The Receiving End of Sirens - 08.02.07

Interviewed by
The Receiving End of Sirens - 08.02.07What are you name(s) and what do you do in The Receiving End of Sirens?

Andrew Cook- Drums

Brendan Brown - I sing, play bass, and do other things like lyrics

Nate Patterson - Guitar, Piano

How have you guys changed since The Heart And The Synapse which was released over two years ago and what direction would you guys like to move toward?

AC: We've all changed significantly as people, and that's been the biggest influence on the progression of the band. We all grew up a lot, and most of that growth came from experiences we went through together. As more mature people, I think it was inevitable for us to make a more mature record.

BB: I would say we have changed a lot us people, as musicians, and inherently as a band. This, in turn, has effected the music we create with one another. If anything, music is a snapshot into what we, as a band, were going through at the time of writing it. Now obviously the picture "The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi" creates is more than two years younger than the last, so people are going to be looking at a whole new image. I think we are still recognizable but have clearly changed when comparing the two back to back. I feel as though this record is a quite a bit more deliberate and thought out, and we served the songs a bit more than ourselves this time around.

What is the idea behind The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi? Any themes/concepts to it?

AC: I'll let Brendan tackle this one.

BB: The record can be looked conceptually, with elements attaching each song to one another, whether it is with characters, music and lyrical phrases, melodies, or rhythms. We at times, even tried approaching the task of connecting songs with what will hopefully be subconscious elements. With that said, the record can be taken as one song at time with no real story behind. This was a delicate thing to balance. I have always been a fan of concept records, but never ones that were overwhelmingly obvious. I like to have to think and connect things myself. I don't like it all handed to me. I also like to be able to pay attention to the music without it getting trampled on by an over the top story line. Check out www.theearthsingsmifami.com/behindtherecord for a more detailed explanation!

Where did the name, The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi come from?

It’s a phrase borrowed from an astronomical theorist Johannes Kepler. He wrote of the earth singing mi fa mi in his book Harmonice Mundis (Harmonies of the World). Ever since I heard the phrase I couldn't stop thinking about what it meant and could potentially mean. In turn, we wrote record around it.

Any idea which song will be the first single of The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi?

AC: "Smoke and Mirrors" is the first single. We shot a really cool video with a Canadian guy named Sean Wainsteim (www.seanwainsteim.com).

Are there any continuations from lyrics on Between the Heart and The Synapse?

BB: Nope. It's a completely different theme. I thought about doing something like that for a while, but I knew I wanted to try writing lyrics a bit differently. Not to mention, I had grown quite fond of the "clean start" idea.

Given the complex metaphors in your lyrics, what usually influences the lyrics you write?

BB: Honestly, I'm not always sure. Sometimes I will have an idea for a song, or a phrase stuck in my head but most often it's quite the metaphysical experience. A lot of times I will listen to a new song we have written and the lyrics will just formulate in my head. It's sort of like one of those magic 8 balls, where, at first, the lyrics are a bit cloudy, but eventually they surface clearly to my consciousness. Everything I do, see, hear, etc... creates them. I just don't have much control over how and when they will come.

People have complained about the new songs losing their edge a bit. Do you feel this is the case? Was the change intentional, or did it just happen?

AC: I think the lyrics have taken a new direction, and become far more personal and less ambiguous, and that's mostly due to the fact that Brendan is solely writing the lyrics now, so he's able to take it in that personal direction. Personally, I connect more with the lyrics on this album.

BB: Although I agree the songs don't necessarily have the same edge they had on the last record, I believe they have taken on a new, different type of edge. I just feel like changes like this are natural. Our lives are different, from our surroundings to our personal circumstances, even to the music we enjoy. It's all an evolution. Any edge no longer existent in our new work was intentional. I am somewhat happy not everyone gets it. I'd rather our audience have to work at these things.

If everyone could get everything we were doing upon first listen we wouldn't be all that interesting would we?

NP: People are smart and realize that bands do mature and feel a certain vibe while writing songs. Whether or not it has the "edge" we are ready for this change and believe in the life of the songs.

Did you use any different instruments or recording techniques that you didn't use on your first record?

AC: We used real strings this time around, which was a great privilege for us. I used lots of percussion instruments to add different textures and layers, and we used a glockenspiel in many of the songs. We also experimented with some fun new techniques, but I don't wanna give away all our secrets now...

The album is coming out next week, is the band superstitious? Do you guys do anything to prepare for the CD release?

AC: Superstitious, no. Anything to prepare? Yes...practice.

What’s your favorite song to play live and what inspires you the most?

AC: That's kinda like two separate questions in one, a double whammy, if you will. My favorite song to play live in the past couple of years was either This Armistice or Broadcast Quality. We haven't played the new songs enough live to allow me to make a fair decision, but so far I'd have to say "The Salesman..." or "Saturnus."

NP: "Swallow People Whole" has become my favorite song to play live. From beginning to end its groove flows well.

Who was most fun to tour with and do you have any fun stories about life on the road?

AC: We've had the pleasure of touring with so many great bands that have become friends, it's hard to say who was the most fun. I'd say the top 3 on that list are He is Legend, Cartel, and As Tall As Lions.

BB:There have been a ton of bands that we have enjoyed touring with, but the one band we hang out with most still is He Is Legend. They actually just spent 2 days with us at a our rehearsal space in MA, and it was a blast. Steve, their drummer, even stayed at the Llama Farm while we were writing the record last winter.

What are some things you can’t live without on tour?

AC: My computer is number one. Lots of books are also necessary. An Ipod. Clean undies. A good pillow. Sleep. Taco Bell.

BB:I was tempted to go real literal with this one, but I will spare you. Love, my wife and family, happiness, music at some capacity, books, coffee.

Are they planning any European shows (not just the UK) and Australia sometime soon?

AC: No to the first, yes to the second. We want to go to Europe, we just don't have any plans in the works (yet). But we do plan on going "down under" soon.

BB:We have plans to tour Australia late this winter, and I can't wait. As far as mainland Europe goes I haven't heard of any plans, but we would certainly love to.

And do you get annoyed when people say "Trey-os", instead of the Receiving end of Sirens?

AC: No not at all. We typically pronounce it "tree-ose". Acronyms just make life a lot easier in the long run.

BB:No way! I get annoyed having to say The Receiving End of Sirens. The acronym "TREOS" is a blessing! I've often joked that our band's biggest downfall is our unfamiliarity with brevity. Our songs are too long, our name is too long, our record names are too long.

Why was Casey asked to leave? And do you feel that move was necessary?

AC: I think it was vital to sustain the life of the band. We were just different people trying to make an impossible situation work, all with less communication than one can imagine. The move was made, and both parties have benefited both personally and musically, and we are ready to put it behind us.

How do you feel about Casey's The Dear Hunter's sophomore album?

BB:From what I've heard it sounds great. I never once doubted Casey's gift for music. I am sure he will continue to offer up some musical gems for quite some time.

Why was Brian a good candidate to replace Casey?

AC: Because he is tall.

BB: To be honest, I hadn't even really thought about the music side of things all that much when we asked him to join. I don't think we had heard him play guitar anymore than a handful of times before he came out to practice. We just knew he was a good guy, and he was a good friend of ours for some time before coming on board. This time around our main priority was to be with someone who was a great friend and person and who would contribute a good energy to our family. After all, those are the things that last. Thankfully, Brian flew out, and proved to be amazing at guitar, drums, keys, effects, composition...you name it. I suppose we lucked out!

How does the band feel about leaks? With the album due for release in a couple of weeks, one would have to assume the album will leak any day now.

AC: It's due out in less than a week now, and it just leaked, but it doesn't bother me. Every record (with few exceptions) leaks, and I think as long as it's within three weeks of the less release, it helps because it gets kids pumped for the actual release. It's pointless to fight it, because it's simply the age we live in. Music is available on the internet, so it's going to be taken, we just hope that if someone is really a true fan of the band they will buy a record because they know it's how we survive and how we will be able to continue making music.

BB:This day and age leaks are nearly impossible to avoid, so to worry myself with the idea of the album leaking is a waste of time. We just look at it as it is our job to make a record that people are going to want to go out and buy. It is our responsible as musicians to make a product that can't be replaced by a leak. From the quality of the recording, to interconnected songs, to artwork, to lyrics, to creating websites based around the record and the making of the record, we have tried our hardest to make what will feel like will be a worthy investment to our fans.

NP: Leaks are bound to happen. We can only hope people are wanting the whole experience.

What is your favorite part of your music?

AC: Playing live and meeting new people. And writing in the basement of the llama farm.

BB:My favorite thing about our music is its ability to speak to people. Music is the language that ties all humans, from all walks of life, together. The fact that we are lucky enough to be so closely involved, with such a metaphysical phenomenon, is amazing. Our music has been an outlet for us to reach many people through, and that is certainly my favorite part.

NP: My favorite part about playing our music is just the simple fact of playing music with the rest of the guys. It is an instant connection musically, and that goes into us just being awesome friends. PLAYING LIVE I also really enjoy that experience.

Who are your favorite writers/philosophers?

AC: Good question. If I'm feeling light-hearted, Chuck Klosterman is my favorite. I just love how opinionated and witty he is. On a more serious note, I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez (100 Years of Solitude, News on a Kidnapping, Love in the Time of Cholera), as well as Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). I also wish John Kennedy Toole was still alive, because having one (legit) book (A Confederacy of Dunces) by that man was simply not enough. Also, if you're in the mood for a good philosophical journey set along a motorcycle road trip, you have to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig.

BB:At the moment my favorite writers would have to be Jonathan Safran Foer and C.S. Lewis.

Jonathan Safran Foer is a pretty young author that Andrew introduced to me. He has written two phenomenal books; "Everything Is Illuminated", and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". Both of those books were overwhelmingly beautiful.

NP: C.S. Lewis could fall into both categories I suppose. With that said, I love his writing in both stylings. His fantasy and fictional is always amazing, but his more philosophical work blows my mind. The innate ability he had for summing up human nature in books like "Mere Christianity" is unlike anyone else.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
08:39 PM on 08/07/07
The liberty to serve
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speakhandsforme's Avatar
I'm glad the "writers/philosophers" question was asked, but I'm pretty sure we were all looking for an answer to the concept of a TDH/TREOS tour someday.
11:39 PM on 08/07/07
I'm old now.
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shes.a.ghost's Avatar
I really wished you would have asked about Cody from ACB. He was originally going to be Casey's replacement.
02:10 PM on 08/08/07
Registered User
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OilyTheOtter's Avatar
I liked the interview. Excellent question and answer about the loss of the edge the first record had. That makes me want to listen more. The new shit is growing on me, slowly but surely :)
02:45 PM on 08/08/07
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how is circa not one of their fav bands to tour with...that tour was incredible, they were throwing stuff at eachother during their sets
02:59 PM on 08/08/07
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Mart2023's Avatar
I'm glad the "writers/philosophers" question was asked, but I'm pretty sure we were all looking for an answer to the concept of a TDH/TREOS tour someday.

I doubt that will happen
03:16 PM on 08/08/07
Steve Henderson
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04:02 PM on 08/08/07
poop butts
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weworemasks's Avatar
cool interview. the amount of information on the "behindtherecord" site is overwhelming. great reads. it's kept me busy for a good 45 minutes.
04:10 PM on 08/08/07
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jds10912's Avatar
Why was Casey asked to leave? And do you feel that move was necessary?

AC: I think it was vital to sustain the life of the band. We were just different people trying to make an impossible situation work, all with less communication than one can imagine. The move was made, and both parties have benefited both personally and musically, and we are ready to put it behind us.

well that was rather vague. he could have done a little better than that
04:15 PM on 08/08/07
Sleep underground tonight...
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Romancebled's Avatar
awesome interview. i had a great time reading it.
04:20 PM on 08/08/07
The Revisionist
Loves shittyass pop music
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The Revisionist's Avatar
well that was rather vague. he could have done a little better than that
He doesn't owe you shit.
04:26 PM on 08/08/07
i'm wide awake, it's morning
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MCSmate's Avatar
Very good interview. Some ngood questions which a few I believe I asked, if not said after someone else did. The new music is good.
04:57 PM on 08/08/07
Registered Loser
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genericmadness's Avatar
jamie pham, THANKYOU for asking about an australian tour. there is a gift basket on its way to your doorstep.
05:29 PM on 08/08/07
poppunkjunkie.blogspot.co m
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average_jane's Avatar
Nice interview Jamie! I love hearing anything these guys have to say. The new record is great.
06:29 PM on 08/08/07
Dan CiTi
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Dan CiTi's Avatar
Pretty good. But a few good questions went unasked, but that's OK. The new record gets better every day. I can't wait to see them play some more of the songs live!

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