Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Astronauts, etc - Interview
In the next in our series of interviews with the acts we seriously love, with todays questions coming from Kasia from In Love Not Limbos.
Astronauts, etc. are one of those acts that seem to float in from nowhere and lodge themselves very deeply into your psyche. Responsible for what is easily among the best EPs of the year Supermelodic Pulp it was impossible to pass up the opportunity to have a little chat.
First up where did the name Astronauts, etc. come about?
The "astronauts" part came from the aesthetic of the production, I think. The "etc" is a bit of a satire on the popular trope of naming your band a plural noun with no article. Swans, Beach Fossils, Woods, Foals. It always seemed a bit noncommittal to me -- rather than being The Beatles, a modern incarnation might be the more casual Beatles. All the above bands put out incredible music, but I guess I've grown a bit tired of the naming convention.
For anybody who may not have heard you before, could you give us three adjectives that best describe your sound?
Melodramatic, gratuitous, shameless.
I've read that you originally trained as a classical pianist but unfortunately had to end it due to arthritis - was there a particular reason for choosing to go down the root Astronauts, etc has taken?
I decided that I still wanted to make music after dropping out of music school. Writing original songs had always intrigued me, but I'd never really gotten the chance. I couldn't tell you why things took a turn for electronic pop. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Is there a particular track on Supermelodic Pulp (a brilliant EP by the way) that you would class as your favourite?
It really changes, but today it's Mystery Colors. I think that song was the most successful at being concise and efficient in getting its mood across.
The EP artwork matches the music perfectly, who was it created by?
Yeah, I couldn't be happier with it. It was made by Chaz Bundick. We became friends after I made him coffee one day at the cafe where I work.
How useful has the internet been as a tool for getting your music 'out there'?
One evening in August, a friend came over to my place, sat me down, and essentially coerced me into emailing a song out to some blogs. I couldn't be more grateful to him now -- I'd never expected it to get picked up by anyone. I was reluctant to try, I think, because there are so many ins and outs of marketing yourself online. It can be intimidating.
But Astronauts definitely wouldn't still be going if it weren't for the blogs. I started several music projects before this one, and the average lifespan of one of those was roughly two weeks. I became notorious among friends for releasing a batch of songs only to take them down a few days later. The main reason that this one has had any longevity (speaking in relative terms) is that people have really responded to it.
If you were ever to do so; who would you most like to collaborate with on an Astronauts Etc track?
Probably Owen Pallett or Nico Muhly.
Are there any up and coming bands you are a particular fan of at the moment?
My good friends Trails and Ways are doing great things, and they're really picking up some traction. I try to steer people toward them whenever I get the chance.
And finally any upcoming material or tour dates we should pencil in?
I'll have another release out before the year's over. I've just booked my first show, so hopefully touring isn't too far away.