Friday, September 28, 2012

Interview with the Epilogues

The Epilogues have been called the hardest working band in Denver. They've played almost every venue in Denver and have put their foot down solidly in the local scene. Earlier this year they were signed by a local label and shortly thereafter got national attention with the debut single, “The Fallout.” We are lucky enough to have them come perform for us, here at Twist & Shout on October 2nd, and they were gracious enough to answer a few questions for me.

Who or what got you into music to begin with?
I think most of us grew up with music in the house. Both Nate and I (Chris) had mothers who sang, and I know Jason’s dad played the drums. I’m not sure about Jeff’s family, but I do know there was A LOT of pop punk in his upbringing. We don’t hold it against him, but we do tease him about it from time to time.

What is it that first drew you to the synthesizer?
I remember buying my first real synth. It was like 2000/2001 and those stupid all-in-one workstations were a huge craze at the time, but they sounded like complete shit. I remember trying out about 15 different keyboards until I came across a Roland JP-8000. At the time I was listening to NIN’s The Fragile and Moby’s Play. Again, it was the year 2000, haha. But I finally found a synth that spoke to me, and was tonally comparable to the style. In the long run, I’m really fortunate that I chose the JP-8000. The synth itself has like 40 knobs and sliders on the front. At the time I had no clue what the hell I was doing, but it forced me to learn about synthesis from the ground up.

Who were you inspired by growing up?
I listened to a lot of The Beatles growing up. There was a good amount of Billy Joel and George Michael as well. I know Nate listened to a lot of Soul/R&B. Jason listened to pretty much anything. I think mainly punk and other rock music. But Jeff, pop punk all the way!

What have you taken with you into who you are now from those inspirations?
I put a lot if stock into our songwriting. There are so many bands out there that I call “soundchasers.” They put so much focus into their sound, but there isn’t much going on with the song itself. Ultimately, once the trends change, they’re left with nothing. I definitely appreciate good songwriting. If the song is good, it doesn’t really matter how it’s produced. It will always be good, and it can always be re-recorded/produced to sound a specific way. I think the Beatles are a perfect example.

The Epilogues have been called the hardest working band in Denver; you guys have played every venue in town. What are some of your favorites?
Red Rocks was hands down the most impressive. However, we probably played 30+ shows at the Marquis Theatre. That place will always be a home to us.

How do you feel the band has grown since its inception in 2004?
Considerably! We started out right around the time The Killers blew up. At the time, they were really the first band that used synth in dance/pop. We listened to bands like NIN and the Prodigy, but this was the first time that synths in indie rock made sense. I think we latched onto their sound as a starting point, and grew from there. Granted, we were just awful when we started out, but we were passionate and driven. Over time we learned to refine our sound, and it eventually became what it is today.

In April 2012 the band was signed to the Greater Than Collective label and in July got “The Fallout” accepted by MTV and VH1. How has this changed The Epilogues’ vision of themselves as a band?
It’s a great feeling having the resources and support to follow our passion. We’ve been DIY for most of our careers, and to finally have a team as involved and supportive as Greater Than is absolutely incredible. I think “The Fallout” was just a stepping off point – we just premiered our first single, “Paradigm Shift,” in Rolling Stone - and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the album is received.

The video for “The Fallout” is beautiful. Where did the idea come from and who worked on it with you guys?
Dillon Novak was the brainchild behind all of our videos. Dillon came to us a few years ago needing a band to fill in for a video shoot. We actually missed the opportunity and Brightwood got the video. However, it gave us the introduction we needed. I remember we wanted to film a video for “Hunting Season.” So we (Dillon included) literally scrapped together all the cash we could. We had about twenty people on crew volunteering their time, and we shot the video in one day. It was one of the best times we’ve had in this band. After that we followed up with a video for “The Fallout.” We brought on Greg Ephraim as cinematographer and had a considerably larger budget thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Dillon drew up the treatment again and we shot in two days. Despite the cold, it was a great experience!

As often as you guys play how hard is it to find time to sit down and write?
That’s actually one of the hardest parts about being in a band. It’s a full time job keeping the business side thriving, so it can be tricky keeping up on practicing. We’ve had to become more diligent about fitting in practice, despite our hectic schedules. When we don’t practice, we tend to lose focus and forget why we enjoy this in the first place.

What's your process for songwriting at this point?
Typically I (Chris) do the initial songwriting. It’s more like giving the band a roadmap. From there, everyone gives their input and it usually takes on a new sound or direction.

It's been a little while since The Epilogues have released a full album. Can we expect one soon?
Yes, our new album, Cinematics, will be releasing in Denver Oct 2, 2012 at Twist and Shout. We’re playing our release show on Oct 6, 2012 at Summit Music Hall. Cinematics will release nationally on Nov 6, 2012.

            - Natja

1 comment:

yachtsauce said...

I'm more excited for this album than I have been for any other album ever! Did you see this trailer for it??! It's awesome!!!!