Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2008 14:58
Photo by: Peter Benke
Grave Concerns: Among ALL of your haunting, spirited, and gorgeous songs I've been listening (well, obsessing to) "Am I Here?" lingers beautifully over me; a delightful combination of whimsy, adventure, heroics, and magical beings come into view. It's a song that for me allows reality to step aside and for another realm of my soul to joyfully experience. How did the nspiration for "Am I Here?" show itself to all of you?
kaRIN: Ohhhhhhhhhhh ...what a lovely way to put that. When I am working on music... I am usually working by myself ...basically talking to myself. Sorting out my own issues and questions of who am I, why am I here and what am I thinking about. I feel very visual as a writer... music becomes this dream trance that I can see. When working on The Secret Meeting, the whole thing felt surreal...Dean's only instructions that he ever gave were "have fun", so I think that lyrically and mood wise Ultrashiver is a little playful, we like to call it "Otherworldly”. On The Secret Meeting, I wanted to take the listener into a secret dream limbo where we could all hang out for awhile... I wanted it to feel like a good place to be.
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?
kaRIN: Hmmm very good question. For me... a very good song connects with me on all levels. I am all about words...so it has to have good words, with some sort of thought behind them. I like songs that have the ability to really get inside and stop me in my tracks. Then the song has to have a good melody and interesting notes and of course fabulous music behind the whole thing to make it all stick. I love the unpredictable. As far as have we met that challenge...well I would not presume that we have... but I would hope that we have somehow made something that will impact people in some way, make them think...or my favorite...make them inspired in some way.
Statik: When I go back and listen to other peoples albums that I really like, I often find that the songs that were the most popular are often my least favorite. I'm not sure what that means about my taste?I don't know which of our songs would be considered a classic, or a good song. What I do often to find is that most of the time, the songs that seem the easiest usually turn out the best. I don't think I ever get that feeling of creative bliss until the album is done and I can sit back and listen to the whole thing. Up until then, it's really fairly hard work and A LOT of listening and tweaking.
Grave Concerns: This question is directed to all of your individual music,as well as, for your collaborative work on The Secret Meeting. Being a memberof MySpace how has MySpace helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your music the most from being a member of MySpace?
kaRIN: Well, I have to say MySpace made this project happen...so we owe MySpace all the thanks in the world!! Statik and I were busy in Collide-land and had no intention of dividing our attention and starting another band. One day, while surfing around MySpace... I just happened to come across Dean's solo page. I was of course familiar with his music because he had been in the band Curve, which Statik and I had loved. On a whim, I wrote Dean and then the crazy magic happened...he wrote back and a new project was born. So I have to say that MySpace has definitely helped, it is great tool for bands to connect with people and expose their music.
DEAN: It's true to say that had it not been for Myspace TSM would not have happened. The message sent from kaRIN was full of intrigue for me, I checked out the Collide page and really liked kaRIN's voice and so decided to send a track to her. I wasn't sure what would come of it or if she would even like the track but she did and things went from strength to strength from there. Myspace is a very useful place for like minded people to have contact with each other that they wouldn't normally have...I would recommend getting a profile to anyone interested in home grown music. I just wish I had come up with the site idea myself !!
Grave Concerns: What do think makes your music stand out among other artists in your field?
kaRIN: We just try to do our own thing. We do not want it to sound like anything in particular...the only criteria is that we love it and that's the only rule. That is the best thing about art is that everyone can have the same tools, but once you filter it through the individuals creative mind, it all becomes uniquely different. Ultimately, we try not to bore ourselves and make it... so that it is something we would want to hear.
DEAN: To be true to oneself and not make music you think other people might like. Love it yourself and it's a already a success regardless of how well it sells etc. I'm not sure how it stands out against other music or bands, but I know it does to us simply because we all really love it and have enjoyed the making and communication we had whilst recording and writing it. You have to be able to give space when needed and to respect and trust everyone involved. Once you get the chemistry within the creative elements right you can do anything.
Statik: I think a trap that a lot of people fall into is trying to outdo a band or song that they really like. I'm really tough when listening to new music, and I have to admit I get bored pretty easily. I'm not trying to outdo anyone in particular. There are elements from so many types of music that I like I think they all just get mixed into what we do.
Grave Concerns: oh, I just had to tell that I love your homepage! The
elements of fantasy, along with, the interactive pages, is very imaginative, and a lot of fun, too! Who designed it?
kaRIN: Thanks so much, the concept was ours...the artwork is Teodoru Badiu who did the cover work for the CD and then the website and all the interactions on it were done by the fabulous Aaron (websiteflasher.com), who we've been working with for a number of years. He did an amazing job. The Secret Meeting website creates it's own little world that you want to get inside of... I like to go there just to fly around.
DEAN: Aaron has made us wonderful site..I really feel he understands TSM, it's always good when that happens, again it's to do with the right people doing their thing to make an overall which fits perfectly and feels/ looks just right.
Grave Concerns: When do you find you're most creative, and do you have a special place where you go to, that helps bring out that creativity with more clarity?
kaRIN: Some very good questions here...I mostly work on music at night. I have my own studio and I put my headphones on and literally get lost inside the music. I swirl around inside of the sounds and just let myself find the words and places to go. Sometimes it comes quickly and sometimes it can be a long process...I do not like to push it as it will come when it's ready. Sometimes I will write a few different songs before I am happy. On this CD for example on the song 'The Beautiful Noise Machine' which coincidently is all about getting lost inside of music, it took me about 3 song attempts to get there. At first, I just could not make it work...usually I will just keep re-approaching it until it falls into place. Writing songs feels like painting to me...sometimes you have to unravel layers before it starts getting interesting. I used to try to work on songs in my sleep, but now I don't do that anymore as it started to mess up my sleeping.
Statik: For me, it really happens when I have a big chunk of time to really get inside of the music. It's hard for me to take an hour here and there and really get anything productive done. It's all about not getting interrupted and not thinking about anything else.
Grave Concerns: As team collaborators, what have been the most difficult compromises to been made, regarding lyrics and music? How do you move forward, when something you'd really wanted to be considered, is not mutually felt?n-
Photo by dearestgrudge
kaRIN: When you work on anything collaborative with other people...you all want to come to the point that everyone is happy with it, or it will not be right and will wreck the symbiosis. So basically, it is down to open communication of figuring out what people are really thinking, what everyone wants and what is important to them. Standing your ground when you really believe in something and knowing when to bend, or listen to other people’s thoughts. Statik and I often come to disagreements because he can be stubborn, however at the end of the day...it makes everything better because it gets filtered through both of our thoughts. Working with someone new who also had a say in the outcome was very different experience for us. Fortunately, working with Dean was like a dream come true, he is great guy and super easy going. For the most part on The Secret Meeting everyone was just happy to do their own thing musically...no toes were trampled. The only decision things were more like ...what band name to choose and artwork decisions.
DEAN: Communication is the key. Allow everyone involved to express and develop ideas and arrangements, don't say you like something when you don't, speak your mind and above all listen to what is being said.
Grave Concerns: Will their be a tour planned to promote the release of
"Ultrashiver? If so, any chance you'll be coming to Boston, MA? Hint, hint.
kaRIN: Well, we are leaving it up in the air to see what will happen. Statik and I live in Los Angeles and Dean lives in the UK...so we'd have to sort all that out. One of those...if it's meant to be... it will be things.
Photo by: Rose Garcia
DEAN: I would love to explore the live elements of TSM, I know we would all have a brilliant time and it would sound very unique and shine out but unfortunately you need serious funding to be able to make something like TSM happen live which is always the first stumbling block. All being well and should certain elements fall into place then I'm sure we'd all be more than keen to take it out on the road as kaRIN says it's very much a case of what will be will be.
Grave Concerns: I love poetry and prose; and I love how lyrics are created. Do you have any favorites poets who've inspired your writing?
kaRIN: Dr Seuss... one fish, two fish, blue fish. No really, I can't say that I actually read that much poetry. I am usually possessed my making things and take little time for anything else. I like when I watch a movie that seems like visual poetry... like the movie Wings of Desire by director Wim Wenders.
Grave Concerns: OK, here's a questing in regard to honesty. Were there anysongs on "Ultrashiver" that you thought would've been awesome to have onyour respective bands; or was it through this collaboration that garnered those creative ideas?
kaRIN: Each thing affects the next..the music called out to the songs...so therefore they are all where they belong. Oh that felt poetic =).
Statik: For me that wasn't ever really a question...from the start of the project I knew that the songs were going to be Secret Meeting songs.
Grave Concerns: Since your music has such lovely and fantastic influences of other worlds, if you could create your own magical place, what would it be called, and how would it look?
kaRIN: It would be surreal and shimmery...sort of futuristic and arty. It would be hazy blue...with things suspended in the air. Everyone there would be an artist and make things. It would be a very inspirational place.
DEAN: A place without the Blue Meanies would be a good start. Hazy Blue sounds like a great title for a new SM song..I can hear the intro right now....nice !!
kaRIN: I can hear it too =).
Statik: What?? I dont' hear it. hello??? I must have been in my own magical place. I think it was green.
Grave Concerns : kaRIN, Dean and Statik, it's been super-fabulous to interview you all---you're all so very inspiring, and wonderfully talented. We here at Grave Concerns wish you much success with your collaboration of The Secret Meeting, as well as, with your individual projects---Curve and Collide. Please keep in touch!
kaRIN: Thanks, we really appreciate it.
DEAN: It's a pleasure :)