Solar Euphoria & Patter Stats | Buzz Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Solar Euphoria & Patter Stats

Posted By on December 30, 2008, 9:54 AM

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After the predictable car-wreck that was Christmas and having to shovel myself out of six inches of powder, I needed a show to cleanse the palate. And did I choose wisely!

--- Heading overt to Kilby Court the day after (and seeing that they were just as buried in snow as I was), I got to warm myself by the fire and enjoy what would have been one of the CD release shows for The Future Of The Ghost. But due to some setbacks that album will now be out in a couple months. But watching FOTG play their hearts out is still a sight to behold. I've already chatted with those guys this year, so I got to talk to the other acts of the night and take photos of the entire show. First up was the jam-session oriented Solar Euphoria, followed by the indie-rock favorites Patter Stats.

Solar Euphoria

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

Scott: My name is Scott Michael Lookinland. I don't know, I'm not good at these and they always come out sounding strange.

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

Scott: There's a great story about this. When I was 6 and just getting into music, I discovered (thanks to the radio I assume) The Backstreet Boys. I made my mother take me when they came to the Delta Center. A month or so later, my parents took me to another concert at the Delta Center, real music they called it. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young... I never looked back. I started to go through my parents' CD's and records. Following in my father's footsteps I became a devout Deadhead. While also mixing in the old standards like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes, The Beatles, etc. Later on I discovered some of the great names of our time - Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, The Unicorns, Modest Mouse, Beck, etc. And more recently - Kayo Dot, Stars Of The Lid, Mount Eerie. There are too many, I only listed a few, The Highlights. There are surely some I forgot, but I hope that gives you an idea.

Gavin: What made you decide to form Solar Euphoria?

Scott: There was never really a decision besides realizing that I liked to play music. I've been in many projects, and the greatest part about all of them was that everyone was just friends, brought together by that common interest - we all loved to play and had fun doing it. %uFFFDAs is the case today.

Gavin: Why did you choose to make it a solo-type project instead of a full band?

Scott: We are only a solo group in the sense that all of the songs we play, I wrote. But what others bring to it is stuff I could never do or come up with. It's great! It becomes their music too and different people bring different things. We all have fun and that's what it's really about.

Gavin: Do you have a set group of people you play with, or do you rotate people out for different sounds?

Scott: Usually my brother drums. Not only have we adapted style-wise to one another, but we live together allowing for near constant jams/practices. Other than that, it's up in the air. Everyone is welcome.

Gavin: You're unsigned right now. Are you looking for a label, or will you continue to be independent?

Scott: I don't know... Back in the day, without a major label's help, you would have no hope of getting your name out, distribution, etc. But today, with file sharing and instant world wild communication... it's just not a necessity. You don't even need a studio anymore if you know what you're doing and have the right equipment, you can make recordings that are just as good in your living room. Looking for - No. If they came to me I'd have to consider it, but who would own the music? Who gets paid what? Why? And do I really want their corporate logo on my CD?

Gavin: Are there any plans for an album at the moment or are you just sticking to playing gigs for now?

Scott: To date, I have composed 3 full length albums under the title Solar Euphoria - I just haven't been able to record them either because of lack of equipment or time or persistence. It's unfortunate but society's demands get in the way - I just need to be locked in an empty house with all my toys for a month. But who will front the bill? So yes, there are plans, but there will always be shows.

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

Scott: A lot of good music is made here, but a lot of bad music is also made here. Oh well. We have a slew of great venues and big names often come through. There could be more local support, community spirit, I don't know. People need to dance more.

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

Scott: Yes! My big thing of late is a need to help weave this community of inspiring locals tighter. Big group jams. Idea exchange.You know... help each other out more. Let's get a real, great, friendly scene going here.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

Scott: I would say Ether for sure, timeless. I love what Will Sartain and The Future Of The Ghost do. Great stuff. I finally got to see The Periodic Table of Funk recently... blew my mind. I always love to see The Vile Blue Shades. It's all great, danceable stuff. And wonderful people too. Check out Lard Boy and Dramione, two great guys with wonderful ideas.

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

Scott: Music shouldn't be about money, people who make music just to make money end up making terrible music. It has no... soul. It's a shame that that's what it's become. I play because I love it, I have fun. More people should do things for that reason alone and quit doing the things they feel obligated to, especially for money or social status. Feel free. People need to let go.

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

Scott: I hate the radio. I don't want to hear the same ten terrible songs over and over again. I also don't want to hear one song separated from its intended series. When an artist creates something, it's meant to exist as a whole. Listening to just the song "Wish You Were Here" exclusive of the album would be like cutting up "Guernica" into many pieces and only looking at one. Of course that's very idealistic and some stations are better than others. Still, I don't listen to the radio often.

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

Scott: Torrenting is great. I'm sick of copyright laws, they dampen creativity and once again, it's all about money. I figure most people are like me. If they find something that's really great, even if they could get it for free, they will inevitably buy a hard copy, directly from the artist if possible. Not only to show their support, but to own a piece of history.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the next year?

Scott: Lots of shows. Lots of free shows as well (parks, parties, coffee shops, etc). I've been recording a lot of our live shows, and by summer hope to have a compilation. Not a best of... more of a collage. Oh... and maybe a light show.

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

Scott: Show-wise... Concerts First invited us to play in a battle of the band at In The Venue on the 28th of February. It's a big deal for us, big venue. So far, that's all we know. They said they'd get back to us after the holidays, I'll keep you posted. Our 'space page would be the best place to check for upcoming shows. We love to play parties... call us! In general, I would like to promote the concepts of the creative process, idea exchange, having fun, etc. And in an effort to help weave our valley's scene tighter... an invitation - Come jam with us! Come have fun.

Patter Stats

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

Patrick B: We are just four dudes, with four different backgrounds, who like to play our instruments.

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

Patrick B: I grew up with many different influences. My father is a product of the 1960's so, naturally, I grew up with a lot of that music. Neil Young is someone who I grew up with, particularly his album “After The Gold Rush” which is still one of my favorites. He also introduced me to a lot of “world” music; mostly Latin and African, as well as various classical genres. My brother is a product of the nineties so I also listened to a lot of 90's grunge and alternative. Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins were two bands that stick out. It wasn’t until high school when I started getting interested in Jazz and what we call “Indie-Rock”. Since then it has been a lot of J.J. Johnson and Stan Getz, among various other groups. One of my favorite records is Getz/Gilberto- by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto.

James C: I love every genre of music and I’m constantly rediscovering music that I grew up listening to. When I was learning how to play the bass, I was listening to an eclectic collection of music ranging from Tool to The Disco Biscuits to Medeski,Martin and Wood. Playing in a Jazz band throughout high school has exposed me to great bassists such as Jaco Pastorious, Bootsy Collins, Ray Brown and Ron Carter, while my interest in rock has kept my ear towards Flea, Les Claypool, John Paul Jones and the like. Hip-hop has also influenced me : Jay-Z, Doomtree, Blue Scholars and De La Soul are all class acts.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form Patter Stats?

Patrick B: I k new Adam and another friend Patrick (not our current drummer) from their old band Whiskey’s Wake and through a mutual acquaintance. Patrick called me and asked if I was interested in playing with them so I showed up and there was Patrick MaGuire (our current drummer). We messed around for a few months, not accomplishing anything. Eventually Patrick left the group and it just the three of us (Adam, Patrick MaGuire and myself). We played around a bit as a trio until James, a friend from high school, joined and created the lineup we currently have.

James C: Affirmative.

Gavin: You've got an indie-rock sounds, but you have tracks that come off as ska. What inspired that kind of sound?

Patrick B: I think the ska thing was unintentional, but it makes sense. I think it mostly comes from Patrick MaGuire’s background. As displayed by his ever-present Aquabat Cadet Faction t-shirt, he really likes ska. I also have listened to ska in high school, but I don’t think it is that prevalent of an influence on me. I did play the trumpet on our album however.

Gavin: You put out your self-titles album last year. What was it like recording it?

Patrick B: It was the longest process I have ever gone through, taking about a year total from start to finish. It was also a huge learning experience. I had never recorded anything serious before that project so there was a lot of experimentation. It was a great experience though. I love to see the transformation a song makes from initial concept to final product. A lot of the time the final product is very different from what you initially intended.

James C: Word.

Gavin: The album was pretty much a DIY project. Did you wish you had some additional help or a label to put it out on, or do you prefer doing things that way for the creative control?

Patrick B: With the exception of mixing, which was done by Jeff Adams at Archive Studios, the album was entirely DIY. It was definitely positive to do whatever you want as a lot of times the songs only came together through the recording process. We were really able to experiment with different parts and sounds and whatnot. I also think that was kind of a detriment to the process, as it took us forever to do. I would have been great to have help from a label, particularly in the financial aspect. If we had a bigger budget (or any budget) we could have gotten a much greater quality of recording. We were very limited as to what we could do to get a good sound because we didn’t have the knowledge or the equipment to do so. That where Jeff Adams helped a lot. He made it sound a lot better than our raw recordings.

James C: As Pat said before, making our first album was a learning experience. We now know what we do in the studio will turn out sounding like in the final product. Now that we know that, we can change our sound as we see fit. I really like the hands-on experience of recording a song and having it all come together in the end.

Gavin: What was the public reaction like when you put it out?

Patrick B: There really wasn’t a public reaction. Most of the people who bought it were our friends. Most of the feedback we received was about the quality of the recordings, and sometimes the quality of my singing voice. The feedback about the actual music was generally very positive.

Gavin: You're unsigned right now. Are you looking for a label, or will you continue to be independent?

Patrick B: We are not actively looking for a label, but if something comes along I am sure we would greatly consider it.

James C: I want a lawyer...

Gavin: Are there any plans in the works for another album, or just sticking or playing shows at the moment?

Patrick B: We have actually just started recording the next album. We are still trying to find the most efficient way to make it, so there is no projected completion date.

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

Patrick B: I think we have a great and diverse scene. There is a lot to choose from despite the fact that the scene itself is very small. For the most part, bands really support each other and, from my experience, there is very little completion. I think Salt Lake has started to develop its own sound and, in my opinion, it is a great sound.

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

Patrick B: I think the best thing that could be done is for people to achieve a greater appreciation for the scene. It is a good one.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

Patrick B: In no particular order: Tolchock Trio, The Future of the Ghost, Band Of Annuals, Mushman, and The Glinting Gems

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

Patrick B: I think it is depressing. The main stream music industry is in a terrible state. In ye olde tymes (18th and 19th centuries) music was considered to be a pure and total art. It was also considered to be a very sophisticated means of expression and communication. One had to really invest themselves in a piece in order to find its true depth and meaning. It was also extremely expressive. This is particularly so with the Romantic era. I think all of these things are disappearing. Our society is based so firmly upon the philosophy of instant gratification that we no longer want to have to invest ourselves as we did before. As a result, the quality of the art has greatly diminished. Because of overexposure (radio, grocery stores, etc.) we now listen to music as though it is a background activity. I think that a lot of Salt Lake bands are doing a great job of avoiding the creation of mediocre background music and pushing their art into something sophisticated and real. It gives me hope.

James C: It really disappoints me to know that once bands are signed, sometimes they are manipulated by their labels to produce a sound that is popular, and that will sell more albums. I really like all the independent record labels that are out there that encourage creativity.

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

Patrick B: Again, I find them very depressing. I do not listen to the radio often but when I do I find that I am disappointed in the quality of the new music that is being played. It has even become difficult for me to filter through the homogeneity of everything and determine what is good. The radio is too overwhelming for me so I generally don’t listen. It is hard for me to really digest a song when it is in that format.

James C: I’ve stopped listening to the radio, because I don’t like the annoying commercials and hearing the same five songs over and over again. It doesn’t bother me that bands don’t get radio play.

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

Patrick B: I, personally, don’t have a problem with file sharing. I think artists should just be glad that their music being heard. At this point that is all that I care about. It is, of course, nice to recoup some of the money you spend on making a record, but giving away some of your music isn’t a big deal. I don’t really utilize file sharing because the presentation of music is very important to me. I prefer to understand the album in the context of the artwork and track ordering. Perhaps my opinions would change if I were to make it in the big times. For now I am happy.

James C: Again…I want a lawyer. Haha! I think that file sharing is great for smaller bands that are just starting out because it gets their name around easier. However, If a band is making a living on their album sales alone (a very unlikely scenario), I could see how that would anger some musicians.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the next year?

Patrick B: A new album and numerous epic shows.

James C: Maybe some German goth metal...

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

Patrick B: Buy the Fleet Foxes record. You will not be disappointed…unless you are. Then I am sorry I recommended it to you.

James C: Doomtree. Awesome hip hop group from the Midwest. Also, if you like ATHF, I would suggest purchasing the newest season.


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