Cathedral Park is made up of Autumn (Vocals-Keyboards-Programming) and
Bryn Shoop (Bass Guitar-Programming). Holding onto their originality and
signature sound, Cathedral Park tends to use analog recording techniques,
adding to the swirl of strings and backward masking pieces, held together
by Bryn's deep bass tones and Autumn's up front Bowie-esk forward vocals.
Carefully crafted lyrics with open ended story lines create imagery of dark
dreamlike surreal landscapes; Influenced by such artists as Peter Murphy,
Depeche Mode, early Cure, VNV Nation, Wolfsheim and David Bowie,
Cathedral Park is described as dark wave and electronica with hints of synth
pop. Cathedral Park is to release new material in early 2009 followed by a West
Grave Concerns: Dark and wondrous greetings Autumn and Bryn, it's absolutely lovely to have you here at the grave. How are you gentlemen doing?
Autumn :Lynda, thanks. It is great to be here and thanks to Matthew Johnson for the lovely review of our album Monument earlier this year. We have been quite busy with promotions of the album and gearing up to record a new single this Fall. The response for Monument has been great and we are both very excited about the project.
Grave Concerns: So then, how did you all meet, and was this an immediate connection toward your relationship in regard to the music to be created?
Autumn:Bryn and I met in 2005. He helped finish the last half of the Ghost Parade 'Divide' record. The band went on to release Divide in the Summer of 2006 followed by a short tour and Bryn and I got to be close friends.
Bryn: It's funny, because when I first meet Autumn I was so intimidated by him. He is such an intense artist in everything he does from his writing, singing, guitar/keyboard playing and painting. I remember after the Divide tour, Autumn inviting me over for drinks and to talk to me about a project he wanted to work on. He asked if I would play bass for him on the project and, after listening to it, realized that this was a project that I could really get into.
Grave Concerns: When do you find you're most creative; and do you have a special place to help bring out that creativity with more clarity?
Autumn: I tend to always be creative which can sometimes be a curse because its not something I can easily turn off or let rest. I have learned to sort of let it charge up for periods that last several months and then I let it all out in one creative blast, rather then be creative in spots here and there. I find that the consistency between songs is closer together that way and also theres a since of beginning and ending to the work. One of the hardest things to do as an artist is to know where the beginnings and the endings are. I feel its important to have closer and to know how to end a body of work. That way, you can charge up again and start something new without feeling like you have unfinished pieces. Bryn and I always work from early morning to early afternoon. I think this is the reason why our work tends to sound focused and clear headed. Cathedral Park isn't really the kind of band where we do mixes or vocal takes at 2am. We tend to create when we are the most mentally present, which I think transfers well into the recordings and produces a clarity about our work.
Bryn: Autumn and I both seem to be the most creative when we're fresh. We try to capture everything we create as it happens. So, I suppose, for me at least, I feel the most creative with the head phones on, laying down a bass rift.
Grave Concerns: What comes first in your creative process of song making? Do you hear the melodies or feel the lyrics? Or do you go back and forth?
Autumn: I usually start with working song titles which allows me to see a visual or create a concept based on how the titles sounds and feels. Some of the tracks on Monument were done with the basic instruments first or maybe a string arrangement and bass line and then the lyrics to follow. Live or Die or The Suburban Dream are good examples of that. For the most part though, the record was made with a conceptual idea in the form of working titles or single lyric lines. Karina Cottrell (long time co-writer) Presented the opening track off 'Monument' to me 'Someday' in the form of a poem. I then would take lines from here and there in the poem to form verses and chorus's, which is the way we usually work together. Finally after the song was finished and mixed I thought of the idea 'Someday' for a title for it. I then called her up and told her the idea and she loved it so we went with it. The Poem was originally called 'Heroin'. I was trying to figure out how I was going to open an album with a song called Heroin lol. See? Is all a progression. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to create something. I think that anything creative takes on its own life once it gets started and you just have to let it flow. The last thing I would want to do is restrict something because it doesn't fit in with a writing style that was done 2 songs ago. That could be a lifetime ago in the writing world. We deal with extremes and you are always feeling like you are being pulled in some extreme direction. It can all be very surreal and other worldly.
Grave Concerns: How do you differentiate a real good song, from a classic? In other words, what really makes a song stand out and last? And with your music, which song or songs do you feel have met that challenge, have come close to it, or are you currently just enjoying the creative bliss?
Bryn:A "really good song" is going to get some radio play for the next 6-8 months heavily and then, as does the band, fade out of existence. You may here the song 10-15 years later in the one hit wonder section of some classic rock radio station. Most people won't remember what band played the song but maybe they won't even remember the title, just a lyric here and there. A "classic" is a song that you will here 20-30 years later, remember the name of the band and song, probably even most of the lyrics. Maybe this song was not such a hit when it first came out, maybe it was. The biggest difference, to me at least, is that this song did not come from a one hit wonder, but from artist who continued to release amazing material. Constantly pushing the creative envelope, until they wrote a song, songs or albums that will stand the test of time. These songs will always sound as if they were just written, and many who come after these artists will want to emulate them, want to hear someone say "oh you guys sound like (insert favorite band here)". I believe as artist, Autumn and I are constantly pushing ourselves to be edgy, new, creative, etc. Do we have a classic? Only time will really tell that. For now, we're going to do what we do, and continue to create art that we enjoy.
Grave Concerns: Tell us please, about your album, "Monument"¦from what I've been listening to, it's a darkly gorgeous and mystifying album ¦that is so impressive gentlemen.
Autumn: Lynda, thank you. The main body of the record "the first 10 tracks" Were released as an ep in 2006 in limited numbers. Last year we decided to go back in the studio and record some fresh tracks. That led us to revising Monument and officially releasing it to the masses. So we added new tracks, some bonus tracks from 2001 and 2002 and 2 music videos and a making of video. This turned Monument into a full length album with CD extras. The response has been great and we are very excited to see the record finally reach the masses.
Grave Concerns: What were the most difficult songs, in regard to lyrics to record on "Monument"?
Autumn: Most of the songs on Monument just sort of flowed once we started working in the studio. I would say that the most painful lyric was Stars because its about a difficult time, life change. All of the lyrics are about real life. I don't write fiction and so all of the lyrics are connected to a experience in some way or another.
I like to write open ended story lines so that there is enough of the story to paint a picture but room so that the listening can make it their own.
Grave Concerns: You're working on two albums with Ghost Parade; a band, which you both were a part of, ¦how's that progressing? Please share the reasons for the collaboration.
Autumn: We are releasing a Ghost Parade album called the "Blackout Collections. Its an album of previously unreleased material. The album comes out Oct 28 this year. It really shows a progression for the band with material from 2001 to 2007 and should be interesting for fans of the band and new fans who haven't discovered Ghost Parade yet. As for a new album, we were flirting with that idea and working on demos this Summer but the honest truth isBryn and I simply don't have the time to invest as Cathedral Park is our main focus.
Grave Concerns: How are the tour plans coming along? When will you begin touring? Will Boston, MA be on that list someday? It would be awesome for you to come to the city! (;
Bryn:As of right now, we have plans on a 2009 Spring tour following the release of our next single. We will be heading into the studio winter of 2008 to record a brand new Cathedral Park song. This song should give our fans a glimpse into the future of Cathedral Park (and even maybe a little taste of what our next full length album may sound like). The new single will also be the catalyst for us to go live and official tour dates and locations will be revealed. Without giving too much away, we have had offers at several venues both on the East Coast and West Coast. Depending on how scheduling works out you may see us on the East Coast late Spring to early Summer
Grave Concerns: As musicians, how does the music in movies affect you? And if you were asked to compose a song for a soundtrack, which genera would that be in? Now let me take that question even further---actually backward; if you were to go back to the past, with your current music in hand, and were asked that same question, would any of your songs stand out as a good fit? If so, which song and movie would it have been?
Autumn: I am a huge Danny Elfman fan. I follow his music all the way back to the first Oingo Boingo records. I think what does really compliments Tim Burton's films. I think it would be great to have that kind of artistic relationship with a film maker. The music in film really impacts the overall feel of the film. I think that the film Donnie Darko is another great example of that. Using artist such as The Church and Echo and the Bunnymen. It really paints a landscape sonically.
Bryn: Thinking about Tim Burton, I really feel that any of our songs would fit in his films. More specifically, if we could go back, I think hearing "Someday" or "The Suburban Dream" in his film "Edward Scissorhands" would be a beautiful fit.
Grave Concerns: Any regrets? How about future hopes?
Autumn: As independent artists, I feel like my only regret would be that there is
Only 24 hours in a day. It is so much work in making sure a record is treated as it should be promotions wise. It seems like no matter how much you do there is still more you could have done. I wish we had more time is all.
Grave Concerns: So, tell us, how did your name come about? I really like it; it has such a historical presence about it.
Bryn: Cathedral Park is actually a haunted park in Portland, Oregon. Autumn and I have spend a lot of time at this park, being Oregon natives. Actually, parts of the music videos we filmed took place in Cathedral Park. We felt it was appropriate. The place is so inspiring, especially as artists.
Grave Concerns: Being a member of MySpace, how has it helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your music the most?
Autumn: Myspace is a great tool to get exposure globally. Its so great to be an artist in the times we live in. An artist can write and record a song, rip it to mp3 and load it to a website like Myspace and 5 mins later someone in another country could listen to it and write the band about how much they like it and tell their friends. I can spend 30 mins on-line and get more exposure than playing a club. Back in the old days you would make a record and then tour and tour trying to get some kind of exposure. These days you can get that same kind of exposure worldwide from your living room and if people like your music they can buy it on I-tunes or other download sites like e-music.
Bryn: In all honesty, we have seen more fans/record sells overseas than we have in the states. A majority of our fan base right now is in Germany. We receive so much e-mail and snail mail from our fans in Germany, it's flattering. One of our fans went as far as sending us a German television program he stared in. Now, the states haven't been bad to us, by any means, but over all Europe has embraced us more.
Grave Concerns: What then, on the other hand, does the human race do to make you feel simply proud and amazed by?
Autumn:They sometimes create amazing art.
Grave Concerns: If you could be a character in a graphic comic book for sayâ€¦nine issues, how would you like your character to be represented?
Bryn:I would like to be portrayed as a villain. Maybe my character would be a little like Capitan Howdy from "Strangeland" but a little more sinister.
Grave Concerns: You've been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
Grave Concerns: If you were asked to become vampires, would you? If you do please gentlemen, tap on my windowsill ¦knock on my door? C¦heck, send me an e-mail I'll happily invite you in.
Autumn and Bryn(together): Yes. Vampires exist. Join us.
Grave Concerns: If you had the power to live the life of any character in a movie for one-week after the end credits rolled, who would you choose and why?
Donnie Darko, because he died.
Grave Concerns: My favorite architecture in regard to homes, are Gothic castles, Victorians, and English cottages---what styles of homes, or other forms of architecture do you like?
Autumn: I'm actually a fan of Victorian style houses and older historical architecture. That's why I'm living in the building I live in. In Portland, it is one of the most haunted buildings that you can live in.
Bryn: When I was in school, I wrote a research paper on Gothic Architecture. I was able to study several cathedrals in Europe, and even a few in America that have the older style of architecture. It's amazing to me how beautiful these buildings are. I would love to be able to visit them when we travel to Europe.
Grave Concerns: You're a curator for a museum. You've received a mysterious crate one night---do you open it? If so, what's inside?
Autumn: My dead ex-girlfriend with bats that fly out into the full moon.
Bryn: Wow.....I'm going to go with The Amulet of Ra.
Grave Concerns: Tell us two things about yourselves that your fans would be surprised to know about you?
Autumn: I like to shop at local farmers markets, and I recycle.
Bryn: All the walls in my house are painted blood red, with the exception of the kitchen which is black....and.....I'm trained in 5 different styles of sword fighting.
Grave Concerns: Besides the obvious necessities of life, what are six things that you can't be without?
Bryn: Sex, Art, Myspace, Autumn, My Wife and......Sex.
Autumn: Art, aRt, Bryn, my cat and ummm coffee.
Grave Concerns: This time around you've created a beautiful and darkly provocative "Virtual Reality Game"---what's this one about? And can you tell us two of the characters names?
Autumn: Damian and...fuck, I don't know.
Bryn: For the girl, I'm gonna go with Spooky, and this game is going to be about how depressing her life is.
Grave Concerns: You're stuck in an elevator, with three others. Someone begins to panic (and no, it's not you) what do you do to help calm the person down?
Bryn: Shoot them....or stab them....whatever is available.
Autumn: No, really, here here, take this *hands them some ****** ahhhhhhhh, don't you feel better.
Grave Concerns: You're going over to a friend's house for a small get together; what do you bring?
Chicken, PBR and some vinyl records.
Bryn: Myself, isn't that enough?
Grave Concerns: You're having your music featured, on an episode of "Cold Case". What's the episode about?
Bryn:It's probably about a suspected suicide case, but in the end you find out the killer was a jealous lover.
Grave Concerns: What makes you smile?
Bryn: My one eyed dog makes me smile, I think Autumn's cat is what makes him smile.
Grave Concerns: If you could have a movie director direct your next video, who would it be and why? And which song would it be?
Bryn: Sam Raimi.....but back when he was doing the Evil Dead movies....I think he was edgier back then. I think "Someday" is really deserving of a music video.
Grave Concerns: I love graveyard ¦I'm not ready to be in one yet, but I love the "energy", the loves ¦the tragedies the curiosity I have of their stories, which they lived. The past is so fascinating to me ¦as well as, the mystery of death. So then, what would you want your Epithets to read?
Bryn: "Buried face down"
Grave Concerns: You're playing pool with some of your friends. It's your turn to brake. The ball went in the side left pocket---are you odds or evens?
Bryn: I loose, because if the cue ball goes in a pocket on the break, you loose.
Grave Concerns: A fictitious record company (you can even name it too, if you like) has the tough decision of choosing only one band to sign, out of three possible ones. The bands are ALL fabulous, the decision then---is to choose the band based on their name.
1. Dead Wink.
2. Liquid Eyelashes.
3. Dermo Illusion.
Bryn: I guess I would sign Dermo Illusion, but they better be industrial or I'm gonna be disappointed.
Grave Concerns: Have you bought or sold something on eBay before?
Autumn: A lot of rare britpop, Morrisey, The Cure etc on vinyl.
Grave Concerns: What is your drink of choice? And what are some of your favorite foods.
Autumn: Red wine, ribeye steaks, black beans, pizza, Mexican food.
Bryn:Captain & Cokes, chicken, tuna, hamburgers, cheese....especially pepperjack....jalapenos....they are so good.
Grave Concerns: Do you have any food allergies?
Autumn: Fast Food
Bryn: Healthy Food
Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?
Autumn: Shiners, that's a good cause. Any band that could genuinely perform for such a great cause.
Grave Concerns: Say you're starting up your own Gothic clothing line---what's the label going to be called, and what "must have" item or items are hot right now?
Bryn: Disintegrate Clothing....what's hot right now? The "Cathedral Crotchless Panties" and the "Park Mini Skirts". Must have items for any dance club night.
Grave Concerns: Since nature is very precious to me, I tend to be drawn more toward the Earth element. Although each one has its own special attributes, together they are priceless. Which element do you see yourselves more drawn toward?
Autumn: Fire and Water
Bryn: Fire definitely. I tend to date a lot of water signs.....
Grave Concerns: You're making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What kind of bread is it; what flavor of jelly; and is your peanut butter crunchy or smooth? And now for the crucial question---do you use the same knife you put into the peanut butter, for the jelly?
Autumn: The bread is whole wheat, peanut butter is crunchy, the jelly is strawberry jam. Definitely two spoons, peanut butter and jelly will not go in each others jars.
Bryn: The bread is white, peanut butter is crunchy, the jelly is raspberry, and I use the same knife.
Grave Concerns: An antique Grandfather Clock, which has not chimed in 100 years suddenly, has. At what time did you hear it start and what day/night was it on?
Autumn: Midnight on Friday the 13th.
Grave Concerns: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
Autumn: Thank you, everyone, for the kind e-mails and paper letters. And thank you for the continued support. We look forward to seeing some of you face to face when we're out and about touring.
Bryn: Thank you for all the support, and we'll see you on the road.
Grave Concerns: Anything else you care to share with us about yourselves and your smashingly dark and beautiful music?
Autumn: For those who are not familiar with our music, there are free music downloads on our myspace page. For those who are familiar, we have some exciting new surprises for you all in the next coming months. Stay up to date by visiting us online.
Grave Concerns: What can we expect to hear from Cathedral Park in the future?
Autumn: We are getting ready to go back into the studio to work on a brand new single. This will be released around the first of the year followed by some overdue live performances. The new single is going to be released not only on CD and I-Tunes, but also on vinyl records. There will be alternate club mixes for D J's. Further, we are determined to make our mark on a national level by touring outside of our West Coast region.
Bryn: Everything that I love about this project is going to be fine tuned and brought to the stage. The new single is going to be a huge launch point for us and will show everyone what they can be expecting to hear from us on tour, and on our next record.
Grave Concerns: Autumn and Bryn, we here at Grave Concerns think you're pretty special ¦and SO, SO, richly talented! And we wish you much success with your album, "Monument", and with your tour. Please keep in touch! Cheers!
Autumn: Thank you for having us and thank you for all that you do for the Gothic music genera. It's a great pleasure for us to be invited here to speak with you.
Bryn: Thank you. We look forward to seeing you when we hit Boston. Keep it dark.
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