INTERVIEW BY: MEG
Your sound falls into genres such as math rock and Midwest emo. Who are some of your primary influences in those genres?
Tim (guitar): As far as midwest emo goes… for me personally, I would say older emo bands like Mineral, Boys Life and Christie Front Drive. Those would be my influences as far as a midwest emo sound goes. American Football, of course, with their trickery and noodling on the guitars. The other guys in the band are more on the heavier side of things, as far as what they listen too. They’re both American Football fans as well, but they listen to everything and I think we all connect well with each other because we all listen to the same kind of music and gather similar influences from all the bands that we listen to.
You recently released your new EP “Adirondack.” Were the influences for this EP the same as those for your debut EP “Value To Survival,” or were you influenced by different bands/artists this time around?
Tim: I’d say that we were still influenced by the same bands. I think the only difference between the two was that the influences were finally shining through in these newer recordings, whereas with the songs on “Value To Survival,” it was kind of different. I remember a lot more people thought we had a progressive rock sound with “Value To Survival,” and I don’t know how to feel about that. We’d get lumped in with “swancore” bands, and we like those bands, but I wouldn’t consider them primary influences to how we write. The influences are easily detectable now compared to the first EP.
How would you compare the writing process for this EP to that of “Value To Survival”? Did you learn anything from creating that EP that helped you when you started working on this one?
Tim: The writing process was about the same. The way that we go about the writing process is I’ll write something on the guitar first and present it to the other guys, and we just kind of dissect it more if needed. If not, they add their own thing to it. Whatever I present initially isn’t the final version. Presenting something that I write on guitar is how we move forward, a lot of the time, because we aren’t able to get together to practice that much. If we were to wait until we got together to practice to write songs, it would be a while before we came out with any new recordings. As far as what we learned from the first EP going into this one… with the first EP we tracked everything separately. I would do guitars by myself, drums would do their thing by themselves, and so forth. This time, we just decided to play everything live just because it’s faster and we connect so well musically. It’s not like we would screw up at any point if we were to play it live. So, we just went that route and it was probably for the best, because we got everything done within one day, whereas with “Value To Survival,” it was a month-long process tracking everything separately.
You’ve said that “Adirondack” focuses on various elements of nature and how that impacts the world. What elements of nature in particular inspired this EP?
Tim: Forests, trees, lakes… things of that style. I’ve gone a lot of long walks during this pandemic since I wasn’t going to step foot in a gym for obvious reasons, and there’s something about nature in general that’s just really calming and serene. I feel like that reflects with these songs, because it’s almost like a meditation of sorts, just clearing your head, thinking things through, and letting go. There’s just something calming about being around different trees and seeing the mountains. It just has a really calming effect and it shows in these songs, to a degree.
How do the songs on this EP execute this theme, and what song would you say is the best example of this?
Tim: I would say “Trails” would be the best example of that, just because of the way that the music itself is presented. It’s like we’re kind of maneuvering, to a certain degree, from Point A to Point B. That song kind of reflects the “walking in nature” element of it. It feels like a maze of sorts, in some way. I’d say the song titles themselves are very present in my mind when writing the songs. I kind of viewed the EP more in a story form. You have trails, trying to get to where you need to go, lakes as part of the nature elements that you come across on that trail, and then cabins at the end of all of that… it kind of displays a certain sense of an ending or a completion.
You aim to convey feelings of hope through your music. In your opinion, what musical elements help convey this feeling well?
Tim: I would say the guitars, for sure, and I’m not just saying that because I’m the guitarist. Being a primarily instrumental band, I try to display some kind of emotion through the guitars, and I utilize a lot of the different effect pedals that I use, so there’s a lot of reverb and delay, and the overdrive parts display more anxiety-ridden parts of the human condition. Conveying that kind of happens naturally, and it’s cool that people are able to see it. When one of my friends heard us for the first time, he said that there was something about the music that was sad, but at the same time, hopeful, and I just kind of ran with that. All of the songs that I write are based off some kind of deep sadness, but also with an optimistic view of things so it’s not self-pity 24/7. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I think a lot of people forget about that whenever they’re going through different situations in life.
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speak, memory's latest ep, "adirondack," is available now. listen to it here: