Interview w/ And So I Watch You From AfarNov 11, 2013
Interview w/ And So I Watch You From Afar - From the Triple Rock green room October 24th, 2013 - by : Josh Olson
Nocturnity: So the first question I have, I want to ask you guys about how it’s like being on Sargent House as opposed to Richter Collective…how it’s been so far, what are some of your favorite memories?
ASIWYFA: I guess it feels very similar and very different, at the same time. It’s a whole new family of bands, you know, a whole new team that we’re working with. But it’s sort of a similar mindset of a collective, you know, on the label. It’s very relationship based, family oriented, and very communicative. It doesn’t feel too business-y, you know, it feels cool. But it just feels all a bit bigger, and we’ve got a bigger reach. Everything’s sort of progressed up a bit, and it’s a nice feeling.
N: So this is your 3rd tour in the states so far, how are you diggin’ it? How do you like it in comparison to the U.K.?
A: Umm……the weather changes a lot more haha. Like four or five days ago we were in El Paso and it was roasting warm, and before that we were in Calgary and it was freezing cold. It’s a totally different experience touring here. The first two tours were kind of hard because I guess we were in such brand new territory an especially the very first time we came over here, we were very ill prepared.
N: So is this your third time?
A: Ya, the first time we came over was way before. We had no record out at the time, and it was just after the self-titled, maybe 2010 or 2011. October 2010.
N: Who were you playing with?
A: That was Trash Talk, Touche Amore, and Envy. We were on with four bands every night, and we just sort of said yes for the experience of getting to see America, but really, that tour nearly killed us, because we were making no money, nobody knew who we were, it was such a silly idea really. I don’t think it had any real impact really. It was like may collectively 100 people saw us in the seven weeks we were here or something, haha.
N: Do you remember where you played?
A: We played here at the Triple Rock, actually. And it was the night of the Zombie thing…
N: The Zombie Pub Crawl?
A: Ya, it was crazy. But so, ya, last year, we got signed to Sargent House, then last year we did a tour with Zechs Marquise, and that suddenly felt like, “this sort of resembles tours that we’re used to doing at home.” And then this tour, we’ve come out and seen another progression, and it’s like, you know, really exciting, and less, kind of scary. It feels like somewhere where we can come out and do shows and not bankrupt ourselves, you know. So this tour is a really nice feeling.
N: I didn’t know you guys toured with Zechs Marquise, did you get to talk to Omar [Rodriquez-Lopez] at all? Honestly, I’m a huge Omar fan.
A: Of course, I think if you are into guitar music, and you were born sometime in the 80s, you can’t escape the impact of Relationship of Command [At the Drive-In]. But ya, we stayed at their house, and we met Omar and Lester, ya he’s a cool dude.
N: So what do you guys think about Minneapolis as a whole, now that you’ve been here a few times.
A: Well me and Rory just went for a walk around the city, it’s very nice. We walked towards downtown, and we both took a piss on a hedge hahaha. The college part, the campus, seems very nice too. That’s one thing about touring, it’s rare that you get any chance to see any part of a city at all other than the venue as you come in and as you leave.
N: So if you guys want to talk a little bit about the process of the new album, compared to the last album, since Tony left. I know that has definitely had an impact on how you have written everything.
A: Well, I mean I suppose the main thing was there was only three of us making the album, so that was like, you know, obviously the biggest part of it. And second was that we were making like 50 percent of the record in the studio, as opposed to recording, you know, going in and being like ‘here’s these twelve songs, let’s record them, dadada, and then mix them.’ It was like, here’s ideas, they would then come together, you know, so it took really long to make the record. We were in the studio for like 16 weeks or something, I can’t remember, and, uh, ya. Then I suppose, thirdly, it was just extremely enjoyable, which I suppose you can probably here on the record. We really shed a lot of fear and restraint, you know. We just decided to just fucking have fun and really go for it, and uh, you know like be able to be very expressive in the studio and it was great. It was a really liberating 16 weeks you know, but I wouldn’t recommend spending 16 weeks in a studio haha, if you don’t have a three figure income haha, but worth doing once I guess.
N: Ya, leading into that a little bit. All Hail Bright Futures is definitely significantly happier than any of the released you have done before. Is that kind of just a product of the way you guys are feeling, was it more on purpose, or did it just kind of feel right?
A: Umm, it definitely reflected our mood in the studio, part of it was that. Yeah we knew we wanted to, like, the ideas we had before going into the studio, we knew we wanted them to be a bit brighter, you know, on the shinier side.
N: Yeah that’s totally reflected.
A: Ya, so I think that when we came into the studio there was two ways it could have gone, either we could’ve taken those new ideas, you know, and muddled them in with some old ideas and made this relatively small step in one direction, but I think once we were in there and we really had fun, we just decided to let loose and go all out, “let’s commit to making this record have a strong identity.” You know, we didn’t worry about it, and that’s kind of what happened.
N: For sure. So, my next question, what are your guys’ plans after the tour is over? Are you headed back to the studio or are you taking some time off, or…?
A: Uh, when we get back from the States, we have a few days off, I think three, then we go to India, our first ever time there. We’re doing some festivals there, and umm, then I guess we come back. Then there is a few other shows we’re gonna do. There’s a few Irish shows after Christmas, then the plan is to work on some new ideas we’ve got brewing up through January and February, and then see how that kind of pans out. We’re not in a mad rush to get back into the studio just yet, we’re sort of feeling it out with the label and seeing what the thoughts are on it. But there will definitely be a period of writing at the start of the year, then we’ll see how things are going tour-wise, what’s on the table then. But that’s kind of the immediate plan for the next couple of months.
N: So this question I always ask instrumental bands, but was your purpose wheyou first started as a band to be instrumental, or did you ever have a vocalist at any time? I know you guys do like some group chanting vocals and stuff.
A: I think like what sort of happen was that there was no plan; no plan to be instrumental or no plan at all really. Well actually when we first started I think we were saying we wanted to do something like instrumental, we were listening to loads of instrumental music at the time.
N: Who were you listening to, if you don’t mind me asking?
A: Uhh everything from like Explosions in the Sky right through to like, fucking you know, ISIS and Jesu and fucking Pelican and Mogwai, Sleeping People. Everything from like real post-rock to sort of soundscape-y stuff, straight through to some really technical math rock stuff, so we were probably having a go at that. But we weren’t ever like, “no singing,” you know. But then we just didn’t necessarily need it at the time. Well I guess not even that, but every bit of new ground you tread, you know, you’re curious about that next little bit of uncharted territory in front of you, so you know, you sort of, it all depends on what sort of nature you’re in, but ours is just to continue treading through. You never really want to go back over old stuff. Sorry I’m being careful not to go into a full metaphor right now hahaha.
N: So that’s all of the questions I have for you all, if there’s anything else you’d like to say, feel free. Literally anything ha.
A: Umm, how are you?
N: I’m really good actually ha, thanks for asking.
A: How has this interview been for you?
N: It’s been pretty good actually!
A: Just pretty good?
N: Haha I was trying to hold back my excitement. Thank you guys so much for this interview.
A: Thank you!