Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From the B-side of my heart: Archeology

The self described "indie/french pop/pop" duo Archeology's beats, vocal chops and intelligent choice of instruments (I believe I hear a tambourine which is only my instrument of choice!) put them apart from other alternative acts today and kind of remind me of my personal favorite music act Augustana. There are even rumors floating around that Archeology may be going on tour with Augustana in the spring!

Archeology is based in Portland, Oregon which has always been seen as a thriving music scene for hipsters everywhere. This band is incredibly hard working which can be seen by their release of five different EPs this year and the constant label of NEW on all of the music in their myspace playlist. I am looking forward to what this band will be bringing in the future and maybe that's where my interest came in interviewing the guys. Over email, we talked about their formerly discussed EP project and their dream tour amongst other things. Want to clear up the Augustana rumors for me, boys?

How did you come up with the name Archeology?
The name Archeology came about because of our fascination with the science of archeology. Both of us, together and individually, have studied and taken part in archaeological excavations as well as just generally loving the detective work that goes into the process.

What in your opinion is the top album of 2009 thus far?
Thus far I would have to say Jeremy Enigk. Absolutely phenomenal. The way he uses his voice as an instrument is out of this world..not to mention the guy can write beautifully.

How do you go about the song writing process? Does one person write the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?
I would have to say the process is very much a collective effort. We all have our "comfort zones" and tend to thrive in those but I think we are constantly challenging one another to move out of our "role". Generally speaking, however, the most collaborative effort is in the production. One of us will bring a chord progression to the table (that's about equal) and from there we'll discuss what direction we want to go with it. We then jam with it and see what comes of that. After we have the basic structure in mind we'll write a melody. What makes us a bit different is that we usually write our melodies on the glockenspiel. There's something about a glock that makes it as exact as a piano but it also has a certain dynamism that really reflects the way a vocal would sound. From there I, Jason, will usually write the lyrics and run them by Daniel.

Who are some of your bigger influences?
Definitely the beach boys! I used to listen to a Beach Boys cassette tape and "perform" using my bed as the stage. Absolutely love them. Johnny Cash, Elvis, Annie Lennox...all amazing songsmiths that have helped us understand writing and melody.

If you could choose any three acts to tour, who would they be?
That's a tough one. Depends on whether they are living or not.
If they aren't, then I'd choose Beach Boys, The Beatles and Johnny Cash but if they are going with current acts out there I would have to say MGMT, Frightened Rabbit and David Bazaan.

Who are you listening to at the moment?
Just got done listening to some Blitzen Trapper.

Do you ever play covers? If so, which songs?
Currently we don't have interviews instituted as part of our regular set but we do have a few up our sleeve that we pull out on occasion. Walking on Broken glass by Annie Lennox and I Get Around by the beach boys are our favorites.

What are you up to right now music wise?
We are currently working on the third part of a five part EP series that we are releasing this year. Each EP is five songs for a total of 25 songs by December. Each EP has a different theme from our home town of Portland, Oregon to issues that we believe need to be addressed in song.
We're also embarking on two national tours (already have tackled one) as well then looking at a 10 EP project for 2010.

What's the most unusual place you've played or recorded at?
That is another tough one as we have played and recorded at numerous odd places. We write and record a lot out in the desert. We will hike a few miles out, set up camp and our portable studio and go for it. The craziest place we've played at is in a arcade in San Jose...absolutely a trip!

What's your favorite treat?
Roasted red pepper hummus and pita chips!


Thanks again boys and you can check out their music here on their myspace.

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