the Christmas season winds near, a lot of venues are opening up to
earlier hours and bringing in shows and concerts for those wishing to
explore more of what the scene has to offer. From poetry slams to
holiday themed performances to even old-school filmmaker movie
nights, the creativity is abound all through downtown.
Last night The W Lounge featured a showcase of talent, hosted by and featuring the poetry of Eric Tanner, along with Kettle Black as his backing, the poetry of Jesse Parent, music from Ken Critchfield, and a dark performance from the band I got to interview for this show... Aye Aye. Chatting up their formation and work along with future plans along with thoughts on local music, all with some photos from last night's show to be found over here.
Aye Aye (Andrew Alba, Braden McKenna, Garrick Biggs & Nelle Ward)
Gavin: Hey Andrew, first off, tell us a little about yourselves.
Andrew: We are a group of musicians from Davis County, and we all really like music.
Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?
Andrew: From an early age my dad got me into Janis Joplin and Van Morrison, then when I was thirteen and learning to play the guitar, I was listening to KRCL, and they played a Robert Johnson song. I didn't know it was him at the time, so I went to the record store and blindly bought a Lightnin' Hopkins album. This was the first time that I had heard honest music and it threw my little world through a loop of fire.
Gavin: How did you all get together to form Aye Aye?
Andrew: We met on the bright mountain top of the paper cranes collective, and continued to jam after that, and one thing led to another. I asked them to help me out with a show, and then I asked them to help me record, and I continue to ask for their help. And they always come through.
Gavin: All of you come from already established bands in the music scene. What was it like developing a sound that didn't come off like other bands you're in?
Andrew: I think that we all have different ideas of what kind of music we want to make personally. We all record on each other albums, Braden (Navigator) plays bass and Garrick (Stag Hare) plays drums for Aye Aye. When Braden plays a show I play guitar in Navigator and when Garrick records I play crystal bowls with Stag Hare. We all have a basic idea of what sound each of us are trying to achieve. So we all add our input and try not to step on the toes of the goal.
Gavin: Last year you released both an EP and an LP. First, how was it recording Sly Ayes' Congregation?
Andrew: Congregation was a good time to record, it was the first time that any of us recorded live. We were about to head off to the west coast to bath in the light, and we wanted something new to sell. I didn't have a concrete idea on the songs or the structures of the songs, and neither did the band. I would show them a basic idea of the song and we would record. So what you hear on the album is the second or third take and the first take on the last epic jam “Baby Girl Leads The Pack.”
Gavin: Was it easier to move onto doing a full length after that, or was that a whole other challenge in recording?
Andrew: We actually recorded the full length in the winter before. But recording Congregation made me realize the I always want to record live. There seems to be a certain energy in the recordings that you cant get any other way.
Gavin: What was the public reaction like to both after they were released?
Andrew: I would be surprised if anyone other then a few people in Salt Lake heard Congregation. We only made fifty copies and got rid of most of them on tour. But that got a good response outside of Utah. Saint Delay & The Golden God got good and bad reviews.
Gavin: You're currently working on a second full length at the moment, how's it coming along?
Andrew: Wonderfully, I am very excited about it. I honestly believe that I am working with the best artists in Utah. It also will not be Aye Aye, but a new name High Country. 2009 is the last year for Aye Aye.
Gavin: What plans have you got in store for the tour to follow?
Andrew: Looooonnnnggg and sweet. With campfires and acoustic instruments, and maybe a flute.
Gavin: Going state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?
Andrew: The good thing about the local music scene is that there is so much sweetness being created by so many serious artists, the bad thing about the scene is that nobody takes these serious artists serious.
Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?
Andrew: More venues and more promoters. The scene here is run by two people, and if you don't fit in the groove or disagree with them, then you wont play any shows. Its a drag to see how many musicians are kissing these peoples feet so that they can get on the next big show.
Gavin: Aside yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?
Andrew: Stag Hare! Because he blew my mind at Kilby a few weeks ago.
Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio these days and how its affecting local artists?
Andrew: I think they do a great job at covering all the musicians in Utah, they are getting a lot of hard working artists heard.
Gavin: What's your take on file sharing these days and how it affects you as a musician?
Andrew: I think its wonderful, anybody can have their music heard. Its a beautiful thing. More people are hearing it. Sure the artist doesn't make any money, but they can always go on tour and if enough people are stealing their albums then maybe they will pay money to see them play.
Gavin: What can we expect from you guys going into next year?
Andrew: New album, new name, and then another album.