Interview: picard ~ indie rock – Eau Claire WI
Picard started as a solo/personal project by Jason (Skwerlz) Ulwelling formerly of Orestus. The sound didn't fit any of the previous bands or projects he was involved in, so the tracks sat on the back burner. The initial intention was to get some ideas tracked and do some personal music. It was only intended to be shared with friends and family.
J- First, how did you pick the name for this project?
Skwerlz- picard was chosen because the project grew legs and needed a name of its own. A friend of mine told me that I lookedlike a young captain Picard from Star Trek. When referring to the musical group "picard" it is supposed to be lower case. The reason being that the project is supposed to be dedicated to the art of it. The name will always be lower case as it is lesser in value to the music. In much the same way, most video of the actual band will be black and white, low quality or non focal. This is to ensure the music takes precedence.
J- So, how did picard, become picard?
Skwerlz- picard was started as a solo project in Feb. 2012 The point was to get back to the basics and find a connection with music again. After years of paying dues, playing crap gigs and busting our asses for nothing, we lost the connection with the original reason we all started playing.
Jason Ulwelling, (Skwerlz) started the project and asked friends to fill in on parts. That was pretty much the immediate end of it being a solo project. It was a solo project for all of maybe 2 months. More and more friends got involved and they quickly found that everyone was looking for the same thing. This is why picard is moving forward as a group.
J- picard has a great group of guys whom have been around the music scene for years, how did you guys all meet?
Skwerlz- The band member's have all been friends and played together through out all the years. The people in the group were chosen based on character, professionalism and talent. The current line up (subject to change) are
Jason Ulwelling (Orestus, Honest Johnny, Senza)
Eric Giardina (No Loving Place, Black Flood Diesel, Sounds of a Fallen Echo, Senza)
Phil Juodis (Easy Chair, South Farwell)
Cory Dahl (Honest Johnny, South Farwell)
Mike Donaldson (Orestus)
Brad Hanson (No Loving Place, Senza)
Robert Zimmerman (SMR, Orestus)
Brian Bethke (Brian Bethke Band,Merry Weathers )
J- The Midwest has a great music scene, how does being in previous bands from around the area prepare you for what lies ahead for picard?
Skwerlz- we all have been around the block, can tell who is blowing smoke up our ass and who is not. Allows us to weed out character traits that are disruptive and be more professional. It’s a no bullshit setting.
J- What are you working on now?
Skwerlz- Working on the release of our first album #1. Getting tracking done for the album and getting ready to mix and master in next few months. Practicing and getting ready for live shows.
J- What motivates picard’s writing?
Skwerlz- Trying to get back to playing music for what music is. Let the music take the lead and let everything else follow.
J- How does this style of music compare to what you have previously played or wrote?
Eric- The music that we are doing now is more dynamic and thought out well and not just settling for what works at the time. I think a lot of it too, is what we have done, the tones, guitars, vocally are more matured from past music.
Skwerlz-a lot more polished, more experience with everyone coming together, everyone has more experience, not as much trial and error.
J- What song is most personal and why?
Skwerlz- ‘One Moment’
My grandmother Patricia Ulwelling is currently suffering the effects of Alzheimer's disease. As a tribute to her and her children, the song was written and recorded specifically for that reason. All the proceeds from our first single ‘One Moment’ will be donated to the research of dementia and Alzheimer’s. The song is dedicated to all the people who have dealt with, or are dealing with or have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
J- What’s next for picard, after release of the first album?
Skwerlz- Once the album is done we are going to focus bringing it together more as a band and not so much as a project, get polished for live performances, start working on the next album, which we already have a start on.
In the meantime take a listen to "Ed"
Here are the places you can check picard out at!
Official Page - www.picardmusic.com
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/picard_music
Twitter - https://twitter.com/picardmusic
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/PicardMusic
Reverb Nation - http://www.reverbnation.com/picardmusic
Tumblr - http://picardmusic.tumblr.com/
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