Brian Morgante – Guitars, Programming and Percussion
Rachel Shesman – Pianos and Organs
Tyler Long – Bass
Craig Sucharski – Drums
Today we are glad to have Deadhorse with us, a young band which debutted with “We Can Create Own Our World”; you can find the review in our website. How are you guys?
Pretty good! We’ve been home the last few weeks gearing up for our next tour across America, so we’ve been busy getting ready for that.
Let’s begin giving some infos on you, how was the band born Which was the main reason that made you give life to Deadhorse.
The band was actually originally intended to be a side project. I was doing some solo music and shows in between strings of shows with my other band Awaken North Wind. Our bass player Tyler was also a part of this band, and not a part of Deadhorse at the time. I had talked with Rachel, Craig and our friend Josh Travis about taking my solo songs and making them full band, playing a couple shows with them and seeing what happens. Everyone seemed on board, and we jumped into everything August of 09.
After playing a handful of shows like that, it appeared that things with Awaken were dissipating, which was a bummer. At that point, Deadhorse started to take center stage, and the more we played, the more we figured we should start writing some music together. We started writing a few songs and we weren’t too sure about them as everything seemed a bit all over the place. We toyed around with the idea of doing something completely instrumental, and after some back and forth on that, we decided to just give it a try. Shortly after Josh Travis decided to stop playing and Tyler jumped on board with the project, and writing went into full swing. That pretty much sums up the birth of us deciding on what we’re doing now.
As far as giving life, it was really something that was stumbled upon by accident, but a wonderful one at that. I know personally I had wanted to play instrumental music for years, and it felt good to finally be doing something I 100 percent wanted to be doing. It made writing a lot easier, and threw a whole lot more passion into the songs that we were writing. All of us were in agreement that this was definitely something worthwhile, and we wanted to be in it for the long haul. At that point, we knew we needed to do everything we could to move the music forward and see what kind of adventures it could get us into.
The so called alternative music or to say it better music which isn’t included in pop is luckily giving birth to many good works, what do you listen to and how much did your listenings influenced your work?
All of us listen to a pretty wide variety of music. We are influenced by bands similar to us as we do enjoy listening to post-rock, but we really come from eclectic backgrounds that aren’t really traditional to a lot of people playing this sort of music. Some of us started off as young crust punks and hardcore kids, and we’ve all seen our musical tastes vary and evolve over the years. We’ve listen to everything from great punk bands like Crass, Strike Anywhere, Minor Threat to hardcore bands like Have Heart, Shai Hulud, Scarlet and Reign Supreme. A lot of more indie stuff is in rotation like Colour Revolt, Dignan, As Cities Burn, Pedro the Lion, Further Seems Forever and Twothirtyeight. When it comes to post-rock we tend to get into a lot more of the groups with a lot of dynamic and solid drive behind the music, bands like Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Giants, Braveyoung and This Will Destroy You.
Why did you give voice only to the instrumentation?
One part of the decision was practical, and the other part was something a bit deeper than that. As far as the practical side goes, I was singing in Awaken North Wind. I’m not the strongest singer in the world, but I can hold my own if need be. The only problem was that after singing for a while my voice would give out very easily, not to mention how easily I tend to get sick these days. Some Awaken shows really suffered because of that, and the thought of doing something more full time with those sort of shaky conditions really scared me into not really wanting to do much singing anymore. We thought about looking for someone else to sing with us with Awaken and both Deadhorse, but it’s hard enough to find musicians that want to play full time let alone singers in this area. Seeing that we knew no one was really going to be able to step up to the plate and lead Deadhorse in a singing manner, it really sparked the original idea of even pushing forward with completely instrumental music.
The other part of it really has to do with the perspective of it all. When it boils down in the bigger scheme of things, there’s not many people out there that are really passionate or even interested in instrumental or post-rock music. Frankly, a lot of people think its boring, or don’t want to take the time to understand it. To most, it’s just background music or something to fall asleep to, because it’s usually pretty. The funny thing with myself, though, is that if I have ever tried to fall asleep to anything like this, it immediately wakes me up because of how much of a rush it gives me, haha. So many people want a catchy chorus to a song they can dance to, turn up super loud, and forget about everything that is going on around them. There is definitely a time and a place for that, and we do it as well, but with the music we wanted to create and share we really wanted something that could be a bit more universal, cross genre borders, and really get a lot of people with different mindsets and perspectives on somewhat of a same page.
“We Can Create Own Our World”, the title is something like an assertion, unlike some track titles such as “Question For Which There Are No Answer” and “Last Night Of The World” which seem to be waiting for an answer. What message do you want to send with your music?
We might not have any words, but there is definitely a big message that we want to send with this music. A lot of post-rock bands you see anymore just get up on stage, don’t even really say hi or connect with the audience in any way. They just start playing, create this beautiful, powerful atmosphere for an hour, and then get off stage. Sure you might be creating something that sucks people in and relaxes them, but you would think you would want something more than just music. We firmly believe in the power of relating with one another, and connecting with everyone around you. If we were out there just playing music, I think that would get old and boring, and really leave us missing out on something very important. We have a lot of roots in the ideas behind a more radical counterculture, and don’t just choose this life to make it big, get a paycheck, or secure our retirements. If we were, we’re definitely playing the wrong sort of music, haha. We want to show everyone and anyone out there that something else is possible.
With the way the music world is today, it’s really hard to do anything that makes any sort of lasting impact. People are trying to jump on and off of trends and follow the young kids’ spending habits by creating goofy merch and extremely foul songs just in the name of shock value and skyrocketing them to the top of the world. Every day it seems like there is less and less authenticity out there and anyone still doing something because they actually love doing it. With the music that we create, we always explain at every show that the music can mean anything you want it to. Too many bands will get up on stage and say we should do this, do that, think like this, support that, go do this, etc. Instead of just playing some sort of preachercongregation game, we want to show people that we are on the same exact page as them. We’re not trying to tell anyone that we have answers to the world’s problems, but more that we want everyone to look a bit deeper into themselves and really find the things that make them tick, find the things they are passionate about, and bring them right to the surface. We want to see people making an impact with and through one another on their communities, their own individual words to create something new and different.
No one really stumbles on shows by accident, it’s really quite its own world to be sucked into all of this. It goes a lot more than some sort of concert atmosphere, ticket sales and merch designs. A lot of the ideas that the underground was built on seem to be slowly fading out these days, and we just want to remind people that we are all the left out, broken and outcasts. We were all the weird kids in school, the nerds, the picked on, the ones from broken homes, and just confused about the world that we saw around us. All of us creative types seem to strive for something more, and sometimes we all need a reminder that we’re all in this together, there are wonderful circles of people all over this world really creating positive change toward something alternative in their own communities, and we just would love to see that continue to happen for generations to come.
The album flows spontaneous and instinctive, the songs are very pleasant to listen to, both from emotional and compositive point of view, but how do your songs take life?
Well thank you, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the songs! We tried our best to really put as much emotion into every track as we could, so that makes me happy to see it’s coming through, haha.
As far as songs taking life, that really goes hand in hand with what I was saying about the way that we encourage each listener to really create their own meaning behind these tracks. These songs can take life in a million different ways since we make it clear that we’re not trying to portray just one simple thing within them. People can create a life of their own with each song and the album as a whole, which we find very interesting as we hear a wide variety of stories, creations and visions behind the music. As one person can see it as something extremely tragic, the next sees it as something triumphant. Some people will relate sadness or pain or channel anger or despair through songs, while other people will talk to will say it made them feel so happy or be reminded of so many good things within them. The differences across the board are amazing, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We want every single listener to have a totally unique experience with these songs, just as they have a unique effect on every single one of us that is playing and creating them.
What does the artwork mean, with that central door from which some roots come up Do we need to re-plant humanity to give it a different sense?
The artwork is even a direct correlation to what I was explaining in the last question. Our friend Erica Sperrazzo drew the piece for the cover. She does a lot of amazing work, and we knew that it would be awesome if she might create something for this album. I talked with her about it, and she seemed very excited to be a part. We didn’t ask her to create anything specific, or even chime in any sort of idea that we wanted to see encompassed with the artwork. All I did was send her the cd as soon as it was finished, and asked her to create whatever came to mind and heart as she listened. Needless to say, we weren’t surprised when she sent over such an awesome piece! None of us are really good artists at all, and we knew that she had the ability to create extremely beautiful things. There would be no reason for us to try to interfere or shape those talents, but rather but full trust into the artist creating what they envision, and what really creates the life of the songs to them, personally. It really is a lot more effective to go about things with this approach as we have tried to do that with every aspect of this music and the things around it. The more we leave the creative process in the hands of the creators, the better final product we have seen. It just takes a little trust is all, haha!
With the second part of this question, I’m not entirely sure if that is what Erica was trying to display with the artwork or not, but I can definitely see and relate with what you’re saying in that statement, as it correlates with what I was saying, and the title of the album. It would be wonderful to see everyone get out from the rat race they have put their lives into and really start living and striving for something different, something new, something radical. There are doors of opportunity all around us, and it is ultimately our decision if we will walk through them or not and really chase after what we desire as individuals and collectively.
In the review I mentioned Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai and Tides From Nebula. You show that you have your own personality, not so marked but still perceivable; which are the Post-Rock features that made you love the genre and how much is it important to put your sensations in your music?
I think one of the biggest things that draws me to the genre is the dynamics. So much music out there really lacks any sense of dynamic, and because of that a lot of emotion gets lost. There are so many amazing bands that with a little bit more push behind their highs and lows, could hit THAT much harder. It feels like with post-rock you can experiment a lot more with all sorts of dynamics, and really create a roller coaster ride for the listeners. No matter what kind of music you’re creating, its extremely important to put your own sensations into it. If you’re creating something that doesn’t make you feel it on the inside, you are not creating anything for yourself, and you need to stop immediately. Music with no sensation is just a formula with no life behind it. Without feeling, without heart, the songs cannot take flight.
What do you think about both american and world musical scene?
Both seem to be extremely different, but also have a lot of good and bad things to each. The American touring market is extremely oversaturated with a lot of bands that really shouldn’t be doing anything. Kids are also attracted to what seems to be the worst things ever, and because of that we see so many trends explode in and out so quickly, you don’t even realize when there’s a wave of change taking place. There’s too much competition with too little legitimate promoters and venues, very little money involved, and an alarming decrease in any sort of fan connection. A lot of places grow stagnant fast in America, and the kids become apathetic toward any band coming through. At the same time though, when you find the little pockets of passion, and the little areas where something good is going on, its such a breath of fresh air in what looks to be quite the depressing market, haha. This goes along with people taking an initiative to really create something of their own, and you see small art spaces, info shops, housebasement shows and other DIY ventures that are really standing for values, not just letting any band come through that will make them money, but doing it for pure reasons and pushing the passionate bands on kids that are also burning with passion.
I’ve never been across the pond, but I’ve heard all sorts of good and bad things, more good than anything though. It seems like Europe, Japan, even Malaysia these days really have it going on, where people are just hungry for music, hungry for something new and different, and I really like that idea. Our bass player toured Europe last year and got to meet a lot of interesting people who were very passionate about the things and bands they were into, stay in some very awesome DIY spaces, etc. I think when the time comes, I’m going to love anything overseas show-wise a lot more than anything here in the states, haha.
Are there any bands that you love and that you would recommend?
I’m sure everyone has a long list they could put here with bands across the board of genres. Lately I have really been into Braveyoung’s new album that will be coming out soon, La Dispute, Touche Amore, The Ascent Of Everest, Crass, The Winston Jazz Routine, and So Long Forgotten.
Which are the main troubles for a band that wants to stand out today Which is the best method to do it without sell out the band?
I feel if one of the goals you might have in your band is to “stand out”, then you should probably cross that one right off the list, because with the insane amount of bands that are really trying to push themselves via free internet promotion, you are not alone no matter what you’re trying to do. I can guarantee no matter what sort of unique blend or twist you put on your music, you’ll find a slew of others across the globe that are trying the same formula you are. Everything under the sun has been done and is constantly being re-created and updated just slightly different. I don’t really feel like it’s the sound that will make you stand out anymore, but what you actually stand for and strive for with your creations. As long as you’re creating something that you are passionate about, eager to share with the world, and are proud of with the final product, I think you have a winner on your hands. Too many bands are trying way too hard to find that “new sound” and its frankly just annoying. Everyone is just trying too hard to be cool, sticking their peacock feathers out and puffing up their chests to say look at us, look at us. Some people are really into that, but the majority of people just find it to be fake and annoying. I wouldn’t say there’s any best method except to just do what you love, and push forward in the most genuine and sincere way you can, and people will recognize and respect that.
Do you have any side-projects? How is your life besides the band?
I do some solo stuff time and time again under my name Brian Morgante. I have been doing it for years when I have the free time, and it seems to go over pretty well. I’ve done a couple tours with it, and its always a fun change of pace. The music is really slow-paced intimate folky stuff, in the vein of As Cities Burn, Manchester Orchestra, David Bazan, etc. our bass player Tyler is in the straight edge hardcore band xRepresentx. They seem to do very well all over the world, and he’s actually out on the road with them as I type this. They did a 45 date tour in Europe last year that went over extremely well, and they make a great impact in the hardcore community worldwide.
Is there a live experience that you would like to do again Are there any confirmed dates?
We enjoy most of the shows that we play, as we have been through a lot of areas that have some amazing people and bands doing something very good. I’m not sure if there’s anything super specific that stands out, but we just plan on continuing to pass through all of the different cities and areas where we have created bonds with like-minded people and bands, are want to continue to grow together in the future.
Is there the possibility to see you in Europe?
Absolutely! We really want to come overseas and do a lot of touring as soon as we can. It takes money to get over there, but we would love to save up and keep promoting over there to really make sure it could work out! Just very general speculations and estimations, we would love to see ourselves get overseas even as early as next summerfall if at all possible. In order to do things like that though, we certainly need your help! Haha.
Thanks for the time you spent with us, the last message for our readers is up to you.
We just want to thank you for letting us be a part of what you are doing. It’s important to keep things like this alive, and we’re humbled to even have the chance to be a part of your community through this. We invite any and all of you to listen to our entire album right now over at www.deadhorse.bandcamp.com and if you like the music, get a digital download of the album for only $7, it will help us out tremendously, and get us across the ocean to come see you guys! Keep doing what you love, chase your dreams, and always be creating something new, because we are all