mercredi 13 mars 2013

The Young Sinclairs - Interview

Comme vous le savez, nous venons de sortir deux 45 tours des Young Sinclairs, qui étaient depuis plusieurs années, un de nos groupes préférés. Plutôt calmes depuis 2 ans, ils nous paraissaient incroyable que ce groupe n'ait pas plus d'impact, d'autant que le succès de groupes comme The See See, Foxygen, Beachwood Sparks ou Allah-Las laisse entendre qu'il y a vraiment une place pour le son jangly sixties à la cool. Nous sommes donc particulièrement fier d'inaugurer notre label avec cette formidable formation américaine.
Au lieu de vous faire du langage promotionnel à la con, nous avons préféré interviewer l'homme à l'origine de tout ça : Sam Lunsford.

Can you introduce The Young Sinclairs project ?
The Young Sinclairs project started in 2005 when me and two of my best friends, John Thompson and Daniel Cundiff, all started renting a warehouse space together.  We moved all of the musical instruments and rudimentary recording gear we owned at the time into the space and began making some kind of noise every day.  Eventually I started writing and recording all these songs inspired by The Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, The Stooges, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Byrds, Rolling Stones, etc. and that's what ended up becoming The Young Sinclairs project.

Who are exactly The Young Sinclairs ? You and some friends ?
The Young Sinclairs started out as me, John Thompson and Daniel Cundiff.  They are two of my best friends.  I met John around 2003 and through him I met Daniel around 2004.  They both grew up together in Franklin County, Virginia and are really tight bros.  We later added Sean Poff on guitar - I went to school with him and John worked with him at the time.  We also added Jay Wilson on tambourine and percussion - I had worked with him at a record store and he also played music in another part of the same warehouse we were in.  Later we briefly added a keyboard player, John Lindsay - his family and my family have known each other for years and a few of us worked with him at a movie theatre around the time he joined.  He was replaced by Jonathan Coward, a dear friend who I was rooming with at the time.  After a while he moved to Richmond and he was replaced by Jonathan Woods, a mutual friend of all ours who played in another band, Sad Cobras, with Daniel. At present, we don't have a keyboard player any more. Currently my older brother Joe Lunsford plays drums now and Kyle Harris plays bass. 

You also have tons of other musical project (solo, other bands...) maybe you could introduce us to some of them ?
Being that I am fortunate enough to be proficient on many different instruments, I have always played in a plethora of bands.  Right now besides The Young Sinclairs I play fiddle, banjo, guitar and harmonica in a group called Rootstone Jug Band - we play early American roots music: old-time music, jug band music, and Piedmont blues.  We play some original compositions, and obscure tunes we learned off of old 78 R.P.M. records and field recordings.  I also play guitar and sing in a band called The Funk Cousins (No Relation), we play funky R&B and jazz, we've got a monster keyboardist and some amazing horn players.  I also currently play drums in a group called Cinematheque - we play instrumental music with live video projections, mostly inspired by surf and exotica records, Western movies and horror flicks.  I also do have a solo album that I just released - singer-songwriter stuff I guess - and I play the occasional solo gig here and there.  I am hoping to do more of that, actually.  It's a lot of fun.  I'm also an avid DJ, MC, and beatmaker that performs and records under the moniker of Joneski.  I have been DJ'ing and making Hip-Hop music since 1998, around the time I was in 8th grade.  Being a multi-instrumentalist and a record collector, I have always had a deep love for any kind of good music - whatever the genre. 

 Can you tell us more about the magic twig community and all your Roanoke friends ?
 The Magic Twig Community was comprised of about 10 people that, in different combinations, made up the personnel for bands such as The Young Sinclairs, Sad Cobras, Boys Lie, SuNKING!, Power Animals, The Missionaries, Yeah Propeller and many others.  It was basically just a bunch of friends that all shared the same practice space and all performed and recorded music together.  It was kind of like a gang.  We all came together in about 2006.  Since then we kind of scattered to a degree - we're all still making music but not as incestuously and intimately as we once did in our "salad days".  Some people have drifted.  Some people are in their own world, a world seperate from Magic Twig.  It's hard to sustain a "commune" of any kind over a prolonged period of time.  Ask anyone who lived in the 60's and 70's.

What is the Mystic Fortress ?
It's our personal analogue recording studio that we have been operating since 2005.  From the moment John, Daniel, and I got a warehouse space together we immediately started making recordings with Radio Shack mics and Tascam Portastudios.  From that seed has grown a full-fledged professional quality hit factory.  In late 2005 my older brother Joe Lunsford, who has been recording music since the 90's, brought in his reel-to-reel tape machine, some decent microphones and a tube preamp that he built himself.  From there we just kept acquiring more gear and upgrading our facilites with Joe's help.  All of The Young Sinclairs' recordings have been made there.  Artists such as Reading Rainbow (note: now called Bleeding Rainbow), Inter Arma, Eternal Summers, Super Vacations, The Bastards Of Fate, and Joe Jack Talcum have all recorded there as well.  The studio has moved a couple of times since its inception, but we have maintained basically the same kind of set-up and approach to recording over the span of 8 years.

How did you get in contact with the Brian Jonestown Massacre ?
Around 2006 or 2007 we sent some of our music to a band called Sunsplit in Philadelphia, members of whom also play in a band called The Asteroid #4.  They loved it.  We were in contact with them for a while and in 2009 they asked if we could take their place on the bill opening for Australian band The Lovetones who were touring the States.  Rob Campanella, long-time BJM member, was playing guitar with The Lovetones for the tour so we got in touch with him and ended up opening the shows.  Then in 2010 Rob called me kind of out of the blue and left me a message saying to get in touch with him.  I spoke with him and he asked if The Young Sinclairs would be able to open for The Brian Jonestown Massacre for a portion of their 2010 summer tour.  We played 4 shows with them to sold-out crowds and it was amazing.

Can you tell us a bit the story of this tour with them ? it must be something right ?
No crazy stories of brawls and hard drugs, fortunately.  They're all super nice guys - everyone got along and the music was a great fit.  No antics to speak of, really.  At the first show we played with them in Boston, Anton became very fascinated with our keyboardist's Korg synth and came up during our soundcheck and was fiddling with it.  He said he used to have one like it but it had been stolen, and he was showing us all these weird sounds on it.  They played great every night and vibes were good.  Anton had a couple temper tantrums onstage.  Whatever it was that pissed him off, they always ended up forgetting it and carrying on with the set.

Tell us more about the songs on the singles we released ?
"Hurt My Pride" is actually a pretty old Sinclairs song.  I wrote it and recorded a very raw version of it in 2005.  Though it was never on a proper album and we actuallynever played it live in those days.  "Someone Like The Hawk" is a tune that John Thompson recorded on cassette 4-track.  It was just an instrumental, but I really liked it so I added vocals and 12-String Rickenbacker to it.  "The Hawk" was the nickname of this guy David Wolinski who played in the band Shadows Of Knight - he was apparently a gifted multi-instrumentalist.  "Nothin' To Say" is about people that are closed up, people that don't dance and don't know how to have fun - specifically at concerts.  The recording on the 7-inch version is pretty raw, it'll probably be re-recorded for an upcoming album.  "New Day" is obviously inspired by one of Australia's greatest bands of all time: The Church.  Lyrically it is about touring and traveling with my buddies.

How do you decide a song you wrote is for The Young Sinclairs or your solo project or anything other ?
Well it used to be that pretty much any song I wrote on guitar was for The Young Sinclairs - but now I sometimes do save things for my solo project, and I can't really explain the process behind that.  Songs just come from thin air sometimes and I just try and get them down, then figure out where they should go after the fact. 

I know you got some quite good supports since the released of the singles, did you have some new propositions since then ?
Yes, we are currently talking to the people from Ample Play records [ndr : Beat Mark, Paperhead, The Sufis, Sudden Death Of Stars...] in the U.K. - it's the guys from the band Cornershop's label.  We may be releasing an LP with them - keep your fingers crossed, kiddies.

Are you thinking about going on tour again with The Young Sinclairs ?
Most definitely.  It's hard when people in your band have jobs, girlfriends, etc. but we're going to make it work - even if we have to hire some mercenary musician friends to pull it off.  It'll definitely happen, no matter what - and we'll try our hardest to get everyone from our current lineup on board.

How did you went into the sixties kind of sound ?
Me and my brother Joe got into it pretty heavy around 2001 or so.  We found this website called "60's Alternative Jukebox" that had streaming audio of all these more obscure 60's singles and stuff.  That was the first place we heard The Brogues, The Seeds, The Standells, The Sonics, etc. and it totally blew our minds.  Since then we have been crazy about that era of music and drawn so much inspiration from it.  It truly was a special time in the history of recorded sound that will never quite be the same.  Being a fan of punk music, and just real raw rock & roll music in general since a very young age - it was a total revelation to hear all these records from '65 - '67 and find that some of them were much cruder, raunchier and more powerful than any so-called "punk", "metal", or "hardcore" music I'd ever heard.

What are your main influences for the Young Sinclairs project ? and more generally ?
Neil Young, Nickelodeon in the 90's, bossa nova music, jazz music, The Ramones, ninja movies, comic books, American Indians, India Indians, The Byrds, 12-string guitars, tube amps, reverb, fuzz, Echo & The Bunnymen, total darkness, blinding light, The Seeds, Adam West-era Batman soundtrack music, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Nintendo games, Phil Spector, The Church, the occult, the supernatural, women, men, animals, nature, the elements, fruits, vegetables, herbs, Star Wars, The Who, a billion random 60's bands from billions of 60's comps, Hip Hop music & culture, sampling, graffiti, DJ'ing, Television Personalities, 80's horror flicks, The Jam, The Band, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, blah blah blah  

How do you produce your songs ? Do you use vintage hardware ?
We use tube preamps and vintage gear.  We've been collecting instruments and gear for years and we all have amassed a pretty decent assortment of equipment.  We like the old stuff, the funkier the better.  My brother built a lot of our equipment actually.  He built our bass amp, a couple of guitar amps, our tube preamps, our reverb unit, our mixing desk, the list goes on!  We do all kinds of things to make the music sound interesting.   We run microphones through amps or pedals, place mic's in corridors and halls, and generally just do all kinds of weird things.  Happy accidents a lot of the time!

  • Hurt  My Pride EP (7") is available in two version.
    The mailorder only version on solid purple wax with an alternative cover, limited to 120 copies worldwide
    The classic black version limited to 200 copies worldwide
  • New Day / Turned Around (7") is limited to 200 copies worldwide on black wax. 

Find the records here / Vous pouvez acheter les disques des Young Sinclairs sur :
but also Pop Culture (Paris), Born Bad (Paris), Radio City Discos (Madrid) and more to come.

The records has been supported so far by : Little Steven Underground Garage Radioshow, Styrofoam Drone, Finest Kiss, Rock & Folk Magazine, Action Time & Vision, Record Turnover...

Vous êtes une boutique de disque / you own a record shop / Tienes una tienda de disco :
For wholesale prices send us a message at requiempouruntwister at gmail dot com

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