Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 Questions with Two Suns

Two Suns is the brainchild of Norman’s Jake Davidson.  He recently released a self-titled debut EP available through Band Camp (see link below; you can read my review here) which was recorded and produced entirely in his home studio, late at night while his two sons slept (hence the name). 

This interview was conducted via email May 17 – 19, 2011. 

For more information on Two Suns check out BandCamp, Facebook, MySpace, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, Last.fm.

Dave:  When did you start playing music?

Jake Davidson:  I got a guitar when I was about 7 (inspired by the movie La Bamba), but I didn't really play much.  I had a few lessons, but they were on Saturdays mornings...so it seemed other things were always getting in the way (cartoons, sleep-overs)...then I played trumpet in school band starting in 6th grade...but I really fell in love with music when I got The Crow soundtrack and then Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral when I was about 13.  After that, I decided I would like to be a singer in a band, but I figured I better know how to do something else also, so I got bass for my 14th birthday...and it's my bass playing that's really enabled me to be involved in music since then.

Dave:  The Two Suns EP was recorded in your home studio late at night.  Was that a challenging process?  How were you able to get such a large sound from those sessions (I can’t imagine that you were able to record at a very high volume)?

Jake:  It was challenging, but in a great way.  Like I've mentioned, I would wait until after my two sons were asleep to begin recording, and I feel like that really influenced the music.  Everywhere in our house was pretty close to someone sleeping, so out of necessity, most of the vocals came in a hushed/chilled delivery (but I think it worked out).  The large sounds you mention (thanks for that, by the way), are just a result of layering and using decent hardware and software.  

Dave:  The sound of the EP really reminded me of the shoegazing band Chapterhouse (especially the vocals).  One of the tags listed on your BandCamp profile is shoegaze.  Were you a big fan of the shoegaze scene/bands (or the somewhat related Manchester, and baggy scenes)? 

Jake:  To be honest, I couldn't have really told you what Shoegaze was/is...On an early review of this EP, a reviewer mentioned that it sounded very shoegaze, so I just went with it.  I wasn't really sure what label to slap on this project...I always just thought of it as my attempt to make music that I would like to listen to.

Dave:  Have you performed live yet?

Jake:  Not with this project...and I don't really have any plans to.  It's funny...you spend time writing the main parts of the songs (which I generally remember), but then these little secondary parts can just pop up while you're recording, and all of the sudden you have all these interwoven parts and you can't remember half of them once they're put onto the track. 

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

Jake:  I feel somewhat disconnected from the scene.  This is completely on me, because I just don't make it out to a lot of local shows.  When I did play live with different groups around Norman and OKC, I would make it to shows...but days jobs, second jobs, and just wanting to be a very present husband and father take precedence now.  Don't get me wrong, hanging out playing and drinking until 2 am certainly was fun at a certain point in my life...but now, I really enjoy family and the creative aspect of writing and recording original music.  

Dave:  What drew you to electronic music?

Jake:  Necessity...I wanted to make original music, but I didn't really want the burdens of playing in a band or group setting.  Also, I can play a few instruments competently, but I'm a terrible drummer, and I need many takes (and maybe a slowed tempo) to hit a good keyboard part...so I lean on machines to help me with my deficiencies.  

Dave:  Have you had any interest from any record labels?  Are there any labels that you’d like to work with?

Jake:  No.  I don't really expect any labels to be knocking down the door of a solo, bedroom project recordist who never plans on touring...but you never know.  The music industry, production and distribution-wise is so different now...it seems like labels have really had to shift the way they operate...it will be really interesting to see where the industry as a whole goes.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top five all time favorite bands, albums, movies, TV shows, books/authors?

Jake:  Albums (no particular order):
-hopefully this isn't cheating...my Dad had this 4 cassette Golden Oldies collection that he wore out when I was a kid...things like the Everly Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Ricky Nelson, Diana Ross and the Supremes.
-The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails) - one of the reasons I became a musician.
-Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) - I spent countless hours of my early and mid teenage years driving around with this so loud you couldn't hear anything else.
-The Very Best of John Coltrane - It took about 3 years of playing and listening to jazz to actually feel an emotional, and not just technical/intellectual, connection with the music...this was the album that finally broke through for me.
-Abby Road - I knew the about the Beatles growing up, but really it was my wife's love for their music that opened my ears.

Bands (not solo artists):
in no order...
-The Beatles
-The Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Cynic
-Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
-The Flaming Lips

Movies:
once again (no order)
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Momento
-It's a Wonderful Life
-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
-Forrest Gump

TV Shows:
-Seinfeld
-24
-The Daily Show
-The Chapelle Show
-Yo Gabba Gabba

Books/Authors:
-Harry Potter Series
-Ishmael (Daniel Quinn)
-I wish my literary chops were bit more impressive, but hey, I spend and have spent most of my free time in music.

Dave:  What’s next for Two Suns?

Jake:  I'm working on another EP right now...I'm roughly three songs in (it will probably be 5 songs), and I hope to have it finished in the next 2 or 3 months. 

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Jake:  Make the music you want to hear.

 

 

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