Monday, December 10, 2012

EIC's 10Q's w/ Altar Eagle

"..a bath of sun-bleached euphoric Dream Gaze.."

Altar Eagle
Nebulous Enchantment

Altar Eagle Bio:
While husband and wife duo Brad Rose and Eden Hemming might be best known for more ‘challenging’ sounds, they managed to rack up countless accolades for their first foray into pop "Mechanical Gardens" when it emerged in 2010. "Nightrunners" is Altar Eagle's second full-length together and pushes the duo’s woozy pop sound into a flickering neon haze. The soft-focus beauty of Eden’s voice is now placed center stage, and the industrial-cum-electro pop productions are as dreamy and addicting as they’ve ever been.  Whether through the whimsical dub-influenced opener "Carousel Ocean" or cold-wave shakes of album highlight "Runaways," the duo have an authenticity it’s impossible to duplicate, and a singular unifying quality to their music. As they saunter from electrified shoegazing notes to far darker sounds each track seems intrinsically linked to the next, and this gives "Nightrunners" a touch of magic that brings to mind classic 4AD – from the jagged pop of This Mortal Coil to the outsider reggae of Colourbox. These are songs, first and foremost, but songs dragged kicking and screaming through forests, fields, microchips and frozen pizza. Just lie back and enjoy the ride.

Hello, how are you?
Eden: Not bad.
Brad: Busy

What are you currently listening to?
Eden: I'm still totally addicted to Robyn's Body Talk albums.
Brad: Really digging the new Robert Lowe album on Type and been listening to Joey Bada$$' "1999" mixtape a ton the past few days.

Whats with the band name?
Eden: It sprang from an attempt to say "alter ego" that was mangled by sleepiness. There are few things we love more, or find funnier, than absurdity so we figured it would be a good name for a band that was, for us at the time, kind of absurd.
Brad: Yeah, we have a list somewhere of absurd miscommunications we've had while lying in bed late at night.  I'm pretty sure a few song titles have come from there, too... at least I think that's where "Six Foot Arms" (off our first record) came from., but I could be wrong. We do try and embrace absurdity in all its forms, though. 

When did this project come about?
Eden: I think it was 2010?
Brad: No, Eden's wrong.  The first recordings happened in very early 2009 which ended up becoming the "Judo Songs" tape.  Though the "Nightrunners" sessions began in 2010.

Care to tell us a little bit about your latest album; theme/likes & dislikes?
Eden: We don't like to tell people what songs are about. We have our own ideas, of course, but it's much more fun to hear what other people's imaginations come up with. What do YOU think it’s about?
Brad: With that in mind, the only thing I'll say is that each song is about a different person or character, all of which make up a collective whole. Who those people are or what the songs say about them is open to interpretation. I mean, hell, my interpretation of them changes on regular basis depending on where my head is.

Any plans to tour for said release?
Eden: We have too much going on in our regular lives to have time to tour! Besides, there are so many overdubs, we would need a 12-piece band or something.
Brad: Yeah, unfortunately not. We may do a few shows here and there (around Tulsa and there are plans to get out to Montreal at some point), but life outside of music is too insane right now.

Got any other projects we should know about?
Eden: There are always other projects; there are too many ideas and possibilities to have just 1. I feel like my solo music, Mass Ornament, is really starting to blossom.  My first ever vinyl release, "Saturn Eye," will be coming out on our label, Digitalis, in early 2013.
Brad: I'm retiring my oldest solo project, The North Sea, at the beginning of 2013. The final record from the project, "Grandeur & Weakness," will be out on Rubber City Noise then.  But in its place, Charlatan will take over my focus (as it sort of has in the last few years, anyway). A new Charlatan record called "Isolatarium" (and probably my favorite thing I've done outside of "Nightrunners") will be out later this month on Type. And then there's always various one-offs, random tapes, etc. No rest!

What movie would work best on mute while listening to you music?
Eden: It depends on the song! We're both big fans of dystopian sci-fi though, so I suppose something like that.
Brad: Yeah, every song would probably be different so that's tough. If they ever make a movie out of Snow Crash, then I feel like "No Spring Till Summer" would fit right in. And put Studio 54 at half-speed for "Piglette," and you'd be set.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Eden: Honestly... "Nightrunners."
Brad: I'd probably rather just keep nothing if I could only keep one. Or maybe "Rubba Band Business 2."

Are you living your dream?
Eden: Totally.
Brad: Getting there.

Thanx Brad & Eden!

Altar Eagle is currently/somewhat under the radar, and this shouldn't be. Do yourself a favor and become acquainted...

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