Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mini-Interview: Amnion

It’s easy to drag your heels about positivity, to fold your arms, you know, say something sarcastic... It's the indie music way, right? But local psyche pop act Amnion don’t want to let you get away with it. Not at all.

Make no mistake, they’re fairly far out there, but try to be gracious because, hey, they’ve brought something back.

We talked to lead Aaron Embry earlier this week over AIM to learn more about the group and the magic they make -- right before they headline our latest (FREE) Let's Independent! event on Tuesday night.

RFSL (5:50:30 PM): OMG. How the hell are you, sir?
amnion (5:56:59 PM): Hey, fancy... Nice "meeting" you. I have Nikki here with me. She'll be prompting me to make sure I don't talk too far out of my ass.
RFSL (5:58:36 PM): Excellent.
amnion (5:58:44 PM): Steven’s in Detroit and he might drop in sometime too. Dunno what his AIM name is, but he'll be hard to miss... Brett is teaching a class and might take a peek too...
RFSL (5:59:02 PM): Cool. When he gets on, let me know and I'll pull us all into a chat room.
RFSL (5:59:36 PM): That makes it sound like we're talking about going to the mall, I know, but it makes for a good interview most times.
amnion (6:00:54 PM): I go to the mall sometimes. Never been interviewed before, so the analogy is comforting
RFSL (6:00:57 PM): I just watched a great old interview with Tom Waits on Letterman on YouTube. That guy is hilarious, I swear. He should go on the road.
RFSL (6:01:04 PM): Really? Never been interviewed?
amnion (6:01:45 PM): Nope. 'cept by my mother.
RFSL (6:02:16 PM): Ha. I was interviewed on camera last Friday night while drunk outside Pehrspace and ... that didn't go too well.
RFSL (6:02:42 PM): So, pardon me for starting wayyy back, but when did you start making music?
amnion (6:03:12 PM): I saw that [on YouTube]. Haha!
RFSL (6:03:24 PM): (Face red.)
RFSL (6:03:46 PM): I came off like a drunken robot.
amnion (6:04:47 PM): Um, a drunken burrito connoisseur.
RFSL (6:05:33 PM): They told me they were recording a thing on the best burritos for FILTER. I was misled… Never signed a release.
RFSL (6:05:48 PM): So, you've been making music for a long time.
amnion (6:07:50 PM): So, the BIG question! Not that long, really. It's a life, but it goes in seasons.
RFSL (6:07:58 PM): (I know Octavius and Fred from KXLU Demo Listen have been talking about your demos for some years.)
RFSL (6:08:15 PM): Sure. I hate the throw you the most general question in the world.
RFSL (6:08:21 PM): When did you start making music?
RFSL (6:10:33 PM): (That's only slightly less big.)
amnion (6:12:30 PM): I always had a grasp of the theoretical side of how music fits together, but I only recently feel like I can convey how it fits together with me. So, yeah, theoretically I’ve been playing music for a long time, but this new thing is, well,...weird and unfamiliar.
amnion (6:15:03 PM): There's less of me in this new music amnion is making and it seems to invite a group participation. It's not that precious so that MY ideas need to be realized. We really enjoy a group-minded flexibility, and we're evolving toward a deeper understanding of one-another musically.
RFSL (6:16:02 PM): So, the songs are more the product of the creative union of all of you?
amnion (6:21:35 PM): Well, yes. Sorry, I was typing some long-winded explanation to this question, but YEs, they are the product of the CREATIVE UNION of AllLOVE US! the lyrics, chords, and melodies are of little consequence if there is an absence of MAGIC to support them…
RFSL (6:22:22 PM): I just described the band today as being "half art and half magic."
RFSL (6:22:36 PM): You seem to tap into that space.
amnion (6:24:13 PM): Life is Magic and Art is LIfe, so LIVing would inadvertently tap into something! thanks for the misty props!
RFSL (6:25:17 PM): The writer Alan Moore has a theory about how creativity and magic come from the same place. That artists and writers and musicians and magicians either tap into it more easily or just through practice.
RFSL (6:25:29 PM): That's not really a question!
RFSL (6:25:38 PM): I just like that thought.
amnion (6:28:09 PM): I like thinking that it's so accessible, and you don't have to be a member of the Cloister to be privy to it. You don't even need to be in the cloister of artist, musician, writer, just need to be Thankful!
RFSL (6:29:11 PM): Yeah, I think some people do it more naturally, but anyone can do it with practice. Anyone can learn to sing and dance and write and make art.
RFSL (6:29:20 PM): So, how did you all meet and start playing music together?
amnion (6:31:52 PM): Okay, I can't really type fast enough for an in-depth answer to that one, but let's just say it had something to do with MAGIC! (along with a little help from my trusty CRYSTAL BALL!)
RFSL (6:32:40 PM): Heh. What are your bandmates' backgrounds?
amnion (6:41:41 PM): Steven and Brett are from Detroit. They both have degrees in Music, and have been doing it professionally. Brett frets, Steven hits. This is Nikki's first Band. She's really doing everything for the first time. I've never been on AIM before and my computer is making frightening noises… Wassup?
amnion (6:42:11 PM): My mom wants to jump in on the chat!
RFSL (6:42:28 PM): You want to bring her in?
amnion (6:43:01 PM): yeah! howdueyedoitt?
RFSL (6:43:07 PM): What's her IM?
RFSL (6:43:15 PM): I'll open a chat room and invite both of you in.
RFSL (6:43:31 PM): (You just have to click on yes when the message pops up.)
[He gives me his mom’s IM address.]
RFSL (6:43:39 PM): K. 1 sec...
RFSL (6:45:51 PM): D'oh! That didn't work. Sorry!
RFSL (6:45:58 PM): Tell mom I said sorry, too!
[His mom starts IMing over pictures she’s taken at their shows. It’s clear she’s really proud of them and it’s sweet.]
RFSL (6:49:44 PM): So when did you start recording your album? What was the process like?
RFSL (6:57:18 PM): (Sorry, I keep asking these big questions.)
amnion (6:58:26 PM): We started it with our friends Adam Samuels and Kenny Woods in our basement in Glassell Park. Steven and I knocked out the basic tracks live. We were in the same room together without headphones. It started with Drums, Piano, and my Vocal, and we did Overdubs on those three tracks. Ian Walker came and helped out with the Bass, and when he left to go on tour with KD Lang, Brett came in to play Bass for the live Shows and put Guitars on the record.
amnion (6:59:46 PM): We really had no idea what would happen in the recording, but the process became a good way of navigating towards getting to know one-another better. PraisegOd4THELIGHTw/nMe was a real blessing to have on hand as an ice-breaker. It has nothing in it, so no expectations arise from it!
RFSL (7:00:44 PM): Excellent. I'm sorry I missed the cd release event at Pehrspace and your headlining show at Spaceland. I heard they went very well.
amnion (7:02:21 PM): You'll have to catch up with Avi Buffalo at Mr. T's on March 22. They played that night at pehrspace and we've been fanatics ever since!
RFSL (7:03:45 PM): I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never been to Mr. T's.
RFSL (7:03:55 PM): Will have to change that!
amnion (7:05:18 PM): If you've never been there before, don't count on finding it. Go with someone who's been there. I've been there a number of times and I still get hopelessly confused finding it
RFSL (7:04:07 PM): Cool. I know my girlfriend has been there. I'll follow her.
RFSL (7:04:17 PM): What’s it like making music with your wife?
amnion (7:05:30 PM): It's like something you listen to with less of your ears, and more of your soul! She brings freedom to this music! Ultimately, music isn't the point. Love is what we're aiming for.
RFSL (7:06:05 PM): Go love!
RFSL (7:06:15 PM): So, what's next for you? More recordings, a residency, a tour?
amnion (7:11:30 PM): We have a lot of new songs in the works and we'd like to let them breathe easy. Recording is cool. We just wanna play. Bang onna drumm all day. More and more and more. Must feed this eating. teach me the ways of the MAN FIRE!! water TOURture!
amnion (7:12:49 PM): So, what have you been listening to of late?
RFSL (7:14:52 PM): Me? I've been listening to the live Rademacher album that just came out... And a Cormac MacCarthy book-on-cd recording. And some Everest. And some solo Sarah (Happy Hollows) Negahdari. And some Buddy.
amnion (7:16:48 PM): Nikki and I just saw Old Time Relijun and The Mae Shi the other night. Wowzer! Catharsis in Crisis is Ossumm!
RFSL (7:17:08 PM): I heard that was great.
amnion (7:17:44 PM): Yeah. Rapturous!
RFSL (7:19:46 PM): Well, I don't mean to take too much of your time. (I think I've had you on here for over an hour now...) To wrap it up, do you have any special message to the people out in the Internet Land?
amnion (7:23:32 PM): Thanks for having us, Joe!!
RFSL (7:23:36 PM): Excellent. Thanks so much for your time.
RFSL (7:23:59 PM): Looking forward to the show next week!

Amnion will appear at Let's Independent! at Boardner's of Hollywood with Fol Chen and Princeton on Tuesday, March 18th. For more details (and MP3s), go right here.



Blogger L. Hunter said...

Awesome. Just awesome. Can't wait for Tuesday haha.

1:24 AM  

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