Category Archives: Interviews

An Interview with Conveyor’s T.J. Masters

ConveyorThe members of Conveyor all grew up in Gainsville, Fla, but it wasn’t until relocating that Timothy John Masters, Evan Michael Garfield, Michael Ryan Pedron and Gary Alan Busch, Jr. came together as the psychedelic-leaning indie band, now with two strong releases to its name.

“We all met in Florida while attending school and playing in different groups,” said Masters.  “When we moved to New York City around 2009-2010, we regrouped and started playing music together.”

Like most kids, the members’ interest in music was sparked early on. “We’ve always been surrounded by music growing up,” he said. “We all participated in school band, orchestra, music education.  I think performing under those educational contexts was helpful in us realizing that music was another ‘thing’ that you could do when you grew up.”

“I listened to a lot of alternative rock radio in the mid-90s, stuff like Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day,” he said, but “as far as listening habits these days, they’ve definitely diversified and intensified, especially with music on the Internet.  We’re all over the place in terms of taste.”

Conveyor - Sun Ray EPConveyor’s music took on its own similar transformation from last year’s Sun Ray EP, their debut, to their first full-length album.

“I think the different feels come from almost entirely different approaches, writing and recording-wise,” Masters said.

The four songs of Sun Ray combined electronics and folk into a unique beauty. But the art pop exploded into an eclectic sound on the Conveyor LP. It extends their creative boundaries, both expanded and intensified.

“The album was definitely a more intense, focused process.  Where the EP came from collectively cashing in on pre-existing material, the album was an effort to truly compose something complete.”

Conveyor LPWhile songs like “Short Hair,” which embraces the tribal psychedelics of Animal Collective, and “Mukraker,” with all the haunted depth of Pedro the Lion, couldn’t sound further apart on paper, the album comes together perfectly. Conveyor is bursting with excitement and wonder.

But even with glowing reviews from most major indie blogs, being in a band hasn’t taken absolute priority over their other options.

“A lot of us are still in school studying different things, working professionally in different arenas,” Masters said. “The commonality in all of us is that playing music is fun, and as long as it’s fun we’ll keep doing it. And as long as we’re making money doing it, we’ll continue doing it for a living.”

Conveyor is out now on Paper Garden Records.

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Paul’s Grandfather produce first full-length album

By Emilee Lindner

Paul's GrandfatherMany musicians are hasty to empty their pockets into recording and touring, but not Paul’s Grandfather. The all-female trio formed in Fredonia, N.Y., plans on “staying realistic.”

“We’re seeing where it goes,” says guitarist Becca Ryskalcyzk. “This isn’t our first rodeo.”

But this philosophy doesn’t stop them from continuing to make the music they’re made for –- simple, calm folk tunes focused on tight vocal harmonies.
Katie Preston, Karrah Teague and Becca finished recording their first full-length album “Sorry Lovers and the Living Lake” last spring with a senior sound recording major at SUNY Fredonia, where Katie and Becca recently graduated. Continue reading

Interview: Buke & Gass (Venus Zine)

Buke & Gass Interview - Peter Cauvel - Venus Zine

Buke & Gass might not sound real, but their DIY approach is

from Venus Zine, October 7, 2010

Interview: Dylan Rau of Bear Hands

Dylan Rau stepped into the rainy night. He and his band, Bear Hands, just finished their set in front of a sold-out crowd at The Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, N.Y. on March 28.

“I have more fun playing small clubs, honestly,” he said. “I think being able to see people’s faces and gauging an audience’s reaction is more fun when the space is smaller. But this is obviously a great opportunity for us. It’s a different kind of show.”

The show started their month-long tour opening for Passion Pit. They will play with As Tall As Lions through May. The band’s busy tour schedule supports their newest single, “What a Drag.”

“We released it in the U.K. maybe like six months ago, but it just came out in America on Cantora Records in February,” Rau said. “’What a Drag’ is definitely a little more progressive … and more indicative of what we’ve been making recently.”

The single marks Bear Hands’ first release since their debut EP, Golden. The songs on their first release weren’t originally intended to be released as an EP.

“We recorded them as demos to try to get a deal or something but we ended up putting it out with our manager’s little label (Freedom In Exile),” he said.

Their set included both songs from What a Drag, but they left room for newer ones – like “Blood and Treasure” and “Belongings” – from their forthcoming debut LP.

“It should be out by the end of summer,” Rau said. “We finished tracking it with this guy called Chuck Brody in New York and we’re going to remix a couple of songs.  We’re in the process of doing that right now.”

Even before their debut album drops, college radio stations like WSBU have started playing Bear Hands.

“I’ve been getting a lot of text messages from people telling me they’ve heard us on college radio or sometimes satellite radio,” he said. “It’s great to hear positive feedback.”

Rau hasn’t felt anxiety from the early hype.

“It’s not any more than the general pressure that every human being feels to succeed,” he said. “I happen to be playing in a band. I’m sure if I was trying to get into med school, I would be feeling an equal amount of pressure.”

Bear Hands Background:

How did the band start?

Dylan Rau: “I met Ted (Feldman), our guitar player, at school. We went to Weslyan University together in Connecticut. I grew up in Connecticut. Then I kind of re-met Val (Loper, bass) and TJ (Orscher, drums) in Brooklyn when we were living there together. They also grew up in Connecticut, but they were living there when we met them. And we started practicing together and we started playing around Europe while I was still in school.”

What are you listening to?

DR: “I always find out about new bands. Lately I’ve been listening to Washed Out. Also, Prince Paul … LCD Soundsystem, Bob Dylan, Lil Wayne – people I’ve listened to for a long time.”