Preparing for Battles…...2016 Australian tour.
Battles will be heading to Australia in the coming weeks as part of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival along with adding a good number of sideshows throughout the country. Yaya Benavidez of Feel Good Fridays caught up with Dave Konopka the lead guitarist of the daring electronic trio ahead of their much anticipated tour. They discussed the late David Bowie, the lack of romance in modern music, the Synth master William Onyeabor how lyrics often take away from expressive sounds and what influences their unique sounds from studio to live performance.
How has David Bowie influenced Battles?
Good question, I can’t really think of what in particular I can’t draw a direct lineage, I am a huge fan and completely miss his presence in the community, he was such a prolific artist in the community. He was the purest form of artist and I was really shocked by that ( his passing) I was listening to his music all day and loving so much of his catalogue and (I remembered) he came to a Battles show one day, which is REALLY cool. It was incredible, it was a proper New York club show, it wasn’t during a festival and he came to our show. It was so rad, it was amazing. He will surely be missed.
Dave later joked ‘he was holding out for that Pitchfork best new music and then he realised his life was complete.’...Contd...
What influences your style of producing music?
Its very ambiguous, it’s a lot about what influences the three of us across the board. It really comes from a place of exploration and inspiration for us. The inspiration is usually in playing with new technology and finding new ideas of finding how to create things and recreate things. that’s a huge part of our process as musicians and it’s really enjoyable…..Contd.
Listening to your albums I was intrigued as to whether or not you were somewhat recreating gypsy music?
Part of that comes from an interest in something exotic, being three normal middle class guys from New York then part of our exploration is (we often) go “oh this doesn’t sound like garage rock or this doesn’t sound like we are supposed to sound” when we explore sounds. There is that realisation that that that is a cool melody or an exotic sounding sound, it sounds kind of gross to say it in that way but there is certainly some influence there and it comes from a lack of personal familiarity and understanding. One of our strongest points is that we have this built in creative process that allows us to mix different genres or the idea of what those genres would be. I wasn’t exactly listening to Gypsy music but I liked the way it (something we created) was interpreted that way….Contd.
How many hours of battles music lie in an abyss of collective sounds and unheard parts?
I guess you could put it this way. Writing an album we work or write music every day. lets say ten hours a day, round it off to maybe 250 days a year, the amount of time it takes to write an album and the amount of time that your spend writing music and the album ends up 50 minutes long? Nobody has the attention span to listen to any more of that. Yeah then there is this infinite space of music in an abyss...is it Abyssmal? is that right? Is that derivative of abyss? Because it sound slike it should be. I don’t know and I don’t want to be there either it must sound like S#@%....contd.
Is there more freedom in music production when lyrics and vocals aren't a focal point?
Yeah for sure! That has always been where we have always started musically. Vocals just kind of ended up working their way into our music so the instrumentation has always come first in a way that we work primarily with musical instruments and worked in vocals if they were needed but generally speaking we have always been an instrumental band and there is a lot more freedom there because when we did start working with vocalists we realised we had to start leaving a lot more space for vocals ‘cause they take up a lot of space….contd..
For the full interview and a lot more laughs then listen to the podcast . See you all front row st St Jeromes Laneway.
lennoxgroove [at] gmail.com for all press releases and news.
nath [at] lennoxgroove.com for all artist management and bookings requests.
ben [at] lennoxgroove.com for all music submissions.