Interview – Meniscus

23.07.2012

Ok, onto to the next question. Do you have emotional relationship with your instrument?

Alison: I think Dan should go first for this one.

Yes, I read what happened to your guitar [After the band landed in Europe and picked their gear from the airport, they found out that Dan’s guitar had been broken]

Dan: That’s the second time this has happened to me. First time it was about 5 or 6 years ago. It was at the rehearsal with Meniscus, I wasn’t having a good day, things weren’t working well so, I didn’t throw my guitar, but I let it fall over so and when it hit the ground the neck just snapped off. I didn’t believe it actually happened but later I eventually got it fixed. I felt pretty bad about it though. I knew it was my fault so I couldn’t be really angry at anybody but myself, but this time we flew into London, I opened my guitar case and I yet again just couldn’t believe it. We’ve just spend 20 something hours on a plane and this happened. That was the worst possible way to start the tour, as it was the only guitar I took with me.

Marty: It killed our day in London.

Dan: Yes, I basically spent the whole day going around to different guitar shops trying to find guitar so I could get back things on the track.

It must have been hard, but I guess not only because of unexpected expenditure you had to spend on new guitar, right?

Dan: No at all. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a guitar but at the end of the day I had to have something. It had to be reliable and good, but definitely it wasn’t about the money. It’s a sentimental thing.

Alison: Didn’t you say it was like a death of somebody close?

Dan: Yeah, to me it was like hearing the news somebody in your family had just died. It was really depressing. I have to see if it can be fixed when I get back home. If it can – great, if it can’t – that will be another set of problems I’ll have to deal with.

So there is emotional connection.

Dan: Oh yeah, definitely. It’s your tool, it’s what you use to create your art. It’s pretty important bond. Maybe there are people there who can go to a shop, pick up any guitar and just start playing, but it doesn’t work with me. It’s not right.

Cameron, how about you? After you all, you do break your instrument so how do you feel about it?

Cameron: I definitely miss my kit. It’s because everything I have in it is personalized, I know where everything should be. Certain stand should be on a certain height and things like that. It’s kind of like being in your own house and knowing where things are. When you’re playing unfamiliar kit it’s just a different feeling. When I hit my toms or my snare I know exactly what it’s going to sound like, where as when you play on different, rented kit like I do on tour it’s different. It doesn’t give me the sound I’d expect.

Marty?

Marty: I don’t think I have emotional connection with it, but I do love my video projectors (laughs). I own four of them, you can never have enough video projectors, and I have two laptops. I guess they are like children to me but I would like to have a new laptop with 15 inch display. I could always ditch my kids for better ones (everybody laughs). But on serious note my video files mean world to me. That’s my way of displaying of what I’m all about. I’ve got back up and then back up of my back up because I would be devastated if I lost them.

And lastly, Alison?

Alison: My bass is my baby. I have Spector at home which I love dearly, but I always go back to my Fender. It’s easy to play, feels smooth and is just beautiful. I just love it so if anything happened to it I would be very upset.

Alison and her baby

(Photo by RockOko, Warsaw, 03.07.2012)

Alison, since you’re holding the mic, next one is to you, but again of course everybody can join in. In your opinion, why are there so few women in the rock industry? Generally I think that women are much more emotional beings than men. And then music is super emotional thing and within this super emotional thing there are still much more men than women. I was wondering why and rock genre is a quite intense one and within this intensity there are also quite strong elements of aggression or anger, emotions which are not very female, so maybe that might have something do with it, but that is just my wondering about it. How do you see it?

Alison: Honestly I don’t know man, I guess they just need to grow some balls (laughs).

Marty: Alison has the biggest balls in the band (laughs).

Alison: I grew up in the 80s so my influences back then were glam rock bands like Motely Crue, Alice Cooper and everything manly in the rock pretty much.

Marty: How glam is rock manly?

Alison: Well, they had some balls.

Marty: Yeah, in their tight motherfuckin’ pants (laughs).

Alison: (laughs) Anyway, I just loved rock back then so that’s how it started for me. It’s actually quite disappointing there isn’t more girls in rock world so every time I see a girl in a band I’m like: hell yeah, high five on that shit (laughs).

Next question is about listening to music. When you choose to listen to a certain song or an album, do you more often choose music to sustain the emotions that you feel in that given moment or do you rather choose music which can change your current? For example, if you wake in the morning and feel a bit melancholic, do you more often choose melancholic music for it to fit into your moment or maybe you prefer happy music so it could break your mood into other one?

Cameron: Hm, good question. I definitely think that if you’re upset about something, the happy music will change your mood. It won’t happen instantly, but eventually it will. But there is certain music which will enhance what you’re feeling, so if you’re upset and you need to be pissed, then you might listen to let’s say to Meshuggah.

Dan: I don’t think it’s really mood specific at all. It could be for whatever reason. For example I travel by public transport to work every day so I get to sit there and listen to music for about an hour before I get to work and generally it’s pretty much just press play and go with random playlist. If something comes up that I really like, I just go back and play back the rest of that album. I don’t think I really ever thought about the emotion behind it. I like the random aspect of it. I have few hundred hours of music in my player so I just press play and whatever happens, it happens.

Alison: I agree with that because sometimes you might be in a certain mood, but when you play random song, I might instantly change your mood without any intention behind it.

Marty: For me most of emotions from a song come from what I think of when I listen to it.  It’s not necessarily the song itself. It could be hard, aggressive music, which actually can chill me out.

This is the last question. From time to time I like to use quotes in my interviews and today I have a famous guy for you. His name is William Shakespeare and apparently he said once: “We know what we are, but not what we may be”. Do you agree?

(moment of silence)

Dan: Yes.

Why?

Dan: I believe we have every chance to create our own future and to change things, but at the same time you can only control what’s in your immediate area. When you look at the past, at all the things that have happened, it’s all in retrospect and you can translate those lessons learned into shaping how you move forward as an individual.

Cameron: I guess you can take that a few different ways. One would be that for example you know you you’re a kind person but things may happen in your life which change that, so you might become somebody you didn’t expect to be and vice versa. But as Dan was saying, the experiences that you’ve had can take you down different paths that you might not have expected.

Marty: Who knows what their full potential is? I might want to do something what is pretty normal but even if my potential was bigger than that, I think I’ve still made my potential if I achieved what I wanted to achieve. It’s more about what I think of myself than what others think of me.

If I may add my thought about this quote then I’d like to say that I disagree with it, because I think that you know who you might be only after you know yourself first. If you don’t know who you are, then you can’t know who you can be.

Marty: True, but even when you know what you can be, who’s to say you can’t actually be better than you thought you could be.

I agree but more than that I meant the order of happenings. To rephrase myself, if you don’t know what you want to do it’s hard to know what you actually can do.

Marty: Yeah, that’s true. Well, thank you for that difficult question (laughs).

(laughs) Fortunately that was the last one so no more tortures from me. Thank you for your time and conversation.

Interviewer: Chris Bienkiewicz

Meniscus – Infant

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