Last Saturday, they opened up for Holy Fuck at Soundlab, and two days prior to that I got to catch up with four of it's members. During the interview I slowly began to understand that their longevity is a product of their mutual loyalty and experiences, a sort of dedication to creating a sound that experiments with different sides of the instrumental spectrum. It's music that proves to be not only intriguing in the live-setting kind of way, but intriguing through the headphones while taking a walk outside, during any season. It's meditative but it pulses with an appropriate amount excitement, the kind of excitement that makes you try to guess what's going to happen next- all created right in the heart of Bufalo.
BUFFABLOG: How did you guys come together?
Scott Molloy: Me and Chris knew each other, a long time ago.
Chris Ganarossa: We were in an older band together, but we broke apart and the two of us started writing music together.
Scott Molloy: We've evolved a couple times, the drummers have been the biggest plague. Billy was supposed to be the original drummer but then he jumped shit
Bill Wachowiak: It was a weird thing, I wanted to play in some band, something I didn't know, something that was different then what I was doing, something like this. I put an ad on WBNY and Chris responded.
Chris Gangarossa: Billy joined around a year ago. Matt was the original drummer, he joined around 2005.
Matt Felski : Right after I graduated from UB.
Scott Molloy: A mutual friend of ours suggested I go check Matt out. So I went to check him out and told him he was joining the band when he was done with his set.
BUFFABLOG: What would you considered your genre to be, what sort of bands do you draw the most inspiration from?
Chris: Post apocalyptic sub-African Rock.
Matt: The title we've always used in the past is post-rock.
Scott: That's kinda the genre we fall into.
Chris: We've been called "art-rock" But you know, it's just experimental. Boards of Canada is my biggest influence, I can't get enough.
Scott: Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, bands like Tortoise, a lot of electronic influence. Aphex Twin, Bonobo, real heavy influence, DJ Shadow, David Axelrod.
Matt: Obviously whatever you're listening to is going to come through, but I think really the sound of the group is developing, based on who's on what instrument and whatever people contribute. Sure you bring in your influence, but at the end of the day it is what it is.
Bill: It's not like I think "Ok, I'm going to play a DJ Shadow beat here"
BUFFABLOG: So you said you started leaning toward an electronic influence, how did that change your set up?
Chris: We tried some sequencers, before we got Billy.
Matt: We wanna go more in that realm, where you have live musicians really contributing something from there hands but on top of that you got loops or arpeggiations.
Scott: Yeah absolutely, it's the only way we could pull off playing half the stuff off the new album too.
Chris: Our last album, Desert, was very electronic influenced.
BUFFABLOG: Speaking of which how many albums how have you guys come out with?
Scott: Well five, but the fifth was download only.
BUFFABLOG: When you guys decide to make a new album, what's the process like? How has it changed with the addition of Billy (a new drummer)?
Matt: Just us sitting together and writing music as a group. The last album was a concept album. But I feel like right now when we write tunes we just meet up and write it.
Bill: And this one is going to sound different because there are different members, it's a different deal now.
Chris: It's gonna sound different, whether there are different members or not.
Matt: In the past with Lazlo, it's been ok here's the drum beat, now we have that as a framework, but Billy plays around with that much more.
Scott: I like that integration, he's using more of an actual electronic kick, a live acoustic kit in conjuction with electronic pads and electronic sounds, so it creates a live electronic drum sound.
BUFFABLOG: What's song-writing process like?
Chris: There's an idea usually, someone has an idea, and we just build on it.
Billy: For a lot of songs, Scott writes it on his keyboard at home and plays it to us.
Chris: But when we get together, we alter it tremendously.
Scott: Yeah, they never end how they started.
Chris: Usually if we come up with a lick, by the end of the song that lick isn't even in the song anymore, that happens a lot.
Matt: So it'll be someone having one little idea, a loop, one small little idea, and everyone comes up with their part for that, and then we'll try to come up with another part. It's a more tedious, slower process, but it works.
Scott: We've tried a lot of different ways of writing over the years too, some straight improvisational, hit-record and see what happens, see if we get something good. Some of our best material we've ever done we were all in a room together, and it came together in like 10 minutes, almost magically, all of a sudden we have this song. Other things, were written with words.
Chris: We took ten days on the previous tour, and wrote down what happened each day, and converted that into music with a series of formulas.
Matt: It helped us have a process so we could move forward with the music.
BUFFABLOG: Can you go into that further?
Chris: The formula part, we took a notebook and wrote down what happened each day for ten days, generalized them. The tour was 2 months.
Scott: He picked a ten day stretch that was very unique to life experiences I guess you could say.
Chris: We took the synopsis of each day and changed it into a few words. The overall gist into a few words. Suddenly we had a few words for each of the 10 days. We took that and tried to describe to each other what you would play to convey that emotion or feeling.
BUFFABLOG: How do you guys go about recording? It's probably different each time right.
Chris: It is, this time it's different yet again, this time we recorded a bunch of drum-tracks and adding to those tracks, changing the track.
Scott: A lot of the time they become something new too, in the recording process, we wrote it for live performance first and when we find ourselves actually trying to put it on a song on an album, sometimes we'll find a part doesn't really work anymore, so we'll do something different it.
BUFFABLOG: Speaking of which, how would you characterize the difference between material for a live show and the material for recording.
Matt: I think ideally, they're not too far off.
Scott: I'm sort of on the other end of the spectrum, I think they're completely different mediums. The studio can be an opportunity to do something you can't do live. One of our albums, "The Pacer", we wouldn't be able to play live.
BUFFABLOG: How would you guys characterize the Buffalo music scene?
Matt: I can't speak for everyone, but the way I look at is it there are a lot of people playing music and as long as you keep in touch with your friends and talk to them, you'll find good music. And that's what I love about this city. Obviously we play in a band that shares the bill with other bands, so you get to know what other bands are doing just in nature of, "Oh, we're playing with this band tonight? Ok." But there are other things going on, like I love Jazz, so I'll go check some of that out.
Scott: I feel like we've been doing this long enough, and I guess aggressively enough in the region, that over the years it feels like we've gotten to know a very, very broad group of different people in different styles. And know them well. Totally different genres of music all across the board.