Thursday 12 November 2009

Interview with The Blog That Celebrates Itself

Our new friend in Sao Paulo, Renato from The Blog That Celebrates Itself, got in touch recently to ask us some questions for an interview.

Here's what we came up with:

Q. Why Electric Assembly?
Well, we came together through a shared love of similar music, films and sense of humour. All of us were already playing music in some capacity before the band started, but none of it was serious. As close friends, it just seemed like a natural progression to start a band together. The name 'Electric Assembly' came about after hundreds of other suggestions - but we just liked the way it looked on the page and how it sounded.

Q. When the bands start?
Electric Assembly was born on Halloween night of 2004 but our roots go back a little deeper. In a previous incarnation we had music released on the sadly now defunct Earworm records.

Q. Tell us about your influences...
While the more obvious influences would be Spacemen 3, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, early Mercury Rev, Harmonia - we also love music by Boards of Canada, Clark, Angelo Badalementi, Can, James Brown, Steve Reich...the list is endless. We would also have to include films by directors such as Werner Herzog, Monte Hellman, David Lynch, Gaspar Noé; books by Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis, William Burroughs, Haruki Murakami; art works by Yayoi Kusama, Adam Neate, Jackson Pollock and the relationships we have with our family and friends. We don't know if any of these examples can be clearly identified in the music we make, but we certainly would not be the same band without them.

Q. How Electric Assembly feels playing alive?
Maybe nervous euphoria? It's a bit like going on the scariest ride at a fair - you're not sure how safe it is, or if you're going to like it - but something compels you to do it anyway. Then once it's over you're on a real natural high and can't wait to get back on.

The best moments are always the ones that are spontaneous and unrehearsed – when something new and magical emerges from what we're playing. Live is often when songs we’ve been working on finally reach their peak.

Q. How was the shows?
Instead of just playing a bunch of separate songs thrown together, we generally try to make our gigs flow into one trip or 'soundtrack' if you like. Whilst we believe the songs work individually and in their own space - we like to make the gig experience a bit more special than that. We sometimes work with our friend and film maker Lux who does visual projections for the gigs - these have always been the most fun shows for us. But when we're playing without the visuals, we like to think people use their ears to experience the music and not their eyes.

Q. What´s your opinion about shoegazer classc era?
It was a time for beautiful and crazy guitar sounds, perhaps the final era in the electric guitar’s evolution. Certainly it was a time when digital combined with analogue technology bringing the electric guitar somewhere fresh and new.

Q. What´s your opinion about the new shoegazer era?
We're suspicious of anyone deliberately trying to sound exactly like they come from the past. Having said that there are many bands, artists and producers using the sounds of that time as inspiration for something exciting today. Boards of Canada’s Geogaddi was like this decade’s Loveless. To us it represents a similar approach to sound and mood. We're not so into bands who sound exactly like the old shoegaze bands, we would rather go back and listen to the early Ride/Slowdive/Swervedriver/Moose eps.

Q. Which bands you like actually?
Current acts we're into would include Animal Collective, My Bloody Valentine, Do Make Say Think, Deerhunter, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Jim O'Rourke, Magnolia Electric Company, Twilight Sad.

Q. Tell us about the eps? When the album is coming?
The first EP was recorded and put together over a really long period of time. As it was our first release we were all a bit apprehensive about making our first 'musical statement' as a band - so many bands seem to get boxed or labelled by their first release. So we took a lot of time recording and making sure the mastering by Kramer was as good as it could be. We realised that working in this overly cautious way wasn't much fun, so made a pact that we would never go down that route again.

There was quite a gap between that and our second EP 'White Splinter', but that was more to do with us spending time on writing new songs and just getting better as a band. The actual recording, choosing of songs and artwork all came together fairly quickly once we decided we wanted to release another EP and we think the music is much better for it.

We haven't really spoken about releasing an album yet as we're not even sure if that format is really relevant as an artform any more. A lot of albums that have been released over the past few years seem to dilute the aesthetic of the band. That's not to say there aren't albums that we all love or that we would never record one ourselves - we would just have to feel like the time was right. The EP format seems to work best for us at the moment.

You can read the interview on The Blog That Celebrates Itself here.