they fit in the context of the foundation.  Once all the elements are nailed it helps me map out the song well so that I have a good structure in place when I present it to the band.  That’s helped a lot. As far as the “official” recording process, this time we went to a studio in Seattle called Studio Litho and worked with an engineer there (Shawn Simmons).  Being in a big space allowed us to be comfortable, all playing at once, and not be tied up with the  technical/engineering side of things.  Which is certainly not where our talents lie.

5.  What are key elements to your creativity? Having the gear/tools to get the thoughts expressed, recorded or documented?

For me the most important element to being creative is being in a comfortable frame of mind.  Mornings are good; rooms with lots of light.  I go on walks a lot late at night and some of my better ideas have come from those.  Certain guitars seem to generate more than others.  But again, for the most part I feel like you never know when the ideas will come.  You just need to be ready when they do.

6.  Must-have piece of gear or tool for creating/making music!?

I have a couple of guitars I really like.  I have a Gibson ES 125 from the early ’60s and a Guild Starfire III also from the early ’60s.  They’ve been good to me.

7.  Best collective or individual guilty pleasure?

I love terrible movies.  ”Trapped In The Closet.”  ”Dragon Wars.”  Stuff like that.  LOVE them.  I think I enjoy those more than the “good ones.”

8.  What’s coming up for the band, any highlights, special projects or gigs?

We’re releasing an EP called “Young Wives” in June.  Touring the west coast thereafter and at the end of that tour we’ll stop in Seattle again for a week and wrap up some more recording for an LP called “Teeth” that we’ll be releasing in the fall.  August we’ll hit the midwest.  And there will be lots of loose ends in the meantime.

Random is Good – Episode 8

Summer!

So school has finally come to an end for me, with the exception of one summer school class, and we now have the time to be a band again! We’ve been keeping ourselves busy with lots of shows. We had the honor of playing the first ever Local Live house show. It was crazy to say the least, seeing as it was the one co-op in a neighborhood of frat houses. The night ended with a balcony full of guys across the street shouting at us to show them our d**ks. So we did. Here’s some photos from it!

local live 1

local live 2

We’ll have videos from all the past shows and some other pearls when Matt brings the camera back from his vacation in Wisconsin. He’s up there right now writing for the new full length, and should hopefully bring some good stuff home for us to record and share with all of you! But I can share these- Some acoustic versions of some of our earlier stuff.  We used Record and one mic to do these one take b- sides to pass the day, and this was the result.

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In other news, anyone in the Houston or surrounding areas should come see us at the 2010 Free Press Summer Fest on June 5th and 6th (we play on the 5th). It’s Houston’s biggest musical event of the year (and this is only it’s 2nd year!) that sees great national acts, but more importantly lets local bands play earlier in the day, helping to spread knowledge of the Houston music scene, which is pretty darn good these days. And because someone somewhere thinks the Eastern Sea is a Houston band, we got asked back to play the 2nd time around! Only last year we played at 4pm on the main stage and this year we play 2:30 on the side stage, that should say something about where we’re heading! But don’t care. So come check it out:

http://freepresssummerfest.com/

We were also the featured artist of the week at the Houston Press to spread the word about the festival. We have a couple more in the works too, so we’ll post them when they’re up. But for now check this one out:

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2010/05/the_eastern_sea_tv-savvy_wife-.php

We’ll post more songs and videos upon Matt’s return and maybe Tomas and I can show you some of his solo stuff until then!

- Zach

Grillin’ with The 54

Hey it’s Walt. So… you may not know this about us and it does not apply to all of us, but among us in The 54… are foodies. Yes, foodies, and foodies like to prepare, cook, taste, and scrutinize food- fine foods, and at any and every chance they get. Several posts ago, I referenced that we were going to customize the van. Well, we drove out to paint it at our friend’s shop over on tha west side, shawty… Ahem. Anyway, so you can imagine that when our friend suggested we bring food and beer… it was going down. The grill was brought out and we threw some steaks on and everybody just got really crunk instantaneously. That’s how it really happened. And that’s how you paint a car.

Here’s the video with our song Throw it All Away playing in the background. Enjoy.

My pockets lookin’ kinda tight, and I’m stressed

Narrativeyo

WHOA, WHO’S THAT?  THE NARRATIVE?  WHAAAAAAAT DAWGZ?!!!!  THAT’S CRAZY!!!

Yea, we’re still alive.

We’ve got a lot of stuff cookin’.  We’re leaving for tour tomorrow.  Our upcoming full length is in its final stages of mastering.  Charlie is wearing adult diapers.  He says it’s a back brace, but I’ve suspected for a while now he was heading down the adult diaper road.

I’m kind of a big Paramore fan.  I’m not really a closet Paramore fan, because I’m totally ok with it because I think they’re awesome, but I feel like I might be the kind of Paramore fan you might not suspect is a Paramore fan, and that gets me a little nervous about talking about it.

Anyway, I hadn’t spun their last record too much.  I guess I couldn’t fit it into my busy schedule of losing sneakers to my dog and wondering whether or not the guy who begs for change by my subway stop every day makes more money than me (I’m almost positive he does, it’s a prime location).  I happened to decide to sit down with it over the last week or so and have to say I dig it pretty hard.  For me, it doesn’t quite stand up to either of their other releases catchy-wise, but at the same time some of the songs blow any of that stuff out of the water musically.

(more…)

No help from no one.

Hey Internets

It’s hard to be in the music buisness.  No one has your back when you are down, no one wants to help you unless you are making them money.  Sometimes you wonder why you did’nt stay in school and get a real degree and fucking make some godanm money yourself for once.  You find yourslef wrestling with these and other questions and its about enough to make you go crazy sometimes. 

But, I have a theroy that if you actually ever do become successfull then you won’t do anything worth a shit anyways.  So I raise my glass to the struggle and hope to be able to pay my rent from month to month.   

Then sometimes out of the blue something to make it all worthwhile comes along and then everything is cool again.  You start to believe in yourself and believe that you have’nt wasted your life pissing away your time on selfish pursits. 

One of the things I do with my time other than play the shit holes of america, (music venues), is produce records.  I’ve done a few now that are actualy pretty good.  I’ve produced shit by people that went on to do bigger and better things, and while they are totally gratefull for all of the work you did for next to no money at the time, they rarely remember you down the line.  I have a very good story to tell about this,…more to come as details unfold.

The one that I’m working on at the moment is with a girl named Sasha Collette.  This is probably going to be one of the best records I’ve ever been involved with.  This is one of those things that makes you believe that you are actually doing something worthwhile. 

 

As you can see she’s a great singer and a gifted song writer.  We tracked the record all live with her band the Magnolias, Andrew Gilliam and Jose Oreta providing the rythm section tracks.  We recorded all of the instruments in the same room with minimal overdubs added by me,…hammond organ, pedal steel, strings ect. I’m proud to say this record has no click, and no bullshit, just live vocals, drums, acoustic and bass, minimal mics and minimal overdubs.  No auto tune, no snapping to grids and no faking it.

In other news the southern souls and myself  just took a trip down south and played nashville in the midst of the worst flooding in like 100 years.  The shows went great and you can’t keep a good town down.  Godspeed and swift recovery to good people of Nashville.  Heres me at the Mercy Lounge.

doing what I do best,....not quitting

doing what I do best,....not quitting

Keep it real,

Bud

It’s been a year plus one month…

go fly a kite

go fly a kite

Ahh. The birds are chirping, lawn mowers mowing, and the sun is shining. Summer is quickly approaching and I could not be more eager for its arrival. Thinking about everything that has transpired this past year since I moved to West Lafayette, it seems like it’s been a really long year, even though it actually went by really fast. As a band without much history before last summer, we definitely got a lot accomplished. We got a full band together, recorded and released an EP, and played shows just about every weekend for the past four months. There were also a lot of tribulations along the way that I’d just as soon forget. There’s still tons of work left be done, roads yet untraveled, faces yet to be seen, and songs yet to be written. The future is exciting, but for now I’m going to try and live in the moment and enjoy where I am along this journey. (more…)