Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Inquisition: 054.Brother/Ghost

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

W.S. Dowdy: We just liked the way the words sounded together. It was simple and distinctive. 

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

Colby Falkner James: We don’t really have a formula or standard procedure of how we write things. Sometimes Sterling or I will come in with a whole song written, and then we’ll adapt that to the rest of the band. Other times we’ll only have one riff, so we’ll jam on that for a while and see what comes out of it. One thing that is standard for us is that we’re very slow when it comes to the writing process. We usually have lots of unfinished ideas floating in the ether that we’ll come back to later on. We also very frequently just abandon a completed song if it doesn’t stick. We seriously wrote maybe 20-ish songs before we decided on the 7 that would become Buried. 
WSD: Generally someone just has a riff and a vibe and we go from there. Sometimes we jam but it seems that jamming just makes jam. 
3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?
WSD: Neil Young, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tears for Fears, Moby, Elvis’ gospel stuff, Earth, Scout Niblett, Jason Molina, The Cure I listen to a lot of electronic and pop music. Burial, Jamie XX, Caribou, Darkside, Kate Bush, Moby, The New Alabama Shakes is really great. I love the soundtrack to Only Lovers Left Alive. 
John Olds: My personal influences as far as drums are concerned are... Milemarker, Planes Mistaken for Stars, anything Ginger Baker has done, Windhand, anything Justin Frazier has recorded (Dolcim, Altar of Complaints) Abe Cunningham (Deftones), the guy from Alpinist, Michele (La Quite, Raein) James Lehner (Tristeza), Coady Willis (Murder City Devils, Big Business) and Billy Cobham. At home and work I've been listening to... Jane Doe by Converge, Across Tundras, Phoenix Bodies, the Beatles, the first Foo Fighters record, Nirvana, Hank Williams, Dorthia Cotrell’s solo album, Mulatu Aztatke, and the It Follows soundtrack. 
CFJ: I never know how to answer this question, because I could go on forever with this stuff. As you can see from the other answers, we listen to pretty much everything. I know that’s a total copout, but it’s the truth. We love everything from classic country to stoner rock to black metal to screamo to electronica to dance music to hip hop and on and on and on. I think on this album, the more heavy music and country/Americana influences are shining through, but we try to incorporate a lot of different styles in our songs. 

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

CFJ: This is an impossible question for me. I’m not even going to attempt to answer it.
WSD: Hmm...if i had to choose one... It would probably be Mount Eerie from The Microphones. It doesn't matter how many years I have known it for, it is always new and surprising when I hear it. 
JO: Seeing Means More Than Safety by Jerome’s Dream 

5. What's the first record you've ever bought?

CFJ: Man. A lot of radio butt-rock when I was in junior high (middle school). The first record that I bought that actually meant something to me was Full Collapse by Thursday, probably. I was 14 when it came out, and it let me down a lot of different roads to most of the music I listen to today. 
WSD: Savage Garden lol
JO: The Raw and the Cooked by Fine Young Cannibals 

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

CFJ: Chelsea Wolfe or Wovenhand
WSD: Deradoorian, Youth Lagoon, Perfume Genius
JO: Across Tundras from Nashville 

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

CFJ: Oh for sure. When our first record came out, we sent it to as many blogs as we could to try and gain some traction. We haven’t toured an awful lot, but we’ve managed to grow the fanbase we had pretty much entirely through the Internet and word of mouth. We had a fan from South Africa email us recently to let us know how much he loved our music. That was pretty amazing.
WSD: For sure. I'm stoked and surprised when anyone likes it. 
8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?
CFJ: Both I guess? We all use Bandcamp, iTunes, and some sort of streaming service (Sterling and I use Beats Music. John uses Spotify). I know a lot of musicians are really against Spotify and similar services, but that’s just the way the world is turning. It may not be ideal, but you have to adapt, I guess.
JO: I’m not sure if I’d say I support it, but it’s the way it is these days. One downside of the "pay what you want" thing is that it seems to devalue people's work. Musicians are so desperate to get their material out that they're willing to spend a lot of time and money on recording and then just give it away for a dollar...I'm not sure if this helps promote your band or what. I can't say that I don't use bandcamp or Spotify or sites like those... but if I find something that I like, I generally wait until that band comes into town or order their record. I try not to make a habit of just constantly streaming something I like. 

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

CFJ: Hopefully still doing this band! We’re hoping to make it to as many places as we can between now and then. Europe and Japan are definitely on our “have to do” list at this point.
JO: Cruising the USA on the motorcycle, drinking Cuba Libres in the pool, probably still delivering flowers for a living. I really want to start a podcast and meet Marc Maron...I don't see that happening. 

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

CFJ: I think so. Personally, I can’t stand it when a song is playing on my phone or my computer and I can’t correlate the music to some kind of visual representation.
WSD: Absolutely. A lot of the time an album cover decides whether I press play or not. 

11. What is you favorite album cover?

CFJ: Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

WSD: Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

CFJ: I honestly don’t know! Vinyl just looks and sounds better, in my opinion. A bunch of records together definitely look better than a bunch of CD’s and digging through vinyl at the record store just feels better. I sold all my CDs years ago, and I only buy them when there is no other option. For me it goes vinyl > digital > CD.
WSD: I love vinyl because I like it when packaging is beautiful, and with vinyl there is a lot more to work with. I love digital media because I am always listening to something and vinyl isn’t so good at being portable.
JO: I love vinyl. Have always been around it because my dad never got rid of his LPs and that spurred me on to start my own collection. To me, its just the most fun/rewarding way to listen to music. 

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

CFJ: Sterling is going to hate me for putting this story on the Internet, but I have to do it! We were in Lafayette, Louisiana on the last night of our first tour. Sterling was really bummed about having to go home and not be on the road anymore, and his guitar would just not cooperate with him during the first song. We were tearing into the climax of the song, and from the corner of my eye I see him flailing away in what I thought was just the song taking hold of him. What he was actually doing was ripping the strings out from the body of his guitar like a madman. Before I knew he was actually smashing the damn thing on the stage; shattering it into a hundred pieces. All I could do was just stare at him with my mouth agape. Sterling immediately got of the mic and proclaimed, “THIS GUITAR WON’T STAY IN TUNE!” He walked away and got out his backup and started tuning it. Some drunk redneck picked up the neck and started swinging it around like a club. I think we lost a few members of the audience. It was the most “rock-n-roll” thing I’ve ever been a part of.
WSD: Probably the bad ones. As much as that sucks. If not those than being in the studio. I really feel at home in the studio. I feel like anything could happen but not like in a live scary way. Your amp blows up on a stage, and it’s embarrassing, and you feel like you're gonna die. Your amp blows up while you are recording, and you have this rare and delicious texture that only could come from your amp breaking. You can hear that in the last seconds of "Harpies" Colby’s amp was burning up and we were so happy.
JO: Not with Brother/Ghost because i just joined this band a year ago. But Colby and me's old band, MANS. did a west coast tour with COUGAR DEN about 7 years ago and the mini-bus started having major issues in Tijuana, Mexico. That sucked. We drove all the way up the coast at like 35 mph cuz we couldn't get the thing outta 3rd gear. Needless to say we missed a lot of shows.

Brother/Ghost are going to release their amazing first full length album on June 15, 2015 on Shelsmusic and i.corrupt.records.

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