lundi 20 septembre 2010

Interview : Reading Rainbow

I must admit that I'm kind of obsessed by this band. I knew them from their Restless single released by great label Zoo Music (Beaters, Flight...) and then bought all their releases until now. Since I learned they will release a new LP for as great chicago based label HoZac, I decided it was time to chat with them. So here is a lovely interview of Reading Rainbow.

Can you tell us a bit the story of Reading Rainbow ? When do you formed ? How ?
Rob : Sarah and I actually used to be in another band where we both played keyboards, we both sang, and one of our close friends played drums. We played noisy, experimental, punk rock heavily influenced by early Devo and The Screamers. We were in this band on and off between 2006 and 2008. Around March of 2008 our drummer decided he didn't want to play a string of out of town shows 2 weeks before we were scheduled to play. So given the opportunity, Sarah and I formed a new band and called it "Reading Rainbow". We wrote 8 songs in 2 weeks and recorded them onto 4-track cassette. These were our first demos, which we sold on cassettes and then later re-recorded some of the songs to be on our first LP Mystical Participation. Sarah had never even played the drums before, but we found a sound that felt very familiar and we loved it!

What are your influences (musical but not only) ?
Musically we love the Velvet Underground, The Zombies, Devo, B-52s, Sun Ra, The Urinals, The Vaselines, Sonic Youth, Ramones, Beatles, Wire,...I could go on and on and on!!
Non-Musically we are influenced by nature, animals, mystical shit, friendships and relationships with people, living in the city, our job situations, our dreams, anxiety about the future. Many things both positive and negative.

According to your (great) artworks, are you obsessed by animals ? By the way, who did these artworks ?
Sarah : I have done all of our artwork up to this point! Both of us have always loved animals. And as far as album art specifically goes I feel like its hard not to objectify people in drawing or collage. It's so easy to use an image of a hot girl or something and it has no real feeling behind it. With animals its the total opposite. Insteady of objectifying them, the animals are elevated and take on a kind of mysterious role.

Rob : When I was very small, my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said either a fire man or a tiger!

What looks like Reading Rainbow tour ?
We really need to go on an extensive tour when our album comes out, but we haven't really found a good booking company to work with. Last year we toured all accross the US, by ourselves. We booked almost all the shows and had a really great time. Intense, but a lot of fun.

Do you still make some house gigs ?
Oh yeah, most definitely. Not as many as we used too, but when a good one comes up they can be the most fun!

Can you tell us an anecdote about something that happened to you on tour ?
Sarah : Why yes actually. Once in Texas we were supposed to stay with a girl we'd never met before. When she introduced herself she was TOTALLY drunk/rolling/high on something, and just when I kind of noticed the weird way she was eyeing up Rob, she sort of "fell" into my boob and totally groped me while asking if we liked to party! Our friend who saw it all confirmed that she looked like she was trying to start something kind of gross and awkward. Needless to saw when we were following her back to her house, we "lost" her and went to a motel instead.

How is the music scene in Philly ?
Really active, but kind of weird. There's sooooo many bands here, and we've never heard of most of them. I think it's mainly because there's so many different scenes here. (bar bands, metal, folk punk, hardcore, post hardcore, etc) For a while there weren't really that many other bands we'd go along well with musically, but over the past year or so a few garage and fuzzy shoegazey bands have sprung up which is cool. Honestly we are so busy with work/music we don't get out too much to see whats happening!

Soon you'll release your second album for HoZac, can you tell us what it would sound like ?
It's waaaaaaaay cleaner and clearer sounding. The drums sound amazing for once (before the recording made them sound muffled), and you can here the distinction between both of our voices way more. We recorded all the songs with other people who knew what they were doing. We had recorded Mystical Participation all by ourselves in our practice space and didn't know special tricks and techniques to make it sound better.

And what about the single for Atelier Ciseaux ? How did you connect with a french label ?
Remi from Atelier Ciseaux just emailed and asked us if we'd like to do a split with Coasting so of course we said yes! Both Atelier Ciseaux and Coasting are great. Maybe Remi will fly us out to France to tour...hahahaha

Did you ever play in Europe ?
No! But we both really really want to! We need a booking agency first and for Rob to be able to quit his job. That would be a dream come true.

Thanks !

Listen to Reading Rainbow - Restless (Zoo Music, 2009)

Buy the Reading Rainbow's first LP Mystical Participation on SMK Store
Buy their split 10" on Chimney Sweet Records
Buy their amazing 7" Restless on Italian Beach Babes (far cheaper than on the label store for any european based music lover ahah)
And listen to most of their songs on their bandcamp.

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