Mike: We attempted to create a record that we would like to listen to. I know this is a standard answer but is true. We took a great deal of time to develop a mood for each song. With our limited technical abilities and lack of understanding of how to properly record a record we were forced to contend with some frustrating evenings, but in the end I think it made for a better record. It will surely make for a much better record next time now that we have smoothed out a lot of the learning curve. I think you will see signs of this in the next solo release by Stephen and in the next NIS.
Stephen: It's been a learning experience for both of us, I think. Oftentimes we'd spend all of our energy trying to figure out the proper method to, say, send effects to be printed onto tape without using a 1/4" input jack on the vocal microphone with the set-up we were using... and after many frustrating delays of trial and error similar this one, the performances were sometimes prone to feeling somewhat stale. We tried our hardest to avoid this coming across in the music, and I think we'll do a better job of it on future recordings we make together.
Scene Point Blank: Since New Idea Society is closer to solo Stephen Brodsky than any of your other projects, do you ever wonder which project you should use a song for?
Stephen: My role in this band is to mutate songs that Mike writes. These tunes are like his little Gremlins, and then I come along and feed them all after midnight.
Scene Point Blank: Now that Cave In is on hiatus, what are your plans for the year? Will we see a bit more of touring from New Idea Society or will you be doing a new solo record?
Stephen: Cave In is in the process of compiling together a disc of some tunes we recorded in 2004 for a summer of 2005 release on Hydra Head... and to kill some boredom, I have assembled a new band to play a bunch of songs that I have been working on in the past year or so. These songs were originally going to be on a solo record, but I have changed my mind to instead create a new band altogether. I already have some amazing players and all we need is a decent name for the group.
Scene Point Blank: John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney vs. George Harrison - citing examples, which wrote the better songs?
Mike: Near as I can all tell they were in a band together... as for solo albums I think "All Things Must Pass" by George is my favorite.
Stephen: Hah hah. I love this argument. Here's the catch - they all did it together. "Dear Prudence" could be the finest Beatles song ever written, and it was ultimately John's, but then Paul lays down the brilliant thumping bass line on the 2nd verse... he might have even played drums on that particular one. What I'm getting at here is that the songs written by the individual members were oftentimes great on their own, but then it was the additional elements provided by the other three members that made their songs AMAZING.
Scene Point Blank: If you could collaborate on a project with one person, who would you choose?
Mike: Well I am going to say Brian Eno (although I am afraid Stephen is going to say the same thing and this will make for a boring answer). I find his approach to songs so stunning. His ability to string together such long strands of thought makes me dizzy. It is like committing a novel to music. The mood and sounds are so inter-twined. His albums can be so concise and conceptually perfect yet also be nice to listen to casually. Dozens of listens will produce dozens of discoveries.
Stephen: Brian Eno, hands down. Last summer, a good friend of mine who works at Caroline sent to me the reissues of his four solo albums as a gift, and these albums became the sound of my day. He is a master at adding very human ingredients to a song, so that one day you'll dreamily be humming along with the fuzzy keyboard line heard in a song's chorus, but then as you wait impatiently in line at the grocery store later in the day, you're head will not only be stuck in that very same part of the song... but you'll be drumming along to the clicky percussion noises in that chorus instead. He provides all kinds of focus points to the listener in his music that neither intrudes nor distracts one from the actual listening experience. This allows for the opportunity to gain multiple sensations or feelings from the music, depending upon one's environment or one's mood.
Scene Point Blank's review of You are Awake or Asleep can be found here.
Interview by Shane.
Layout by Michael.