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Caspian Interview

The titans of the modern post-rock, the mythical gods of music, whose sound raises all the hairs on the surface of human skin – they have mixed the usual 7 notes in a detonating cocktail of emotions, feelings, moods and experiences, and while you are drinking it, your musical taste receptors choke in the ecstasy of the long-awaited sound.

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They are creating such dense wall of sound, behind which you feel yourself absolutely detached from the rest part of the world, you feel yourself protected from all life hardships. It’s the same feeling like when you suddenly enter from cold street to a warm home and find yourself under a blanket.

It is all written about an American post-rock band Caspian, which had visited Kiev and made a concert in the club HLIB on 26th of May 2010 during their three-month tour that included about 60 concerts around the world.

Before Caspian show there were two bands from Kiev: Nice Wings, Icarus and Alinda on the stage. After the concert the Caspian musicians agreed to give an interview:

Philip Jamieson – Guitar, Tapes, Loops
Erin Burke-Moran – Guitar
Chris Friedrich – Bass
Joe Vickers – Drums
Calvin Joss – Guitar, Loops and Glockenspiel

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If we compare your music with a fruit what it would be like?
Banana

What Ukrainian musicians do you know?
Calvin Joss: The best Ukrainian band we know is called “Youmaybe”. They are from Kiev.

The first concert is like the first sex. If we compare them what was better?
Joe Vickers: Sex is better than anything

How did you start making music?
Chris Friedrich: I started playing piano and tuba.
Erin Burke-Moran: I started playing music in my church.
Joe Vickers: I started playing saxophone when I was 8 years old, then I switched to clarinet because saxophone was too heavy, and few years later I picked up a guitar but since I almost cut one finger off when I was two years old I couldn’t make the chords right so I started playing drums instead. I became really really good in it very fast. And I just never look back – I love it!
Calvin Joss: I’ve got a guitar in 8th grade and I was really very slow. I needed 5 years when I started playing good.
Philip Jamieson: I do not have any formal musical education. I started playing guitar in high school after getting into Led Zeppelin a lot. It was a good way to hang out with friends and enjoy myself.

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What was the last track on your mp3 that you listened to?
Philip Jamieson: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National.

If you were asked to draw up a “Code of practice for good musicians” what rules would you include in it?
Chris Friedrich: There s only one rule – to work hard.
Joe Vickers: Yes don’t expect to become real good so fast as I did.
Philip Jamieson: Hmm… Always treat your fans with the utmost, highest amount of respect. Take time to talk with them, sign things, and most of all, listen to what they have to say about the way your music contributes to their happiness. That, above all, is the number one thing every musician should be doing.

Is the music your only occupation?
Chris Friedrich: We don’t make only this we all have jobs. Music is the thing we come home and try to make it.
Erin Burke-Moran: I teach guitar.
Joe Vickers: I work in the coffee shop called “Starbucks”
Philip Jamieson: I work part time for my father at a company he started. It is a good way to pay my bills and it allows me to go on tour as much as we need, which is helpful.

Who did you dream to be in your childhood?
Philip Jamieson: I wanted to be an astronaut so badly. Then, a professional basketball player.

What kind of music reminds you a roar of airplane turbine when you are flying?
Philip Jamieson: Bardo Pond. %100.

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Who you were in your past lives?
Erin Burke-Moran: I was a cat.
Calvin Joss: This is my first one.
Chris Friedrich: Mine is also first.
Philip Jamieson: Probably a giraffe. I say that because I am 6’7″ tall.

Your tour started on 9th March in Washington DC and will end up only 29th May in Helsinki. Your 2010 tour list contains nearly 70 cities; do you have time to compose new songs during your tour?
No, we haven’t. During the tour we had the only one day off in Greece.

You planned to give a concert in Russia in autumn 2009, but because of the problems with visa you weren’t able to. In next two days you will visit Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Do you expect something special from these concerts?
Yes certainly it is special! It has been a place, were we wanted to go for a long time.

Style of music that you play can be called not a post-rock but sincere-rock because you play it sincerely. How did you find yourselves in the style that you are playing now?
Erin Burke-Moran: In the beginning we didn’t supposed to be a post-rock band. We just started playing with Joe, Calvin and then we took a brake for a long time before we came back together.
And then we got Phil and started practice for months. We never had singer because no one could sing well. So we always thought that we should have a singer as for the rock-band, we tried but we didn’t like anyone. Sometimes we use some voice samples of Charles Bukowski.

Creating a band can be compared with creating a family, tell us how did you meet each other, how long you were “dating” or you just “got married” on a music of each other soon?
Chris Friedrich: We all come from area of Boston and a lot of us came to school and university together. So we are all really close, we are a real family of friends, musicians.

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What is the synonym of music for you?
Chris Friedrich: Sex.
Joe Vickers: Drugs.
Erin Burke-Moran: Life.
Philip Jamieson: Hope. Passion. Reality.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Joe Vickers: I just want to be popular.
Erin Burke-Moran: From life.
Philip Jamieson: Most of all from life experience – the things I experience with friends and when alone. I think everyone is looking for a way to make sense of all the things they go through and learn as they grow, and music is definitely the thing that helps me put all of the pieces together and gives me a sense of hope and direction.

You are working with Mylene Shyth label since your album ”Four Trees” and your music can be downloaded from internet – is it the best way for you to sell your music?
Joe Vickers: We make music for fun. We make money eventually but we are not trying to be rich.

You haven’t seen your girlfriends for 3 months and I’m sure that you are surrounded by so many beautiful admirers during the tour. Do you keep faithfulness to your girlfriends?
Erin Burke-Moran: When I see a beautiful girl I think of my girlfriend.

Do you make experiments with the sound? Are you satisfied with it or you are going to change something and the next album will be absolutely different from your past ones?
Chris Friedrich: I think we always try to change. We try to improve our sound with doing something new.

In Autumn 2010 you will have a common tour with Ireland post-rock band “God Is An Astronaut”. Do you have any common projects such as making joint record with some band?
Erin Burke-Moran: While you are in tour you see so much, you get acquainted with new bands, you try to learn.
Chris Friedrich: We toured with Red Sparrows, Arms and Sleepers, Constants and Ef during this spring. It is very cognitive to watch how someone else does music.

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Tell us a funny story of your concert life.
Philip Jamieson: One time, at a show in New York City, I fell off the 6 feet stage during the final song of our show and ripped my jeans and my leg wide open. There was blood, and it was embarrassing to say the least.

Concert photo gallery

Sergey Onischenko, Julie Kupina

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