The [Gri:n] Files #6
These notes are done to know better beautiful and innovative music from different and several countries.

Pierre Vervloesem

Where and when were you born?
In 1964 in Nivelles, Belgium.


Do you remember how you first got into music?
At the first gig I ever saw I felt in love with the sound of the bass guitar.

Are there other musicians in your family?

Your musical background?

How did your interest in music and composing begin?
I just felt that music would be something I had to do.

You are multiinstrumentalist. Right? Maybe the guitar was not the first instrument you started to play?

Why you chose the guitar?
I choose the bass, then the guitar and I don't know why... maybe because of Adrian Belew.

What bands/artists/composers were your early favourites and influences?
Zappa, Snakefinger, Frith, Fripp, Belew.

Your first band you played with?
Not a chance you ever heard about them.

What is the avant-garde or innovative-rock scene in Belgium right now?
To my knowledge there is no scene of whatsoever in Belgium except maybe child abuse.

You have worked with several musicians and producers. Which bands or composers are the most innovative or avant- in Belgium at present?
I swear! Nobody is innovative in Belgium.

Can you tell me more about 2 records by Monsoon and by Lemond you produced in 2000?
I produced Monsoon because their keyboard player (Peter Vandenberghe) asked me to do it. Lemond is singer/guitarist and longtime partner Thierry Mondelaers (X-Legged Sally/a Group).

What was the reason their records were not released?
For Monsoon, the label change is mind at the last minute. For Lemond, we did the record at home, then Thierry searched for a label and apparently nobody wanted it.

Did you ever hear Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai or Sigur Rós in concert?
I don't go to concerts.

Which are your favourite albums you like to listen again and again?
These last years I don't have much a time for listening music.

10 your favourite bands/artists/composers of all time?
I don't see for the other 7.

How many concerts you have played in 2001?

Have you recorded a session for the BBC or De Avonden/VPRO radio?

Did you do any session for anyone else?

If you could spend one hour to record a session with either Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, King Crimson, Univers Zero, Present, de portables or Yes, who would you choose?
I don't know Sigur, Godspeed, de portables, I don't like Univers Zero, Present and Yes. So there just Crimson left.

When did you last cry listening music and what was that music about?

When I heard the tracks 8, 9 and some others - your guitar reminds me of David Torn, Robert Fripp, Miroslav Tadic or Henry Kaiser. Had you an influence from them?
I got an influence from Torn, Fripp, Kaiser but I don't know Tadic.

What guitar equipment do you use?
An home made guitar and a Boss GT-5

Did you use loops technology?

Which are your favourite guitar players?

The closing track "Nobody's Listening Anyway" of Grosso Modo sounds similar to King Crimson, ProjeKcts or ProjeKct X. Yes, your music is more fusion, but, did you hear these bands or projects?

Did you like how the drums sounds in the 7th track "The Terrible Rage Of The Shy"? I don't like, because the drums didn't bring an additional info, melodic or polyphonic line.
That was the idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you have plans for the studio album with Guy Segers and Charles Hayward or you did this record in 2 days as you all 4 are too busy to spend a month or more in the studio together?
I don't do 2 times the same album.

Track "Full Metal Carpet" sounds like Univers Zero/Present/David Torn. Do you like dark chamber rock music?

What was the role for Charles Hayward?

What was the reason you asked the drums legend Charles Hayward of ex "This Heat" to play and why not Daniel Denis or anyone else from Belgium?
Daniel Denis is a wanker, and Charles a hero of my youth!

Did you write a score for the drums/percussion?
I can't write.

In "Anti Caking Agent" is a mix of styles: avant-rock, jazz, jazz-rock, free-rock, what sometimes sounds as eclecticism. Did this happen spontaneously during the recordings?

Which are your favourite bands in Belgium from 70s till our time?
Lacuite Vandenabeele (but they never record anything).

How much tunes you have composed before the recordings?

How much of the whole music you recorded were improvised?
50 per cent.

You have recorded the guitar and bass guitar. The main bass player for "Grosso Modo" was Guy Segers. When did you play the bass - as additional bass instrument or in the other stereo channel?
I play the number 9.

Did you have any conception before you did the recordings?
Yes, about everything.

How many hours you have recorded during these 2 days?
8 hours.

Did you use all compositions you have composed for this album release?

When I did an interview with Jürgen De Blonde of "de portables" and asked him about Univers Zero and Present, he answered negative. Do you know what is "de portables"?

How did you meet up with Guy Segers? Before you joined X-Legged Sally?
Yes. Brussels is very small.

Last week I got to listen "Rhythmix" by Univers Zero. Did you hear that album?

Do you think that Univers Zero are still very innovative or they are repeating their direction in the shorter tracks?
They suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!

Your opinion about Present?
They suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!!

Many people, who are in Avant-Progressive music and also like Magma, King Crimson, Robert Fripp, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Happy Family, Art Zoyd, minimal music by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Michael Nyman, Arvo Pärt, Gavin Bryars, Kronos Quartet etc., are buying records released on ECM, Cuneiform and Carbon 7, have an opinion that Univers Zero and Present are very unique and outstanding bands in the history of Avant-Rock, Rock In Opposition or Chamber Rock Music. Why did you think that they sucks? Personal antipathies?
No, I (and all the people I know and play with!) think they both play incredibly boring, very small minded music.

Can you compare Present, Univers Zero and King Crimson. Which of the named bands seems more innovative to you?
No, I can't compare and Crimson seems more innovative to me.

Which musical style, direction, composer, band is important for you at present?
A cluster and a strong rhythm, West/north west, Vivaldi, The übung 2 band.

Is "The übung 2" the title of the band?
What I'm doing at the moment? I am recording a big cluster with a strong rhythm. An important direction is the direction of the wind because I do a lot of biking. Vivaldi is an important composer right now because I'm playing one of his compositions for a show. That show is called "übung 2" and I'm rehearsing right now with 3 other musicians. The show consists of 1h10 musical composition (of myself) played with the original movie of belgian actor/author Josse de Pauw.

Pierre Vervloesem     Pierre Vervloesem     Carbon 7

August 20th, 21st, 2002.

Todd Stapleton  of «Flock From Spokane»

Where and when were you born?
August 29, 1970. Toledo, Ohio.

My original hometown is Toledo, Ohio. Currently, I reside in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Do you remember how you first got into music?
I got into music very young. I think it wasn't a matter of being turned on to music as I was more intrigued with sound. When I first got into music, though, it was Kiss, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

Did you still like The Beatles or The Stones?
Of course. I still listen to them every once in a while. I don't listen to them anywhere near as often as I used to, but that's only due to the fact that you can hear something only so many times.

Are there other musicians in your family?
Other than my brother and myself, not really.

Your musical background?
I've been playing music seriously for nearly twenty years. I've played in many different kinds of bands from heavy metal to punk and indie-pop bands. The last six years or so, I've devoted myself to experimental music.

What was the reason your interests starts in Experimental music?
Two reasons: Sonic and Youth. I discovered them, and then I started to pick up on people that they were inspired by. After listening to a lot of experimental music, the principles and general aesthetics of why I play and compose music have changed a great deal. I am into the sole idea of creating: composing music, creating sounds and textures, and exploring all of it. That's why it's experimental to me. You explore the sound that you are making and you have no idea where it will take you. But that journey is a very interesting one, no matter what.

Please name other musicians of your band if FFS is not one man band?
Flock From Spokane, for the time being, is a one man recording project. The live version will consist of a revolving collective, whenever I decide to put it together. There have been some other musicians in and out since FFS' conception about four years ago, but for the most part it has been one person.

How did your interest in music and composing begin?
My interest in music started when I was a kid, six or seven years old. I saw Kiss and I thought they were crazy. It was an outrageous spectacle to the eyes of a six year old. At that point I knew I wanted to make music.

When you thought, Kiss are crazy, which bands seems to you so or more crazy at present?
Kiss was crazy because when I first saw them I was six years old. When you're six, some 6'5" man with platforms, kabuki make up who's breathing fire and spitting blood all over himself while he's playing real loud heavy metal is going to scare the living hell out of you. There's a lot of things that I think are crazy and for very different reasons. I think Sonic Youth is just as crazy as Kiss, but in a very different way.

Which instrument you are playing?
I play guitar primarily. I play bass, drums, piano, organ. I am writing some pieces for strings but I don't know how to play any of them (outside of guitars, etc). Some of the pieces will be integrated into the Flock From Spokane recordings.

Is your taste in music the same as, for example, 5-10 years ago?
Not at all. I honestly listen to all kinds of things and my tastes are always expanding. I still like the same things I liked five or ten years ago, but there are so many new things that I've discovered, especially in the just the past few years.

What styles of music do you prefer to listen to?
Honestly, and I know everyone says this, but I listen to everything. Usually, my preferences lie within electronic music and classical music. I like soundtracks quite a bit, and I listen to rock, jazz, folk, field-recordings, punk, metal, pretty much everything except for FM Radio.

It is too difficult to find info about your band. How you can describe the direction for Flock From Spokane?
Flock From Spokane is still a new band, even though the actual project is about four years in the making. As far as direction goes, I suppose most people would call Flock From Spokane a post-rock band. That's fine with me, because I don't have any problems with labels or genres or whatever. I outgrew that a long time ago. FFS is very atmospheric, very ambient instrumental music that is based in rock and is usually very melodic and a lot of times very dissonant. You can hear like "space-rock", "electronica", "experimental" and things of that fashion and a lot of times it's very pretty. People could call it "post-rock" right now but in two or three years, the sound will grow and expand and then people will have to figure out something else to call it, so for that reason I wouldn't firmly call it anything.

Perhaps some people could say that FFS sounds like Björk without vocals and rhythm.
That would be a great compliment. I don't really see it though, I think the music of FFS is much more organic than that of Björk. I love her though. I would like to do more with electronics like she implements. There is a limited amount right now, but there will be more in the future.

What bands/artists/composers were your early favorites and influences?
Growing up as a guitar player I liked the blues a lot. Guitarists like Elmore James, Lightnin' Hopkins and things like that. As far as songwriting goes, Sonic Youth is the biggest influence on me, and for a very long time now. I'm inspired by a lot of things. I have a lot of music but I am inspired a lot by just sound. Birds, oceans, forests, construction sites, just normal everyday sound. I hear things and then I'll think about it and the next thing you know, I'm coming up with something. I sat on a rock on the Pacific Ocean about two years ago just listening to the environment around me and I wrote one of the best the best pieces of my life. It's actually the song that is on the FFS website right now, as a matter of fact.

Who are the Flock From Spokane influences?
There are no set in stone influences for Flock From Spokane. Music and sound in general is the inspiration and the love of recording and creating is what drives the sound. Specific things that inspire me a lot? Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Pauline Oliveros as composers. Also, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage and Brian Eno. There are a lot of interesting things going on in rock like Stars of the Lid, Hood, Tarentel, and GYBE. The majority of the song structures in the music of Flock From Spokane is influenced by classical and electronic music. Squarepusher is a band I like a lot, just for the record.

OK, Steve Reich is American. How did you find Estonian composer Arvo Pärt? In Latvia we have a composer Peteris Vasks which works are in the same style. Last autumn their orchestral pieces were performed at Arena festival in Riga.
I discovered Arvo Pärt by researching Oliveros and Reich on the internet. I read something about him and it sounded like exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. The funny thing is that is wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but something else that was unlike anything I had heard. I discovered a lot of people that way: Ellen Fullman, Robert Rich.

Maybe Labradford, Rothko, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tribes of Neurot and Walking Time Bombs, or Aix Em Klemm have the same musical direction as Flock From Spokane?
I've never heard Rothko or Tribes Of Neurot. The aesthetic of a band like Labradford or Aix Em Klemm is a lot along the lines of the FFS aesthetic. Not specifically but just the general characteristics: ambient, mellow, melodic and expansive. I think Labradford is a very innovative band. I think apart from some David Lynch soundtracks, there's nothing that sounds like they do. There is a FFS song called "We Were Destined To Build, Therefore We Were Destined To Destroy" that has a part where things get very intense, and it kind of reminds me of something GYBE might do, except they'd do it on a larger scale.

I have heard only a single track "Unspoken Path" by Tribes Of Neurot And Walking Time Bombs from their 1998 album "Static Migration" which seems ambient, drone, as ambient Djam Karet or Steve Roach, or Shalabi Effect. So I asked.
I have never heard any of those bands, but I will definitely check them out. It sounds very interesting.

What was the first Experimental music album or concert you listened to?
I think one of the very first experimental records I heard was "Atlas Elipticalis" by John Cage, very early on. Sonic Youth's "Bad Moon Rising" is another early one.

Your first band you played with?
The first band I played with was actually a cover band that did Zeppelin songs, believe it or not. I was 15 at the time.

How was Flock From Spokane formed?
Flock From Spokane formed initially about four years ago with the intent of making music that would be considered to be "experimental". The original idea behind it was to form a one man band combining electronica, atmospheric rock and experimental noise. It went on to become a one man recording project and, like I said earlier, will eventually become a full band when the right people come along.

Which singers do you prefer to listen?
I mainly like singers with very soft voices. My two favorite vocalists are Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. I like Ira from Yo La Tengo as well. They are one of my favorite bands.

Do you use laptop playing live or how did you get field recordings and ambient drones ready?
Eventually a laptop is going to be integrated into the live setting. For right now, the field recordings, ambient drones, electronics are triggered by a sampler.

Did you do field recordings in your city or county?
Most of the field recordings have been done around this area but I have recorded a swamp and the Atlantic Ocean, both in North Carolina, I have recorded in the mountains of both Tennessee and Kentucky, and have also sampled the Pacific Ocean in California. Most of the urban recordings, have been made here in Knoxville. I plan to travel to specific places this summer to do an extensive amount of field recordings as well as photographic and video shots.

How much the new composed tracks changed after the first rehearsals or performances?
I couldn't even begin to tell you how much re-writing and re-arranging has been done in FFS. 95% of the material has changed drastically since the original materialization. I have done hours upon hours of recordings and the music is always progressing and developing. For example, there is one song in particular called "Skip James" that has changed 98% since it's original arrangement.

Did you ever heard Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Sigur Rós, Hood, Clogs, Beans, Cul de Sac, or Timonium in concert?
I like most of those bands but the only ones I have seen live are GYBE and Mogwai.

Which are your favorite albums you like to listen again and again? Why?
"Exile On Main St" by The Rolling Stones, because to me it is the epitome of what rock and roll should be: loose, bluesy and balls out.
"Song To A Seagull" by Joni Mitchell because of it's sheer beauty and honesty. Seriously, I can listen to it everyday for the rest of my life and never get tired of it because her voice is captivating. She means every word she sings and the guitar work goes without saying. Some of the most innovative guitar work of all time is there.
"Bad Moon Rising" by Sonic Youth is also an album that is so far ahead of it's time that this whole "post-rock" movement is just now catching up with it and that album was done in 1984 I think.
"Music For Airports" by Brian Eno is another album that just radiates beauty from beginning to end. I love that record.
I also like "TNT" by Tortoise a lot. I don't know how I'd rank it with albums of all time but I know it's an important record to me and I like it quite a bit.
I also like "Disintegration" by The Cure a lot. I think it's a landmark recording.
I also like a record called "Flux" by Erkki-Sven Tüür and anything by Nick Drake.
"Bitches Brew" and "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis. I could write a book about all of the records that I really love.

You named Erkki-Sven Tüür, another Estonian composer! He was famous not only in Estonia because he was one of the main composers with the art-rock/neo-classical band In Spe. I'll send him an E-mail that you like his music!
Erkki-Sven Tüür has some amazing compositions. His record "Flux" on the ECM label is one of my favorite records. If you email him, ask him where I can find more of his music. I also like the "Architectonics" album, as well.

What was the last album you listened to?
"Summer Sun" by Yo La Tengo (I am listening to it right now).

10 your favorite bands/artists/composers of all time?
There's no way I could name who I think would represent the 10 best bands of all-time. But I will name 10 bands that, right at this moment, are the biggest influence on what Flock From Spokane is.

Brian Eno
Steve Reich
Miles Davis
Sonic Youth
Pauline Oliveros
Joni Mitchell
Nick Drake
Stars Of The Lid

Your opinion about the last musical year, 2002? How interesting it was for you (maybe you have heard interesting bands or albums)?
You know, I hear a lot of people talk about how bad music is nowadays and how there is nothing fresh or innovative coming out, but with people at home recording on multi-tracks and computers, there is so much to listen to and so many new and unheard of things. Music itself continues to progress and the manner in which it is performed, recorded and presented progresses as well. The internet also continues to push the proverbial envelope, too. A lot of great music came out in 2002. Off the top of my head I really liked "Cold House" by Hood (late 2001 – close enough), "( )" by Sigur Rós, "Gantz-Graf" by Autechre, "The Emotional Rescue LP" by Windsor For The Derby, "The River Made No Sound" by Pan American, "In The Afternoon" by L'Altra, and "Geogaddi" by Boards of Canada, which I think was the best record of 2002. It's beautiful.

If you like Hood, so you must like Bark Psychosis (soon 3rd Stone will release their historical recordings) or Savoy Grand too?
I love Hood but have not heard Bark Psychosis or Savoy Grand.

How many concerts you have played in 2002?
There was not a single live performance by FFS in 2002. I played with another project called How Things Work several times during 2002.

Do you have a favorite band to tour or to play gigs with again?
With a different band I played with both Blonde Redhead and Karate. BRH would be my favorite so far.

Have you recorded a session for the BBC or De Avonden/VPRO radio?
Not yet, but I would absolutely love to. Someday...

Did you do any session for anyone else?
Not with FFS but I've done local sessions with numerous other bands.

What do you think of Post-Rock & Experimental movement in 2002?
It seems as though music has reverted to a more rock aesthetic lately, which is great because it allows artists in the post-rock, experimental, and electronic areas more creative freedom without an over saturation of bands and artists.

One interesting observation: post-rock/experimental movement comes with a lot of innumerable bands as since kraut-rock era in the 70's didn't happen.
I know that there were tons of bands doing the whole space-rock/kraut rock thing back in the 70s. I have honestly not heard much of it but I would like to.

What do you think of the current music scene in the USA?
Honestly, I don't pay much attention to the music scenes outside of the music that I listen to and the music that I play. I think the indie and experimental scenes are flourishing because of home recording, self started labels and the internet. There's a lot of great music coming out of the USA and from all over the world for that matter.

Have Flock From Spokane problems with distributors or media?
We haven't dealt with distributors yet, our debut release comes out this winter so I'll have a better fixation on it closer to that time. We are being released on the "21+" label, and it is their inaugural release as well, so they'll handle all of the distribution. I don't foresee any problems yet. So far, the media has been very cooperative with us but again, until the record is nearing release, our dealings with the media have also been on a limited basis.

Do you like albums by Radiohead and Sigur Rós?
A lot of people I know who are into indie music and post-rock music really hate those bands. I don't understand why. I love both of those bands. Unlike most people though, I like Radiohead's more recent material way better than their earlier releases just because I think it is a more interesting movement. Sigur Rós makes music that to me is very beautiful and very textured.

Radiohead's song "Sail To The Moon" from their forthcoming album "Hail To The Thief" sounds like Sigur Rós/Pink Floyd. Beautiful song! Unfortunately their composing power is too short to compose more than several good tracks. If Radiohead will do an album in 3 years as Sigur Rós is doing - perhaps this must be brilliant. Yes, I understand - they are on major record label which makes money.
I haven't heard anything from the new Radiohead album yet. I look forward to it, though. I think they are continuously progressing as songwriters. I would like to hear them go into the studio and do nothing but some sort of improvisational recording with just real experimental sounds. I think that record would be a very interesting thing to listen to.

If you could spend one hour to record a session with either King Crimson, Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Labradford, Mogwai, Hood, Clogs, Beans, or Glenn Branca, who would you choose?
Glenn Branca all the way. I don't think I even need to explain why. Also, if I were to do a session with someone, I would choose someone who would be doing something very different from what FFS is doing. A band like Labradford or Mogwai would be great but I would rather stray away from rock if I had my choice for a collaboration.

Are you involved in any other band or project?
I am involved with all kinds of things, I love to make music. I am in another instrumental band called How Things Work, which is much less of an experimental/post-rock style band but more of an indie rock band without vocals. We write some really interesting things, though. I also make electronic music, which I am working on material that I hope will become an LP for release in 2004. I also write folk music, a lot along the lines of Nick Drake singing Joni Mitchell songs. I also write and record many other things. You can ask any of my friends, they're always like, "Oh no, here comes Todd with something else he recorded!"

Which musical style, direction, composer, band is important for you at present?
A lot of things. A few composers that I am really into at the moment are Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Pauline Oliveros, György Ligeti and Steve Reich. The sort of direction I want to move musically is based upon the aesthetics of those composers, especially with Eno and Oliveros. Karlheinz Stockhausen is also a very profound influence as well. I also base a lot of my writings on the aesthetics of electronic music as well, both modern electronica and then early electronic things from the 60s and 70s, as well. Real experimental stuff. Also, people like Brian Lustmord and Robert Rich are big sources of inspiration.

Flock From Spokane     Flock From Spokane

May 12th, 18th, 2003.

A message from the band to their Yahoogroup

Subject: questions. answers. forecasts.

Does anybody can tell me, have Flock From Spokane a website? Are they still active?
   Yes, FLOCK FROM SPOKANE is still active. Public activity has been slow, due to the fact that writing and recording has taken precedence.
   Right now, is not valid and a website is currently being planned for the new future. First, I must purchase a new computer. Mine has died. But it will be happening soon, in time for an internet only release planned for the fall. More details soon...
   We are looking to get our music out in Europe and in the United States. Anyone who is interested in helping spread music, or book shows, or whatever else is encouraged to reply. A distribution deal in N. America is being hammered out as we speak. The new will detail all of this activity. In the meantime, don't be surprised by a lack of internet ctivity. This will change very shortly though.

   We are just mere weeks away...

   Thank you and we will see you soon.

Flock From Spokane

Simon Plouffe  of «Let The Indians Scalp»

Where and when were you born?
June 20th 1980, Laval, Québec, Canada.

Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Do you remember how you first got into music?
When I was 11 yrs old I started hitting on my friend's drum.

Are there other musicians in your family?

Your musical background?
4 years of drums lessons.

Who was your first favourite drummer or idol?
I would say probably, Danny Carrey from Tool.

Did you like jazz, rock or jazz/rock drummers to listen to?
Yeah sure I do like drummers like Jim Black who is pretty creative and he can play with the textures of the sound pretty well, the drummer of Medeski Martin and Wood; Billy Martin who is fucking groovy, Max Roach who played with Miles Davis/Gil Evans, Marc Erbetta who plays with Erik Truffaz is pretty rhythmic.

Can you tell me the history/biography of your band?
The band started with Mitch St-Jacques, the lead guitarist and me two years ago when he brought up his acoustic guitar at my parents place when I was playing on an electronic drum.

Some bands like to use 2 drummers or percussion players as GYBE. Do you like complex rhythms?
Yeah I like complex rhythms, but I think it's not essential to play with two drummers in a band. Yes it gives you more opportunities but only one drummer or percussionist can do so much (I'm not talking of myself).

I think that every media will ask you about the title Let The Indians Scalp? Why so dramatic about the Indians?
Yeah I saw you coming with that one. I knew a lot of ppl will get us wrong with that name. It's : let the Indians scalp and not: lets scalp the Indians, there is a HUGE difference between the two variations. We have nothing wrong against the Indians. Let The Indians Scalp, is more like a statement. It's a way to express an opposition about an oppression of some sort. If we take the Indians by example, we all know that they were persecuted trough the years by all the nations, we killed they're families burnt they're villages and we took they're lands... It can be interpreted as well as an anti-imperialism symbol.

Yes, I understood your bands name before my question. A question was not about you but why Indians must think so. On the other hand, I think, it is the same way how to draw people in your music as Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia... (their debut album have a title "Indian Ink") did with their title. Maybe it was a joke or a play of words but John Peel on February 6th (BBC World Service) called them as "Meanwhile Back In Communist Chinese" (this version was published at BBC WS website) announcing their track "Chinese Lantern" from their new album "My Elixir: My Poison".

What musical background is for other musicians of Let The Indians Scalp?

Mostly auto-didactic, no music lessons.

Who is the main composer in your band?
I would say it depends of the song, but most of all of them we all compose together.

How many tracks you have composed and recorded?
About 15 songs so far...

When will be ready your debut album?
We are in the process to record a demo first, for a debut album we will probably need some support for distribution and for the pressing mastering...

How did your interest in music and composing begin?
My interest of composing begins when I started hating playing covers.

Which were/are your favourite covers?
I was playing in a punk-rock cover band... more 90's stuff

Did you like punk-rock then you were in a band and now when you are in another?
I liked it pretty much back in the days (no so long ago, I know) but now I'm like saturated of that music.

Is Let The Indians Scalp your first band you are involved in?
No, a couple of years ago I played in a cover band more oriented in punk-rock music...

Which instrument you are playing?
Drums, metalophone.

What styles of music do you prefer to listen to?
Contemporary jazz, experimental music and what we call post-rock and avant-garde.

What is avant-garde music for you?
It's music who started to be recognized in the 40's I guess with Stockhausen... The name as been taken from the french "vanguard" which is the part of the army who stands in front of the rest of the army. Musically it's people who takes a divergent path radically from the tradition of the mainstream.

I did a search via internet, nothing about Let The Indians Scalp. Why?
We are on but it's our first demo of last spring, we didn't have the chance to build a web site yet...

How you can describe musical direction for Let The Indians Scalp?
More oriented on ambient rock with dynamic variations.

What bands/artists/composers were your early favorites and influences?
Miles Davis, The Beatles, Talk Talk, Spacemen 3, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, the King(Elvis), Slint, Shellac, Belle & Sebastian, Tool, The Stooges, Tom Waits, Jim Black, Carlos Bica, Medeski Martin and Wood.

Never heard Jim Black, Carlos Bica, Medeski Martin and Wood. Can you say some words about these bands?
What can I say, you need to hear first and then we discuss. It's all modern players. Jim Black is an avant-garde drummer who is pretty innovative with his beats and textures like I said earlier. I've seen Carlos Bica live with Jim Black in Portugal and man it was one of the best show I've ever seen. They got all the emotions at the tip of they're fingers, specially remarkable when the double bass player (Carlos) is playing with a bow, the sound is even deeper than a cello but still gives all the felling of the instrument. Medeski Martin and Wood is kind of jazz-funk almost a jam band but with all the control of they're instruments, only three guys but amazingly organic.

Who are the Let The Indians Scalp influences?
Do Make Say Think, Mogwai, Mono (Japan), Lumen, Tarentel, Sigur Rós, Tortoise, Trans Am, Don Caballero, Fly Pan Am, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Múm, June of 44, Red Neck Manifesto, Cerberus Shoal, Cul de Sac, Dirty Three, Polvo, Blonde Redhead.

Your opinion about creative or post-rock/experimental musical movement in Canada?
It's seems that a lot more ppl are interested in this "kind" of music, maybe ppl are getting more open mind? In Montreal we are thankfully to venues like Casa del Popolo and La Salla Rosa to bring excellent bands each night from all over the world. It is not rare to see a place full even if it's a local band who is playing experimental/post-rock music.

Which band will be the next big thing after Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt Zion, Do Make Say Think, Fly Pan Am, Frankie Sparo, Kepler, Molasses, Shalabi Effect? Maybe Beans or Let The Indians Scalp?
Absolutely Beans because they're already known.

What was the first Canadian Experimental music album or concert you listened to?
Probably a John Zorn album.

Every year in Canada, Victoriaville took place the International Festival Musique Actuelle (FIMAV). Did you see any?
I fell stupid about that but this will be the first year that I'll go, I find the ticket price a bit high for my budget, that's why I never went there...

Your opinion about the political size of Godspeed's instrumental music?
I guess it cannot be bigger, but at least they have something to tell even if they do not have any lyrics.

Which of bands Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A Silver Mt Zion do you rate higher?
Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Which are your favourite albums you like to listen again and again? Why?
"Ágætis Byrjun" by Sigur Rós because it's so outta here, it's simply transcendent.
"Goodbye enemy airship the landlord is dead" by Do Make Say Think because the arrangements are so great and dynamic.
"You Can Always Get What You Want" by Trans Am, you cannot go wrong with the drumming there.
"Yesterday was dramatic - today is OK" by Múm because I like the way they do glitchy electronic.
"The man felt an iron hand" by Lumen for the originality of the drums.
"Kicker In Tow" by Hanged-Up simply amazing for a duo.
"The Order Of Things" by Tarentel excellent ambient rock with simple melodies.
"The Dawn" by Erik Truffaz like the trumpet of Truffaz and the tension that the drum and the double bass gives.

Who is Erik Truffaz?
A pretty good French trumpet player, he got influences of Miles Davis. He is on "Blue Note" records, check him out he is (in my point of view) one of the best contemporary player in the jazz scene.

What was the last album you listened to?
"Fresque sur les parois secretes du crane" by Cheval de Frise (from France).

10 your favourite bands/artists/composers of all time?
John Zorn
The Beatles
Peter Brötzmann
Miles Davis
Jim Black
Ornette Coleman
Sigur Rós
Godspeed You Black Emperor!

Your opinion about the last musical year, 2002? How interesting it was for you?
We were in the process to find a second guitarist and a bassist, we formed that band called: Let the Indians scalp.

What do you think of Post-Rock & Experimental movement in 2002?
It's growing with band like Godspeed and Sigur Rós who have great crowds around the world I guess it helps ppl to open there minds on new things.

How many concerts you have played in 2002?

Have your band a website?
Not yet, we are working on it...

Do you have a favourite band to tour or to play gigs with again?
Right now is Le Cigare, a band from Montréal.

Does Le Cigare play also something experimental?
Their style blends really well with us, check 'em out: Le Cigare (you can dowload a free mp3).

Have you recorded a session for the BBC or De Avonden/VPRO radio?

Did you do any session for anyone else?

Do you like albums by Radiohead and Sigur Rós?
A lot Sigur Rós, Radiohead just a bit.

If you could spend one hour to record a session with either Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Hood, Clogs, Beans, Do Make Say Think, Explosions In The Sky, La Monte Young, Miriodor, Spaced Out, or Rush, who would you choose?
I would say Sigur Rós.

Are you involved in any other band or project?

Which musical style, direction, composer, band is important for you at present?
Dynamic ambient rock and experimental music.

Let The Indians Scalp

May 12th, 18th, 2003.

Brian Dawson   Mike Hampton   Jarrod Feintuch  of «Sublux»

Where and when were you born?
Brian: I was born in West Chester Pennsylvania (a small town outside of Philadelphia) on April 1, 1972.
Mike: The band was conceived in the winter of 2001, Baltimore, USA. I was conceived in the front seat of a pea-green datsun pickup somewhere in Carson City, Nevada during the summer of 1975.

Brian: I currently live in Lutherville, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore.

Do you remember how you first got into music?
Brian: Music was always a big part of the daily routine in my home growing up. My mother was always listening to music and I think this where I developed my love for it. By the time I was teenager, I thought that music was something that I wanted to do. I began playing Bass. I was in several different bands from the time I was 15 until we started Sublux ranging from Hardcore Punk Rock to Surf. However, I really never thought that any of those bands were truly expressing what I wanted to say. It took until the formation of Sublux for me to find my true inspiration.
Mike: My father started me off with listening to Beethoven and The Doors through headphones that literally were the size of my head.

Your musical background?
Brian: I began playing as a completely self taught bassist. I learned from books and by listening to other musicians. When I went to college I studied theory, took lessons on bass and piano and played bass in two of the jazz ensembles at the school.

Can you tell me the history of your band? It must be interesting.
Well, I wouldn't describe the task of forming a band as "interesting." Frankly, the whole process of searching for musicians with similar goals and ideals is quite tedious. I met Greg Scelsi (Bass) through an add that he had posted on a local musicians website called "". He had listed several influences and made some comments that intrigued me, so I responded. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks until we finally met some other people to play with. Unfortunately, the singer and the electronic musician we first played with did not work out, so we continued our search. Somehow, and my memory is not completely accurate on this, Greg met Mike (drums). I think Mike answered Greg's add on and the three of starting writing songs. Soon thereafter, Jarrod (Guitar and Vocals) answered and add that Greg had posted on seeking a keyboard player. Jarrod was interested in what we were doing in spite of the fact that we were not really looking for another guitar player. We invited him to audition and were completely impressed with his guitar work and one more piece of the band was put into place. After several auditions for a singer, we settled on Rob Westerman. After 8 months, Rob decided that he would rather pursue a project with more straight forward rock roots and left the band. Again, we were left to audition singers. For three months we searched in vain until one practice Jarrod said that he wanted to try singing. Finally all the pieces were in place.

How long was the way from the idea to form a band to make the first recordings?
It took us about 9 months to make our first recording. That recording was never released. Rob, the singer at the time, quit the band in the middle of the recording process and never laid the vocal tracks and it was to until many months later that Jarrod stepped to sing. However, the instrumental parts to "Memory of Rain" were recorded during this first session. It was about a year from the first recording until we recorded "Nothing that is Still."

What means Sublux? Is this a compound word?
A Subluxation is a dislocated joint. It is a compound word with the latin prefix "sub."

Your music sounds very good arranged. What musical background is for other musicians of Sublux?
Thank you for the compliment. Jarrod had formal training as a guitarist from a local jazz legend by the name of Carl Filipiak. Greg is self-taught and honestly, I do not know what kind of training Mike has had.

Influences. Anything special? Classical music, post-rock movement, progressive-rock (Yes, IQ, Porcupine Tree)?
Brian: I have certainly been influenced by the post-rock movement. I like the sounds and arrangements of post rockers like Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. However, I've always felt that those bands are bewildering to some and at times, the lenghth and repetitive nature of "post rock" pieces can become tedious. So I have taken what I like about post-rock and tried to arrange the music into more manageable and thus more listenable arrangements. Some of the arranging that I do is based on a rock format: intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. However, if you listen to the album critically, you will see that we vary from this format frequently by implementing more classical structures. For example, "dirty wall, lonely plates" is a cannon, "smallest step" is structured as a first movement of a symphony: Theme 1, Theme 2, variation on Theme 1, as is "ghost of the trench" and "bargaining with god." "Memory of rain" is probably the song that most resembles a rock format and "the clear" most resembles a post rock arrangement.
Mike: The other members of Sublux and our experience together are the factors most directly influencing my contributions to the songwriting process.

Your music is too close to Sigur Rós. What can you say to anybody who will call you as the clone band of Sigur Rós?
Brian: An interesting quirk about the human mind is the way that it tries to put every new experience into a category of previous experiences. Generally this little quirk is a good thing because it enables us to recognize, react to and interpret the world around us. Unfortunately too many people become lazy and refuse to recognize the differences between new experiences and experiences that they have already categorized and catalogued. With this in mind, I would say the following to a person who thinks we sound too much like Sigur Rós. First, it would be foolish of me to try and deny that there are similarities or that we have been influenced by Sigur Rós. However, it bewilders me that anyone would call us a "clone" of Sigur Rós. The critical listener will hear the obvious differences between what we do and what they do. Our songs are arranged uniquely, the sounds that we create are different and we are simply more aggressive in our style than Sigur Rós. I would ask that person to open their ears and listen. If that didn't work I would point out to them that all music is derivative. Sigur Rós does many things that bands before them have done (Jimmy Page and James Iha playing the guitar with a violin bow, My Bloody Valentine - the obvious inspiration for the vocals and music of Sigur Rós). While Sigur Rós is truly a great band, they too are derivative, as is every band that ever was. Beyond that, I would have to tell them to get over it, stop thinking so much and enjoy it!
Mike: Such a generalization is a disservice to Sigur Rós, Sublux, and the critic. Anyone who feels so may benefit from giving both bands' music a deeper listen.

On the other hand, your compositions are very professional. It is impossible to copy the style and structure of arrangements if you have all done with emotions and very lyrical expression. Did you have any lyrical idea before?
It is our modus operandi to begin with an instrumental idea rather than a lyrical idea. We have always approached our music as if the instruments were making the thought or emotion that we are trying to convey come to life. The lyrics help to convey the message of the music and therefore usually come after the instrumental composition is complete.

Sigur Rós and Sublux. Please do name the difference? No keyboards, more shorter album...
Brian: I think the answer to this question is adequately covered in my response to question before.
Mike: Aside from the singers' respective falsettos and the beyond-five-minute songs, I really don't feel like there is much in common between Sigur Rós and Sublux. Lyrically, compositionally, and substantively, I think we're from two different places, literally and figuratively... like comparing Baltimore to Reykjavik.

Did you meet Sigur Rós in Baltimore? Maybe you have sent your cd to their office?
Jarrod met some of the members of Sigur Rós on a tour stop in Washington D.C. We have not sent our cd to them or to their record label. Most labels will not accept unsolicited material. If they would like a copy, I would be happy to send them a cd and press kit.

What can you say about Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Explosions in the Sky and Clogs?
Brian: Ive never heard of Clogs. As for the rest, they are all great bands in the own unique ways. I enjoy listening to them and I am honored that Sublux is mentioned in the same sentence with them.
Mike: Though I have not heard Clogs, I think the other three are excellent bands. Each possesses a unique voice and occupies a significant niche in the contemporary rock cannon (for me, at least).

Can you imagine that Sublux in a days will be so popular or will become a cult band as Sigur Rós and your first album would be a first step to another high building?
Brian: Well, I can certainly imagine becoming successful with this band, but I do not believe that it is realistic to assume that it will happen. Each one of us works very hard at writing and performing the material as well as promoting the band, but it is a very difficult business in which to become successful. If, by chance, we ever do make it to the level of Sigur Rós, we will have the people who have supported us along the way to thank. People like you who have helped to spread the word about Sublux. Thank you for all that you have done. We appreciate all of your support, as we appreciate all of those people who have purchased our cd "Nothing That is Still" at shows or from "".
Mike: Popularity is inconsequential and unrealistic from where we are. Wouldn't everyone enjoy some element of rockstardom? Sure. We write music for ourselves and to share it with others. This isn't an issue of chasing carrots, but should one album lead to another, that would be swell.

Perhaps you do not like your debut album for all 100%. There are some not good places for vocals that sounds as alternative rock, in some places band sounds awkward. What do you wish to do better or otherwise?
Brian: We are always attempting to improve upon ourselves. Some of the songs recorded for "Nothing That is Still" have changed dramatically. We recognize that the album is not a perfect performance. It is very costly and time consuming to record an album so we did what we could with the money and time that we had available. I think people will be pleasantly surprised with the improvements made in our next effort. As for making distinctions between alternative rock and post-rock... Well, we don't write music to be post rock or alternative rock. If we approached our writing process as, "We must try to create post rock music," then we would be limiting ourselves and our expression. We strive to create good music. If it sounds like post rock, so be it, if it sounds like alternative rock, so be it.
Mike: We've all got our take on how things could be improved, though we don't necessarily agree on what those things are. As time passes, we have grown together, learning how to communicate more openly and honestly with one another. This will certainly have a positive reflection in the songs to come.

Do you have an idea to change the sound?
We are constantly striving to do different things, whether it is in sound, arrangements or moods. The material on our next recording will certainly be different from what we recorded before.

The production of Nothing that is Still was done by the band?
Yes, with the help of our friend Mike Potter.

Who engineered Asia, Clarissa, Djam Karet, Focus, Joe Higgings, Kopecky, Transatlantic, Uncle Gut. How hard it was?
Not too bad. We got along well in the studio and were productive. Out of respect for the minimum of resources (time, money, energy) we could dedicate to the recording, there wasn't really any other way to go. For me, it was a positive experience.

How did you arrange melodies for the voice? Have Jarrod a soprano voice? Something similar to Jonsi or Jon Anderson of Yes?
Jarrod is a tenor not a soprano. He sings in the upper register. Unlike Jonsi or Jon Anderson Jarrod does not wish to sing only in the upper register.

It's impossible to find more than two reviews on your debut album. Why so at all?
I guess we've only sent out so many albums for review.

Did you have any airplay on American or other radio stations.
Jarrod: We had airplay on WTMD 89.7 and the online radio network of XTSR. Both stations are out of the Towson University production facilities. We were also played on a progressive rock station out of North Carolina.
Mike: A number of online radio stations have hosted our music, including Delicious Agony, Drugmusic, and Headtones Radio. We've also been featured on "XM Satellite Radio".

How long are your performances?
Performances vary from club to club and event to event, but generally we play somewhere between 30 minutes and one hour with 45 minutes being the most common set time.

You have played with Dark Water Transit. I have heard 2 tracks by DWT on What's New in Baltimore sampler CD with Expose magazine. How they sounds right now?
They're awesome. Totally, rhythmically, sonically destructive.

When will be ready your second album?
We are shooting for middle of summer to release a new album. However, it is of paramount importance for us to create an album that is as close to perfection as we can get, so if it may take a little longer.

Can I hope to see the next album more complex?
Brian: Complexity is not something that I strive for. I attempt to write music that communicates an idea or feeling to an audience.
Mike: Certainly, you can. But we can't really say what the architecture will be like at this point in time.

Your opinion about the creative or post-rock/experimental musical movement in the USA?
Brian: It's growing and gaining momentum.

Which of bands Godspeed You Black Emporer or A Silver Mt. Zion do you rate higher?
Brian: Rating bands is kind of a fruitless enterprise. It makes the whole business seem like a sporting event where there is a winner and a loser. How can there be a winner or a loser in a creative endeavor such as making music?
Mike: I haven't given much time to A Silver Mt. Zion, but I do like GYBE quite a bit.

What was the last album you listened to?
Brian: While I am completing this interview, I am listening to So I Had To "Live at the Penthouse 12/07/02" Baltimore's best pure post rock outfit! Check them out.
Mike: I am currently listening to "Tago Mago" by Can.
Jarrod: Air, "Talkie Walkie".

10 your favorite bands of all time:
Brian: This is an impossible task. I like so many bands and so many different types of music from so many era's that I could never distill them down to 10 that I think are better than the rest.
Led Zeppelin
Clifford Brown/Max Roach
Faith No More
The Beatles
Smashing Pumpkins
Miles Davis Sextet (c.1959)
Van Halen (DLR years)
Kronos Quartet

The Beatles
Depeche Mode
Explosions In The Sky
Sigor Rós

Have you recorded a session for the BBC or De Avonden/VPRO radio?

Did you do any session for anyone else?

If you could spend one hour to record a session with either yes, Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Mogwai, Hood, Early Day Miners, Beans, Do Make Say Think, Explosions In The Sky, who would you choose?
Brian: Mogwai: Simply for the history.
Mike: Gosh. I think it would be fun to spend an hour with Godspeed since there are so many of them. And, they're Canadian. We could make glorious noise and snag some discounted prescription drugs.
Jarrod: Sigur Rós.

Which musical style, direction, composer, band is important for you at the present?
Brian: Jarrod, Mike and Greg of Sublux.
Mike: Recently, I've been listening to pretty heavy doses of Górecki, Astor Piazzolla, Grandaddy, Isis, and Grails.
Jarrod: I look highly upon Blur right now. The arrangements on "Think Tank" are sheerly Brilliant.

Sublux    Sublux    Sublux EP

February, 15th, 2004.


Robert W Toher - Guitar, Vocals
Ryan M Todd - Bass, Synthesizer
Ezer Lichtenstein - Drums, Electronic Percussion
Aaron Piccirillo - Guitar, Baritone Guitar
Michael Gundlach - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Matthew Wick - Auxiliary Drums, Percussion

Where and when were you born?
We are mostly from New England. One of our members is from the state of Virginia. We were all born between 1980 and 1983, so we're in our early twenties.

Most of us met in Newtown, Connecticut – A small town where we attended High School. However, the band didn't really begin until our college years.

Do you remember how you first got into music?
Each member has been interested in music as long as he can remember. We have each been exposed to playing musical instruments as early as elementary school.

Your musical background?
Collectively, the six of us had started playing our respective instruments, really, as a sort of hobby. It's not something that we came to do for any particular reason other than the pure interest in it. As we have grown and matured, so have our tastes and aspirations as musicians.

Can you tell me the history of your band? It must be interesting because "Apse" is still an unknown and undiscovered band.
Robert Toher and Ryan Todd formed the band in the fall of 1999 – our first year at college – and we quickly added Ezer Lichtenstein – a third member. It is now the late winter of 2005, and we have six members, in order of inclusion, there was Aaron Piccirillo, Mike Gundlach, and now Matt Wick. All of our releases to-date have been self produced and the majority of our live performances have existed on a very DIY level.

How long did it take to record your first album?
About a year. We formed the band in the fall of 1999, and the first recording came out in the early winter of 2001. It took us a while to establish the sound that we wanted at that point – and since then, it has been in constant flux.

What does "Apse" mean?
Two definitions:
1. a domed or vaulted recess or projection on a building especially the east end of a church; usually contains the altar [syn: apsis]
2. A reliquary, or case in which the relics of saints were kept. However, it can also mean other things, as well.
Essentially, we have always used it as a reference to the place, architecturally, that is left for the altar, the focal point of a church or cathedral – but not the altar itself.

In the 70's, when the internet didn't exist, there was the Short Wave and MW radio, the standard for many people. Fate-music groups were the most prominent of the past century: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield, Led Zeppelin, etc. What groups are standards for you?
That's hard to say, actually. Many of the bands we listen to, respectively, are contemporaries of ours, as well as bands from the later half of the 20th century. While we are up-to-date with what's been going on in music today, we also draw influences from bands of an earlier era, such as, Can, Faust, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, Brain Eno, David Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. There is a wide range of influence, from Classical, to early Electronic Music, to Punk, etc – spanning a number of different time-periods and genres.

You use arrangements of symphonic music with the dynamics of fate-music. What composer of classical music gave you inspiration, as to decide events and to field-test sounds?
Though it is not prevalent in our music, some of us do draw inspiration from such composers as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Logically, that compares you to Bark Psychosis, Sigur Rós, Explosions In The Sky, Piano Magic, Timonium or Sublux. And it is not bad, that is why that this is the high level of ideas. What needs to be done, to attain a Sigur Rós, Mogwai or GYBE level?
While we are interested in attaining a level that is comparable to those artists, we are not attempting to resolve the same musical ideas and aesthetics of those bands. We have always been about exploring many different musical avenues, and while some of our music may be seen as similar to that of our contemporaries – we're really out to touch on something of our own.

What would you consider to be the style of music that you play?
Our music isn't really identifiable as any sort of 'style' so to speak, and a lot of bands would tell you that. We often get looped in with 'post rock' as well as 'experimental', 'ambient', 'indie' etc. We started developing musical ideas before any of us had listened to the other bands that people might compare us to. Apse has always been changing. We like to explore different aesthetics, emotions, arrangements, etc. Our next album could sound completely different from what we're doing right now, and while there will always be elements of other eras in forthcoming material, we aren't interested in trying to create one particular style of music. I think we all would agree that, in a way, that would limit us, creatively. When we're writing new music, we're going to work with the musical ideas that we want to explore at that time. Rather than developing a particular 'sound' that is stylized and easily recognizable, we seem to apply a set of standards and our own process to different kinds of music.

How complete would you say your style is now? Do you expect a large evolution / revolution in the future of your music?
We don't plan on what's going to happen next. All of us have ideas as to what we would like to explore with new material, and though we have certain priorities, we don't subscribe to any kind of musical itinerary that would determine the future work of the band.

I trust that you are there already aware of Icelandic Stafrænn Håkon, and Efterklang from Denmark... they are wonderful! It would seem to me that it is necessary to enjoy oneself, and to have a goal... an achievement in mind. What future do you provide for yourself?
We haven't yet heard any of those bands/musicians – but they sound wonderful! We're just trying to take things one step at a time... practice, write, play shows, record, release, tour, repeat. It is a very slow process, but I suppose that the release of an album and the subsequent tour are the ultimate goal.

What are your day jobs? Music?
We all have extremely different occupations, ranging from subway-train inspector to teacher. But creating music is definitely a very important part of our daily lives, collectively.

Your music sounds very well arranged. What is the musical background/training for the musicians in "Apse"?
Aside from Ezer, our senior drummer, none of us have received any prolonged formal training with a particular instrument.

Influences. Anything special? Classical/minimal music, post-rock movement, progressive-rock, ambient?
As mentioned before, there are six of us in the band, so as you can imagine our range of influence is quite broad. The genres you mentioned would certainly be a part of our driving force.

I can ask to you the same question as Sublux , because your and Sublux's interviews were conducted after hearing only some MP3s. Perhaps your music is too close to Sigur Rós. What can you say to anybody who will call you as the clone band of Sigur Rós?
Actually, I don't think that any of us believe in a direct similarity between our music and the music of Sigur Rós. While we may respect them as musicians, we have never really drawn any inspiration from them. Their music is often slow, very ambient and monochromatic – our music tends to address layering, texture, and quick changes. Apse is always evolving, and we have never really stuck to any one particular kind of musical style or idea.

On the other hand, your compositions are very professional. It is impossible to copy the style and the structure of arrangements if you have all done with emotion and lyrical expression. Did you hear the album "Nothing That Is Still" by Sublux?
Thank you very much! I don't think any of us have heard Sublux, but maybe we might like to!

Sigur Rós and "Apse". Please do name the difference?
Again, Sigur Rós seem to be focused more on deep, slow-moving, atmospheric compositions. If you listen to the release on Acuarela Discos, it is evident that Apse is about combining many different musical perspectives. Lyrically, the album addresses very specific themes, much different to the properties in Sigur Rós' music.

Did you meet Sigur Rós in Connecticut? Have you have sent your CD to their office or to any other label?
Only two of us have seen them in concert, and none of us have met them. In fact, I think that about half of the band has never really listened to them!

What can you say about Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Explosions In The Sky or Clogs?
We are not yet familiar with Clogs. As for the other three, we respect them as musicians. Those bands are great, but its probably safe to say that we're more excited and interested in some of the other projects related to these groups.

Maybe you have heard the newest album "Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And The Sun Shined" by Mono and "La Luna de Negra" by The Autumn Project? Both are conceptual and monumentally, even classic as "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" by Explosions In The Sky and ""This Is Our Punk-rock", Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing" by The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band With Choir in a 2003 year. Is it possible to write Apse alongside those names?
We definitely aspire to be recognized at the level of those musicians, someday. Mono is a great band – we played with them in October of 2004, and their performance was inspirational.

What albums have you purchased this year?
If we count all of 2004 as well, some albums that stand out are: Tarentel "We Move Through Weather", M83 "DeadCities,RedSeas&LostGhosts", Faust "IV", The Secret Chiefs 3 "Book of Horizons", Bohren & Der Club of Gore "Black Earth", Glifted "Under and In ", Make Believe "s/t", Zombi "Cosmos", The Dead Texan "s/t", Air "Talkie Walkie".

And what purchases have you come to regret?
Regret is a pretty strong word, but perhaps we expected a little bit more from the following albums: Mogwai "Happy Songs for Happy People", Adult. "Anxiety Always", Frank Black "Teenager of the Year", The Tear Garden "To be an Angel Blind, the Cripple Soul Divide", Pelican "Australasia".

There is the point of view, that Mogwai's most radical album was the first "Young Team". To you, how will they develop and will the newer material be revolutionary? What would you say about this and Sigur Rós?
This is Robert, and, personally I think that Mogwai's best album was "Ten Rapid". While "Young Team" is strong – "Ten Rapid" has much more interesting qualities, to me. There is something about the way the recording sounds – the overall tone of it. It has a very indirect, lo-fi feel to it, overall. In addition, within the songwriting itself, there is an element that touches on the naive... a casual naturalness to the way that things happen. These two attributes give it an effect that, as a whole, sounds much more sincere to me. As for Mogwai's future albums? We don't know what to expect from them next. Their albums are beginning to have greater differences from one to the next – which wasn't as prominent before. This is probably good. As for Sigur Rós, again, we wouldn't be able to say what we would expect from them either. These are two, very strong groups, and though we are attentive to some of the ideas that they explore in their music, we're not too concerned about what is going to come from them, down the road. It is good to purchase recordings by bands like these, if not for pleasure – for reference. You can learn a lot, just by keeping track of how they do things, which steps they take, etc.

What group seems to you unattainable?
That is a tough question. I think that the bands that we respect and admire don't really exist on an unattainable level. I suppose one could get away with saying Radiohead as a simple response...

How long will it take until you are considered a valuable group and a brand?
We're confident that with the international release on Acuarela, we will be pushed a bit further into the public eye. It will certainly take some time for us attain the level which we desire, but we're working on it.

How did you reach the agreement with Acuarela Records?
In the fall of 2003, Ezer and Robert compiled an alphabetical list of labels, both U.S. and foreign, and sent out 80 unsolicited, 1-song demos. Some of them were sent to labels that we were very aware of – and we'd enjoyed a lot of the bands that they were supporting. Others, we had never heard of before. We'd been making music as a band for over four years, and we thought it was long overdue for us to begin sending out material. In early November of that year, we got a very positive response from Acuarela, asking for us to send them more music. They were excited about the pieces that we continued to send, and soon enough, asked us to record an LP and an EP, to be released internationally on Acuarela Discos. We were thrilled. In over a year's correspondence, we are now putting out our first substantial release on the label, due out in coming months. I might add that, they have been absolutely wonderful to us, and we're all very thankful for them.

Did you hear any of Spanish bands like Migala, Emak Bakia, Manta Ray, Mus, Sr. Chinarro?
I've heard a lot of Migala, and I have enjoyed it. Coque, of Migala, mastered our forthcoming album, on Acuarela.

And why did you choose Acuarela, instead of any label from the USA?
Honestly, because none of the U.S. labels that we sent material to really responded that well to our music. Most labels didn't respond at all, and most that did, weren't excited about it. In one case, we got a response that said "we listened to all three of your tracks. It was alright." – The funny part being, we had only sent them one track, one song, which is three different parts – as in our music, there are often abrupt changes within a given song. In addition, Acuarela sent a very spirited response, and when we began talking to them more, they seemed so passionate about what we were doing, we stopped sending out demos altogether, and decided to work with them exclusively, at least for now.

Will you be releasing any EP's, variants, or limited editions for collectors as Porcupine Tree do?
We're not sure at the moment. However, we would like for a U.S. label to pick up and distribute our forthcoming album, and when it comes out on Acuarela we expect to send copies of it to our favored labels, in hopes to have it released here, on a larger scale than with Acuarela. If we release anything besides our self-titled EP, it would most likely be self-released and available on our website and at performances, as we have always had them in the past. We don't know if we want to do any singles from this record, release demos/outtakes/remixes, etc. At this point, all options are on the table.

Have you heard anything about Porcupine Tree?
Ezer has some of his albums, but I don't think the rest of us have heard much.

Have you ever heard Univers Zero? Many critics consider Univers Zéro (also Present) as the most prominent group in the history of avant-progressive/chamber-rock music. What do you think?
A friend of mine let me borrow a Univers Zero record, which I enjoyed. I couldn't really say if I consider them to be the most prominent or important. I think that there are other important progressive acts that have been out there, one of my favorites being Soft Machine. But, I'm not as up-to-date on that stuff as some friends of mine, so I couldn't say.

Maybe you have heard an album Codename: Dustsucker, the second studio album by Bark Psychosis?
We're not yet familiar with the music of Bark Psychosis, but after all these questions we are encouraged to check them out!

Your arrangements for Dornier seem near to those of Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis. Is this true? Or this is merely coincidence?
None of us had heard of these bands when "Dornier" was written and recorded, so any similarities between "Dornier" and the songs of those bands would be purely coincidental.

When a piece of music becomes long, do you write it out on paper?
We have actually written down changes in songs so that we will remember them later, but we mostly rely on our memory from practice to practice.

How did you include samples? After the track is written?
We do include samples in our live performance, but many of the underlying sounds you hear on our albums were probably recorded on the spot. They range from found sounds to digitally manipulated loops.

Do you get any airplay on American or other radio stations?
We have had some plays on college radio stations on the eastern coast of the United States and Canada. The vast majority of our albums have been self-released, so with the release of our CD on Acuarela Discos, we will probably receive airplay on a national collegiate level.

How long are your performances?
Typically, we play for about 30-35 minutes because we often share shows with at least three other bands. Ultimately, we would like to expand our live performance to an hour or so. Our songs could be played collectively as a single piece, but we have yet to fully explore that avenue of live performance.

Your opinion about creative or post-rock/experimental musical movement in the USA?
There is currently a lot of music to be excited about in the United States, but some of us would like to see more variation amongst the kinds of bands that are getting recognized. If groups would only cut free from their influences a bit more, I think the "post-rock/experimental musical movement" would be a little more interesting for everyone.

Which of bands Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A Silver Mt Zion do you rate higher?
Haha, Do Make Say Think and Fly Pan Am!

What was the last album you listened to?
Beck "Mellow Gold"

10 your favorite bands of all time?
A "top ten" list will vary greatly from member to member... but ten bands we can all agree on would look something like this:

The Cure
Joy Division
The Beatles
Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Miles Davis

If you could spend one hour to record a session with either Yes, Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Bark Psychosis, Mono, Mike Oldfield, Do Make Say Think, Explosions In The Sky, Nels Cline, who would you choose?
I think either Do Make Say Think or Mono would be the most fun to collaborate with. I have no idea what an hour-long Apse + Do Make Say Think session would sound like (4 drummers?), but hell... it would probably be fun.

Maybe in the last week, you have heard an album or song by Talk Talk, Bark Psychosis, Clogs, Stafrænn Håkon, Efterklang or Sublux?
Ezer is actually familiar with Bark Psychosis and Sublux. We accidentally answered that question without consulting him. As for Talk Talk, some of us are familiar with "Spirit of Eden". I think the earlier tracks on that album are great, and they took a while to sink in, which is always good.

Apse    Apse    Acuarela Discos

March 2nd, 8th, 2005.

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Updated on December 25th, 2007.