Monday, November 21, 2011

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Soft Metals

"..perfected what yesterdays Synth Pop artists left stained on their ears so many years ago.."

(Photo credit: Sully Alataar)

Soft Metals
Synthetic Flirtatious Symphonious

Soft Metals Bio:
oft Metals is a multi-disciplinary electronic duo from Portland, Oregon now residing in Los Angeles, California. Its members Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall were brought together through a common love of 1970s and 80s synthesizer music and began writing and recording songs together in the spring of 2009. Inspiration came to them by way of experimental electronic sounds, film soundtracks, early Industrial music, Minimal Synth, House, Techno, Synth Pop, Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, and Shoegaze. Ian and Patricia share songwriting duties and compose the music together before writing lyrics and adding vocals. Their songs are built from moody, improvised sessions together using exclusively electronic instruments. The meaning of the raw music they make is explored and interpreted afterwards with lyrical themes ranging from life experience, films, literature, history, science, love, conflict, and death. Soft Metals prefer to express themselves freely rather than adhere to a particular genre. This freedom gives them a diverse sound somewhere between dance music, austere synthetic pop, and experimental electronic composition. Their two best known songs, “The Cold World Melts” and “Psychic Driving” are demonstrations of this varied sound. “The Cold World Melts” is driving, assertive, and passionate. “Psychic Driving” is delicate, introverted, and vulnerable. Some of their songs remain in their unpolished improvised form to pay homage to authenticity, spontaneity, the joy of sound, and experimentation while others are studio based exercises, fusing new and old production technologies.

Hello, how are you?
Hi. We have been keeping busy. Ian is now in grad school. We're balancing school, work, music, and getting used to life in a city new to us- Los Angeles. Things have been going well.

What are you currently listening to?
The new music I've been listening to includes Solvent "RDJCS5", Silk Flowers "Days of Arrest", Suzanne Kraft "Missum", Zola Jesus "Conatus", Austra "Feel It Break", Grimes "Halfaxa" and her recent split with D'eon, HTRK "Work (work, work), Xeno & Oaklander "Sets and Lights" and Blouse's debut album.

Besides it sounding cool, is there a story behind the band name?
Ian and I were brainstorming ideas for a band name and he came up with "Pliable Metals". Somehow that became "Soft Metals". We liked the image you get in your mind of circuits, conductive metals, the use of control voltage, and the human touch. Not long after we chose that name, I had an interesting night thinking about its meaning and I had grand visions about metals first being discovered by man and how they were made into tools and weapons. I went on to imagine those same objects later being melted down into the parts of our instruments. That name makes me think of the history of man, technology, the future. It is a good metaphor for song crafting too- where you have this hard raw element- a vague idea or concept- and you work away at it and shape it to something useful, expressive. The name also expresses the dynamic between the masculine and feminine, yin and yang, positive and negative that we demonstrate with in music.

Who were your biggest influences when it came to sculpting your current sound?

Ian and I find the music of Chris & Cosey and Chris Carter's solo work, Cluster, Drexciya, Kraftwerk, Broadcast, Manuel Gottsching and many others very inspiring. The electronic instruments we use are a large part of why we sound the way we do. In terms of the human expression and the meaning behind our songs, Ian and I dig into ourselves, our lives, our observations when we write our music. When I write lyrics, keyboard melodies, and look for my voice I always try to empty my day and life out into the room and make a meaningful song from whatever surfaces. My hope is to access my authentic self, or ghosts, or fictional characters hidden away in my psyche that speak through me.

Is there a theme on on your debut LP?
Lyrically it's introspective, inquisitive. I'd say the exploration of the human psyche and human relationships is a theme.

Do you have a favorite track on said album and why?

My favorite song is "Always". It feels like falling in love with someone and not knowing what's going to happen next. It's the sound of a delicious and painful longing for a beautiful future with someone.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?

I am currently working on lyrics and vocals for an instrumental Solvent just sent me. Our friend Brian Foote will soon be joining us on stage to play keyboards.

The best time to listen to Soft Metals is?
In a fit of passion beneath the sheets with your lover or when you're daydreaming on a rainy day thinking of love and your dreams.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
'Murmurs of Earth: The NASA Voyager Golden Record'.

Are you living your dream?

My life is full of beautiful and grotesque things. I am fascinated by my life and learning so much from my experiences. I wouldn't have it any other way and I feel I am getting what I deserve.

Thanx Patricia & Brian!

Soft Metals are currently playing a few shows here and there as well as working on plotting out a South American tour, also (hopefully) a new album and/or EP should/could be on the horizon...

No comments:

Post a Comment