Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Inquisition: 024.Pray For Sound

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

Well, I knew I wanted the band name to have some relation to my ear because of how much that stuff has affected my life. I couldn’t come up with something for months, but then one night I was listening to Steven Wilson’s Insurgentes and the song “Harmony Korine” came on. One of the lines in the first verse is: “Pray, for sound, to quiet the howling” and it just instantly stuck. I’m not a very religious person, but “Pray For Sound” perfectly shows the complete desperation I experienced to hear again.

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?

Not really. Every song has been written pretty differently. For Monophonic, I wrote the majority by recording riffs with my looper pedal and then came up with leads while the riffs repeated.For Dreamer, we did all kinds of stuff. Some of the songs we came up with while just jamming.  Conceiver, for example, was written just by jamming. For other songs, I came up with a “skeleton” and we improved on it from there as a band. Nick came up with the majority of Sleeper while playing with his looper. Chris came up with a skeleton for Sonder while laying down some guitar tracks at the studio. We all added our own parts on top. Day Bringer was written while Steve was jamming on a synth and we were all sitting around the studio.For some of our new, unreleased material, I’ve been opening up fresh, blank Pro Tools sessions, recording a part or two and then moving on. I plan to go back and develop some of the parts into full songs once I have about 50 of these sessions. I’ve also been playing around with a program called Guitar Pro to help with arrangements. With that, I can type in the sheet music for various parts I’ve come up and hear how the layers will sound without having to ever pick up my instrument.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

My influences are pretty eclectic. Music-wise I listen to just about everything. Lately I’ve been rocking Black Clouds, Gates, Thursday, Taylor Swift, Slipknot, Damien Rice, and Jakob.Some of my other favorites include: Between the Buried and Me, Brand New, Coheed and Cambria, Hammock, Manchester Orchestra, Moving Mountains, pg.lost, Pink Floyd, Russian Circles, and Stars of the Lid.I also draw influences from movies and nature/ the weather. At some point I’d like to write an album that is centered around the themes of a movie. Gotta find the right one though!

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

This is a tough question, but I’m going to go with The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky. That album pretty much completely changed how I listened to music. I finally realized music doesn’t necessarily have be technical to be great. There are so many simple layers on this album that come together to create beautiful melodies. Some runners up:Key by pg.lost, Colors by Between the Buried and Me, Deadwing by Porcupine Tree

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

Well this is going to be embarrassing… My grandmother bought me my first two CDs.  She got me a Hanson CD and a Spice Girls CD haha. The first album I personally bought with my own money was Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the 36 Chambers. I used to be quite the gangster.

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

There are SO many I’d love to share the stage with.  Some that initially popped in my head are Explosions in the Sky, Porcupine Tree, and Caspian. Explosions in the Sky because they’ve had such a huge influence on me and got me into the post-rock world. Porcupine Tree because I think Steven Wilson is a musical genius and I would hope some of that would somehow rub off on me if we were standing on the same stage haha. Caspian is probably the most well known post-rock band from our home town, so it’d be really fun to play with them too.

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?

Yes! Big time! Everyone that has posted about Pray For Sound has been extremely supportive and has gotten us the majority of our exposure, especially outside of the US. As far as being surprised about reaching a specific country…They all surprise me still.  It completely blows my mind that there are people halfway around the world, paying their hard-earned money to listen to our music.

8. Do you support the idea of Bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

Of course! Monophonic and 23:55 were both released as “pay-what-you-want” with no minimum.  We decided against doing it for Dreamer because we felt like we had proven ourselves, but we do still keep it pretty cheap though…Anyway, I think it’s a great way for new bands to get exposure. All of our music is on Spotify. We actually do pretty well on there…I don’t really understand all the negativity. It gives people a chance to check us out, and we make a few bucks off it every month.I’ve also seen plenty of our music being torrented. At this point, I really don’t mind that either. I’m more than happy to have people listen to our music and get to know us rather than just write us off because they didn’t want to pay. If Pray For Sound was my main source of income, some of these answers may be different. Either way though, I fully support the idea of pay-what-you-want and streaming services because it gives unknown bands a way to get some exposure.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

Certainly still making music for Pray For Sound. In the next 5 years I have some high hopes for the band. I’d like to accomplish the following: 2 full lengths, a couple US tours, a European tour, get some solid distribution and finally, get some placement/ licensing deals.

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

I think it’s extremely important. I’ve always been a huge fan of albums as a whole (rather than singles).  I think you can really tell a story with a full album and the artwork greatly enhances the experience. An album without artwork is an unfinished product in my opinion.

11. What is you favorite album cover?

Tool’s Lateralus artwork has always been a favorite of mine. The vinyl version is a picture disc too which just tops it off. I hate to mention them again, but I also really like All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone by Explosions In The Sky.  I love the way it looks like a painting.

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?

I don’t really notice a huge fidelity difference compared to high quality digital formats, but I think that’s why most people are buying vinyl now. The huge artwork is what does it for me. Plus there's a cool, raw quality to the sound. I personally enjoy the imperfections of vinyl. It gives the music a little extra personality. These days, if I really like the music or band I’ll get vinyl, otherwise I’ll just opt for the digital album and put it on my phone.

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

After playing a show at The Middle East in Cambridge we were all hanging out in our van between bands. We saw probably about 50+ cops drive by in the span of about 10 minutes.  Turns out the people responsible for the marathon bombings in Boston had just robbed a 7 Eleven, stolen a car, and shot a cop right down the street from us.  That was pretty intense.

Pray For Sound recently released their album "Dreamer" on vinyl via Science Of Silence.

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