ith the release of a single and an EP behind them, the Atlanta, Georgia-based trio A VERY LOUD DEATH have stepped up their game artistically with the release of their debut LP LANTERNS. The album is a dark, moody listen that combines primal punk energy with a more nuanced, progressive rock aesthetic. It's a sound that is sure to take the band beyond their stomping grounds and into that cherished glow of indie rock recognition, and dare we say 'fame'? ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak tot he band's guitarist and front man CHRIS EDGE regarding the band's new album. Here is how the interview went.
LANTERNS is an amazing album and it's been out since September. In the months since the album's release how do you feel about the finished work?
I feel that we did the best that we could do with what little that we had. It was all done live essentially with a few layers over it. I think the reception to it hs been pretty good but we're trying to get this thing pushed out more. It's always very crowded when you're trying ot get your music out there. We feel good about it.
And is it just the band at the controls or did you have a guy at the recording console to help you guys out?
We write and arrange and compose ourselves and we have a sound engineer friend who works for PATCHWORK STUDIOS. It's actaully a hip hop studio but he does rock stuff on his own time. He does live instrument engineering. His name is LUKE CAMPOLIETTA. We come to him and he just wants to capture our best perofrmance. He doesn't have much of a say in the arrangements or anything like that. He just wants us to keep playing until he thinks that we have captured the right performance and getting the right energy form a song. That's pretty much how it goes.
What do you think sets this album apart from your previous EP a couple of years earlier?
We've had a lot more time to develop our chemistry. I'd say this album is definitely darker and definitely more cohesive. It's also more mature, but most bands mature as time goes on.
Have there been any reactions to the music that have surprised you or that you didn't expect?
Yeah. We got a review today that was kind of interesting. They were saying that the albumwas very moody. That it was very dark and very beatiful. We've heard that a few times. We knew that the album was dark but we weren't expecting people to associate the album with being beautiful. That was kind of surprising for us.
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And being a band based in Atlanta, what kind of music scene are you surrounded by? Is it supportive? Is it indifferent?
It's mostly a hip hop city but the hip hop scene is pretty supportive of all genres. Oddly enough. The rock scene is mixed. There are some really cool people and then there are people who are really as you say indifferent to what we are doing. I think that is a good word to describe it. It's like they are not sure that they are allowed to explore new things. That's kind of the vibe that I get. But you also have the other side to that where you have people who love to got o local shows but it's not like what you would have in a place like New York were people are really open to a lot of things.
And talk about the formation of A VERY LOUD DEATH. How did this whole thing get off the ground?
I was in a previous band with my bassist and we were a hardcore punk band that actaully toured for a while. We just kind of got sick of writing songs for other people. Everyone inthe band was wanting us to write different styles of music that we didn't want to do so we decided to start our own thing. We started wriitng our own stuff and we started looking for a drummer. Every time we would get a drummer they would just explode. It as like SPINAL TAP almost. But we finally got a guy who was really consistent and is a true member of theband. That was how it came together. We just didn't want to write for other people anymore. We wanted to do our own thing.
And talk about the mother members of the band. Who are they and what is it that you think each of them brings to teh tabel that makes this thing work?
The bassist is BRYAN PEEL and he brings a heavy rock element to everything. He's a pure bassit. He loves heavy tones distortiona nd groove. He brings all of that he also brings a different aesthetic tot eh band. He is really well versed in all different kinds of rock form noise rock to the progressive rock. He likes hip hop. He brings a lot of diversity tot he band and he challenges me alot onthe guitar because he brings in all of these uniqu melodies and lines that I've got to try and figure out what the hell he's doing and work with it. The drumer is COLE O'NEIL ROBERSTON and he brings energy. He is the guy who has a lot of enthusiams and he drums as hard as he cn and sometimes he'll get sloppy but his energy is so good that it doesn't matter. Both of these guys contribute heavily to the crafting of a song. We all put everything to the grinder and get everybody's input. As for me, I'm the singer and guitarist and I do most of the compositions and I ussually direct the arrangement of a song. When I say lead, I don't mean that I have final word. I just kind of guide theprocess along and as a band we decide how the song should go.
And what set you on the path of music making?
There are two funny stories. The first one was this girl I knew who played guitar and she was really really good at it. I was thriteen at the time and I really thought that she was the coolest person inthe world becasue she could play guitar. I wanted so badly to play instrument just to impress her. I just wanted to show her that I could play guitar too. So I picked it up and sucked at it but I started learning more about it because I really liked it. That was kind of how that started for me. The other story for me was the first time I listened to BLACK DOG by LED ZEPPELIN. At that point in my life I was only really exposed to country music. I happened to be somewhere and I heard BLACK DOG by LED ZEPPELIN playing and I was like, what is that sound? I had never heard an electric guitr sound like that before. When I heard that song, I loved rock music immediately. So that is where it all comes from for me. At that point, every door was open to me and I started listening to everything and anything. It's couldve been jazz. It could've been experimental. It could've been anything. I like sound and I like the way that songs are composed and things like that.
What songs off of the album stand out for you the most and why?
I would say STILL LIVE which is the last song. It shows a lot of range and potential. It shows that we have the ability to do a lot of things as abnd. We're not really trying to fit into a specific genre. We all play live instruments and we have certain sounds that we like. But we don't let those sounds define who we are as a band and I think that song demonstrates that.
And with this album behind you, what's next for the band musically?
We're already working on our next album. We're working on the songs and we've worked ou tthe concept and we're piecing it all together. We're also looking to get on the road more and just be on it. We like music. we love making it and we want people to hear it. We like hearing people's reactions to the music whether they love it or hate it. It's always great to get people reactions when they come out to see us live.
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