6/26/12

Building, building...


Ethos


What makes a band successful?  This could quickly go down a path full of clich├ęs, but I’ll try to avoid it.  The punch line is:  this band started and continues as a creatively selfish one.  Personally, it’s a means to be creative and experiment.  At the risk of taking ourselves too seriously, we try to play the sonic alchemist; gathering a variety of ingredients and smashing them together, polishing here, chipping away there, molding something whose end form isn’t even complete in our own heads.

But instead of transmuting water to wine or lead to gold, we hope to vibrate air molecules in a way that gets people to bob their head or listen with pleasured curiosity.  A paradox emerges:  how does one accurately express negative emotions and simultaneously obtain pleasure in the listener?  Part of the resolution is that the listener needs to be willing to take that journey.  Once started, it may be more forgivable to add in a section that sounds deliberately off-putting for the sake of artistic integrity:  why should an off-putting scenario sound any different?  We realize it is unlikely for many people to give us the benefit of the doubt that the journey we create is worth the effort of experiencing it.  But a creatively selfish band makes what stimulates them even when the risk is that it’s not nearly as accessible as it might be otherwise.  We have no delusions of commercial or financial success.
 
This is not a nobler headspace for a band; it’s actually quite foolish if you want to exist long-term and continue your selfish endeavor.  Many listeners would rather bob their head to a familiar, catchy tune while they drive to work and think of more important things.  This is why we can still hear “Pour Some Sugar on Me” multiple times a day on the radio, but Isis records require time and effort to discover and enjoy.  The more casual listeners may escape from the daily grind a different way or perhaps need no escape at all.  Others, like us, rely partly on bands. 

We have tried to balance all the things everyone else balances:  simplicity and complexity; uniqueness and familiarity; deepness and shallowness; requiring much or little from the listener…etc.  For better or worse, our music probably falls into the “Less Accessible” bin for most, but we hope our mash up of many different genres and influences will give people other than ourselves some pleasure.  Nearly the entire new album is written and we’re starting the recording process.  The new tracks are so much better at achieving our musical goals compared to our little ad hoc demo that I’m tempted to remove the demo until the full length is posted.  If you’re interested in us, we have several shows in the pipeline.  I can’t give a deadline on the new record, but it will come as soon as possible.  The cover artist has shown us a sample and it is bizarrely fantastic stuff.  If you decide to give us a serious listen, we hope you enjoy it half as much as we have had making it.  Long live denim.