Friday, August 03, 2012

10 Questions with Foreign Home

Foreign Home is a post punk / indie rock band hailing from Tulsa, OK.  The band will be releasing their debut mini-album How Strange the Night on August 21st and will be playing a record release show at the Vanguard with Ester Drang and Scales of Motion on August 25th.   

This interview was conducted via email with lead singer/guitarist Deric Williams July 28 – August 1, 2012

For more information on Foreign Homes check out their official website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, SoundCloud, SonicBids, and BandCamp pages.

Dave:  How did the band get together? 

Deric Williams:  I met Daniel my first week of 8th grade when I moved to a new school.  We remained friends through high school and in college we began playing in a band together.  When that band went on indefinite hiatus Daniel and I recruited a former classmate, Tobie to play bass for our next project. Chris took over playing bass in 2007 and Tobie moved to guitar. In 2011 we wrote a hand full of new songs that took us in a different direction and decided to start over as Foreign Home.

Dave:  In August you are self-releasing your debut EP How Strange the Night.  What made you decide to go the self-release route instead of working with a label?

Deric:  That's a tough question.  We would be open to working with a label if it was the right situation for everyone.  But for now we are DIY.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Deric:  I usually say "We are a modern pop band rooted in classic indie and post-punk with elements of prog, surf rock, and shoegaze."  Then when they look at me like I'm a tool I say, "we play rock music."

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process? 

Deric:  It varies from song to song but typically I write a large percentage of the chord progressions and vocal melodies, then we as a band hash out the rest.  Lately I've been bringing songs to the guys when they're pretty close to complete and they just add their parts to them. But we have had songs based around a bass line or drumbeat.  The way Chris put it once was that I'm the main songwriting voice but we have a democratic process when it comes to completing the songs.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry?

Deric:  I think the "mainstream" music industry is falling apart but this seems to be creating opportunities for more artistic "indie" acts to thrive.  I am optimistic about the future of music.  Real musicians will always make art whether there is money in it or not. But it can all be very frustrating at times.

Dave:  Do you have any favorite places to play (venues or cities) or bands to share the stage with?

Deric:  We seem to enjoy ourselves where ever we play but we do always love Maxine's in Hot Springs, AR.  It's a very cool room, great sound, friendly staff, delicious pizza, and the crowds are always enthusiastic.  We also enjoy Fassler Hall and who doesn't love Cain's Ballroom (both in Tulsa).  As far as bands, we cannot express our excitement enough to be playing with Scales of Motion and Ester Drang on August 25th at The Vanguard (222 N. Main Tulsa, OK). They are two of the best bands playing right now.

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

Deric:  The music scene in Oklahoma is great.  In the last few years it has grown in diversity and has developed a communal attitude.  This sense of community is necessary if we ever want the rest of the world to take notice of the great music that is being produced here.  When you decide to be a musician in a place like Oklahoma you rely on your peers, fans, local news outlets, and blogs like Oklahoma Lefty instead of record execs, big name producers, large studios, and major publications. This allows us to write our own story, not compromising our art for the "right image" or the most recent trends.

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

Deric:  This list expresses the opinions of me (Deric) and not the rest of the band.  It was very difficult to narrow it down but this is how I felt today.

Minus the Bear
The Smiths
Friendly Fires

Menos el Oso-Minus the Bear
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-Phoenix
The Rhumb Line- Ra Ra Riot
De-Loused in the Comatorium- The Mars Volta
Caution- Hot Water Music

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Fantastic Mr. Fox
No Country for Old Men
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises

TV Shows
Arrested Development
How I Met Your Mother
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Breaking Bad

Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain- Oliver Sacks
Bossypants- Tina Fey
Switch- Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Indie Band Survival Guide- Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

Dave:  What’s next for the band? 

Deric:  We plan on pushing the new album to college radio and touring the record.  Then we will record The Waves Slow Crash, part two of what will be a trilogy of mini-albums (How Strange the Night, The Waves Slow Crash, The Moons Soft Light).

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Deric:  Thank you for writing about our music and thanks to everyone who reads this too.  I hope everyone checks out our album August 21st and can make it out to the release party August 25 at the Vanguard in Tulsa or on tour this Fall.

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