Full Uncharted Music News interview.

Written on September 30th, 2011 by Edward

So the other day, I was interviewed (via email, oddly enough) by Joe Mayo, of Uncharted Music News, as part of an article he wanted to write about the band. In my dealings with Joe, he seems like a really nice guy, that is genuinely in love with his job. So if ya get a chance, go read some of his other articles on UMN.com. 

Anyways, He ended up not using the full interview in his write-up. So I figured I’d post it here, for anyone interested in reading the whole thing.

 

UMN Tell me a bit about the band name, Experiments in Low Fidelity. What does it mean to the band?

Edward  The name originally came about years ago, when I bought my first multitrack, and began making shitty basement demo’s.
I have a habit of never naming songs, unless I absolutely have to (i.e. when being released in any sort of public way). So I would simply label each tape “experiments in low fidelity part 1″ or whatever number it was.
A friend of mine was at the house one day, rifling through the tapes, and saw one labeled “experiments in low fidelity”, and said “Thats such a cool band name.” So I pretended that was my intention, and started using it as a public name when releasing music (via the interwebs and such).
Years later I’d abandon the name for my solo work, prior to forming the current band. Instead releasing music either simply as “E. Raney” or “Spaghetti Western Suicide” (which I still use for solo work outside the band occasionally).
But when it came to forming an actual band again, I came back to the “Experiments in Low Fidelity” tag again. This time around, it has a bit different meaning to us though.

I’m a generally a very, very honest, and loyal person. Sorta brutally honest, and stupidly loyal, even when I shouldn’t be. Which tends to get me into alot of trouble. So I’ve been trying to be a bit more realistic, keeping more of my opinions to myself, and assessing whether loyalty to a person/thing, is really justified, or intelligent.
So basically…

ex·per·i·ment
verb /ik-sper-ment/

2. Try out new concepts or ways of doing things

low
noun /lō/

1. A low point, level or figure

2. A particularly bad or difficult moment

3. A state of depression or low spirits

fi·del·i·ty
noun /fi-del-eh-tee/

1. Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support

…We’re trying out a new way of reaching a low point in our lives, and our faithfulness to any one thing. Experimenting in Low Fidelity.
Now, how successful I am at being a bit less honest, opinionated, and loyal, is sorta iffy. But still trying at least.

Is the band locally involved in the Rockford music scene?
Edward Well, we’re “involved” so far as, yes we do play shows in the Rockford area. But as far as really trying to “make the scene”, or having on going relationships with many other local acts. Not really.
There’s honestly not very many “alt-rock” bands in the Rockford area, and therefore not all that many bands we have much in common with. I mean, granted there are some great bands in Rockford. But if we played on the same bill as a metal, or hardcore band…it really wouldn’t make any sense.
Plus, we didn’t really get into music, to be a part of any scene. We make music, not cause we want to, but because we have to. This is basically the only thing we can do, and not feel like we’re wasting our lives.

How did the band come together? Any funny or interesting circumstances?
Edward The band came about in an odd way sort of.
I’d not really been involved in any real musical projects for a year or so prior to forming the band. I was still making music, just not in a band, and with no real goal in mind. Just doing it, cause I don’t know how to not make music, and still wanna get up in the morning. This is pretty much all I can do really.
Even prior to the year I spent not being in a band, I hadn’t been in a band I actually enjoyed playing with, for a really long time. Instead, playing guitar in other peoples bands, simply so I had something to do, and just cause I enjoy making loud noises. But still, nothing that I was really proud to be a part of, or had any deep connection to.
So in the spring of 2010 at the urging of a few friends, who’d been listening to the demo’s I was making by myself, I decided to put finally put together a band. Doing the sort of stuff I wanted to do.

When I was first trying to get shit together, I brought in a friend of mine (Chris) to Play synth. With the plans being, that we’d be a four piece. Synth, two Guitarists, and drums. So we started trying to find a drummer, but weren’t having much luck. Eventually going the route everyone goes when nothing else works, and we made a craigslist ad.
Now at this point I already had alot of the Experiments in Low Fidelity songs, completely written, and finalized. So there wasn’t really much wiggle room for people to inject their own style into things. I had a very distinct idea of how things should be. Which made finding a second guitarist nearly impossible.
It seems most guitarists are inherently self conscious people, who feel the need to boost their ego’s, by showing off (solo’s and such), and feeling like they are in control. But we have a very basic, sorta stripped down sound. So a shreddy guitar solo, just doesn’t make sense.
We did get ALOT of responses from guitarists, but it was always the same thing. People that either thought what we really needed was some shreddy 80′s style solo’s, or people that would actually have worked in the band…But didn’t have any gear other than a First act guitar, and a 15 watt practice amp (and you can’t really do a band practice with a 15 watt amp, let alone a gig), and most had no desire to get better stuff. So eventually we just gave up trying to find a second guitarist.
There was nearly no responses from Drummers. We at one point actually considered just buying a drum machine and saying fuck it. Right around that point, was when Justin contacted Chris and I, and wanted to try out.
So we met up at Justins place. He’d had a week or so, to listen to Mp3′s of the Demo’s I had at that point, to familiarize himself with our stuff a bit. When we met up with him, we were both totally blown away. I mean, it wasn’t perfect. But for the first time ever playing with us, he did amazingly well. So we gave him the job that day.
Later on he and Chris started having weird petty little arguments, which I tried to stay out of. Simply cause, they’re both adults and capable of handling their own shit. But eventually it escalated to the point that Chris threatened Justin with a Knife, for touching his synth with a drum stick (Lightly I might add). So we sorta had to let him go, cause thats just ridiculous.
The weeks leading up to that, he’d missed several practices, due to going out of town to see other bands shows. An to us, if you care more about seeing another band play, than you do about practicing with the band you are actually in. Then you probably shouldn’t be in that band. Plus, we realized the band simply doesn’t sound right with a synth.
So we instead started trying out bass players, and have since, gone through several different bass players. The only two that Lasted long enough to even mention, are Brandon (Friend), and Myana (Sky-Walker).
Currently, we just got our newest Bass player (Dylan Lasley), and it seems to be a good fit. Dylan started out as our first real “fan”. He came to every show, was always excited to see us play. So eventually we started getting him to help out with random stuff (load up, setup, selling merch, etc, etc)…and after Myana left, we told him if he learned the songs, we’d let him play bass.
Really, he was dedicated to the band, before he was even in the band. We probably should given him a chance long before we did.

What are some of the band’s influences?
Edward Overall, I’ve always been more influenced by Movies and Television than I ever have been by music. I actually rarely even listen to music anymore. My music listening is mostly limited to when I’m in the car, and even then I’m mostly driving around in silence.

So musically, I try to think of a song, like a scene in the movie of life. Like, if this song was the sound track, to a part of my life, what part would it be? What scene would it be? Thats how I determine what the over all feel should be. Its like trying to paint a picture with music. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most times, it starts one place, and then takes on a life of its own while I’m writing, and I just let it go where I think its pointing me.
Lyrically though, I draw all my influence, simply from life. I’ve never written a song about a book I read, a movie I’ve watched, or just random subjects that have no direct relation to me. I’m not sure I could write about something I feel no connection to, and why would I want to do that?
I let the path of my life influence the tone of anything I create, cause thats sorta the point of making music, or creating art. Its like a constantly changing finger print.
At times, If I’ve felt my life was getting a bit boring. I’ve gone so far as intentionally putting myself in rather unsavory situations, or around unsavory people (which will eventually turn into an unsavory situation), simply so I have some sort of struggle, or strife, to play off of. Something that actually makes me HAVE TO write.
Making music, is just about the most important thing in my life, and sort of how I define myself as a person. So I’ve always felt that suffering anything, is worth it, if I can get a good song out of it.

How would you describe the band’s overall sound and attitude? Any ongoing themes or messages in your music?
Edward I honestly don’t know how exactly to describe our ‘sound’. We strive to be different, and unique. But really, what musician doesn’t? I’ve gone so far as to completely stop listening to music for months at a time, simply to avoid the chance of it subconsciously influencing the way I write, or how I structure a song.
I guess the only way to really describe the way we sound (for me) would be to say, we’re complexly simple. We’re not so stripped down, as to sound like talentless assholes. But never so complex as to sound like a big, busy, wall of shit either. We just do whatever the song needs, to be its best. Nothing more, Nothing less.
If thats requires me to play a weirdly complex part/rhythm on the guitar, and Justin to do a bunch of crazy caveman shit on the drums. Then thats what we do. But if all thats really needed is a Huge anthemetic Power Chord Driven Chorus, slathered in Fuzz, and a simple “rock beat” on the drums. Then thats what happens. Its simply about doing what the song wants us to do.

As far as attitude, I’d say its rather negative really. Theres not a whole lot of hope, or positivity in our songs. I believe the best music/art comes from the worst times in life. Because, you only grow as a person, during the rough spots.
Sure at the time its happening, you’ll hate every miserable second of it. But once that time has passed, and you have a chance to look back on it, you’ll realize you learned more in those two terrible months, than you did in the 6 following, when everything was totally fine. Theres a reason peoples memories of the bad times, are always far more vivid than their memories of the good times. The bad times force you to think, and reflect. The good times, just make you smile.

To answer the last part of that question though…
Really over all, the only “message” we have for anyone is simply “You’re not alone.” There might be different messages, or theme’s, depending on the song. But over all, we’re just trying to tell who ever is listening, “You’re not alone.”

To me, thats really the whole point of making music in any sort of format that employs words. To give people a chance to see that someone else out there, understands how it feels.
Because For me, my entire life, music has always been the one thing that made everything else bearable. Every life is difficult in its own way. Every one has they’re own way of dealing with those difficulties. Mine has always been music.
When I was young, it was the music of others. No matter what it was in life, there has been a sound track for me. Depression, Heart Break, Anxiety, Homelessness, Falling in Love, Falling out of Love, Happiness, Hopelessness, the Birth of a child, the loss of a loved one (whether through death, or simply through change), etc…There has always been an Artist/Band that has been a tangible representation of those feelings in my life.
But, My Favorite Artists have always been the ones that don’t try and lie to you. The ones that don’t tell you “Everything is going to be alright.” Because really, no one knows that.
David Bowie never told me everything would be ok. Billy Corgan, Robert Smith, Kurt Cobain, Lou Reed, etc.. they never lied to me.
The best artists are the ones that don’t tell you ‘Everything is gonna be alright.’ The best artists are the ones that say to you ‘Everything may not be ok right now, it may never be ok. But you are not the only one that feels that way. Theres others out there just like you, feeling exactly the same way. None of us have the answers, and we won’t pretend we do. But, always remember, you’re not the only one.’
Those are the artists that saved my life. Those are the artists that have helped me to get up in the morning, no matter what I knew the day would bring. Because sometimes what we need, isn’t to think everything will be ok. Sometimes we just need to know that, we’re not alone.
That is exactly what we aim to do with Experiments in Low Fidelity. Just to be something, someone, a person can turn to when they feel alone and hopeless. Something someone can rely upon to help them through the hardest parts of life. Something that will never tell you “Everything is going to be Alright”, because I don’t know that. But simply something that can say ‘Everything is not alright. But no matter how dark it might seem, no matter how alone you might feel, no matter how hopeless things might look…You’re not in this alone. You’re not the only one.’

Talk a bit about the 052811 EP. What was the overall sound and mood of the EP?
Edward I dunno what there really is to say about the EP. There isn’t really an overall sound, or mood. Each song is its own entity. Theres moments of longing lustful sadness, followed by spastic angry out bursts. We covered a pretty broad range of emotions. But overall, each song is its own thing.

If anything I’d say the overall Sound and mood, is just a bit dark, questioning, and hopeless at points. Sure theres a glimmer of hope here and there, it’d be a bit boring if there wasn’t. But over all, each song is just a moment in time. Theres no happy ending, because the end hasn’t come yet.

What can you reveal about the debut album?
Edward  We’re currently working on completing our first full length album at the moment. There’ll be a couple songs from the EP that will appear on the album, and alot of new material. Even a few songs, we don’t play live that often.

What kind of shows does the band play? What should be expected from a performance?
Edward Some nights we’re all very reserved, and laid back. Other nights, we’re chaotic, energized, and basically a loud crazy spectacle. It all depends on our moods, whats going on in life for each of us, and how energized the crowd is.
But regardless, we’re always in top form when performing. We put every ounce of ourselves into each performance, whether playing for 2 people, or a whole bunch of people.
We have an insanely rigorous practice regime, so unless something is going terribly wrong (like getting electrocuted by the Mic, cause the club has shitty wiring), we always give the best performance we are capable of.
To us, the whole goal of performing, is to make sure that every single person in the crowd, whether they’ve heard us before or not, will fall in love with the band, and not simply go home, and completely forget about us.
We take the time to talk to any fan that wants to talk to us, sign whatever stuff they want signed (though I always wonder why anyone would want us to sign anything), and basically, Just try to make them feel like they are as important to us, as we want to be to them.
Cause to us, Performing isn’t just about what we do on stage, its about what we do the entire time we are at a venue. Whether that be thanking the club owner for giving us the opportunity to play, making sure we stay to watch every band on the bill, or sitting and drinking a beer with some guy that just loves the band.

What’s next for the band?
Edward Well besides the album, we’re currently in the process of planning a summer tour for 2012. Hoping to hit as many major cities as we are capable of doing. Expand the fan base further, sell more albums, Spread this disease as far as we can, try to get some real radio play, etc, etc, etc…All the things any serious band wants to do.

— Edward

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