Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 Questions with The Typist


Hailing from Altus, OK The Typist is an indie rock/emo/post hardcore band.  Their full-length debut album Midwestern High Life was released in December and is really good (read my review here). 

For more information on The Typist check out their Facebook, MySpace, and BandCamp pages. 

This interview was conducted with Matt Moran via email April 9, 2012.

Dave:  How did the band get together? 

Matt Moran:  The band was originally a solo project of mine (Matt's).  I had released some songs, and I decided that when I started playing shows, I wanted to have a full band behind me.  I enlisted the help of Justin and Patrick to play drums and bass guitar, and it kind of grew from there.  We started writing all new original material that was really cohesive and had a really good sound to it.  Daniel came into the band after we had him play keys on the album.  We all decided that adding him to the band really completed our sound and took it to where it needed to be.

Dave:  You recently released your debut album Midwestern High Life independently through BandCamp.  What’s the story behind the record?  Will there be a physical release of the album?

Matt:  We always have physical copies of the album on hand with us at every show.  There's nothing better that seeing a great show and being able to put a band's CD that you've picked up that night into your CD player on the ride home.  Despite the fact that everything is shifting toward online downloads, we still sell more CD's in person, and I think that is a big part of it.  If you're into independent music, I don't think you'll ever be able to get away from the joy of phsyically holding a recording in your hand (which is why I think vinyl records are experiencing a good resurgence right now).

It basically took us all of 2011 to write this album (we started recording in November and finished up in December).  We took the whole year to slowly feel out the songs and let them evolve as well as let ourselves evolve as a band.  After we took our time to write them, we decided that the only way to get them to sound how we wanted was to record them at home. We had considered going to various in-state studios, but we ended up feeling like that would leave us with a rushed product that we didn't feel would represent us (this is because we live entirely too far away from any legitimate studios down here Southwest Oklahoma).  So with that in mind, we bought some recording gear, loaded it into our drummer's kitchen, and recorded the majority of the record right there.  It was a really fun and exhausting learn-as-you-go experience.  Although there were times when we thought the whole thing was going to go into the trash, I really feel like it came out exactly how we wanted it.

Dave:  Why did you decide to self-release Midwestern High Life?  Have you received interest from any record labels?  Is/are there any record labels that you’d like to work with? 

Matt:  We self released Midwestern High Life out of necessity.  We've all been in bands before, but this is kind of a starting over point for us.  We're still trying to build up what we have and break into the scene.  We've only been doing this steadily for about 6 months, and we've already met some really great people.  Hopefully on this journey we can meet some people that would like to work with us in the form of a band/label partnership.  There are some great labels in our state that I'd love to work with and maybe we will one day.

Dave:  Does the band have any specific type of songwriting process? 

Matt:  The music always comes first.  Someone will bring in a riff, and we will build on it.  Sometimes it's almost like a brainstorming session; we're all pretty versatile so we just shoot ideas across the room at each other.  Eventually it just grows into a song whether it take one or six practices.  We don't have many rules when it comes to songwriting, but we do know that if we finish a song and we don't immediately think to ourselves "Fuck yes!"--then we've done something wrong. 

Lyrically, things are left up to me.  I tend to write from a personal perspective, usually recent events.  The album lyrically is basically me sitting back and taking a look at my early twenties and thinking "What the fuck just happened?"  Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was pretty shitty.  It's strange being stuck here in the middle of America, but I think we do what we can to get by.  I think the theme is pretty much universal, and I really just hope that people can hear that and relate to it.

Dave:  For those who have never heard The Typist, how do you describe your sound?

Matt:  Whenever we get asked what we sound like, we inevitably just say "rock."  I think bands are pretty bad at describing themselves, because we all hear our music completely differently than everyone else.  And that's a good thing! The way I figure it though, we play power chords, sing songs, and drink beer.  That's rock'n'roll right?  Haha.

Dave:  Will you be doing any touring in support of Midwestern High Life

Matt:  We would love to be able to, but our lives aren't in a position of being capable to do that right now which is probably for the best; we have a lot of friends to make, people to meet, and shows to play here for now.  We plan to get out the first chance that we get though!

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

Matt:  We think the music scene in Oklahoma right now is great.  There's so many different types of bands that it makes playing each show an awesome new experience.  As for the music scene in Altus, we do what we can and have shows when we can.  We work on a lot smaller scale here, but it has all the same qualities.  We'd also really like to see it grow a little bit and have some new bands come in play a few shows!

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top 5 favorite artists/bands, albums, movies, television shows, books/authors? 

Matt:  Since there's four of I us, we just decided to give everyone's number one.  That's close enough right?
DAN - Copeland, Third Eye Blind self titled, Forrest Gump, Seinfeld, "Candide" by Voltaire
MATT - Counting Crows, "Recovering the Satellites" - Counting Crows, Fargo, Arrested Development, "Lolita" by Nabakov
PATRICK - Counting Crows, "Clerks", House.
JUSTIN - Led Zepplin, "Deja Entendu" - Brand New, The Big Lebowski, Arrested Development, The Bible

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

Matt:  Hopefully play as many shows as possible and maybe get another recording out by the beginning of next year.

Dave:  Any final thoughts? 

Matt:  Come out to a show! Let's hang out and have a good time.

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