The Smiles and Frowns are:

Adam (left) & Christopher (right)



Here are a couple interviews


Interview with Odio la música


- I have tried to recognize the influences of his music: folk, psych, video games, etc.. What are your biggest influences?  

CHRISTOPHER: Well it's hard to list all of my influences, because there are so many, in all styles. But one thing I will say about myself is that I go through different phases where all I want to hear is one kind of music, and I'll become obsessed with it for awhile. Then at that point I go back the other way and find something that sounds like the opposite of the first thing, and I'll become obsessed with that. Its a blessing and a curse really.

ADAM: This is something that Christopher and I have in common...like most music aficionados, we are always looking for the next musical high, or romantic entanglement with whatever music happens to intrigue us at the time. There has been many influences over the years, and I still find inspiration in newly discovered music.

 

- What kind of things travel in your heads when a sound like "Mechanichal song" comes to you? It seems like a lullaby, but the sound is distressing... I love it and I hate it too.

CHRISTOPHER: I think the most interesting thing about the "sound" of Mechanical Songs vs. the composition of it, is that its constructed like a traditional folk song where it repeats over and over, but the sound and production is more like a 70s progressive sci-fi song. Progressive rock rarely if ever repeats in the way traditional folk songs do. So in a way, Mechanical Songs is truly unique.

ADAM: I love that you describe it as a distressing lullaby, because that is really what it is. A menacing tale of a decaying world of marionettes, presented to the ears with a dreamy and comforting delivery. It is the irony that makes it interesting, at least for me.


- What kind of music did you listen when you were kids?

CHRISTOPHER: 80s New Wave pop, Nickelodeon songs, 8 bit video game music.

ADAM: These are all things that I loved as a kid as well. I would also add, Theme music (TV shows / Disneyland Rides), film soundtracks, and just about anything performed by a puppet...I'm a sucker for a puppet.

 

- Do you remember some titles of those old songs?

CHRISTOPHER: Anything from either 3 of those sources. I remember being completely mind blown by the music in the 8-bit video game "Solstice" as a kid.


ADAM: Yes, "Solstice" was fantastic...I used to hold a tape recorder up to the speaker on my TV to capture theme songs and other bizarre music. I remember listening to the theme to "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings" repeatedly. My flirtation with that song has followed me to this day.


- You spoke to Indie Rock Cafe about François de Roubaix. There isn't many people who knows him. How did you know about his compositions?

ADAM: I had discovered that the theme song from "Chapi Chapo" was created by François de Roubaix. After doing research I found more of his compositions and fell in love with his music. I highly recommend his album "Le Monde Electronique de François de Roubaix" If you have not heard it...go find it, its wonderful!


- In "The echoes of time" the voice seems to come from a vitrola, or some old device. How do you make this effect?

CHRISTOPHER: The first step in creating a vocal sound similar to "Echoes of Time" is to be forced to listen to the ridiculously overproduced mainstream albums that come out year after year, and grow to despise that sound. Then, experiment with microphones and effects until the voice sounds clear and present, but not too overly detailed.

 

 - Does "The Memory Man" really exist? Is it like an old tale?

ADAM: "The Memory Man" is just a character that I created to personify the act of remembering the past. He is a neutral character, not good or bad, but if you are not aware of his existence, you are destined to wear his chains of agony. He will always be there, but being aware of him will free you from his control. Just a poetic way of saying, live for today.

 

 - I must ask something: What are your favorites sci-fi movies? I'm sure one of these movies explains "Sam".

ADAM: I have always been a big fan of the original "Planet of the Apes" movies. I also am a huge fan of the original (black and white) "Twilight Zone" television series...


- Do you know something about peruvian music?

ADAM: No, I don't know anything about it, although I would like to. If you have any recommendations, I would love to listen...I am always looking for new inspiration. Thank you, we appreciate the love and attention we have received from everyone, and we wish you all the best.









Interview with indie rock cafe



Q: Who are your musical influences, past and present?


A: It's impossible to list all the things that have influenced us...Well lets just say that all of the classic bands and albums have affected us. As for modern bands we like, just stop by our myspace page and dig around in our friends list and youll find plenty of brilliance. Damien Youth is a longtime favorite. And we recently were blown away by the artistry of R.W. Hedges, and we suggest checking both of them out.



Q: What genre would you say your music falls into?


A: A question like that can only be answered in regard to perspective. If you sit far enough back we might as well be just the same old classic pop/folk/psych band. But if you get up close and pay sincere attention, there is no one doing exactly what we are doing in the way that we are. So I'm glad to be such a part of tradition and revolution all at once.



Q: What are your thoughts on how bands and musicians can make a living in time when no one knows how to make money on their music?


A: This is tough to answer. I guess if there were only 10 bands on earth and there was no such thing as digital downloads those 10 bands would be rich. But there are a billion bands. Everyone and their brother is in a band. Music might as well be free these days because of how easy it is to get it, and how much of it there is. The only thing I can think of is for people to try to be more original and truly look inside themselves to find a more personal way to express themselves. That way, the art they are putting out will be more and more unique and rare, and it won't be something someone can just imitate. People can steal your face. They can steal your riff. But they can't ever steal your memories and your unique outlook, so I say look to those places for inspiration first, then worry about money later. Chances are if you tap into that personal thing in your art to that degree, money won't seem like such an essential part of being happy with your life.



Q: What are some of your favorite songs/albums?


A: Here are some songs, just off the top of my head, that we both enjoy: "Strawberry Tea" - Tiny Tim "The ABC's" - Dr. Dog "Land Of Oden" - Peter & Gordon "Cold Hard World" - Daniel Johnston "Chapi Chapo Theme" - François de Roubaix



Q: When did you form your label; any other artists on the roster; or plans for such?


A: The label (The Peppermint Hill) was first formed as a legal means of releasing music. But after awhile it seemed like a good idea to try to turn it into something more. We will just have to see how it goes. The only reason to do anything with it would be to get out more of the kind of stuff we think should exist and be heard.



Q: What kind of equipment do you use to record?


A: We have used all kinds. The realest of the real analog, and the fakest of the fake digital. We use things that are cheap and half broken and also some pretty high end stuff. We have been slaves to both the antique and the modern. But as far as specifics go, we have an old 1/2" 8 track reel to reel tape recorder, a Moog, various old guitars and basses, some effects pedals and tape echos, a tube amplifier, a banjo that everybody borrowed twice, and some old ribbon microphones. Its really just a big mix of all types of equipment from all eras, including modern technology.



Q: How and why did you guys start recording together?


A: We have known each other since high school, and both of us had a similar interest in music and art. Art with ironic twists and heavy escapism. We found ourselves in a band after several years of experimental recording and songwriting. It started off as just a means of self entertainment.



Q: How would you describe your music?


A: The current sound is a bit of a mix. There are haunted train ride songs, and children's theme music songs, psychedelic science fiction songs, etc. I guess it's mostly just a collection of experiments in sound, patterns, and melodies.



Q: How would you describe your process for writing and recording?


A: A lot of the songs are conceived melody first... as an idea forms, it springs forth from Adam into a micro-cassette recorder while banging down the road in a cupcake delivery truck. The melodies and lyrics are later fished out by us and then given a body. This is at least one way that our songs have found life.

 

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