Friday, June 03, 2005
The Postman Syndrome interview...
The Postman Syndrome
questions answered by Matt Lupo
interview conducted by Darren
Can you tell how and where "Postman Syndrome" got its start?
More than 6 years ago, the members were in two separate bands. Both of those bands kind of fell apart and the five of us united because we all had respect for each others' musicianship. Each of those bands had been together for at least 2 years (if I remember correctly), so it means that we're all extremely familiar and comfortable with each other, musically and as friends.
What elements make up "Postman Syndrome"?
Well, we all have an innate passion for hard and heavy music. But we also have emotional sides too. That doesn't necessarily mean that we have to turn our distortion channels off in order to convey sensitivity (although we often do). A prevalent misconception of metal is that it only expresses anger. While aggression is certainly an important part of heavy music, I think we all feel there's more to it than that. Metal can express a lot of things, and that's what we're trying to do.
How does the band approach the songwriting process?
Sometimes one person brings in a complete (or near complete) song and we mold it together as a band, adding our own individual touches here and there. But for the most part, someone throws out a riff, we each experiment with what we can do with that riff, jam out on it a little, and then examine the possibilities of where it can go and what kind of bigger picture we can make out of it. Recently, I've noticed that we're paying more attention to how individual songs work with each other, how themes resurface from one song to another and the ways in which they change.
How was the recording process for "Terraforming"?
Jim and I (say that out loud 3 times fast, it sounds like the American Gladiatior) were pretty sick for a good portion of the vocal takes, so it was quite interesting. The Postman Syndrome has this perpetual bad luck that follows it around. Chris's brand new guitar wasn't staying in tune. My brand new amp was whistling and cracking, and we all had our bouts of frustration, but overall it was one of the best months of my life. When you're trying to get the perfect take, you just get into this zone where you forget about the world around you and you just get lost in the music. Personally, studio sessions are my favorite part of being in a band, and this was our best session yet.
I have noticed the time and tempo changes, rotating vocal melodies, and twisted rhythms....how challenging is that while you are in the studio, and live?
Live, vocals are quite challenging. It's not like you can get a perfect mix at every club, so sometimes I find myself struggling to hear Jim during our harmonies. I'm a lot more comfortable in the studio. But the meter and tempo changes are quite natural for us at this point. We've been doing this stuff since day 1 (actually, we were a lot more avante garde back then) and if there's ever a problem, we wood shed the hell out of it.
How does the band view file & music sharing and the controversy it has created?
We actually put our whole album up on the internet for a while, in the form of an E-Card. Great idea because people could hear everything, but it was very low-fi, so if they really liked it, they pretty much had to buy it. On the whole, I'm not sure where we stand on the issues. There are ups and downs and, while it's great that lesser known bands can get there stuff out there so easily, it's also important for record companies to see that the CD's are selling so they continue to support the band. Let's not forget that it's the record company that puts up funding for recording and equipment
and all that, so if no one's buying albums, they can't make their money back, and the artists can't make another album. But again, there are certainly benefits.
Who are some of the band's influences?
Who are some of the band's influences? Aenima, by Tool was and still is a major influence on this band (not to say that Lateralus isn't, that's an amazing album also), but Aenima really showed us that there was a hell of a lot of cool shit that you could do in the realm of heavy music. Besides that, there's stuff like Radio Head, Neurosis, Cave In, Bjork, The Melvins, Failure (and all things Ken Andrews), and heavier stuff like Converge, burnt By The Sun, Isis. Oh, and I can't forget the early 70's albums by King Crimson and Yes.
Any crazy stories from the road?
On the way back from Mass., Chris said the best thing ever: "There's nothing more enjoyable than disappointing a girl in bed."
If you had to choose the most important lesson learned in the music business, what would it be?
Always bring a flashlight and some duct tape.
What does the future hold for "Postman Syndrome"?
Hopefully cheap van insurance. We have about 4 new songs right now that we're all really psyched on. Some of them are even more crazy and heavy than what we've done, and some are more melodic and straight forward. And one's a good balance of all that stuff. We want to try everything. Except for sex changes.
Any other comments, complaints, or ramblings??
Complaint: I can't believe I waited 22 years before reading the Hitchhiker's Guide. It's so good.
Another complaint: I break a lot of strings live, it's always a boat load of fun at our shows.
Comment: Thanx so much for the interview, and thanx for the cool review on your site. Can't wait to see this up there!