Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Silent Lions Interview (Part Two: The Compartments)

...Continued from our first chat with Toledo-Detroit-based Silent Lions for their performance at The Secret Friends Fest...

But now, let's talk about music.

Later this month, Silent Lions release their 2nd EP -The Compartments. This follows up last year's debut The Parliaments. Here, have a listen:

And so The Compartments -coming out Jan 14th on Nah Collective- will sound something like: http://silentlions.bandcamp.com/album/stolen-in-the-heat-of-the-moment

Let's talk about sound aesthetic...

Dean Tartaglia, on vocals, bass and a slew of other shadowing, muddying- electronic-effects, said that Parliaments represented an "urge to make aesthetic choices that" he wasn't "allowed" to make during past recording sessions for other groups.

"I wanted to further our sound while broadening our scope of dynamics," says the multifaceted songwriter / experimenter. When he says "our," he's referring to his drummer and backing vocalist Matt Klein.

"That first month of writing together," says Klein, "we were still figuring out our approach to the instrumentation as we went." They experimented with pedals, effected the bass and vocals extensively as well as subtly, getting it as close as could be to what they were hearing in their heads.

"The octave bass," says Klein, "and the heavy reverb on the vocals came together while recording Parliaments, and we've kept refining things since then. Now, I feel we've found a palette...for the bass and vocal sounds and we can write utilizing our set-up much better."

Bare in mind, they've only been going at this for one full year - which is notable considering they've spent a good portion of the year driving their gear around on DIY-booked tours, between two recording sessions (as well as a boat-load of Detroit-appearances).

Says Tartaglia, "(Compartments) feels like an expansion...trying some different effects that we didn't get a chance to experiment with before." He also reminds us, that despite all the psychedelic or rhythm-centric freak-blues vibes radiating from their sound - they can, yes, still just be a rock n roll band.

"I hope I was put on this earth," says Tartaglia, "to remind people that: Nirvana was really a pretty sweet band, right? And that it's okay to rock. Rock isn't dead and you shouldn't let genre dictate whether something is 'cool.' Ain't what-chya do, it's hatcha do it, ya know??"

Tartaglia would know a thing or two about rock, considering he spent a year touring and performing with Detroit's own The Sights. A tenure with those road warriors likely played some small role in assuring that SiLi would, themselves, be diligent about consistent touring. Between spurts of two-week tours, they still find time to write.

Tartaglia said that they started writing immediately after last fall's tour, working together a dozen new demos for their next potential release. "We've really hit our writing stride," said Tartaglia, "We are very excited to get back into the studio, but that's after this album cycle of course, planning on about 80 shows through the first half of 2014. As much as I just defended our rock elements earlier, we are interested in following our hip-hop/soul influences down the rabbit hole with this new batch of songs"

So, you can possibly expect less QOTSA/Nirvana drums and distortion and maybe a drier, stripped down, roomier sounding LP.

"Yes" said Tartaglia, "the next one will be our first full length." Expect it to sound like?  "... Tame Impala, current Flaming Lips, Odd Future....come to mind... something that challenges us in the studio, and maybe even challenges the listener on what the our sound is...but then, broadens our sonic and harmonic horizons further."

"I'm excited to see the friends we've made all through last year again," says Klein, looking ahead. "We want to hit some new stops on our first tour for this record. We're planning on shooting a video for the second single when we get back home. It will be similarly atmospheric to our others, but we promise it won't consist of extreme closeups of our faces this time. We plan to stay behind the camera."


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