OUR FRIEND, SURRENDER is an instrumental post rock / ambient band from the U.S. We had a chance to chit-chat with Brandon and Brad, two guys standing behind the project, on March 9th, 2012.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
I’m Brandon. I’m from Indiana. I met Brad via the Navy down in Jacksonville, FL
I’m Brad. I grew up in Minnesota. I moved to Florida because of the Navy and that’s where I met Brandon.
How is it to create music as a duo?
It’s surprisingly hard, especially with us not being in the same state anymore. We started writing music in the living room of a house we were renting that we converted into a studio. Everything was always there, and easily accessible. Now Brad is back home going to school and I’m in Virginia. So it becomes harder to maintain a high level of creativity when half of the band is across the country and can’t immediately tell you ‘hey that riff sucks’ or on the contrary jump right in and jam out a complete song on the spot.
Another hurdle is the fact that there’s no democracy with only 2 people. If there’s an idea one of us isn’t sure of it generally gets scrapped. With more band members its easier to agree on something if one person disagrees, but 4 other people like the idea. But, on the positive side, when something clicks with the two of us, there is no third wheel to worry about.
What inspires you to write music?
What inspires me to write music is just listening to good music. It doesn’t even have to be the same genre. I guess any other art can be inspiring too. Sometimes a good movie or intricate sculpture will inspire me to do something creative, which could be writing music or writing a poem.
I’m not sure how to answer that. Anything could be an inspiration. The ultimate goal in writing all our songs, for me personally, is to write music we wanted to hear. We draw inspiration from all kinds of music, not just post rock.
Are you looking for a label? How are you trying to highlight the band?
We would love to be snatched up by a label, but its not a major goal. In music today it’s fairly easy to record and release music in a DIY fashion.
With that being said it would be amazing to have the backing of a label. In regards to promotional things, we have all the different websites, Facebook, Bandcamp, last.fm. etc. at our disposal. It’s hard because the biggest way to get your name out there is play shows, which has become impossible at the moment. So we’re in the process of trying to come up with creative/alternative ways to get the name out there.
There are many pretty great post rock scenes right now. As always, we’re very interested in local scenes all around the world. Tell us everything about yours.
We’ve lived in nothing but military towns for the longest time, so the scenes are almost non existent, which sucks. We haven’t been around a good local scene in a while. We get some good shows every now and then. But it doesn’t compare to a place like Chicago or New York.
Any European post rock bands you’re into? Have you had a chance to listen to TIDES FROM NEBULA?
I don’t think I’ll surprise anyone when I mention GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, MOGWAI and MAYBESHEWILL. I can go about a month with only 1 of their CD’s in my car and be totally happy about it. I hadn’t heard of TIDES FROM NEBULA until you asked about them, so I listen to some of their stuff. I’ll definitely be listening to more.
I second Brad on GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, MOGWAI and MAYBESHEWILL. I really love the new COLLAPSE UNDER THE EMPIRE album. Those guys continue to impress me release after release. I gave the TIDES FROM NEBULA stuff a listen after you asked. It’s very good. I will definitely have to get their albums. And although not European at all, I’ve been listening to IF THESE TREES COULD TALK a lot lately. Their new album is so good.
Tell us more about your upcoming album, to be released this summer.
It’s going to be called “North Brother Island”. If you’ve never heard about that place, take a minute and google it. The history is really crazy. I stumbled on a blog that had some pictures of the hospital and the island now in its dilapidated state and it was just too awesome of an idea and an inspiration not to run with. I’m really excited about the new material we’ve been writing. It’s seemed to come together faster then all the songs on Deceiver. We had been working on some of the songs from that album as far back as 2009. Despite the geographic obstacles it’s come together very nicely thus far. We have about 5 songs completed and are trying to get 3-4 more before we release it. As far as the sound goes, we trying to mature and progress as musicians and I think it shows. We are incorporating more dynamics for one and just focusing on making the songs sound complete. Like a complete piece of music. I felt that a few of the songs on the last album could’ve been better. So that’s been a goal. I think we’ve gotten better at self producing ourselves as well. So the overall production will be better as well.
What does the future hold for the band?
New album this summer. Ultimately we would like to get back in the same area sometime soon, how soon, we don’t know. From there maybe we can play with the idea of touring a little more. We just want to keep writing music and hoping people get some enjoyment out of it for as long as we can.
To be honest, I couldn’t give you a timeline right now. We hope to get back together as soon as we can, and with the miracles of modern computing we’ll keep writing music despite our geographic differences. One thing about staying independent is we don’t need to pressure ourselves into meeting deadlines and pleasing executives.
Do you have any other projects?
We are actually in the process of doing a split EP with some friends of ours from Savannah, GA – WHALEBOAT. That should be finalized and hopefully released in the coming months. I’ve thought about toying around with an ambient/soundscape project but its just a notion at this point. Other then that our main focus is OUR FRIEND, SURRENDER and Brad is super busy with his schooling.
Thank you! Any comments you’d like to finish on?
Thanks for the interview. We love what you guys do, especially for the mostly unknowns like us.