Corridor Interview

CORRIDOR Interview
By Alexander Laurence

About a year ago I was at one of those Manimal Vinyl events at the Echo. I think
Hecuba may have been playing. I met this fellow who called himself Quinn. He was
in a band called Corridor. I went home and listened to some of his music online.
I thought to myself: "Wow, this is intense!" A year later his album is out and this
music excites me. The songs have provocative titles like "Free Icon" and "Books I
Have Never Read." I met Quinn recently in Los Feliz. We tried to take a few photos
but that was delayed by a police search in his neighborhood. They blocked off the
streets. Anyway, we finally met up and everyone was okay. The album is out. He
Quinn: will be on KXLU on July 10th. And will soon be touring with Caroline Weeks and
Lewis and Clark.

AL: What is your music background?

Quinn: The majority of my musical history has been as a drummer. I started
out playing drums in grind-core and thrash bands as a teen-ager later
moving on to drumming for more abstract progressive projects around
Boston, New England and Seattle. Corridor is the first attempt I
have made to come out from behind the kit. All of the instruments
that I have come to use with Corridor were always considered a hobby.

AL: Did you play in other bands before?

Quinn: Yes. More bands than I can possibly care to remember. Most of them
were short lived or failed attempts. A few of the more successful projects
were The Farewell Chapter, B.S.I and Querencia. All were based out or the
Boston, MA area and had moderate attention for the area and time period.

AL: How did you go about choosing songs for this album?

Quinn: I had written about 10 songs for this album. We used 8. All together it would have been 112 minutes of music. I felt that since this was a debut release I needed to focus on the songs that could showcase the direction of my efforts. The integrity of the album was sacrificed a little but in the end it was the right choice.

AL: How has the reaction been to the new songs when played live?

Quinn: Very positive to my surprise. The new material i am working on is a more collected sound. I am focusing more on the song as a whole rather than movements within. The newest song i am playing live is 12 minutes long. Like I said, I am surprised people have the attention span to listen and actually express that they enjoy it.

AL: What bands do you like now?

Quinn: I guess to keep this from going on a never ending playlist I will say that Cloudland Canyon has been my favorite band currently since last Summer.

AL: How does a song get written? Is it music first or lyrics and melody

Quinn: I have no method for the most part. It comes from sitting around with a Guitar in hand until I find a riff that i like to build on and around. But, I also will just sit with nothing and think what i want to hear and just do it. I wrote "free icon" in the shower because it had a warm echo when i was singing.

AL: Do you collaborate with others, or do you play all the instruments
yourself live?

Quinn: I play everything on the album as well as live. Every song I write and record is at its most basic form. I do not record anything that i will not be able to play live except the drums. I sample those on stage but i did play them on a drum set so it is a little more honest than programming beats.

AL: How did you go about recording the new album? Who was involved?

Quinn: The album was recorded at a couple locations by two different people.

I recorded the drum tracks at an anarchist co-op studio in Seattle. The production quality as well as the studio itself was better than i expected. They did not except money for the recording time. Everything is based on trade. So its amazing what a mic stand and a used sm-57 can get you these days. The rest of the music and vocals were recorded at Red Room studios by Chris Common of These Arms Are Snakes in Seattle. A complete 180 from the other studio seeing that bands like Mastadon and Minus the Bear have recorded there. There is a rawness as well as a clean-pro sound to the album which is exactly what I wanted.

AL: What do you think about making videos and youtube?

Quinn: At first i could have cared less, but after i made this first video with Ravi Dhar for Barricks i am a believer in the video aspect of music. It was a great experience and would love to do another.

AL: What other hobbies do you have?

Quinn: Well, I find I have no free time to pick up anything else at the moment. Most of the time I am working. When i am not, sleeping. As awful as this sounds, it is important to me to go out and have drinks and cocktails. It is a priority in my life to live it and pass the time in an alcohol induced haze with my close friends whenever possible.

AL: Can you recommend a book?

Quinn: No. I would be doing the world a disservice by pretending I read often enough to have an opinion about literature. I read Hemmingway's "the old man and the sea" about 2 months ago. I am still on my high school summer reading list from 1999.

AL: What should people expect in the shows in summer and fall 2009?

Quinn: A lot of new music and instrumentation... and if all goes well a live drummer.

AL: Any plans to go to new places this year?

Quinn: Yes. I am heading out on a moderately heavy U.S. tour. So a lot of new cities will be played for the first time. I also am trying very hard to get over to Europe by November or December.

Photos: Angel Ceballos
Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


Gliss Interview

GLISS interview
by Alexander Laurence

GLISS is playing Echoplex on June 28th.

Gliss is probably my favorite band in LA right now. They just released their second album, Devotion Implosion. They were just back in LA after a three month tour. I caught up with David, Victoria, and Martin at one of their special shows in LA. They were also doing a benefit show. How nice of them! Martin Klingman was kind enough to answer my questions recently, and here it is:

AL: How has living in LA influenced the band?

Martin: It's really funny. LA has a bad rep in some parts of the US. I know this from touring and getting peoples response when they asked..."so where are you from?" But I feel that LA is a melting pot and this diversity really brings out some great things. I think for anyone, LA helps you decide very quickly if you are up for it or not. Whatever your desire may be. There is so much talent out there... hmm ?? Is this what I want to do? LA encourages creativity in me. I love the variety here with food, landscape, people. LA is pretty open minded too. I also have desires for a new environment. I would also like the band to move to Europe for a year, while making an album. That sounds exciting. We've written/recorded in Denmark and we all tapped into some very creative juice over there.

AL: What did you all do before you were in a band?

Martin: We were learning our ABC's and trying to understand how to play an instrument. We've all grown up playing music in a band setting going into our childhood. So before that...... dirt bikes, skateboards, sports, & getting grounded.

AL: How was it to play shows with different bands such as Smashing Pumpkins and Von Iva?

Martin: It's always great to make new friends and see how someone else is "doing it". It's refreshing to get out of our little bubble and step into someone else's world. I find it interesting, relaxing and inspiring. You once again realize. the rule is.... there are no rules! Every band we have toured with has been completely different in their ways. We learn from each other, whether we know it or not.

AL: How has the reaction been to the new songs?

Martin: Incredible. I must say. That has been one of the more rewarding experiences for me. We decided to focus on playing songs from Devotion Implosion live and the fans are really giving it back to us. I see fans singing along and expressing their appreciation for the album when we chat after gigs. It means very much to me. We gave this record a lot of ourselves. I walked away feeling like i gave it all i had. After that...... what else can you do? Go get some sleep and read a book.

AL: What bands do you like now?

Martin: At the moment, I have been listening to: Camera Obscura, El Perro Del Mar, Libertines , Liars, Royksopp, The Kills, CAN, even Frank Sinatra (but he's a guy, not a band).

AL: How does a song begin for the band? Is it music first or lyrics and melody first?

Martin: Ahh. hmmm ?.... pretty much all three ways. Generally, about 70% of our recorded material comes from the music first. I will also have some lyrics & melodies I have been bouncing around and then those will begin a song. We do not have any set way of working. I'd like to trip out when we have some spare time and get some new gear to toy with. I like playing on an unfamiliar guitar, keyboards, drums, bass, cymbals.. I feel it is healthy to get out of the comfort zone and get new inspiration, new pedals, etc... I can see why bands in the past generally have progressed due to a desire for the new. I completely get it!

AL: What do you think of bands that use computers?

Martin: I think its fine, whatever they want to do is what they want to do. No rules, no better.. no less. I can't really critique bands. The famous quote "Opinions are worthless, they are like assholes, everybody's got one" I like that. Who am I to say what is........ or what isn't. All kinds of art can come from anything. If a record is considered a success today, it might be not so loved in 5 years and vise versa. It's all really silly. Just do your thing.

AL: How did you go about recording the new album?

Martin: We have an old Trident board in our practice space (rumor has it that it was Elliott Smith's). We also have some decent microphones, a couple of high end mic pre's and borrowed some gear from our sweet friends. Once we had some songs together, we would record them. We recorded the album in I think 3 or 4 blocks of time. "Love Songs" was recorded in my friend Lex's kitchen. The drums were just slamming in there. I was like. YES !!! This sounds great. That song pretty much was effortless. There were a few songs that took more work than others, but that's the nature of the game. Each song has to be approached differently. Victoria and David both did some unique layering on drums for "Sleep" & "Morning Light". We used 2 different drum sets on each song and they even recorded snares, brushes, kick drums seperately. It was fun and funny. At one point David has like 19 or so drums recorded and I had to go in there and pick out the meat and bones of the track. But, that is the only way sometimes to finding something special. People seem to enjoy "Morning Light", so I guess it worked out just fine. 80% of the vocals were recorded in my studio apartment. I am sure the neighbors were loving that !! The rest of the vocals were done at our space in Downtown LA, where we tracked most of the instruments. Since, I am able to do some recording at home, I really had fun doing the guitars on "Morning Light" & "Anybody Inside" I stuck an amp in my closet and tweaked it til the sound made me go WOW !! Then I let her rip. I'd say half of the bass guitar was done at our Downtown space and the other half in my apartment. Bass is one of the most unique and precise instruments to record. Victoria is a wiz on bass. She'll do a take or maybe 2 and be like. OK. Cool, I am done. David & I are pretty funny to be around when we are doing guitars. It's like two mad scientists tweaking knobs and trying guitars. we have about 6 guitars we use for recording. I'd like 7.

We have every pedal plugged in, cables everywhere. I love it! David killed it on "Love Songs" & "Sleep". Great space, sounds and the performance. When we did "Sleep" it was one of the last songs we tracked. All 3 of us were in my apartment doing the hand claps together. It was a stand out memory for me. We were finishing the album and the song was really starting to shine. I was happily surprised by the vibe and dynamics. I could go on and on.... I am at home in the studio. Even if it is a looooong day. which it usually is.

AL: How do you feel about people downloading your music illegally?

Martin: Gosh, I am mixed. It's the times i guess. Its how people are hearing new music. But deep down in my heart it feels weird. Hmm ? What can I say. In the 90's, an indie band would put out a record and sell 20-30K records. now its like... sales ??? I am not sure what the future has in store for us. I hope there is a better way coming. There is something special about purchasing anything. You care about it, because you had to work to make that money. I don't want to see people discarding records, because of they are not invested in them. Like I said, It's wierd. This should be very interesting to see how it plays out. I'd love to see CD's & MP3's stopped and just make Vinyl. It makes me smile when I think of kids sitting on the floor with there headphones on listening to a scratchy record, watching it spin around and staring at the big pictures on the inside sleeve. that's rock n roll to me.

AL:What do you think about making videos and youtube?

Martin: I like it. Since MTV is not really playing videos too much, it's like the new MTV in a way. I love looking up videos and live footage of bands I dig. Thumbs up!

AL: What will you be doing for the rest of the year?

Martin: We are about to go to the UK to play some shows. They are releasing "Morning LIght" as a single and then record comes out in the UK/Europe on Oct 11th 2009. So, it looks like more will be revealed. There is talk of doing a full UK tour in October and parts of Europe like Germany, France, Amsterdam, Belgium, Scandanavia... that would be great. I think we are doing some more US shows as well in September.

AL: Do members of GLISS pursue non-musical art?

Martin: We all have fun with visual art. I know David & Victoria both are creative with designs, painting, drawing. I enjoy painting, cut and paste type art.

AL: What other hobbies do you have?

Martin: I enjoy reading lately. Which has always been a desire of mine. I think I am getting a little better at sitting with a book. I love biographies, I always have. Everybody has a story to tell. Tell me your story!

AL: I have my novel right here. Can you recommend a book?

Martin: I just finished "Cat Power, A Good Woman". That was a pretty good read. I am in the middle of "The Reader" - I like it very much.

AL: What should people expect in the shows in summer and fall 2009?

Martin: To hear our new album "Devotion Implosion" come to life. I love to see my favorite bands play live. It takes me to a special place that has never really been topped. The energy and volume !! mm hmmm !! Wonderful !

AL: Any plans to go to new places this year?

Martin: We've already been to a few new places. The deep south was gorgeous. Miami beach was amazing. But back to your question.. Yes, I guess going to Norway would be a new place we are discussing to possibly hit while on tour. I have never been there. We've been to Denmark & Sweden, but never Norway.

photos: Angel Ceballos
Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


MAGIC WANDS interview

Magic Wands
Exclusive interview
by Alexander Laurence

Magic Wands is a happening new band from Nashville, Tennessee. It is comprised of the duo, Chris and Dexy Valentine. They both sing and play guitar. They have toured a lot the past year, playing with The Raconteurs and Black Kids. Recently they just finished a month-long tour of America with The Kills and The Horrors. The fans for the music of Magic Wands are growing. They have really catchy tunes about teenage love and fantasy worlds. Their first single "Black Magic" is the catchiest song that I heard in a while. So I got to sit down with the duo in their secret lair, and ask them some questions. Definitely check them out live and check their myspace!

1.How has living in Nashville, Tennessee influenced the band?
DEXY: It kept us focused. We lived in a quiet place in a village
that had lots of nice scenery.

2. What did you do before you were in a band?
CHRIS: We both wrote songs, went to shows & listened to lots of music.

3. How has the reaction been to the Magic Love and Dreams EP?
CHRIS: It's just come out: we hear it has been good so far.

4. What bands do you like now?
DEXY: We've been listening to old RCA/Victor records, instrumentals and soundtracks
that set a mood.

5. How does a song begin for the band? Is it music first or lyrics and melody first?
CHRIS: Usually one of us comes up with drum and bass, the other, keyboard or guitar. And then lyrics last.

6. Magic Wands seem to be more theatrical than most bands. Can you talk about that?
DEXY: We find stuff we like and bring it on stage with us: bubble machines,
tiger heads, lions, heart-shaped lights. The same stuff we like to have around at home.

7. Do you use samples?
CHRIS: We sample clips from old movies, records, and videos for our show.

8.How do you feel about people downloading your music illegally?
DEXY: eh.. It's better to be able to hold an album or cd in your hands and be able to read the lyrics and look at the art.

9. How was the tours with The Kills and The Horrors?
DEXY: We got to see the whole country in a month and played some great venues. Most shows were filled up early so we always had a good crowd to play to. The Kills and The Horrors are both great so it was cool.

10. What do you think of the recent remixes of "Black Magic?"
CHRIS: We like them.

11. How do you go about making videos?
DEXY: We go to the party store and buy a bunch of stuff, set up a camera in our place and make a night out of it.

12. When will an album come out?
CHRIS: We begin recording in July so soon after.

13. Do members of Magic Wands still pursue non-musical art?
CHRIS: Yeah, we're always either making graphics, collages, taking pictures, or making videos, we like to stay busy.

14. What other hobbies do you have?
DEXY: Flea markets, record shopping, going to new age conventions,
We're both going to try and take up surfing this summer.

15. Can you recommend a book?
DEXY: Cosmos by Giles Sparrow, it explores the universe
in giant colorful pages.

16. What should people expect in the shows in summer and fall 2009?
CHRIS: We'll have more songs with a longer set and some new surprises.

17. Any plans for a new single this year?
CHRIS: We think our next single in the UK is Warrior, not sure for the US though.
We have some new tracks we're working on that don't have titles yet.

Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


Hecuba @ El Rey

Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink

Bat For Lashes @ El Rey

Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


Art Brut: four shows in LA this week

Art Brut at Spaceland June 16th-18th, and The Echo June 19th for a final US show.
Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


A Camp @ Troubadour : Monday June 15th

A Camp
Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink


Patrick Wolf @ El Corazon

The Nylon Tour comes to LA on Tuesday, June 9th, at the Roxy!!!
Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink

Living Things live in Seattle

Share/Bookmark Read more / Permalink