lunedì 3 settembre 2012
Intervista con Dowsing
Qui il concetto di Brit Pop non ci sta. Piuttosto parliamo di Emo, quello degli anni '90. Il Midwest emo che entrava nel cuore e ci commuoveva. L'emo vero, non quello finto di adesso che passa dal vestito per arrivare ai capelli ma che non si cura per nulla della musica, ahimè.
I Dowsing si basano su quel genere, conoscendolo bene e rispettando il concetto che negli anni '90 illuminò gruppi fondamentali, realizzano un disco magnifico, "It's Still Pretty Terrible", che tutti gli amanti del genere, come il sottoscritto, dovrebbero avere nella propria discografia casalinga. 10 perle, 10 canzoni che ci entrano nell'anima e ci mettono i brividi, perchè è il suono della nostra giornata, della nostra quotidianità, dei rapporti personali con chi amiamo, è il suono della nostra vita. Bravissimi!!
Era un dovere morale intervistare i ragazzi, ecco cosa ci siamo detti via mail...
Thanks for your avaiability and kindness. To start with can you introduce a quick history of your group?
Erik: Dowsing started back in the late Summer of 2010. Gooey, Delia, and I were walking around Lakeview, a neighborhood of Chicago, by Wrigley Field and thought it be funny. Gooey specifically thought it be funny and that we must be called Dowsing. Marcus was into it.
- I appreciated the job the label Count You Lucky Star made with the recover of an emo sound (the true sonority of this music type not the commercial fake one) and that theyt can be considered a "big family". How did you contact them and how do you get along together?
Erik: All of us knew Keith & Cathy before we were a band. The Family aspect is probably the major reason we wanted to be with Keith & Cathy in the first place. We love them and they love us and we love every band on the label. So much love. When we recorded the 7" we were told by Chris French (ex Joie De Vivre) that we should send the EP to CYLS... so we did. I personally met Keith & Cathy...I'd say around the Summer of 2009? When they were about to release the Empire! Empire! LP. They played an amazingly hot show in my basement in New Jersey and then we had a sleepover in my bedroom. I gave them some parting gifts including a half melted bag of peanut M&Ms and a remote sensing image of New Jersey. They probably remembered this and It's probably why they signed us.
- two great 7" anticipated the album, how did you mature the idea of making a split with the Parker?
Erik: Well, I was on a date sitting in a thai restaurant when the one and only Warren Franklin of Warren Franklin fame rang. He said his new band Parker (Joie De Vivre/Warren Franklin) wanted to do a split with us and that CYLS would put it out.
Knowing that we were going to record the LP soon and that we already had a B-side from the EP we all discussed it and I called Warren back at a later time with the good news. Parker is so good. I want them to record the rest of their songs and release an EP or something, because these songs are unreal.
- Has been a good idea making a preview of the disc on Absolute Punk, I find it a good form of respect for those who follow and listen to you and also an adequate promotion. What do you think about it?
Erik: The Absolute Punk stream was totally neat. When I see our music/tours/anything on the internet being promoted or discussed I am truly grateful. I appreciate every single person that likes our band. THANK YOU! CYLS got us the hook up with Absolute Punk. Their promoting is getting insanely great, because apparently we were on the Radio last week? Big thank you to Keith and Cathy for sure.
- To be honest after the 7" 'All I Could Find Was You?? I expected a more "aggressive" sound and a more loud voice, the debut album surprised me instead with some soft transitions, melacholy, chord notes, the attention you put on simple things and the tendency to move one "idie pop" tones (please allow me to tuse this term). What's your opinion?
Erik: I love bands like Superchunk and the Weakerthans, where each album has a distinct sound and is a transition from the last piece of work they made. They sound slightly different but are always undeniably those bands. For our band I have the same hopes. I don't want us to plateau and become just another emo band. I want us to move forward and define ourselves in different ways.
The LP had songs I had written around the same time as the EP and some that I may have been written a little before we were a band, as well as some I wrote after the EP. All the songs to me made sense together and I would think daily about the arrangement of them. After we record I always feel relief. As far as our aggressive sound, I believe our next release will be more so that tone. We've only learned one song for it so far, but Marcus even said something along the lines of how he thought I sounded pissed.
And I am. Most of the songs are less than two minutes (not too different from how long most of our songs are now). I don't think there will be any 4 minute jams, but never say never. We are still in the writing process.
- Delia plays a good role with the keyboard, she can fill the sound without overstepping and never resulting invasive, the overall arrangement result is great
Erik: I would like to thank Delia for her role in the band. She does a great job of contributing to our sound. My only fear is becoming Motion City Soundtrack, but I think we have avoided that. All of us together arrange the instruments and fine tune and specify what we like about what each of us is doing before the song is done.
- You once said "We play happy sounding songs about sad things": your lyrics talk with simplicity about real-life things, and you do it pretty well to my advice. Does it result difficult for you? I mean splitting between "happy sound" and sad lyrics?
Erik: I find it more difficult to write about happy things over our happy sound than I find it to write sad things over the happy sound. For our new music I had tried to write about my current relationship and how happy I was and that state, but now we broke up... I am more interested in writing about how I go through struggle than my own personal happiness when it exists. I think everyone can relate better to me being sad.
No one wants to hear about how awesome things are going! There needs to be a trigger that sets me off.. That being said some of our songs are not about me personally. I like to write stories like Maxwell for instance is about my Grandparents house in Long Island, NY.
- Which groups or bands influenced you most and which are the ones you currently listen to? How's the indie/emo scene in Chicago?
Erik: Like I said before definitely Superchunk and the Weakerthans. I'd like to add the Cure, Jets to Brazil and Knapsack. Currently, I can't turn off Guided By Voices and Hot Snakes. The scene in Chicago is fantastic. It is always blooming with new artists and it's been constantly flourishing the past two years.
There are a bunch of DIY spots that have opened up and a lot of great people promoting shows. Marcus has been doing a lot at our home the past few months. I hope we can continue our services to the DIY community for a while. Bands here like Droughts, The Island of Misfits Toys, The Please and Thank Yous, Mountains for Clouds and Acidic Tree all rule.
- Facebook, Bandcamp and more others are expedients that allow you to keep in touch with your fans. It's amazing the way you never lose the trelationship with the ones that appreciate your music.
Erik: Yes, social sites like these have helped us gain as many listeners as we have now. Again, I am so grateful for anyone that has ever listened to us. I love answering questions from listeners and I get a kick out of checking all the media sites we have. It is something that I enjoy immensely. It is also an important relationship to have and develop with your fans. Marcus or I will usually answer promptly. Life can get in the way sometimes though.
- You are always in tour, what do you think about the bands you played with? (Annabel first, The Island Of Misfit Toys after)? There's some funny story or curiosity about the tour that you want to talk about or you will never forget?
Erik: Oh boy. Touring is the most fun activity for our band. It is the time we get to blow off all our steam from real life and just kick it. We've been on 4 "long" tours since we started playing shows back in January 2011. Our most recent with Annabel/The Island of Misfit Toys was our longest tour so far and one chuck full of memories. Annabel is so talented. Those 4 dudes were just a blast to be around. Memories include: Weed Hats, Gainesville, Bongs And Dongs.
That is cryptic enough right? The Island of Misfit Toys are one of my/our favorite Chicago bands, to get a chance to take them on tour with us was truly a fun time. Unlike most of our previous tours we knew these fools too well before we left on the road.
Now we are tighter than ever. Mark is still a jerk though. Highlights include: Beans, Barcade, $4 pitchers, Denver, the entire state of Nebraska. We have been lucky when it comes to touring and who we get to go out with us. Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate), Brave Bird were also amazing and some of our best friends. Brave Bird and Annabel are my two favorite bands on CYLS at the moment. I can't choose between the two, because my heart would explode.
- Will you come to play in Europe soon?
Erik: Europe bound Spring 2013. I don't know anything else about it though. I think more details will be announced in the Winter.
- Thanks again for your time. Last but not least: chose a song from your album that can be the soundtrack of this interview.
Erik: Lavender is my favorite song on the new LP. I hope others enjoy it. Thanks again Ricky