Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here We Go Magic (Brooklyn)






This interview is the first in a series of interviews we'll be doing with bands who will be coming through town on their way to and from SXSW this year, including a few of the bands playing our day show. This first one is from our pal weirdvoice, and we'll have more to come soon, so stay tuned.-- SR










I sat down with Luke Temple and the rest of the newly formed 5-piece Here We Go Magic on Sunday before their packed show at Southpaw in Brooklyn. Their self-titled record, which has been heavily endorsed by Dept of Eagles/Grizzly Bear for several months now, just came out on Itunes yesterday and if you don't find yourself clapping and twirling around like some sort of blissed out retard-hippie everytime you listen to the damn thing, there might be something wrong with you (or there's something wrong with me - jury's still out.) Luke and his friends will be playing at the Mountain House or whatever the hell that place with the sweet bamboo forest in the back is called (on March 17th, along with Phosphorescent), and will also be playing the other Gorilla vs. Bear day party during SXSW. Read this:

weirdvoice: First off, could you tell me a little bit about how the record came about - was the shift from the stuff you were doing under the Luke Temple name deliberate or did it just evolve on its own?

Luke Temple: I wasn't really considering making a record when I started recording this stuff. There was a certain time and place last summer where I was kind of making music that was more - less specifically about my voice, or any specific narrative. SO I was just experimenting with really simplified loops of sound rather than thinking of song structure or anything like - so it started out more as an exercise and then songs started emerging from them and I realized that they were pretty good and I put the record together after it was finished, I decided that it was going to be a record and it seemed a better fit for a better ensemble organization than just the singer songwriter stuff, so then I put the band together.

Oh cool, so did the band come together immediately after the recording or was it a bit later?

Not immediately after, I mean, this is our fourth show ever as a band. And actually the first show with the current lineup and Kristina is brand-spankin' new so...we got some interest when we sent out the promos so we got these shows with Department of Eagles so I had to put the band together at the last minute for that. I had been playing with Peter actually for a while and we were actually doing something totally different it was more of like this Modern Lovers kind of really paired down trio kind of just rock n roll thing and once this record started to create some momentum I figured we needed to do justice to this sound so obviously the record - there are a lot of voices - human voices and musical voices going on so we extended the band, and now it's a 5-piece. So it’s really new, the band's new but I feel like this record's cool because it's kind of a vehicle for us now, now we've formed the band and now I feel like we're really going to start this real collaborative effort that I've never had before and I'm real excited about it. I feel like we're starting to generate our own sound - we perform the songs from the record but that was all recorded by me - everything - but now I'm playing with these guys and everyone has such great ideas so that's it has become its own textural thing, not unlike that record, but it's definitely becoming its own thing.

Where did all the band members come from? Were they all friends of yours, or people you had played with previously?

Well Peter [Hale] I’ve known for years, since I moved to the city in ’99 and we just kind of loosely stayed in touch, we got back in touch after we were hanging out around 2000 and then we lost touch with each other and I moved to Seattle and came back and we would always run into each other on the street and say “we should do something together, we should start a project” and right after I recorded this record it seemed like the right time to start something new. Mike [Bloch,] the guitar player, had played with me in the Luke Temple project; we’ve been playing together for a long time.

Mike: I played on a track on the record!


Really? Which one?

“Everything’s big.” And then AJ [Lambert,] I know through my friend Boshra, they’re in a band called Looker together, so I was referred to her that way. I knew it was gonna work because I saw her play with the Homosexuals at the Cake Shop and I thought she was really great. And then Kristina [Lieberson]…we met a long time ago, she’s friends with Baptiste, who was playing bass in this outfit a few months ago so her referred me to her.

What were you doing before, musically?

Kristina: I was playing solo shows also with a band called Amazing Baby, I was singing backup for them for a while.

On Here We Go Magic's MySpace, the headline says “head phones please” - has it been a challenge to kind of translate that feel into a live show, has it had to take a different avenue?

I mean it is just due to the fact that that record is very kind of idiosyncratic palate of instruments. For instance, there’s no full drum kit on the record, aside from the last track, which uses a full band but otherwise the only percussion on the record is the Tom that I had and it’s all just acoustic guitar and this synth. Now we have a full band arrangement with bass guitar, drums, and electric guitar so it’s just a little bit more bombastic I think. Generally we’re trying to reference the spirit of the record without being too precious with trying to replicate it exactly. Because that would be impossible, I did it in such a specific way it would be impossible to recreate that live. But there are certain elements to the record, like utilizing repetition and really simple ideas layered on top of one another that kind of create a complexity that I think we’re using in this band. I think it’s going to probably translate into a bigger sound with a full band.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the recording process specifically, like how long you spent on it?

I probably spent about a month on it, super focused. It started out like I said before, with some sort of conceptual ideas in terms of the different way I wanted to approach a song - I was interested in it being more linear, less kind of modal - less kind of verse/chorus/bridge. I wanted songs to almost seem like stream-of-consciousness single line ideas that just keep building and building and building. But once I started – I think the first song I recorded was "Tunnelvision" and I was really happy with how that came out and that got me really excited and then – I work full time, I do plaster, so every day after work I’d just come home and record until I went to sleep and then I did that for a month and then the record was done. I actually have a lot more material that I recorded during that time that I didn’t use for the record but then when I decided that I was gonna make an album out if it I kind of just turned around and edited stuff together and put a record together that worked.

What exactly do you during the rest of your day – what’s your day job?

I do Venetian plaster.

I read online that you went to school for visual arts, do you think that affects the way you create music and write songs?

Yes, I’m sure, I mean, not consciously, but I do see music visually.

Can we see any of your artwork in the album packaging or anything like that?

I designed the album cover, but that’s not really indicative of my previous work. I was doing some sort of hyperrealism/figurative stuff, a lot of oil paintings based on photography and stuff so that’s really different from what I did for the record cover. But music sort of took over that part of my brain, I felt like I needed to focus on one or the other. And I made a decision that music was gonna be more of my focus and I just completely focused on that. It utilizes the same part of my brain, there’s composition, there’s give and take, and there’s throwing a bunch of shit at the wall and then slowly editing away and finding the jewel inside of the mess.

Can you tell me a little bit about the video you just put out for "Tunnelvision"?

I recorded it with my friend Nathaniel Johnson and Snejina Latev we shot it all in super 8 and we were kind of – definitely influenced by Stan Brakhage. It’s just this sort of abstract, non specifically narrative filming that utilizes – everything is hand done. It’s all with film, and everything is hand cut editing and he does a lot of things where he draws and scratches into the film and burns the film and all that stuff so we were influenced by that and we just spent an afternoon upstate. We were filming in nature but we were kind of trying to do certain things with blurred focus and with trying to abstract natural things.

Peter Hale: Snejina also constructed kaleidoscopes to go over the super 8, home built kaleidoscopes. We also did stuff with reflecting things in Millar, so it was all bendy and undulating looking.

You’ve done videos with him before as Luke Temple-- is he one of your good friends? I read on his web site that you are gonna be scoring a film for him. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Yeah. It’s a film called Roger and Sheryl; it’s about this guy from South Carolina who has – what was the disease he had? – He has a disorder called Stevens Johnsons disorder. He doesn’t produce tears, his body doesn’t produce moisture in his lymphatic system so his eyes are completely dry and as a result eh ahs all these crazy ingrown eye lashes that grow inside of his eyelid and scratch off his cornea and so he slowly goes blind. He comes up north and there’s’ a bunch of doctors who are doing these kind of experimental procedures on him to see if they can’t fix the situation. It’s kind of about the relationship between him and his wife.

Is it a feature-length film?

No, it’s a short half of an hour documentary, it’s really beautiful.

Have you already done the work with scoring the film or is it something you’re still working on?

Yeah it’s all finished, I think it still needs to be mixed a little bit.

What can we expect it to sound like?

No, it’s all instrumental and it kind of has a psychedelic, atmospheric quality, we were kind of referencing a lot of early Hertzog films and I was thinking of Popol Vuh who did a lot of early Hertzog stuff so there’s just really a lot of drone and really simple atmospheric melodies, a lot analog synth stuff.

Last question-- people always like to known what your influences were when working on the Here We Go Magic project.

There wasn’t necessarily any cognitive influences, I wasn’t thinking that I’d want to reference anyone in particular. During that time I was listening to a lot of Arthur Russell...that was kind of all I was listening to, [and] some Popol Vuh. Earlier in the year I was really into this Ethiopiques box set, [the] volume 5 of this Ethiopian music set that’s really amazing. It’s really rural, kind of field recordings of this weird African blues. Ethiopian music is kind of psychedelic and totally amazing. Trying to subvert rhythm using poly-rhythm and trying to turn things backwards on themselves was probably an influence from that [on the record.]

Labels:

31 Comments:

Anonymous rocker said...

who the fuck is sorry mom

7:18 PM  
Anonymous rocker said...

oh

7:26 PM  
Anonymous rocker said...

oh

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brooklyn seattle portland gorilla vs bear pitchfork fucking puke

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats a good blog for the pdx music scene?

10:30 PM  
Anonymous What band practices at Panhandle/Denton St.? Not that one house show house on Panhandle nor that one house show house on Denton St. It's the duplex on the other side of that pretty lady. They're not bad. said...

huggynuts

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom is Sally Glass

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is The Melissas.

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is The Girl Who Used To Wear High Heels At Good Records.

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is Cindy Chaffin.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is The Cute Chick At All Good Cafe. You Know The One.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is Totally My Sister.

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is The Pussy From The Dirty Birds. Not The Girls. Paul.

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mom Is ME. Totally me.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

somebody is the guy who amuses himself by amassing every one of the previous comments
get less bored. you are the reason no one goes out any more. anonymously retarded.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

place a period in after the word "comments"

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really not into white boy soft music but im kinda diggin this magic shit. Don't know why.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im torn on saturday
right now i think im going to exploding house
i live in denton and all that shit just gets kind of old
but its still great
so im not sure

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone deleted the post about Sorry Mom being Alix McAlpine. Why would they do that?

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone deleted the post about Sorry Mom being the girl from COol out.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting someone deleted the post about sorry mom being CJ Davis.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting, someone deleted the post about sorry mom being sally glass.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone deleted the post about sorry mom being my mom.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone deleted the post about Sorry mom being the Melissas.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, Someone deleted the post about Sorry mom.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Meme

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone is a pathetic piece of shit that comes back to this page to see what's been erased because they think they be knowin' shit.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, someone deleted the post about sorry mom being that one chick with the tattoos.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Really like this interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

big difference...

4:45 PM  

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