Hi there, how are you? Congratulations to your great new album. I cannot explain my feelings. You put a lot of music styles together. For me it is like the feeling back to 1991 Nirvanas “Nevermind” record – I don´t mean the style of your music- only the feeling. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Reactions have generally been very good. Sales in the first weeks following release have been better than we had hoped, and radio, which is one of the most important tools for exposure and promotion in the u.s., has been surprisingly receptive.
Some of our readers may never have heard about you. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography. Why it need so much time (since 1998) to hear about you in Europe - you has been around since 1998, but only 2006 signed a record deal?!
The band formed initially in the small town of sulphur springs texas, which is about 90 miles northeast of dallas. After developing a following in dallas, we did several self-funded tours of the united states in an effort to broaden our fan base, and increase exposure. During this time we spoke to several indie labels who liked our work, but were hesitant to sign us because they found our music unusual and, presumably, considered us a risky investment. It wasn't until 2006 that we finally found a label which was willing to take the risk. Believe me, we got here as quickly as we could.
How would you describe your own music – in some words?
Our music is eclectic, dramatic, and forceful. It contains many different style elements and drastic dynamic changes, due to the vastly differing influences and interests of the individual members. Some say that it has a strong theatrical or even cinematic element.
How do you think about the reaction of the press/the fans to describe your sound as “Alternative Independent Progressive Rock”? Are you happy if people told about your music it sounds like many other bands for example: Dredg, Faith no More, System of a Down, Tool, The Mars Volta…..
"Alternative indie prog" comes closest, of all the short descriptions we've heard, to the truth. Genre designations are broad generalizations, and are therefore tricky, and sometimes a little misleading, and they almost always fall short of complete accuracy. As an artist, one has to be prepared to accept this. It’s also entertaining to hear and read the multitude of artists to whom fans, critics, and journalists compare us. The range of styles and influences that are cited, regardless of whether we agree with these comparisons, is interesting, and sometimes amusing, but we don't take them too seriously, for good or ill.
Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
We make music the only way we know how, and consider it extremely fortuitous that it has been embraced by listeners. The fact that people like our recordings and performances does make us happy, but if no one liked our work we would be unlikely to change. I don't think we would know how to do things any other way.
What are the differences between the band in 1998 - his old/first recordings and the new one "Fables From A Mayfly...” in your opinion? And what are the reasons for these differences?
In the beginning the music was much more raw and had a stronger hard-rock or active-rock element. The songs were based much more on guitar riffs than our later efforts. Later songs feature more melody and chord based orchestrations. Member changeover is partly responsible for this, as are the changes of the interests and influences of the members themselves.
What is the message of "Fables From A Mayfly..."; it sounds like a story-concept-album by Peter Gabriel and Genesis back to the 70s?
It's not meant to be a concept album. Each song, though it may have conceptual similarities to it's brethren, is very much it's own entity.
Your lyrics are (in my opinion) very strange, funny and difficult. Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Where do you get your inspirations for the lyrics (especially maybe “The Wife, the kids…” and “April Fools and Eggmen”)?
Darroh writes using a stream-of-consciousness/free-association type of approach, based usually on some general idea or archetype. The results are often very abstract, and are meant to be perceived and understood on a subliminal level. For answers regarding specific songs, one can ask darroh directly, but I’ll warn you, he isn't likely to tell.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it and the whole artwork?
Upon listening to the finished songs, we decided that the album as a whole, particularly the lyrics, had something of a storybook feel about it. After checking out several possibilities, we settled on mr. james riches, a young artist from Australia who, if I’m not mistaken, specializes in children's book illustrations. As you may have surmised, the children's storybook motif inspired the title as well.
Where do you get your inspirations from to create the music? What are your musical influences in your opinion?
Each member draws from a set of influences which is almost completely different to that of his fellows. Somehow, through months of song building, tearing down and rebuilding, we manage to create something unified and cohesive. We like to say that we are five individuals who probably don't belong in the same band, but by some miracle are able to make it work.
Which experience do you get of the Livegigs in Germany this year at Wacken, MeraLuna especially – do you remember the gigs?
German music fans are great. They seem very open-minded about new music. As long as a band brings the rock, they bring the love. It’s a beautiful symbiosis.
How was your reaction for/about the deal with Serj Strike Records? How do you get in touch with Serj and than with Universal Records--- a Majorlabel?!!!!
Serjical strike is arguably the best ally we could have found. Since they specialize in the strange and unusual, the reasons that other labels turned us away were the very reasons that they wanted to work with us. Strike signed us for the band that we ARE, not the band that they thought we "could be" with the proper supervision. Creative control is extremely important to us, and strike has given us exactly that. Additionally, serj is a businessman, AND an artist, and as such has an understanding of both perspectives.
We met serj through a friend of his, mr. mike haytayan, whom we met during our first tour of the west coast. By happenstance he saw our show at the viper room in los angeles, bought our cd, and passed it on to serj. A couple of tours later serj came out to see our show for himself. Immediately afterward he expressed his interest in signing us. With serj's guidance it was then much easier to shop ourselves to major labels, and to choose among them.
Your next activities? Live-gigs, video-clip, DVD……..?
We have a lot of tentative plans, but the only one which seems definite is to tour until we all drop from exhaustion.
We are looking forward seeing you back in Germany. Best wishes to you all.
Thank you very much for your attention.