Monday, July 19, 2010

After starting life as a new instrumental project for ex-Postman Syndrome members, East of the Wall now finds itself a few years and a few line-up changes later as the same line-up as Biclops.  In 2009 the bands were merged, choosing to stay under the EotW moniker, and familiar aspects of each band boiled to the surface of this particular brew.  The band made their Translation Loss debut through a three way split with Rosetta and Year of No Light promptly followed up by the bands latest, "Ressentiment" which drops on July 20th.  The band checks in mid-tour with NAME (LifeForce Records - San Francisco, CA) to discuss the transition, the new album, and more.  Check them out at The Shop in Ithaca, NY on Wednesday, July 28th. Show starts at 8PM.

IU: How is the tour with NAME going so far?

Kevin: So far so good. The majority of the shows have been great so far. We've definitely met some great people and had some great times. I think we've played in front of audiences that for the most part haven't heard us before and we managed to make a good impression.

IU:  any best/worst of stories of the tour so far?

Kevin: San Francisco was definitely a highlight. Due to a last minute cancellation, we ended up having 2 days off out there. It's all kind of a blur, but as far as I can remember we had a lot of fun. There haven't been any major low points, with the exception of the relentless heat all throughout the south. It was pretty much 100 degrees or so every day for the first week of the tour, and we were sleeping in the van just about every night. As you can imagine, that wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but that's just the price you pay to get to do all of this cool stuff.

IU: How has the the band changed since the line up change?
Kevin: The biggest thing is the addition of vocals. Biclops had vocals all over the music, whereas East of the Wall was always 100% instrumental. The biggest thing we've had to work through is figuring out how to blend those 2 sounds. That's going to be a work in progress, and I'm interested to see how we work with that dichotomy on the next record. The biggest benefit we took from it is that the current lineup can basically tour whenever we need/want to. For us to get to where we're trying to go, being on the road constantly is really critical. We have the pieces in place now to spend a lot of time out there making it happen.

IU: Did the transition feel odd at all, merging Biclops in EotW?

Kevin: On one hand, it felt very natural because the current touring lineup of EOTW was the old Biclops lineup. So we all knew each other well and were comfortable with each other as musicians and people. There were no surprises in that regard. The only thing that was a little odd was the fact that the 2 bands had a slightly different vibe to them in terms of the live show. It's a little hard to quantify, but I think that anyone who saw Biclops and EOTW live can attest to the fact that the bands had a slightly different feel live. A little over half a year into having the new lineup, we've combined the 2 pretty seemlessly for the most part, but it's still a work in progress.

IU: Your new album "Ressentiment" comes out July 20th, how have things progressed for the band from previous albums?

Kevin: It's hard to say "progressed" since Ressentiment was intended to be the first Biclops record rather than the next EOTW record. But in terms of differences between Farmer's Almanac and Ressentiment, the most noticeable changes are the addition of vocals and a higher level of dissonance in the music. There's definitely a lot of ugly sounding stuff on Ressentiment. At the same time, it's usually accompanied by something a little more palatable immediately before or after. It's definitely a record that leads you in a lot of different directions.

IU: The record has been described as a concept album - what are the underlying themes and what brought you guys to create an album around it?

Kevin: I wouldn't say it's a concept record in the traditional sense. When we referred to it as a concept record, we really just meant that there was some general themes that ran through the lyrics on most of the record. I think those themes are somewhat open-ended and I would imagine different people will come up with different interpretations, but to me a lot of it just has to do with coming to grips with the way the universe is, and how soul-crushingly mundane it can be at times.
IU: How did the experience of working with Will Putney at The Machine Shop go?

Kevin: Will's a total pro and a great dude to work with. One of the big things we wanted to accomplish was making the record sound big and mean, and I think he did a great job of that. He also was instrumental in helping us develop a lot of the vocal parts more fully, because some of them were in their infancy when we brought them in.
IU: After this tour EotW is heading to Europe, correct?  Will be this be the band's first time abroad?

Kevin: We'll be heading to Europe for somewhere between 10 days and 3 weeks in September. It's still a little open ended. This will be our first time out of the country and we couldn't be more excited. We'll be on tour with a band from Germany called Radare. We've seen some increased interest from Europe recently, and it will be great to get out there and get to play in front of some of those people who have been hoping to see us for so long.
IU: Did you guys book these shows DIY style as with the state shows or were you able to get help from an agency or other bands over there?

Kevin: Manus Booking takes care of our European booking. We don't have the contacts to put together a European tour the way we can with a US tour.
IU: Heard that even though "Ressentiment" is coming out in a few days, you guys are already writing on a follow up release? Do you ever stop?

Kevin: Well, we certainly try to keep things moving at all times. Keep in mind, Ressentiment was finished last July, and we started writing for the new record shortly thereafter. I'd say we're about 2 songs shy of having a full length record's worth of material. We'll still keep writing at that point though. Since we intend to spend as much time as we can on the road, it's imperative that we stay ahead of the curve with writing new material.
IU: Anything you'd like to pass along to those coming out to the show on July 30th?

Kevin: We can't wait to see all of your smiling faces! Ressentiment is out July 20th, so that gives you 10 days to check it out, learn the words and come yell them at us. Either way, it's going to be a great time. You're all going to love Name as well.