Greg: I can tell that the whole reason that I started playing bass is that I walked in on a band that was playing â??Watermelon Manâ? by Herbie Hancock. The bassline of that song is one of the most driving, amazing basslines ever written. So for me, that song is definitely what got me started playing bass. Since then, my musical tastes have developed. I grew up listening to a lot of progressive rock like Rush and Yes. So I could go through quite a few albums there, but that was the song that started it all.
Josh: Yah, it's hard to even figure it out. My dad was a hippie and I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and music like that since the time I was born. So I always totally liked that stuff. And then I got into punk when I was about eleven. After that I got into Joy Division and Sonic Youth. Around that time I started playing in bands, and my first bands sounded like Sonic Youth and stuff like that. Then I heard Ministry when I was fourteen or something. And I worked in a record store for six years, so I just listened to everything.
Scene Point Blank: The band is from Los Angeles, which is a hectic and bustling city. What do you guys do to relax in your spare time?
Greg: I don't have spare time at all because I work a full time. That combined with this band really doesn't leave much time, and I do freelance work on the side too. We all like to go out and hang out. We have a really great group of friends we can act like fools around. And I think that's our way of relieving stress. I think for all of us, and I'll let Josh speak for himself, we all have a lot going on so there's not a whole lot of time.
Josh: Yeah. When we're all together, we go hiking or to the bar. But I'm always working an insane amount on everything between graphic design, videos, this band, and Neurosis.
Greg: To say really quickly, for me, and I hope it is this way for everyone, going to practice is actually one of those times. For us, writing is how we deal with the rest of what is going on. It's an outlet of all of us and I hope it always is. I think when it stops being that way, the music probably won't be worth listening to. Haha. I know that's why we ended up playing together - just to deal with that stuff. It's not like any of us have a choice. I think we all need to pick up our instruments otherwise we'd go a bit crazy.
Scene Point Blank: Getting back to the band thing. We talked about the new songs earlier. Are there any plans to record those songs in the near future?
Josh: Yeah, we're going to record in early January/February. We're trying to figure out who we want to record it right now. There will be another record out, roughly five or six months after that. We have a couple of splits coming out as well. A split with Gregor Samsa on Robotic Empire on vinyl. It's a new song, well a newer song. It's actually on the Japanese import of the LP. Then we're doing a new song that will be on a split with Grails, who are on Neurot, and that will be on Robotic Empire on vinyl.
At this time a young gentleman walks by spouting the following: "I fucking hate my neighbors. I'm gonna burn their fucking house down. I don't fucking care. Fuck them". We all look at each other and laugh.
Josh: Are you gonna put that in there?
Scene Point Blank: Definitely. Haha.
Scene Point Blank: So the band hasn't done much touring. You've played a few off shows here and there up until now. What can you tell us about the experiences thus far?
Greg: We've done a good amount of shows. We flew down for South by Southwest. We spent some time with The Dillinger Escape Plan, it wasn't a tour, but it was our first group of shows. Recently we did a week up to San Francisco to play with Neurosis, so we did a bunch of shows there.
Josh: We did a tour of Europe and England. But this is our first full US tour.
Scene Point Blank: How were things in Europe?
Josh: Awesome, It was crazy. Our record had been out for three weeks and the turnouts were awesome.
Greg: We knew that there would be people there that would check us out because of the other bands, but we had no idea what to expect. The response was really great. And I think we're all really excited to go back there and plan to do so real soon.
Scene Point Blank: Another non-band question. I'm always interested in knowing what others have been listening to as of late. So what's in your CD players?
Greg: Umm, I'm gonna let him answer because I need to remember.
Josh: In the van, we've been listening to Mastodon, Converge, Witchcraft. Cliff loves Witchcraft. The new Low record is awesome.
Greg: I've been listening to the latest Grails record. I think it's one of the best records recorded ever. I'm a big fan of Animal Collective, I've been listening to them a lot.
Josh: Black Keys.
Greg: Black Keys yah. That's been a big band for us lately too. So kind of all over the board. Dead Meadow, I love their new record. We would listen to a lot of Made Out of Babies stuff, but we just feel that they're not a very good looking band. We really don't want to be associated with people who don't tend to their own personal maintenance.
Josh: You gotta put that in there. We're having a little press war with them.
Scene Point Blank: Interesting. How did this press war start?
Josh: We're on the same label and we're friends. The [San Francisco] Bay Guardian did a huge article on a would-be grudge match / cage match between the two bands. It's awesome. There is a link on our website, you should check it out. They make fun of both of us and say that we're at war each other. ( Click Here For Said Article )
Greg: So yeah, they got us good last time and it's our turn now. But I really do want to stress that they all smell very badly. As good as their music is, you don't want to get too close to them as people.
Scene Point Blank: Since we're talking press. There has been a lot of positive press, some of it from larger publications, about the album. Are you surprised by how well the album is being received?
Josh: It's all unexpected and we're just happy that it has gone this well so far. And hopefully more people will be exposed and get a chance to listen.
Scene Point Blank: So the band will be finishing up this tour soon, and you mentioned the recording of new material early next year. Is there anything else that you guys have on the table, Red Sparowes or yourselves in general?
Josh: I just finished new videos for The Dillinger Escape Plan and Underoath. They both debut this past week. I'm trying to coerce Mastodon into letting me do their next video. We just played with them in Salt Lake City and they're awesome guys. Neurosis is writing their next record. The guys in Isis are writing their next record. We are too. Next year everything is going to be huge.
Greg: We're also playing CMJ in September on Saturday the 17th. Neurot and Robotic Empire are doing a split showcase. So that's going to be happening. It's going to be with Daughters, Kayo Dot, and The Enablers. I think primarily we're going to be focusing on writing. We're doing a split on Tarantulas Records with Darker My Love. We haven't even finished the song for that yet, so we have a bit of catching up to do. So yeah, we'll definitely be busy.
Scene Point Blank: Well it's been a pleasure. Thank you so much for doing this.
Josh and Greg: Thank you.
Scene Point Blank's review of At the Soundless Dawn can be found here.
Interview & Layout by Michael.
Images courtesy of Red Sparowes.