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Monday, February 7, 2011

HAUNTED by Late Night Alumni: Conversation with the band!!

Words & interview by Ivan Guerrero
Late Night Alumni's brand new release "Haunted" hits The Male Model Music Project.
"Night is the best time for ideas to flourish", someone once told me -" I came up with this idea while I was wearing my pyjamas last night so I decided to..."- Ideas are similar to people, they can be really unpredictable. They don't ask for permission and they visit when we least expect them. We could try so hard to bring them out and nothing would come up, but around 2 am, an unforeseen sparkle could set the whole room on fire, a bonfire of ideas they call it.
I don't know you but I think I'm going to stay up late tonight, light some candles, pour some wine and wait for that strange visitor to show up. Hopefully, she will encourage me to write down a new chapter on the sheet of paper that lies awake on the table beside my bed. Make sure you don't fall asleep and have a pen in hand. Ideas won't wait for you this time.

The Male Model Music Project interviewed Late Night Alumni (Becky Jean Williams, Finn Bjarnson, John Hancock and Ryan Raddon) on the release of their brand new album "Haunted", a collection of smooth, ethereal and intimate tracks crafted by the band's flawless and unique hand.
Following up "Of Birds, Bees, Butterflies, Etc." in 2009 and their debut "Empty Streets" in 2005, "Haunted" is the third episode of this story, a story of sounds that will possess your soul from the very first note.
Late Night Alumni (from left to right): Ryan Raddon (aka Kaskade), Finn Bjarnson, Becky Jean Williams & John Hancock.

What is "Haunted"? Who is "Haunted"? What does this title refer to?
Becky: A lot of the lyrics I wrote for this album deal with the past and change, as well as the nostalgia and memories that go along with leaving one place in life and being introduced into another. Also, the building we recorded in was kind of old...and creepy.

John: It was a fitting title for the mood that was being created. The title came early in the process.

What do you offer to your fans in "Haunted"? What elements and subjects can we find in your music for this particular release?
Becky: Like I said before, there is a recurring theme of change in "Haunted". Which is fitting, I think...since this album is a bit different from our previous two.

Finn: I think this album shows more vulnerability than the previous two albums.
When did you start working in "Haunted"?

Ryan: I think it was April 2009.

How was the process and the experience working on this particular album? How was this experience working together as a band for a third time?

Becky: It was a lot of fun. We spent more time together making this album. Typically we get together in the same room once or twice during the album process. This time, it was more of a "hands-on-all-together" thing.

Do you have any personal favorite tracks on this album?

Finn: "Epilogue", "This is Why" and "Angels & Angles".

Ryan:"It's Not Happening", but it's hard to pick one out of the bunch.

Becky: It always changes every time I listen to it. Right now it's "Moonwalking" and "Angels and Angles".

John: "In The Ashes".

The fans comment and express their enthusiasm on this particular album. What do you think of this excitement an expectation this new release has generated?

Finn: People I think in general want the same thing. You want what you fell in love with the first time you heard the band. But the artist wants to continually grow and change and explore. That is what we did on this album. We put a lot of ourselves into it, but the sound continues to change. We love that about the process. We hope others do as well. Music is so tied into our emotional memory. When we think of that album or hear that certain song, we know what was going on in our life at the time... It speaks of heartbreak and love and empty summers or beautiful vacations etc. We hope the listener who fell in love with the first album or second album will allow themselves the time to really take this new album in.

John Hancock.

What do you think of collaborations? Would LNA be open to a collaboration?

Becky: Yes. There would be many people that I'd love to collaborate with.

John: If Peter Gabriel calls... yes

Looking back in the past of LNA, what was or still is the main motivation to keep this band together and go on working despite the distance and the various challenges of writing and producing an album?

Ryan: It's a unique creative outlet. If I have my way, you'll be getting new LNA albums in 20 years.

John: We have too much fun not to do it.

Becky: I need it.

Finn Bjarnson.

I have listened to the "Haunted" preview ... in "Angels and Angles", there's Marcus Bently on it, but also If I am correct, we can listen to a sample from Beethoven's Piano Sonata #14 Op.27 #2. How came the idea of including this particular sonata?

John: Had the idea and tried it... it worked. Random I guess.

Speaking of inspiration, please mention artists, music tracks, etc. that have inspired you both musically and personally?

Finn: Not sure how much outside inspiration effects our inner process of creating for this band. As far as music that makes me want to make better music... so much.

Becky: There is a wide variety of artists and styles that have inspired me. I think that's part of what makes LNA unique. We have a lot of different sounds being thrown together to make something really interesting.

Ryan Raddon (aka Kaskade).

We have just started a new decade, a new era, a new chapter... What do you think about the future of electronic music? What are the challenges you think artists , music makers and producers are facing or will be facing in this new decade?

Ryan: So much is still out of balance in the the music world... at least the business/distribution side of things. How will artists be making a living from their music in ten years.... ? I guess we'll see.

Becky: Sigh. I wish I made a living doing this. Maybe in 10 years? Maybe the government can hand out a Songwriters Stimulus.

Becky Jean Williams.

What's in store for LNA? Do you have any plans or projects we can know about?

John: We want to make the next album on a small island in the Caribbean.

What's your advice or message for the fans, readers and listeners?

Becky: Thank you for listening. I think we have amazing fans.

Ryan: I think people who actually find out about us and follow us are committed to our sound. It may be a small audience, but they are well educated music lovers.

John: We love you.

Now it's time for the TRACK BY TRACK from "Haunted" with Late Night Alumni...

Becky: I usually like to leave the interpretation of my lyrics up the listener in order to let them apply them to their own circumstances in life. But, I will talk about them when asked. So, since I was asked, here's just a few small bits of insight into what inspired me on each track.

It's Not Happening: This track explores the differences between what the world expects of us and what we should expect from ourselves.

In The Ashes: Another upbeat track, this song tells the story of someone haunted by the memory of someone else. Enough said.

This Is Why:These lyrics were a collaborative effort with Finn. He came to me with the scope of the song and we reworked a few parts . It's meaning is pretty clear I think. I'm guessing it kind of explains why Finn doesn't ever cry. Because...me...I do actually cry sometimes.

Epilogue: I wrote this song when I was spending a lot of time alone in a big empty building. It deals a lot with change. It's not about death...literally...that's a eulogy, not an epilogue. It's about endings...and while death is an ending...the song refers to the end of one stage in life and the beginning of another.

Vixen:This song analyzes a certain type of relationship...which I think you can figure out if you listen close.

Angels and Angles: I love this track. I love that we have Marcus Bently's vocals on it since the song deals for the most part with the juxtaposition of seeing versus feeling and being stuck in a grey area in between. The two separate vocalists represent the "Two Way Monologue".

Sustaining: This is another song dealing with the lingering memories of someone and the feeling that they remain a physical part of you somehow. Like when music sustains...the last note of a song lingers for a while.

Main Street: I like how narrative this song is...that it tells a story of a chance meeting between two people who haven't seen each other for a while.

For Life: I wanted to create a positive love song for the album...since most of it is a little darker and somber. The song flip-flops between a dark mood and a light one. But I like that because it explores the anxiety experienced when something seems too good to be true.

No or Yes: I can't decide what this song is about. Just kidding...it's about indecision.

Spin: These lyrics are a little more reckless than I'm used to writing. The narrator is basically throwing caution to the wind and jumping right in to something that she knows may end up hurting her.

Moonwalking: This is one of my favorite songs. I've always been fascinated by the collaborative relationship of the moon and the sun and stars. I use this metaphor to explore human relationships.

Don't miss out the behind-the-scenes feature with Late Night Alumni on "Haunted". Check it out!!!

Special thanks to Becky, Finn, John, and Ryan for this interview. Welcome to the project!!!!

"Haunted" by Late Night Alumni is out NOW.
Album Available on: Itunes
Check out the band's official site for further information on this and other releases, previews and more, HERE.
"It's Not Happening" is the first single from "Haunted". It also includes a remix by Kaskade.
Available HERE.


Paul D S said...

Wonderful insight to this amazing band. I really enjoyed the read , thanks!

Ivan Guerrero said...

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed the feature.
The Sound Selector