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Gavin's Underground

Bird Eater, Loom, Pilot This Plane Down, Form Of Rocket

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-08-26 -

When I started the vacation, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do, but I knew I wanted to cover a show for fun. 

And right as I decided I was going to do it, there in my inbox sits a flyer for a show over at Kilby Court for Saturday.  And what a great choice I made.  The band Pilot This Plane Down having their CD Release party, with Bird Eater (filling in for Gaza), Loom, and Form Of Rocket!  I got a chance to take over 200 photos of the show, as well as chat with all the bands after what I can only describe as one of the best shows this year.


Bi
rd Eater (Jon, Chris, Tino & Kel)


http://www.myspace.com/birdeatermusic

Gavin:
Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

Jon: Bird Eater is a grungy death metal project with a little country thrown in. Not for the twang of it... More for the mood. Its a much better medium for story telling.

Gavin: How did you all get together and decide to form Bird Eater?

Jon: Bird Eater came from a band most of us were in called Day Of Less. We changed the line up a bit and the music that came out was different enough that we thought we had better just start over. Tino and Kel have been playing together since they were 16 or so and same with Chris and I. We’re all pointed in the same direction so the chemistry is easy. There really isn’t a reason not to do this band.

Gavin:
Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Jon: I hate this question. But I’ll tell you this much. Metal around here and frankly all over the place sucks ass for the most part. This band is true and gnarly. And its modeled after the original outlaws in music. Which is where extreme genres should be rooted. You’ll find no eyeliner here.

Gavin: You're all involved in multiple projects with other bands. Do you think of Bird Eater more as a side project, or as a full time band that gives the others a run for their money?

Jon: Definitely a full time band. At least in the writing and recording sense of it. It probably won’t tour very much if at all. Its mostly made to be heard not seen. There is no competition with the other projects as we put everything into what ever it is we’re working on. There isn’t much we’d rather be doing.

Gavin:
You're currently on the Exigent Records label. Was it just natural to join with your other bands already there, or was there a moment where you wanted to search for another label?

Jon: Well, funny you should ask. We’re actually going to be releasing the next record with a national label. We can’t make it public yet, but it will be available everywhere. Exigent put out our EP.

Gavin: Speaking of which, you put out the Utah EP back in 2007. What was it like recording that CD, and what was the reaction like for its release?

Jon:
We recorded it pretty quickly. We didn’t have a lot of money so we got in and out in a hurry. The end product surprised us and a lot of people. It came out pretty dark. Andy Paterson is a blast to work with and he’s a great engineer. In between laughs we laid down metal tracks.

Chris: We actually recorded the Utah EP at the same time Gaza was recording "I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die". It was pretty interesting to hear the two albums form at the same time. The sound was different, but the quality was great on both. But, because of the push for Gaza's release on Black Market Activities, the Utah EP came out much slower. The good thing about that was we could give the EP the attention it deserved because it did not conflict with Gaza's release.

Jon: The reaction to it has been all positive. If there are haters out there we haven’t heard from them. So feel free to let us have it.

Gavin:
You're currently writing a full length album. Can you give us some details on it's progress and when you'll be headed in to record.

Jon: We’re about 75% done with the music. We’re very happy with whats been happening. The last record had a desolate sound, this will be more haunted. Otherwise more of the same. Dirty, angry, heavy.

Chris: The next album will show growth. Conceptually it will be different, but so far it is meeting our expectations of ourselves.

Gavin: Do you think maybe you'll go on tour when you finally release it, or will you mainly be sticking around and letting it play out locally?

Jon: This band won’t tour very much. We’re going to let the music speak for itself and leave the dancing for nickels out of it. But like I said, it will be available nationally so it won’t just be a local thing.


Gavin:
A little local-wise, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Jon: Good bands are rare. Thats an all over the place thing, not just local. There are good marketers and good musicians. Its pretty easy to tell the two apart. As far as local metal goes... its a ghost town.

Chris: I don't know, I think there are some good local metal groups, but I do agree they are rare. There are more good bands outside of metal around here.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Jon: Yah. Hey everybody, quit trying to sound like you’re favorite band of the week.

Gavin: If you had to make a list, who would you say are the top acts in our scene now?

Jon: Hmmm... Coyote Hoods, Band Of Annuals, Form Of Rocket, Taughtme, Pilot This Plane Down. I can say that, I’m not in it.

Gavin: A little on the industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

Jon: Its ugly out there. There is a lot of crap getting pushed. But like I said, you know crap when you hear it. Dig a little below the surface and you’ll find what you’re looking for. I’m not interested in those content to settle for the radio.

Gavin:
Speaking of radio, what do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Jon: There’s always a diamond in the rough, but for the most part, anything called metal or screamo or whatever is pretty terrible. Remember when parents were bummed about what their kids were listening to? Norma Jean licks.

Gavin: What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

Jon:
I don’t know that there is much that can be done to stop it. And it hits bands like ours especially hard being that we’re not touring. But I would hope people would look at it this way. “I like their music, and I want them to make more of it. Sure I’ll support it.”

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Chris: You can keep up on whats happening with us on the MySpace page.


LOOM (Jarom Bischoff, John Finnegan, John Devenport, Kim Pack and Mike Cundick)

http://www.myspace.com/loom801

Gavin:
Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

Jarom: We're a group of people who care more about music than anyone should. We've realized we'll never be truly happy if we go on with our lives, having never pursued our dreams. Our best times are on the road. We make music that may not be for everyone, but it's what we, as a band, sincerely want to hear. We are passionate, life loving, human beings.


Gavin: How did you all get together and decide to form Loom?

Mike: We've all been playing in different bands for at least the last eight years. When we joined together a couple years ago, it happened fast. After my band, The Hifi Massacre, broke up I had a few months where I wasn't doing anything and was trying to find people to jam with. It worked out that I was friends with John, our bass player, and his band, the New Transit Direction, had just broken up. We had jammed before so we knew we'd be down to rock with each other. We were looking at a couple different drummer options and Jarom just happened to return home from his mission at the perfect time for us to start jamming. We started practicing at a space downtown called Positively 4th Street. After just a few practices we heard Kim, our violinist, jamming with a different band and we all kind of looked at each other and new she'd be perfect for our music. After getting a few songs written we started thinking about if we wanted any other elements in the band. We were all good friends with Josh, who's now our singer, and knew that he had been doing lights for a band that also fatefully had broken up in the last few months. At first he was just going to do lights and not exactly be the main singer because we were going for a kind of group shout effect with our first songs, but as the band evolved so has his voice and he now takes the lead role of vocals while still doing an awesome light show when we perform. We were all extremely serious about playing in bands when we met and from the moment it all came together it's been the most motivating thing in our lives.


Gavin:
I remember you experimented for a while until finally adding Kim. Did you know what direction you were headed in at the time, or did it take a while for you to find your sound?

Jarom: It took a while. All things are a progression, but especially so in music. All we knew and still know is we want to create something that is our own.

Gavin: I've read reviews describing your music as everything from "orchestral hardcore" to "organic emo." Do you ever get tired of the classifications of your music, or do you find it funny how people try to fit you into a category?

Jarom: No, It's perfectly normal for people to use classifications to describe music to others. How else could you explain what we sound like short of naming ever note played in succession, citing the tempo, mood, instrumentation, and so fourth. It's funny to think of people as trying to pigeonhole you just because they're doing their best to describe you. That said, anyone could describe us as anything, it all depends on what the words they use mean to them. Therefore, we are hardcore, emo, mathy, progressive, punk, rock and roll, post-rock, screamo, experimental, jazzy, or whatever. It all depends on who says it and who they're saying it too. I've always found the best way to describe a band's sound as where they're from and who they're influenced by or similar to, but that's me.


Gavin:
You joined the local label Exigent Records. How did the decision come about to join their label?

Mike: It was pretty simple really. There aren't that many people in the area that are working at creating a respectable local label. We hadn't been together very long when Colby, the owner/manager of Exigent, got word through a friend of ours, Cory Quist, that we were a band with potential and we were recording an EP. We met for lunch and coffee a couple times and shortly there after we decided to work together. It was something we all felt good about. Colby has been great to work with. He has a passion for music and is willing to put it all on the line to help bands that are working hard. Exigent has an amazing roster and we highly recommend checking out every release. We are especially proud to be affiliated with bands like God's Revolver, Prize Country, Microtia, and Accidente.

Gavin: How was the tour you guys did during 07-08?

Mike: Well, we've been on four or five tours in the past year and a half… the most memorable for sure was our 2-month US tour with Prize Country. It posed a lot of challenges that I think we all learned from. Unfortunately our drummer almost broke his hand on my scrawny arms of steel while messing around and we had to cut two weeks out of the tour and drive straight from Atlanta to Salt Lake City. It was a crazy drive and the gas bill was truly epic because of the school bus we roll around in.


Gavin:
Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Jarom: We all have had varying influences growing up, but I think the bands that influence us most are the ones that continue to do so. We tend to throw in the classics when we're on the road. Bands like Me Without You, Hot Cross, Small Brown Bike, Ignite, and Bear vs. Shark seem to be in regular play. Our tastes are diverse and extensive; it would be impossible to list all the music we like, and truthfully, we're all influenced by everything we hear.


Gavin:
What are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Kim: Salt Lake's music scene should be widely bragged about. The bands born and raised here are generally more dedicated, ambitious, and proud of their hometown's accomplishments than what I have witnessed in other cities. Their longevity and willingness to tour the country while name-dropping brother bands, is impressive as hell. When touring, nothing comforts me more than to hear another Salt Lake band mentioned by a fan. And nothing excites me more than listing off a number of reasons for loving Salt Lake when a fan assumes all our city has is an abundance of wives and weak alcohol content.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?


Jarom:
I think people in Salt Lake need to be better promoters. A lot of people don't ever realize how great the music is that's being made here. Venues do hardly anything to promote shows, which seems a bit counter intuitive. On the other side, I think bands too often try to rely on the pull of other bands to get the crowds out. People should share local music with each other, they should invite their friends to shows, they should be friendly to others at shows to promote a healthier social atmosphere. The music scene has the potential to be the best social network because people are anchored in something meaningful… music and making music. If you find a good band, one you think other people should know about, support them damnit.

Gavin: If you had to make a list, who would you say are the top acts in our scene now?

Mike: Form Of Rocket, Gaza, I Am The Ocean, God's Revolver, and Accidente.

Gavin: A little on the industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?


Jarom:
I don't think it's ever been better. More people are listening to music than ever have been in all of history. This creates great opportunities for bands like us. It's all about finding your niche. I think in our lifetime we'll see the disappearance of the superstar, at least in music. Major record labels are finally dying out, not because of file sharing, but because they haven't found a more profitable way to sell us the same thing over again. The switch from vinyl to CD is now over. Also the major label model in general is hurting them. The idea of signing 100 bands so you can find just one to make all your money with and cast aside the other 99 is ridiculous. No one with any sense is going after a major label deal. Even with an indie deal, you could stand to miss out on a lot of money you could have otherwise gained had you held out and worked a little harder. But then there are the benefits of publicity, name recognition, and networking to weigh against the downfalls of independent record labels. I'm optimistic, I think the changes that are upon us in the music world will only provide more opportunities for musicians to be able to sustain themselves in their careers.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Mike: What radio? If I really considered that question I'd get too mad. Its 99% junk and I think everyone knows it or is in denial. The only station I really like these days is 90.9, its got a great independent vibe (and I don't mean "independent" the way X96 pretends) and the political shows are actually really interesting.


Gavin:
What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

Jarom: It's built careers for countless independent bands. It's wonderful. Someone just the other day asked us if they could put some of our music on Limewire and I said hell yes. The very next day he told me that it had 1500 hits. That's more than we get on MySpace in 4 days, and it took no promotional effort whatsoever. The more people that hear our music, the better, no questions about it whatsoever. If they like us enough, they'll come see us play, they'll buy a t-shirt, they'll share our music with more people that will potentially buy our merchandise. They'll even buy the album, whether on CD for convenience, or vinyl for nostalgia and artistic worth. Telling someone they can't listen to something unless they buy it doesn't make sense. How will they know whether or not they're going to like it? Please file share and don't be afraid of the threats the crying major record labels make up and pass around because they can't take responsibility for the hole they've dug for themselves.

Gavin:
You've had "Angler" out for just over a year, how has it done since it's release?

Mike: Its done fairly well. We've toured on it quite a bit and I'm grateful for the amount of copies we've been able to get out into the world, around 2000. Not bad for having no distribution whatsoever. It was a recording that we actually were never intending to release but once it all came together and sounded pretty good we just rolled with it. The amount of support we've gotten because of it has been awesome. It won't hold a candle to our full length that will be coming out sometime in February '09. We have high hopes and we're very proud of what we'll be releasing on it. We've grown a lot since we've written Angler, the progression is apparent.

Gavin: Are you aiming for a second album yet, or just letting your current one ride for a while?


Kim:
Absolutely aiming for a second album. We're technically releasing our first "full length" album this coming February. For now, we are more than excited to sell what we have created. Even with the new album coming out, I definitely anticipate more new songs being written quickly, as it is impossible for us to practice without creating new song ideas.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Jarom: Yep. Our
MySpace page, and Loom at Big Cartel.


Pilot This Plane Down (Matt, Jason, Chris, Sean and Coty)


http://www.pilotthisplanedown.com/

Gavin:
Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

Chris: Well, I guess we are just friends doing what we love. You might say we are artists as well as musicians. We like to take a concept and build around it adding whatever mediums we feel help it along. We love to combine sound, story and imagery in what we do. Ultimately we just love doing what we do. We don't have an agenda to promote, we just want to create what works best for us.

Gavin: How did you all get together and decide to form PTPD?

Chris: A few years back Sean and I were in Day Of Less, Jason was in Drowning By Numbers, and Matt and Coty were in Nothing Ever. One by one we each joined the noise, improv and disorganization. Eventually we worked our way up to feeling comfortable with our arrangements and decided we could make it work as a band.

Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Chris: I have always been into Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Melvins, Metallica, and Radiohead. Stuff like that was pretty influential in that they made me love music and want to be a part of it. As for the styles of music I enjoy playing I have been influenced by more of the newer metal (not "Nu-Metal") acts, like Botch, Meshuggah, Will Haven, and Deftones. Too many to list, but that gives you an idea of where I'm coming from.

Gavin: You released the Airs EP back in 2004, a short EP no less. Was it simply a matter of just wanting to get your music out, or experimenting with how an EP would do locally? And how did it do when it was released?

Chris: All of the above. As our chaotic beginnings became more focused we were able to form what became Airs. We really liked the results and were eager to have something recorded. We weren't sure it would do very well because it is fairly unconventional. We completed it as one piece (the entire CD is 1 track) and felt it was complete. Releasing the album went decent enough for being completely unknown. Without any label representation we were left entirely on our own.

Gavin: You joined the local label Exigent Records. How did the decision come about to join their label?

Chris: Colby, owner of Exigent Records, has been a friend of mine for close to 10 years now. He started the label when Sean and I were in Day Of Less. By then Airs had already been released. Over time Exigent has built up a great roster of bands with killer music. He wanted to put out a PTPD record for the art of it, we were looking for someone to help us do the same thing.

Gavin:
There's a four year gap between the two albums Was that time used to concentrate on putting forth a full album, or were there other circumstances that prolonged the delay?

Chris: We actually had most of the new album written 3 years ago. While writing we found ourselves with less and less time together as schedules and other projects got in the way. We actually broke up at that time. More recently I had no music going on so I called the others and asked if they would be willing to get together and get that album recorded. So we did. We practiced for a few months, finished a couple more songs, and went into Andy Patterson (A.P.)'s studio to get it recorded.

Gavin: You released Glory Of The World a couple weeks ago. What was process like recording the album, and how has it done since being released?

Chris:
The process went quite smoothly. I have done several records with A.P. so we are very comfortable with the way he does things, and he with us. Every record he does sounds better than the one previous, so we picked a great time. We think it sounds spectacular, it is exactly how we wanted it. It has only been out for two weeks, but we hope it will be a bigger hit than “Airs” was. Actually, the CD contains an enhanced portion for the computer with a video we put together for Airs. We used the footage in live shows back in the day, projected up on the wall behind us as we played.

Gavin: A little local-wise, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Chris: I love our local music scene. There a lot of bands I don't know, but am constantly impressed by the support we keep here. There are always bads involved, some people care more about their hair do than the music, and some bands just don't seem to nail it, but those are pretty infrequent in my experience.

Gavin:
Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Chris: There is always something that could be better. I'd like to see more local music in stores, but most stores are to corporate to care about local scenes. Luckily we have the internet to help get word out, but even then there is so much out there that it's a tough competition, even on a local level.

Gavin: If you had to make a top five list, who would you say are the top acts in our scene now?

Chris: In no particular order, I'd have to go with Gaza, Nine Worlds, Form Of Rocket (kind of a staple), Loom, and Tolchock Trio.

Gavin:
A little on the industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

Chris: I don't know, I think it's okay on the independent level, majors have the same problems as always. File sharing has been both good and bad; it has taken a great deal of revenue away from the market because people don't have to pay for things anymore, so bands are spending money to create work that sees slower pay back and lower capital. But sharing and digital distribution is helping people get their music out to more and more people who would not otherwise be given the opportunity. You can find some real gems out there if you look. Overall, the industry is not shutting down but has its share of problems that need to be worked out.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Chris: I suppose there is a good little group to appreciate, but overall it's not creative enough. I hope I don't sound like a snob or anything, but it is really difficult to find much quality on the radio.

Gavin:
So are there any plans for a tour, or will you just be performing around town for a while?

Chris: We are not planning to travel too far. We all have families and jobs that we would have a hard time setting aside. We'll let the internet get us to other places. We might take a long weekend to hit surrounding states, but nothing huge.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Chris: I'd like to mention the X96 local show on Sunday evenings. Portia is great help to our local scene and we appreciate her support. Tune in for some great local music and news.



Form Of Rocket (Peter Makowski, Tyler Smith, Ben Dodds, Josh Asher and friend)

http://www.myspace.com/formofrocket

Gavin:
Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

Peter: My name
is Peter Makowski, I play guitar in Form of Rocket. I'm short and I have a sweating problem. I enjoy Thai food and long walks on the beach.

Ben: Ben here. I like my coffee with flavored creamer. I guess that's called, "Froo froo coffee." If I must, I'll take it black. Black coffee is better than no coffee. I try not to drink any after noon, unless I'm planning on a particularly late night. Otherwise, I end up rolling around all night, frustrated as hell at the fact that in three hours I have to go to work.

Gavin:
How did you all get together and decide to form Form Of Rocket?

Peter: The band was originally formed by Ben Dodds, our current bass player, Eric Bliss, and Josh Asher, our current guitar player. One show was played and the band broke up. Ben and Eric put up flyers for new players, Curtis Jensen and I responded. We began playing together, writing songs, playing shows, and it grew from there. After many line up changes and other bulls#!%... here we are.

Ben: Hmmm. That's a semi-longish story. I'll take a stab at an informative truncated version. 1998: I joined Power of Means with Form of Rocket's original drummer, Eric Bliss. After getting sick of replacing drummers, Power of Means dissolved and Eric and I decide to do a new band. He suggested the name, "Form of Rocket" and so... around 2000 or so, we teamed up with guitarist, Josh Asher, and drummer, Dan Whitesides, wrote some songs, played a total of two shows. They decided they'd prefer to focus exclusively on their group, the New Transit Direction. Eric and I continued on with the Form of Rocket concept. I asked Eric, "But who's gonna play drums?" Eric decided he was going to play drums, though he'd never played drums before. I wasn't optimistic about the idea, but went with it anyway. I wrote a bunch of bass lines and practiced them with Eric. We got to a point where we could play a few song ideas the same way each time through. I still didn't have much faith in this idea, but kept going with it. We put flyers up and the first couple of responses we got were from this kid named, Curtis (Jensen), and this other kid, Peter (Makowski). These kids, they showed up, one at a time with us, and then all of us together. We shared a few of the ideas and songs came together fairly quickly. There were no expectations of what this things we were doing would or should be and all of us, I think, thought it would be short-lived. Within a less than 6 months (I think), we recorded our song-ideas, made CDR's, and sold it at shows with neat cardboard packaging. We toured during that first six months of forming and we felt any expectations any of us had were exceeded. We toured a few more times and, as oft happens between people as they spend a lot of time together, relations became strained. There were fists involved and driving, all in one cute little package. Well, without going into too much detail, some things happened that could easily end less resilient friendships. But knowing that another band would inevitably dissolve if something drastic wasn't done, and really liking the direction I saw going in Form of Rocket, somewhat amicably parted ways with drummer and friend, Eric Bliss (God, I'm a self-centered d!ck). That decision brought us madman (on the drums and when he drinks too much), funny man, sweet guy, Tyler Smith.

Gavin:
Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Ben: Early high school (pre-rebellion): the Cure, Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Def Leppard, Guns 'N Roses, Run DMC, Public Enemy, the Violent Femmes. Late high School (post-rebellion): Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Velvet Underground, yes even... the Grateful Dead... but then something happened and what really set me on my still current musical path: Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, Nirvana, Helmet... and finally... Big Black, Rapeman, Steel Pole Bathtub, the Melvins, the Jesus Lizard, Shellac, the God Bullies.

Peter: I grew up listening to metal and hardcore. Led Zeppelin, Refused, Converge, and Metallica were big influences on me. I still listen to these bands today, although my influences have morphed and changed quite a bit.

Gavin: Reviews on your music describe your music as "emocore." Do you embrace that at all, or do you take offense to the labeling?

Peter:
I don't think that label describes us well at all. None of us really listen to emo. I'm not much for labels, I guess if people want to label us they can use whatever they like. I think the music speaks for itself. When people ask me to describe our music I usually respond, "punk rock and roll."

Ben: That's funny. I guess. Are we "emocore"? I don't care. People take away from whatever music they're listening to what they want to, using what they've heard in the past as a way to categorize it. That label being used to describe it indicates to me that the writer is either very young or hasn't listened to many non-mainstream types of music.

Gavin:
You've got three albums out over seven years. Has there ever been a pressure to get music out for the audience, or have you just gone at your own pace and let things happen as they will?

Ben: We've always gone at our own pace mostly because we're in a constant process of fighting entropy and occasionally gain a state of order just long enough to get something done before the inevitable decay ruins it again. I can tell you this; if everyone was like me, we'd have six or seven albums out by now and have toured much, much more... it's the truth. I'm hoping we're currently in Form Of Rocket's most productive, creative era yet. We'll see.

Peter: It's been a bit out of our control. Due to line up changes and other hurdles it's been hard to keep writing on a consistent bases. We try not put pressure on ourselves and just let things happen as they happen. Keeping things light keeps it fun. All we wanna do is have a good time, we'll let the music come when it comes.

Gavin: The thing people say a lot about Lumber is that it's mostly instrumental. Was that by design, or was it simply a matter of you felt that material was better than some with lyrics?

Peter:
Well, our first record was more instrumental. We actually experimented with more vocals on Lumber. Vocals and lyrics have always been secondary to us, sort of an after thought. We usually focus on writing songs we enjoy then put words to them later, sometimes in the studio as we record the record. Plus none of us can sing, except for Josh... man has pipes.

Ben: We don't plan things too much. That stuff just is what it is. It's what we had ready to record when we planned to record.

Gavin: What was it like when you joined up with Sick Room? And was there any hesitation in joining with a label after doing things independent?

Ben: Well, we had already had two releases on two different labels at that point. “Se Puede” was originally released on Braeburn Records (before I got the rights to it and self-released it), Lumber was released on Some Records out of NYC, and then Sick Room released “Men.” All of these labels are considered "independent" and none of them required anything special of us and they were all very basic deals. The label paid for some of the recording, pressing and manufacture of the CD, and helped some with promoting the music to online music zines and such, and the rest has been up to us, transportation, touring, and the like. We've had some help with booking from Leave Home Booking, but by and large touring and most of everything that happens is our responsibility.

Peter:
Sick Room wasn't our first label experience. “Lumber” was released by Some Records, a much bigger label. That didn't turn out so great for us. Sick Room has been great. It was a hand shake deal, no contracts and such. Definitely more our speed. When money and pressure to sell records comes into play, it kind of ruins the experience. Again, we're here to have fun, not sell records.

Gavin: You came out with Men in late '06, which got you the most exposure of the three. What was that time like both touring and selling that album?

Ben: We only did a couple of short tours after that release. They were great little tours. We played a lot of fun, well-attended shows, but the traveling was pretty rough. Our van was fuming toxic gases and it was really very unhealthy. After “Men” came out, we only did a couple of tours before things soured between us and we took a year-long hiatus. It was pretty stupid, IMO. I was very happy with releasing that CD, and Sick Room, etc, but once again, the band was not on the same page with one another. Peter, myself, and Tyler have always been there, and fairly focused, so if other bands could learn something from us, you might be well advised to do something new when a member quits.

Peter: It was short lived actually. We had a line up change that halted all touring for that record. I think we did maybe 2 or 3 tours on that record.

Gavin:
A little local-wise, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Peter: It's great. I've always loved the bands that come out of Salt Lake City. I think this city breeds a unique mind set. The culture, geography, and religious majority makes for an interesting artistic atmosphere. I hope that bands trust in their talent and keep on writing. We've got a very original and rare thing going on here.

Ben: I think Salt Lake City has a friendly, active, and insulated little scene. There are some good bands and quite a few good musicians. I don't really have any criticisms of it because I have no expectations for it. There are a few bands I like and quite a few I'm not so into. It's the same everywhere.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Ben:
No, unless you want to start a band-coaching service that all local bands are required to sign-up for. Bands are little experiments people need to figure out for themselves. The hypotheses usually fail. I'm really not into the idea of a scene being too organized.

Peter: If bands made the commitment to tour. It tough being so isolated here, plus gas prices have made it more difficult. The only way to expose the rest of the world to the Salt Lake music community is to get out there and play. More bands have started doing this, but I think more should take the plunge.

Gavin: If you had to make a list, who would you say are the top acts in our scene now?

Peter: Eagle Twin, Black Hole, Gaza, Iota, and Loom are some of my favs.

Ben: I really like Black Hole.

Gavin: A little on the industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

Peter: I don't think about it much. It hasn't really done much to impress me. We're pretty disconnected from "the industry", turning a band into a business is not something we're really interested in.

Ben: No thoughts, don't care.

Gavin:
What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Ben: I like NPR.

Peter: Most of it is shit. I listen to oldies when listening to the radio.

Gavin: What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

Ben: Touch my shit and I'm gonna kick your ass! Seriously, I can see file sharing having a big negative impact for major labels, but for little bands like us, it's nothing but good.

Peter: Love it. Music sharing should be free. Lars can suck my bitch.

Gavin:
Are you working on any new material for a new album yet, or just playing gigs for a while?

Peter: We just started playing and writing again. Right now we want to get out and play some shows, and write a new record. Thats the plan for the winter.

Ben: I've got ideas streaming out of my ass. Primarily, we've been working on learning our past with our new member/buddy, Josh Asher. We've touched on a few song ideas that I'm sure we'll flesh out over the next few weeks.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Ben: I'm for Barrack Hussein Obama. He is the man. Oh, and try Carlsberg "Elephant" beer and whitewater rafting. Understanding and empathy, love of fellow man, and kicking ass.

Peter: Support local and independent music. Eat a dick.

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