29 April 2008

question the ANSWERS.

so, i guess this is our first "official" blog entry. i just re-discovered the fact that we had this site. haha. it happens. [shrugs shoulders] perhaps you know us. perhaps you don't. either way, here's an interview that dale marquez from apple orchard/some gorgeous accident did with us last year. it'll give us a chance to [a] introduce ourselves and/or [b] re-establish friendships. [10] ten questions. [17] seventeen answers. so, nice to meet you/welcome back. here goes :

01. give us a short background for the both of you.

taylor : well, i've lived in the fort walton beach/destin/pensacola, FL area my whole life. i'm finishing up my fine arts/art history degrees at the university of west florida.
ronnie : let's see. i'm a first generation filipino-american navy brat who went to [3] three different elementary schools. i'm a recovering artist-turned singer/songwriter. it took going to art school to make me realise that my true passion was music. a very expensive life lesson, perhaps. but it was totally worth it. i wouldn't trade the experience for anything. i'm obsessed with listening to/writing/collecting/playing music. i also love the french new wave, [post]modern art, clothes & long walks on the beach. in the winter, of course. hahaha.

02. how did the band start? is the jealous sea your first band?

taylor : the jealous sea is my first band. ronnie has been an integral part of several groups in the past, during which he'd written songs for this project. we finally got to work on the material earlier this year.
ronnie : the idea behind the jealous sea began [a few years ago] as a group of instrumental songs that i'd been kicking around. i'd always wanted to do an indie pop band, but never met anyone with similar tastes that was willing to work with me. the songs & the idea were shelved. i'd been in several bands of various genres over the course of my "supposed" musical career, but none really panned out. so, after some reflection, i decided it was time to breathe new life into my old idea. i re-worked some of the songs, wrote new ones & composed lyrics. then i asked taylor [my girlfriend] if she'd be interested in collaborating with me. as we are both rabid fans of indie pop/twee it was painfully obvious that it would be a perfect fit. after a number of failed attempts at christening the band--"the jealous sea" came to me in a moment of clarity. it was so simple, yet so complicated. just a really great name. so we went with it.

03. what made you decide to make music? influences and inspirations?

taylor : i've played the piano since i was four, so i've always wanted to use that talent in a more "creative" manner. this is a great opportunity for me to do so. one of my biggest influences is tracyanne campbell from camera obscura. she's a brilliant songwriter & has a great voice.
ronnie : i've had music in my life for as far back as i can remember. my parents always had something on the turntable, so i was keen on listening to records. [which sort of explains my obsession with collecting vinyl.] i used to pretend that my badminton racket was an electric guitar & would put on "concerts" for my parents, grandmother & sister--really anyone who would indulge me. i eventually got an acoustic guitar & learned a few chords from my aunt. i guess the rest, as they say, is history. hahaha. i grew up listening to the beatles, elvis, abba & simon & garfunkel. so they have always stuck with me. my influences/inspirations? there are so many, but if i had to pick a few : the smiths, aberdeen, belle & sebastian, camera obscura, the sundays, the ocean blue, blueboy, the magnetic fields, el perro del mar, the field mice, paul weller, serge gainsbourg, the clientele, trembling blue stars, the chamber strings, u2, burt bacharach, 60's girl groups/french pop/ye-ye. wait--that's more than a few, isn't it?

04. one of my favourite songs at the moment is "a rendezvous." could you tell us more about the song? what's it about? how did you come about writing it?

ronnie : the title in full is "a boy, a girl & a rendez-vous." i nicked the name from a compilation that [one of my absolute favourite bands in the whole world] aberdeen were on. [their excellent cover of biff bang pow's "she never understood" is featured] i liked the idea of writing a song about a couple separated by several degrees. [time/distance/where they are in life] it works on different levels. i'm also a big fan of the "spoken word bridge" made popular by several 60's soul songs. so i tried to incorporate that element as well. if it worked for belle & sebastian, why wouldn't it work for us, right? great bass line on that one, by the way.

05. i really like the guitar parts on "past the grey" and "exes & ohs." what kind of guitars do you have? what other instruments do you use? which is your favourite to play?

ronnie : thanks, dale. i'm particularly proud of my guitar work on those tracks. i was channeling a few of my guitar [anti] heroes on the respective guitar breaks. i don't mind wearing my influences on my sleeve--i'm a music fan before i'm a musician. [on the demos] i used a squier tele custom* & an ibanez pf-50 acoustic on the lead & rhythm guitar tracks. i used a gretsch electromatic junior jet on the bass tracks. [my other guitars : a danelectro u3, an epiphone korina sg & an epiphone rivoli bass] i also own a tama drum kit & a microkorg synth. i enjoy playing all of the instruments in my collection, but i am a guitarist. first & foremost.

06. name one song that you wish you had written & explain why.

taylor : "the state i am in" by belle & sebastian. there is always a song that defines a group/songwriter & this is definitely the song for them. it is very high up on my personally compiled "best songs ever written" list.
ronnie : wow. that is a tough one. i don't know if i could definitively answer this. there are so many songs i wish i'd written. but at this particular moment in time i'd have to say "every day is christmas" by the chamber strings. i'll always have a spot in my heart for that song. kevin junior & co.'s performance is as authentic as their 60's predecessors. pure brilliance, really.

07. when not making music, what do you both do, together & separately?

taylor : together we do the typical couple things; go to dinner, watch movies, listen to music, etc. the majority of my alone time is spent in classes or on my artwork.
ronnie : i hate to ruin the illusion that musicians are uncontrollable party animals & trouble makers. but we're a normal couple that does normal things. both together & separately. we enjoy sharing each others company & of course we have inside jokes. but we also like to hang out with our small circle of friends. on my own i'm either glued to my iPod/eMac/turntable/assorted musical instruments, writing songs, shopping for vinyl/cds/clothes or watching whatever netflix movie came in the mail. i'm quite boring, really.

08. name three of your prized possessions.

taylor : as far as inanimate objects go i'd have to say that i couldn't make it through a single day without my car [it's the only way to get from point a to b in this town], my art supplies & my record collection. :)
ronnie : we are living in a material world & i am a material boy. excuse me--material person. but aren't we all? just kidding. out of all the stuff that i have, in no particular order : [1] my home movies/photographs/artwork. [2] my acoustic guitar. [3] my celebrity guitar pick collection--which consists of a pick used by paul weller on his "illumination" tour & another used by kelly riles of velocity girl during their last ever show. yes, i'm a self-professed indie-geek. ;)

09. any plans for an EP or an album?

ronnie : most definitely. we've written material for [2] two EPs so far. i'm working on a few new ideas as well. i've always fancied the idea of being a "singles" band. and the EP format has a certain charm that just can't be captured by an album proper. call me sentimental. call me anachronistic. call me crazy. they'd probably all apply. but seriously, i think it best to feed your audience a little at a time. that way, they're left wanting more. i've been witness to too many releases that could benefit from a lot of editing down. "all killer, no filler," i always say.

10. five years from now, where do you see yourselves?

taylor : i'll be well out of grad school by then, with a secure job that will support my artistic/musical endeavours.
ronnie : a lot can happen in [5] five years. i can't tell the future, no one can. but i hope to be continuing on with our little musical project. which hopefully won't be quite so little by then. [cue the cloudy, sparkly dream sequence] opening for belle & sebastian & camera obscura. collaborating with apple orchard. signing to shinkansen. on the cover of MOJO magazine. stranger things have happened, y'know? <3

*i've since upgraded to an olympic white fender '72 telecaster deluxe which i play through a fender texas red hot rod deluxe amplifier. both limited editons. :)

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