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So, this is a new blog.
Run by Alex and Max.
At the moment we will be posting music reviews (bands, songs, albums, EP’s, gigs etc) but I imagine that other things will get a look in at some point.
Obviously nothing here, but several reviews to come in the next week, so yeah, give us a follow on here or Twitter ( https://twitter.com/#!/poorlyattempted ) to keep updated!
Zarif: So, first thing’s first, thanks for doing this interview.
John: No problem!
Zarif: Can you tell us a little bit about the band and what you do?
John: What the band does has changed a lot over the years, I’ve been in Tera Melos for almost four years now and it’s changed a lot just even in that time, but I think it’s been a very natural change and it’s been uh- if you follow Tera Melos’s progression from the first (album) the chainsaw guys one til’ complex full of phantoms, the split. Patagonian Rats was kind of the next step for that. You know, vocals were becoming a little more prevalent and songs were becoming more structured and longer in terms of being more composed and not just like, long in that it has a few structured parts and a lot of free sections or anything like that.
Zarif: How did you find adjusting into the band? Because you know there was Vince originally.
John: Mhm, yeah it took a little while to get comfortable with each other musically. We just did it the way most people do, which is just practise, practise, and practise. (laughs)
So that was it and Patagonian Rats took a long time to write because that chemistry was still building and we would go on tours here and there and write and everything was kind of split up and I live in a different part of the country to the rest of the guys, but when we started working on this new record everything came together a lot, lot quicker than we expected it to, so that was… To me that was a testament to like “Wow, yeah. We’ve really got a solid foundation built up with this line-up now.”
Zarif: Have you ever revealed the meaning or origin of the name of where Tera Melos comes from?
John: We have in a few spots and I’ve seen kids online post it correctly, but you know… Nick has a good analogy of it. It’s like, you see someone do a real cool magic trick but then if they explain, they just show you “oh, that’s all I’m doing is this” then it kind of, you know what I mean, it loses some of its luster?
So it’s like yeah, maybe it’s more rewarding to just put in the time and to figure it out, if that’s what you really want which is to know what the name means and that’s rewarding in a sense but at the same time it’s also like… at least for us, it’s more fun to just keep people guessing rather than have it just be out in the open like “oh yeah, this is what it means” because a bands name doesn’t always have to always necessarily reflect how they sound, their aesthetic or anything like that, so you know it’s fun to have like a chase with that, you know?
Zarif: Just to keep the mystery around? (laughs)
John: Yeah, you’ve got to have a little bit of mystique; we’re not trying to be cryptic about it but yeah.
Zarif: How do you feel being part of the Sargent House family?
John: It’s really good; Sargent House is definitely a great family, company, whatever you want to call it to be a part of. Cathy, Marc, Chase and Sonny and everyone who works there are all really great people and they all work really, really hard to make it easy for the bands to do their thing and it’s a really good community. We always end up bumping into other people or know other guys in bands and different things like that, so it’s definitely a good community even if it isn’t one where we all Skype together every Sunday or something like that. (laughs)
Zarif: Yeah, you bumped into This Town Needs Guns on this tour, didn’t you? How was that show?
John: We played with them in Vienna. It was them and Mutiny on the Bounty and that was a lot of fun; I don’t think any of us had ever met those guys before, so yeah it was definitely really fun playing with them. We also got to see Adebisi Shank on this tour who we’ve known before them being on Sargent House or anything but they’re really, really good friends of ours too…
Zarif: I’ve still got to catch them live…
John: They’re amazing.
Zarif: What’s the most insane or awesome thing that’s happened on this tour so far?
John: On this tour, the most insane or awesome thing… I don’t know! It’s tough to say, I mean really just the fact that we can travel half way around the globe and there are people there in these foreign countries that come to see us and are excited to see us and are familiar with the music and want to talk to us. That is like… you know; you can’t really ask for much more than that and that’s very rewarding as a musician to see that your music has reached that far and that people care enough about it to come check it out and all that. There’s been other fun kind of adventure things, but really like- the core of it all- the reason we’re over here is because of music so yeah, that it’s been going as good as it has is a really awesome thing for us.
Zarif: Speaking of the tour, what happened to the tour documentary that the trailers arose from last year?
John: It’s still being worked on right now! I should say, footage is still being compiled for it, on this tour. It’s going to be a lot bigger and better than any of us could have guessed when the idea first came about. It’s on the way, it’s just taking longer but it will be well worth the wait.
Zarif: There’s a bit at the beginning of one of the trailers where Nick does like an acoustic version of Aped… Will there be any acoustic tracks on any further albums or releases?
John: I wouldn’t count on it anytime in the near future. That was more, we were at a friend’s house in Utah and he was jamming on an acoustic guitar and Sean Stout was like “oh, I’m gonna film that.”
Zarif: Oh, okay.
John: Yeah, I don’t even know if Nick owns an acoustic guitar right now… (laughs)
Zarif: Oh right! (laughs) So, we’re gonna talk a little bit about the new album now.
Zarif: How does it differ from Patagonian Rats or how would you describe it?
John: It’s… It’s a little tough to describe. I mean, really I’d just say it’s the next logical step from Patagonian Rats and there’s things that are a little more reigned but it’s still very weird and tricky for us, I mean we always say like to us it’s more normal but to us, normal is still very weird to most people and so err, yeah I dunno!
It’s just us taking another step because as a band the last thing you ever want to do is make the same thing twice, that’s just insanely boring and we just have zero desire to do that. When we started working on the new songs that was just the direction they started going in. So we just kinda let them take their own shape with us as their people I guess is one way to put it.
John: We’re definitely excited about it.
Zarif: Yeah, I’m pretty sure a lot of other people are as well!
John: That’s always good to hear (laughs)
Zarif: With the new album, we’ve got some questions that were sent in to us-
Zarif: I’m gonna go with some of those. Is the careful balance between dark and light an intentional effect? For example the ending of aped compared to the beginning and more noticeably the conversion of the dark sounding beginning of riggleman into a more sentimental ending… (Sent in by architectureofhappiness)
John: Hmm, I don’t know. Dynamics are one of the most important things in music- and really- in life. Everything. The weather, how you relate to other people, there’s dynamics in your diet and so dynamics are for us, a natural part of music too and so there’s, yeah- Dark, light and kind of everything in between and you can think for us, they’re kind of like colours on a pallet and so there’s going to be different spectrums and shades.
Like you said, there could be a bunch of different ones in just one song. But I don’t know that it’s necessarily was a conscious thing like we go “Oh, we did this here so we need to do this there.” Sometimes, it just goes back to the song taking shape… Kind of on its own, you just get an intuitive sense of like, “Oh well, this should happen here.” And sometimes we vocalise it and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes It just happens very, very organically and other times it’s more of just a conscious effort but it just all boils down to… anything is at your disposal to use when you’re making art.
John: That sounds kind of pretentious I guess…
John: But I’m sure most people get what I mean with that hopefully.
Zarif: What was your favourite TV show on Nickelodeon in the 90’s and why? (Sent in by tomnookwb2)
John: Ahh, my favourite was… Oh man, that’s so hard to say. We love (The Adventures of) Pete and Pete, obviously. Ren and Stimpy, Err (laughs), Man there’s so many of them and I’m totally drawing a blank on it all of a sudden but those are some of the ones. Nickelodeon in the nineties was just really, really incredible because it was like, television for kids and stuff but it was still very, very subversive.
You had all kinds of different things and you know, Ren and Stimpy and Rocko’s modern life- all those, looking back were really, really weird TV shows and there’s a lot more than meets the eye with those. You know? And so I think getting to grow up on something like that, that had a lot of layers and err, just a lot of substance to it. I think we all felt fortunate for getting exposed to kind of subversive things to that from a pretty early age.
So it’s tough to really narrow it down to one. There were so many great ones. A few of the ones I named, I guess kinda jumped out the most and I’m probably missing one that’s like my favourite, favourite just… I have been on tour for more than a month (laughs)
Zarif: Which bands that are commonly considered as “math rock” do you enjoy yourselves?
John: I mean that’s a tricky thing because we don’t really consider ourselves to be “math rock”, I mean there’s like mathy elements but it’s not like a thing where we sit around and say “let’s do this part that alternates between 7/4 and err, whatever” As far as bands who would be considered as math rock, we like Battles and bands, err.. I don’t know if you want to call Make Believe or bands like that math rock. That’s a great band though.
We’re really good friends with a band from London called Tangled Hair. We toured with them last year and got to play a couple of shows with them and they’re like brothers to us, we’re like super-close hilarious friends and they’re also a really great band and they’re kind of mathy I guess. So, that’s one that I’d throw out there.
Zarif: Well how do you feel that, you guys as a band influence a lot of other sort of math rock bands?
John: Well it’s always good and important and rewarding to contribute to the, what I kind of call the ‘sphere of influence’ because so many bands inspired me and had so much of an impact on me as a musician and really, as a person in a lot of ways. That if I now, that I am doing this whatever like, for a living or ‘professionally’ or however you want to call it, whenever somebody comes up to me and says like “Oh you’re one of my favourite bands” or “You’re one of my favourite musicians” or “What you do really inspires me.”, That’s incredibly rewarding to hear that you’re able to give back to you know, something like music which has given so much to us in life… so that, yeah. It’s one of the biggest compliments you can hear is that you inspire somebody else to do something.
Zarif: Right, well the final three questions are from Panda.
John: Oh, snap!
Zarif: He says, what do you think about Panda?
John: Panda is a nice kid. He’s a young guy with a lot of enthusiasm which we appreciate.
Zarif: He also says, how does the band feel about the fan base of Tera Melos as a whole?
John: We have great fans! We have very intense fans and I mean, there’s even kind of a jokey meme that we saw that someone had posted on our Facebook which was, I think a Lord of the Rings guy saying “One does not simply listen to Tera Melos” and that blew up and it was really popular with our fans. I think they relate to it because we’re not a band that has a lot of casual listeners.
Like, you either really, really, really enjoy it or it’s kind of like “Yeah my friend listens to that…” So we appreciate the people who care as much as they do about our music, absolutely.
Zarif: And the final question is… well, it’s not really a question… actually, yeah I guess it is. ‘Recent studies have shown that children with autism and aspergers syndrome to have more normal brain patterns when listening to Tera Melos, thoughts and concerns?’
John: Err, I’d be curious to see what that study came from and if it was from, you know, published in a peer reviewed journal or anything like that. I have a bachelor of arts in psychology so it’s kind of the first thing that jumped out when I heard that because I’m kind of familiar with those disorders or whatever you want to call them.
Err, that’s a funny statement but kinda makes sense coming from panda I guess? But err; any time what you do has an effect on anyone’s brain chemistry… hopefully it’s a good thing…
Zarif: Alright, well that’s what concludes the interview!
John: Alright, cool!
Zarif: Thanks for playing the show and doing the interview.
John: Thanks for coming and interviewing us, we appreciate it!
Thank you to Hayley Ray who set up the interview and to Tera Melos for putting on such an awesome show.
Right after the interview, Nick came into the room and drew me some pictures of Simpsons characters.
***First, I’m giving THIS one away to a person who reblogs our interview! Winner will be picked 1 week from now. I’ll ship it internationally.***
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Same Old - Man Half Machine
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*ANY* Bands that are up for playing a set can contact What Otter Records OR The Math Rock Blog.
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