SUTROBATH PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 04 August 2009 21:16

1. Would you give us information about your new album?

The new CD, Aquatica, is really a concept record about struggling to keep your dreams alive. The image we wanted to convey was that of a person lost at sea, struggling to hold on. Below them, the ocean floor is littered with instruments of those who let go of the dream and 'slipped beneath the waves to the Great Below." Aquatica is the place where dreams go to die or hang on to be saved.

The record was started actually in 1999 with the recording of "Holiday", "Bitter" and "Beautiful Day". We recorded these tracks in a 24 track analog studio and originally intended to release them as an EP. When we decided to do the CD, we just thought they really fit thematically with what we wanted. One of the hidden tracks is a section from a 4-track recording Rob and I did with our producer, Staci Beavers, some 13 years ago. The remaining 11 tracks were started in the summer of 2000, with all tracking finished in February of 2001.

We did these tracks in digital format and we had unlimited tracks, which partly explains the time. Aquatica the song, for example, had some 80 tracks, of which we used about 3/4ths. If we wanted we could release a different version of all the tracks on the CD and there were many mini-battles over the direction each song was to take. In the end we decided to keep it more guitar-oriented with the more colorful elements toned down a tad. Mixing was all done with our same mix engineer and studio as the debut CD.

2. What are the differences from your previous CD?

The main difference is in the tracks and technology. The first CD is all analog and was done in 24 tracks, 13-15 of which were spent on the drums alone. On this CD, it was all recorded digitally and we had unlimited tracking. The first record was more of a commercial collection of material. Commercial acceptance was never even a glimmer on this record-we just wanted to say what we wanted as artists and if you like it-fine. If not, that's OK too. We wanted to explore the possibilities of the unlimited tracks. For one thing, it gave us all the room we wanted to create a more lush vocal bed. Also, we went entirely with a real string section for the strings, whereas the first record had string samples and patches. All in all, it was a much more difficult, complex and trying experience than the debut.

3. Even if your music is too mainstream for my ears, I still believe that your album is radio friendly. Any feedback from the media until now.

Yes. I sent off a ton of CDs for advance reviews-such as to you. The reviews we have been receiving have been overwhelmingly positive. The critics have said its fresh, innovative and well written and produced. This is, of course, good news to us as we were so deep into Aquatica that we really didn't know what we had.

As far as commercial, I don't think this record is commercial at all. It is just us, and was not tailored to any audience whatsoever. If a song hits, that's just a big bonus.

4. Have you contacted any Labels for better distribution of your music?

Not yet. 2 years ago we were contacted by Capital Records chief of A and R when the debut was out. He said he loved everything about it-the music, playing, production, etc. but that he 'Did not hear a Hit.' and he wanted to know if we had any more material. Unfortunately, all we had were some very scrappy demo/4 track stuff. Never trust that someone else will 'hear' the potential of a demo-most often they cannot. Anyway, we never heard back.

We would love a label that would support our work and help distribute, so if your a label, like the music, drop us a line!

.Since the CD is not officially released until May, we'll have to wait and see. We think we fit a specific niche and when the right person in the right label hears us, we'll hear about it.

5. Have you arranged any live shows to promote your album?

Yes. This summer we will be doing some acoustic shows in Seattle and the NorthWest. The full-On Sutrobath will tour if and when picked up by someone with the jack to support the tour. Right now, that would be just too expensive for us to finance ourselves-there's just too many musicians needed to pull off the CD, and we don't believe in doing anything half assed. We'd want to do a show rather than a collection of rock songs. We don't plan on doing a road show until it is properly supported and financed. Smaller acoustic shows let us showcase our songwriting and is a happy medium.

6. How hard is the situation for a new band in the music scene today?

The good thing about the scene today that, other than Rap, it's wide open. The nice thing about popular music/radio is that when one band makes it, 500,000 other bands follow that trend-they dress the same, wear their hair the same, D-tune their guitars the same, find singers who sing (imitate) the same, etc. If your true to YOUR vision, whatever that is, that leaves you in a very unique position-if you hit, you not only don't have 500,000 other sound-look alike bands, but you'll set the trend. If you don't, at least you didn't sell out.

The problem with being yourself, however, is that people want something safe, something comfortable that they can easily digest.

If Blue Elephants playing violins suddenly break, then every A/R person in the world is suddenly signing Blue Elephants. If you're a young band, you see this, you play violin, so you model yourself after this. But when Blue Elephants are suddenly not in vouge, you become a social leper-a has been-dated. Look at hair bands-they were dumped by the labels in droves when Grunge hit. Its really stupid, but you have got to be true to yourself and don't be afraid to look stupid, to be rejected again and again. The posers will go, but people who really love their art are in it for keeps, come acceptance or rejection.

Be true to yourself and screw what anybody else thinks. Were all influenced by someone. Use that passion and channel it. In time, you'll find your voice. Just keep passionate about what your doing. I think the business is much less open to financing and supporting new acts. Dreamworks is good about this, but most labels want a sure thing. That's good for them but ultimately hurts the market. There are thousands of bands that are a little off-center of the status quo who, if marketed to a wider audience, would hit. Just look at what's selling. Other that Rap and Hip-Hop, which is dime a dozen, there really isn't any real set trend. People are less likely to be categorized into one music sub-genre and seem more open minded to other sounds. I personally think that has something to do with the weakness of a lot of mainstream pop/rock acts in the songwriting dept-its more about sound and less about melody and craft. When you have both, such as a Nirvana, then BOOM! Its gangbusters. Anyway, that's my two cents...

 

 
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