Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Interview with Zorch

Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine catches up with the Austin, TX experimental duo Zorch on their way through the northeast.  The band will stop in Ithaca this Sunday, August 15th at The Haunt with Afghanistan, Why The Wires, Cameron Wisch, and The Invisible Hand.  Doors at 5PM, shows starts at 6PM and is all ages. (Photo by Ian Hunt to the best of my knowledge)

Let's have Zac & Sam give us some background on the band and what we get to look forward to, hmmm?!

IU: How did the two of you meet?

Z: We actually got put together in the dorms. We also had a third roommate for one day. Coincidentally, we actually played with his band, Whoarfrost, in Baltimore.

S:  Zac didn’t get me at first. I remember one of the first things he said to me was “you’re weird.” But I think at this point, he understands me pretty damn well.
IU: What brought you to start making music together?

Z: Just hanging out and being friends, probably also a desire to make experimental loud music. 

S: Yeah, we came from very different musical taste backgrounds, but there came a point where our tastes crossed paths and that’s when we started making music together.

IU: Where did the nicknames Shmu and Rough Boy come from?

Z: I wouldn't even really consider Rough Boy to be a nick name of mine, it was kind of an ongoing joke because of the Pete Townshend video "Rough Boys" that we watched with our publicist Samantha. She ended up changing my name of Facebook after I signed a couple emails as "rough boy." I just never cared enough to change it back.  

S: Shmu is my given Hebrew name. My solo material is also released under the moniker Shmu. Check out the album “Discipline/Communication.” You can download it for free on shmu.bandcamp.com

IU: What process goes into creating a Zorch piece?
Z: Lots of improvisation. We'll take weeks at a time and just improvise for hours every day. We record everything and Sam later goes back and chops it up into the best bits. Some of this we take and rework as song material and other stuff gets put into our mixtape catalog. We have a HUGE back catalog of mixtape material that we're still figuring out how to release.
S: Prince would call it a “vault.” Playing and pressing the record button has seemed to be the most organic choice of making music, taking our favorite ideas and slowly chiseling it into a song.

IU: The demo that is out now was recorded live correct? Pretty impressive, do you plan on recording live for subsequent releases as well?

Z: As a two piece, its really the only way I see doing it. We feed directly off each other in live performance, and our sound is very dependent upon how each of us is reacting to the other. For the time being we'll definitely continue to do things live. 

S: It’ll be live for shizz, but with overdubs.

IU: Any new material in the works?
Z: Yeah! Before we left for tour we recorded 8 more songs. We've also got a few new ones besides that. We're going to release a vinyl ep before anything else and just really take our time with releasing a full length until we can do it correctly. Also, like I said before, we have a crazy amount of mixtape material that is just waiting to be released.

S: Holla!

IU: You guys play Omnichords?? How'd you end up with those and why do you love using them?

Z: I worked at Goodwill for awhile, and would always keep an eye out for musical equipment. One day I saw a little grey suitcase come in and as soon as I opened it up I knew I had to have it. I circuit bent mind in boston, so it does really crazy things. Sam got his a few years later, so now we have two in the house. 

S: Omnichords are my favorite. I love using them because they provide a creative unique outlet unlike any other instrument and I’ve kinda developed my own signature technique which is a lot more meaningful for me personally as opposed to being another sick guitarist or something.

IU: I saw on your blog that you had a bit of trouble getting set for tour? What happened and how did you end up pulling everything together?
Z: Just life struggles, and hard work. Lots of help from friends, and tons of time on the internet. Setting up a tour yourself is really hard, but super important as a band. I feel like if you can't do it yourself, and don't understand what booking something like that entails, then you aren't ready to have someone else do it for you. 

S: I concur.

IU: How has the tour been going so far?  Any best spaces/shows thus far?
Z: Hattiesburg is always an awesome time, and it was a blast playing the 1126 house with B L A C K I E. Lafayette was probably the most fun I've had playing any show in a long time. We got to play with a bunch of friends and a couple new awesome bands! We also set up and did a versus set with our friends Caddywhompus, which was great. Atlanta was also a great time, we played with Wowser Bowser and the whole crowd was just super positive and ready to dance. Last night we played the Spazz Haus and when we walked in we had very low expectation. The room was really small, it looked like it was going to rain, and no one was there yet. But once we set up and played that little room was a hot sweaty dance party, it was a really good time.

S: Baltimore was sweet too!

IU: Any stops on the tour you're especially stoked for?

Z: Ithaca! Im so pumped to see Cameron Wisch do his thing live, he actually just stayed by our house in Austin with his band Zona Mexicana, and we got to hang out for a while. We haven't seen him play live yet though and Im really excited to see how he does the whole thing. Also, New York and Boston should be fun. We're playing Providence with Black Pus (Lightning Bolt's drummers side project (Brian Chippendale)) and thats really exciting. Im personally really excited to see Canada and play Toronto and Montreal, being that I've never been there. Also, I 'm looking forward to playing my hometown, Racine, at the end of our tour. It'll be nice to play with old friends and see a bunch of people i haven't seen in forever.

S: Worrrrrrrrrrrddddddddddd to the sauce.