just so it doesn't seem like i've ignored you in this thread Relying, let me just say here, Thank you so much for giving us a spin on your station Mike!
No worries man! It is I who must apologize for the slow response! haha. Just wanted to give this review the care it deserves and I haven't been around as much...I kiiiiiinda have been spending my time at AtEase . and I added your name to the thank you notes properly now
anyways, I'm glad you dig the name. I agree it is a bit cold at first glance, and it does have an immediate sort of "alt rock" thing going, but I think once people hear the breadth of our sound the name will sort of take on a new feeling, at least in my head it does haha. I sort of feel like it gives us the ability to spread out and do different styles and still maybe seem cohesive but I could just be crazy. I sort of see something like a mix of Portishead + The National + The xx + Gorillaz in how I want the name to actually feel....if that makes any sense...might just be since those are going to be big influences on the next record...?
As for the site and cover, it was actually all free! pretty much the only part of this whole damn thing that was! the site was a ton of trial and error as I did want it to have a very professional look...so I'm glad it seems we've accomplished that haha.
As far as our goals go. I mean the sky's the limit. We'd love to be as big as The Beatles one day. That's the true dream/goal, that's the standard I hold myself to when I write... but we'd ONLY want to get there by doing what we love and never by putting out something that's not us. simply by making quality creative music (and luckily we like making music that's not super accessible but not overly ambitious as well...at least for now while we're getting our bearings, and in the end it's simply the type of music we most enjoy) and it's not because of craving fame or something but because of connecting with so many people and you know giving them an escape or something to do on the weekend and traveling...being well-respected songwriters and entertainers as well and really feeling like we've given something special to the world... and the next goal down would be to simply be able to live comfortably by making a living off making/performing music. and I think we're at the perfect age to capitalize on the opportunity we currently have. (age 22)
I was wondering how you would feel about the absolute drastic change from the old lo-fi recordings (er mixes...you'll see after reading), still pretty cool you got to see and hear the transformation first hand. The biggest most crucial thing I learned during the entire process was that mixing is almost just as important as the songwriting. mixing is truly an artform. We had 30 different engineers mix a song or two of ours and only about 4 came out with something we thought would display our music the way we wanted. also sometimes it's not just a lo-fi thing but a simple error in judgement/engineering which can leave a vocal sounding lifeless or drums sounding lifeless even though the PERFORMANCE itself is there. and it could be something as small as a lack of certain EQ tweaking. This is kind of how we felt with our original mixes. These are actually the SAME recordings, just mixed by a different engineer. was pretty mindblowing to me and everyone in the band when we first heard what our music COULD sound like, if just mixed by another engineer.
so down to the EP...
Never Enough - I actually wanted the drums on Never Enough to sound slightly dirtier kind of more 90's trip-hoppish but you can only do so much when working with one engineer for recording and another for mixing (especially when said mixing engineer is all the way across the pond in Hamburg, Germany!) and don't want to piss either of them off by just bogging them down with revisions (our mixing engineer said it was the most revisions he has EVER gotten!! and we just kept piling them on too when we'd hear certain things!) but mainly, as this our first foray into things, simply not KNOWING what is possible and what can be done differently in either the a. mixing stage or b. recording stage. and even just not having a complete understanding of c. the mastering stage. We'll be a little bit more in tune with things next time around, as we've gained a little more understanding of things. Interesting you say that about emotion, because Never Enough is very emotional to me. I'm kind of frustrated/sad/jealous but also a bit pissed off in the song, as it's about a guy who cheats on his girlfriend and his girl just takes it...yet he still tells me he loves her.
Sweet Teeth - An interesting note the "hey ey eys" are actually how this song began! well sort of, I had this vocal melody for Never Enough that we eventually squashed for the song but thought it was still good on its own and used it to create the "top notes" of the rhythm guitar riff and right after playing the new rhythm riff a few times over, the ey ey's just popped into my head. and I sort of wrote the song around them. I agree the ending is a bit hammed up! haha (shhhh ). It was the last song recorded and we were in a bit of a rush and I thought it'd still work well since like you said, it's a bit natural, the melody just sort of floats there till it ends. and I'm also not sure I had much else to say. This is our choice for a "single" sort of, and seems to be everyone I know my age's (20-22) favorite.
Outpost - Lyrically this a totally fictional song about aliens taking over people from earth who have been living on mars for tons of years...hahaha. sort of a man talking to his wife throughout the events. it's the first song we wrote for the EP. I thought you might be a little more surprised with the 100% melody change in the verses, as I actually changed it because it seemed wayyyyyyy too Muse'y originally and it didn't speak to where our heads were at near the end of the recording sessions.
I find it funny that every song that my old songwriting partner was involved in sounds Muse'y or is said to have a Muse influence by most people! As he always said he thinks they're great but is not really influenced by them and that "bellamy and him" just have the same influences. and everyone, including people in the band... sometimes all we could really hear is Muse in a lot of his material. still great...just Muse'y.
which brings me to...
Dog Eat Dog -
Yeah now it's me singing so I took as much Musiness out of the song as I could by instead of going falsetto, going low and with a sort of lackadaisical contempt tone-wise in the choruses I guess it'd be? We're definitely going to steer clear of any song with this much Muse'iness/momentum next time around, and that's natural anyways as I didn't write this song as you know...very happy with how it all turned out though. The wah guitar solo in the interlude is sort of me trying to channel Jonny Greenwood a bit haha. I'm not big on regular solos but it seems it's what this song needed so just went with it.
Panda Thief - I agree with the obligatory experimental track sort of, it just a jam we had going for a while and we fleshed it out a tad in the studio, feels kind of like our STS9 track. Titled Panda Thief as it's a tribute to the old crew where that jam originated from
Burning Ties - I'm glad you still enjoy Burning Ties as it also changed a little in some respects. The lyric "burning ties" was basically because this girl had just gotten broken up with, her boyfriend's choice, and even though I liked her and she even admitted to liking me, and we made some advances towards those feelings both emotionally and physically...I got the feeling that she didn't want to really talk or even be friends with anyone that is connected with her old boyfriend in anyway, let alone start dating...which at the time deep down was what i really wanted. and around then is when it really hit me as like "well...if she's moving on, she's moving on." This song flowed pretty well in the writing process without too much trial and error. Also the first song of mine I've ever recorded in the studio. I'm interested in what you mean by abrupt...I guess because the ending sort of just has 3 lines then ends? I kinda just wanted it to be an overwhelming buildup and almost headrush and then end with just that fluttering, leaving you a bit stunned. When we play live though (first show this Sunday!) we are extending the Outro a bit with some falsetto Beatles-like ahh's coming in and then it sort of climaxing and then falling back down. Also great find with the metallic guitar and Pull/Polk they DEFINITELY sound similar...and that was in no way on purpose, actually it was my songwriting partner who did that and it's actually two synths modulating randomly, one going forward and one reversed.
Thanks so much for the critiques and the good words man! I really appreciate it! and also of course thanks again for the help with the EP/starting out band process and decision making and stuff. It's been a seriously long ride...(Outpost was written in September 2009!) Well on to the next one! Best of luck with your stuff and if anytime you need anything critiques/thoughts whatever just let me know!