Mike: I’m here with Andrew from The Receiving End of Sirens. Let’s start with the questions, shall we?
Andrew: Let’s do it!
Mike: The follow-up to Between the Heart and the Synapse is projected to be completed by April, and out by summer 2007. Is that correct?
Andrew: Yes, it should be released in July sometime, hopefully if all goes well.
Mike: In the 2+ years between the two releases, what’s changed in your band and how have you adapted?
Andrew: A lot has changed. I mean, first and foremost we’ve all grown a ton as people individually, and grown as a band. I think we’ve figured out who we are as a band. Obviously, the change everybody knows was with Casey. Casey is no longer with the band. He’s off doing The Dear Hunter and you know, doing his own thing and I think it’s just better that we went our separate ways and everybody’s happy and playing music still. It’s all good, you know. That’s probably the biggest change that we’ve undergone and everybody knows that, so I don’t really need to say it again but also I just really think we’ve grown a lot, so I think it’s going to show in the new songs.
Mike: Do you ever look back on the subtraction of Casey from the band in 2006, or even Ben Potrykus in 2003, and wonder how they’re doing right now?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean, they were both an influential part of all our lives. I haven’t talked to Casey much. I’ve talked to Ben. Ben is on good terms with all of us. We’re friends still; it’s all good. So I think about them a lot, you know. They were both guys that were in my life for two-year stretches and we spent a lot of time together. I would never forget about something like that, you know? Things happen, people grow apart and whatnot but I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t regret the time I spent with either of them, you know?
Mike: How did you find Brian Southall?
Andrew: We actually toured with the last band that Brian was in. He was in Boys Night Out playing drums. We did a tour with them in Canada. He ended up leaving the band. He didn’t leave their band to join our band (reading my next question); that’s not how it was at all. He left their band just to kind of move on with his own life and he ended up coming on a tour with us, tour managing us and doing lights and stuff, and then he went and worked for a couple of other bands. He worked for Alexisonfire for a while and worked for Panic! And then a lot of time had passed and we were still looking for someone to be the fifth guy in the band, and we had grown really close to Brian all the time we spent on the road, and we knew he played guitar really well, so it just one day clicked and we were like, “We should ask Brian to be in the band. We already get along with him so well, he’s a great dude, and he’s a friend” so we all agreed to do it and it was perfect, you know?
Mike: So Brian used to play drums and now he’s playing guitar. Does he ever feel like he’s in uncharted territory, where he’s played drums for so long?
Andrew: No, not at all. He’s a guitar player; he was a drummer second. He’s been playing guitar his whole life. He was in a band called For Dire Life Sake for a really long time. It was a pretty popular underground hardcore band from Detroit. He played guitar and sang in that band so I mean, I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this but he’s a much better guitar player than he is a drummer. He’s a good drummer for sure; he definitely holds his own. But I think he’s a phenomenal guitar player. This is a good time for him to step up and shine.
Mike: He should be a good addition to TREOS then.
Mike: What specifically are you doing differently in your music now, which you were not doing back then?
Andrew: I think we’re trying to just write a lot more space into the music and let things “breathe” a little more. I think certain things about the music have become even more epic. The songs are a little more structured now as opposed to collections of parts and stuff. So I guess that’s different.
Mike: What’s the same?
Andrew: I think what’s the same is just that we still write songs with a lot of emotion and as much passion as we can muster. We try to make sure that comes across. They’re not just lyrics or whatever, but even down to the chord changes “we try to evoke emotion out of everything we do as a band, so that’s very much the same.
Mike: Above all places, why have you chosen a llama farm to work on preproduction for the new album?
Andrew: We chose the llama farm because it was presented to us. That’s where Alex’s grandparents live. They go to Florida for the winter and they offered us the place to live and practice, and it was an unbeatable opportunity so we’ve just been there, loving life and enjoying it, you know?
Mike: Do you have any time to do extra stuff?
Andrew: Yeah, we do our own thing. We just hang out all day pretty much. Some of us go home on the weekends. We occupy ourselves.
Mike: It’s like Real World: TREOS or something!
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Mike: I read that you’re writing a screenplay. What’s it about and what are your plans for it once it’s finished?
Andrew: Uh yeah, I’m trying! I’ve been getting into writing a lot in the last six months to a year. I used to do a lot when I was younger, got out of it, and just rediscovered my love for it. It’s nothing special to talk about now; I haven’t done anything noteworthy. I’ve just been doing it on my own and I think it’s just an important therapeutic thing, and I really have always been a big movie nerd and you know, I figured why not combine the two? I just came into the craft of screenwriting and found it was something that I really liked to do, and just stumbled upon it. I think that I can do it so I’m trying my hand at it. I have a few different ideas.
Mike: What are those ideas?
Andrew: I mean nothing really worth talking about now. But I’m writing kind of this historical fiction that’s based in the 1920s, so that’s what I’m working on right now. So yeah, I’ll let you know how it goes. And if I do finish it I’m going to try to sell it or something. I’ll probably go through a number of revisions and hopefully get a lot of help from some of my friends that are writers and stuff, and hopefully get it to the point where it doesn’t suck! And then I’ll send it out and see what happens.
Mike: The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi will be the title of your sophomore album and is of astronomical significance. Who is the science nerd in the band and how did they stumble across this really cool theory?
Andrew: If we had a science nerd I would say it would be Alex. He’s really into astrology and spends a lot of time looking at the stars with his fancy tools and whatnot. He has a pretty sweet telescope that he uses. But actually I stumbled upon the title myself probably around a year ago just reading about something random, reading about Johannes Kepler, and I just came across this thing he wrote called Harmonice Mundi, which is “The Harmony of the World,” and read about this theory of planets and orbits making sounds and creating harmonies with each other and stuff. And The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi just tonal sixth harmony that the Earth and Venus make in their orbit around the sun, and he took that to represent misery, famine, misery, which is a reflection of the world at the time that he lived. He had kind of a negative outlook on the state of the world and everything, and so we adopted that theory just because we thought it was a really powerful thing. Because there’s music in everything in the world, wherever you look, and to think that music can be created just by the spinning and orbiting of planets is a pretty cool idea. And the world now is in a lot of turmoil “there’s a lot of chaos, and a lot of awful things, and genocide and war” I think it’s just something that we wanted to use to say to people: “Open your eyes and look at all the misery and famine that’s around you and do something good with your life. Try and do something positive,” so that’s kind of why we came up with that.
Mike: Who is doing the artwork for the new album?
Andrew: A guy named Mars-1. Brendan stumbled across him researching artists online. He’s this really crazy painter. He doesn’t really do band stuff. That’s kind of what we always try to do. With the last album artwork, we used a guy that had never done a band layout before. The same thing with Mario “he’s just crazy, man. He’s one of the best artists I’ve ever seen, and we thought it was really farfetched to actually get him to work with us, but we hit him up and we told him the idea for the record, and he was really into the concept and thought there was a lot of meaning behind it that he could attach himself to and get inspired by, so he’s agreed to do it. And we’ve seen some of the paintings he’s done already and they’re just mind-blowing. I can’t wait for it to get put together because it’s going to be more a piece of art than an album booklet. We’re not even sure if there’s going to be any words on the booklet or not. We’re still throwing ideas around but we want the focus to be on the art itself as a representation of the theory behind the record, you know?
Mike: Why do you sometimes play shows as The Red Eye of Soromon?
Andrew: Sometimes we just feel like playing a show near home and not announcing it as a TREOS show, just keeping it small and intimate and stuff. And you know, when you play a lot of shows you have to worry about your draw, and a lot of bands will purposefully not play their hometown area for a long time to build up a draw. It’s something that every band needs to be conscious of. And for us, we got to thinking, “We haven’t played a show in Massachusetts for a long time, kind of purposefully “we need to give ourselves a break and not saturate the market so people don’t care about seeing us anymore,” you know? And it got to the point where like, “Man, we miss playing hall shows and stuff. Let’s just do one,” and we talked to Alex from Therefore I Am because we love those guys and love playing with them, and worked it out. He set up the show and it just worked out great. People have caught on and every time they see The Red Eye of Soromon they’re obviously going to know it’s us, but it’s just something to do to be fun, you know, just be goofy about it, show people that we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that we still love playing shows like this. Playing big shows is great, playing big clubs is great, but it looses something at that level, you know? And it’s not as intimate and off-the-cuff and random as shows like these, and we love doing it, so we’re going to keep doing it as long as we’re a band, regardless of how well or how poorly the band does from here on out.
What an amazing interview!!!… I really wanted to know about The Red Eye of Soromon