Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cleveland's Filmstrip plays Brooklyn's Death by Audio

Hey people! Filmstrip is an awesome band from Cleveland, OH, and they've been on the road for what seems like 10 years. Monday, 7/15, they are playing in Brooklyn at Death By Audio, with one of my bands, Big Quiet, another Brooklyn band, The Meaning of Life, and Severe Severe, from Albany. Marta DeLeon (lead singer/bassist of The Meaning of Life) took over interviewer duty and spoke with Filmstrip guitarist/vocalist Dave Taha. Here's the transcript:

Hearts Bleed Radio (Marta): Obligatory, why did you guys choose "Filmstrip" as a bandname? Are movies an influence for songwriting, etc?

Dave: Our friend Ray was on a photography kick and suggested "The Filmstrips". We thought that was too pop-punk sounding, so we went with Filmstrip. We sat on it for about a week, and it kept coming back up. We liked the sound of it, the arrangement of letters. It stood out and was the obvious choice.

HBR: I like the lyrics and pop leanings of your single "Stuck on Explode". How was that written and recorded? I hear Sebadoah, Superchunk with the post rock guitaring of bands like Polvo. Any notable influences that you like or like at this moment?

Dave: Wow, thanks! I wrote that song in 2002 on an acoustic guitar. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the lyrical content, but I guess I was reacting to the onset of instant-gratification/ soundbite culture, the swiftness of it. As far as recording, I've actually recorded this song a bunch of times. The process at Echo Mountain was really smooth, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to get out of it, and luckily we were able to translate that to the finished version. Influences? Those three you mentioned are pretty spot-on. We came of age in the 90's, so grunge and post-punk are huge for us. Right now it's a lot of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Band, that kind of stuff, but we'll always be close to our punk roots.

Filmstrip, outside and unwound.

HBR: You guys grew up together and have been playing in this incarnation for awhile. Good serial monogamist musicians! How does that influence the songwriting? Are you collaborative?

Dave: We have a pretty established system, where, if we all agree we like it, we go with it. Sometimes that might mean I approach the guys with a finished song (at least my parts), with a concrete idea of how the drums and bass should sound, and other times it might be the three if us jamming, and we go "Whoa, what was that? Let's do that again!" We're lucky to have a streamlined, intuitive writing process. That's the easy part. I think we'd all agree the songs come from somewhere else, we're just the vehicle.

HBR: The new full length (or newest "Moments of Matter") is up with rough mixes, is this to save something while you guys are shopping it around to labels? Why did you decide to put those up? I personally can't share rough mixes, though yours don't sound that rough by the way.

Dave: You hit the nail on the head. We're putting it out there to see if anyone bites, plus, we gotta save some dough if we want to put this thing out ourselves, but we also don't want to sit on it forever either. This seemed like a good way to untie our hands and get a little exposure for the record before it comes out. There's not a HUGE difference between the "roughs" and the masters, but after a side-by-side comparison, the masters are definitely better. And we're actually headed back into the studio on this tour to do a few changes that have been bugging us.

HBR: I've hear it's a long ass tour you guys are partaking in (2-3months). First, hats off for doing the rounds and it must take a lot of planning and focus. Any tour tips? What do you like most about it and what is a favorite city/club to play? Do you feel this helps spread the word on your music in this day and age of digital?

Dave: Thanks, yeah. Hats off to Nick, who pretty much booked the whole tour himself. Countless hours of dedication and emailing, facebooking, whatever however whoever. He's seriously a machine. My hand is cramping replying to this email on a phone, and it seems like the only time nick puts his down is to pick up the drumsticks. Tips might include new shoes, there's no such thing as too many socks, and make sure the AC and stereo work in your van. Oh yeah, have a van. I love touring and seeing all our road buddies, as well as making new friends. NYC is always fun, Charleston and Atlanta are also good times. Touring is absolutely still relevant, since no YouTube video is going to replace the actual experience of seeing a band live. That will always be a raw, visceral and irreplaceable feeling, standing ten feet away from a band that is just fucking killing it. If we do that for one person on this tour, I feel we've done our job.
Left handed guitarist always freak me out.

HBR: Obligatory question, NYC vs. Cleveland. Ever think of leaving lovely Cleveland to get poor, stinky and stressed out with the rest of us fools?

Dave: HAHAHAHA! I'm poor, but my rent's cheaper! Cleveland has its aromatic moments also. NYC is great, and we're a half day's drive away. Cleveland is a perfect home base, 8hrs from NYC, 6 from Chicago, 11 to ATL. Finding a job can be tough, but it's easy to save once you do. Not that there's nowhere to spend it, cause there's plenty going on in Cleveland today, especially if you're into music. The underground scene there is literally bursting at the seams. Every summer there's like four or five new, above average bands breaking onto the scene. It's healthy to have a strong sense of community, and we definitely do.

HBR: Abstract play on words question: What's your favorite band tree? Like Weeping Willow Morrisey... you can insert Filmstrip as well!

Dave: An actual one that plays in Cleveland is Tracy Morgan Freeman. Does it have to be a band first? Fleetwood Mac Miller?

HBR: Thanks for chatting. We (The Meaning of Life) are looking forward to the sweat and rock of DBA with chas!

Thanks to Dave and Marta for the interview. We're really pumped to be playing with Filmstrip and hope to see you guys there!

More details on the show, and to RSVP, click ---> here.

Like Filmstrip on Facebook ---> here.

Check out The Meaning of Life on Facebook ---> here.

And last, but not least, like Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook ---> here.