Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview - Radio For The Daydreamers

Radio For The Daydreamers are one of those acts that defy easy categorization.Crafting elegant , intensely   cinematic soundscapes, the band fuse a myriad of disciplines, everything from skewed art house jazz to dark electronica , to form a richly satisfying whole.With the third of the band's trilogy, or 'Triptych' ,, the aptly titled 'Denouement'  imminent , we caught up with mainman Aki Srivistava for a quick chat about all things RFTD and where the band are heading next . . . .

1-               You've reached the final stage in your three record 'Triptych', titled ‘Denouement’, tell us a little bit about the record? 

Certainly. Denouement, as the name suggests is the closure of the triptych named “Praying for the Be(a)st”. It took us about a year to write this story and about two years to tell it. This record still follows our protagonist from the first two records but it is not as introspective as it’s predecessors were meant to be. This is the story of him taking what he learned about life and death and now looking at the world and trying to understand it, while also trying to resolve matters and making things clearer for himself. So it is more of a conclusive record for not just the triptych but also for the protagonist and the story that he was trapped into. The record deals a lot with the realization of power and the metamorphosis of an elusive person into that power. Though constraints like a lack of motivation, confusion and laziness still try and hold him down; the struggle is what makes for the story of this record.
            Denouement also deals a lot with looking deeper into the lessons of life and death, voluntary seclusion, fear and isolation, and self-realization through a rigorous series of events. Some clearly portrayed and in the songs and the artwork, and some not.

2-                     How does 'Denouement' differ from the other two entries in the trilogy?

Denouement is more concerned with and aware of an end in sight while the first two records were about blindly following some invisible paths in the dark room. So for instance, the story of “Mother Superior and Her Fields of Migraine” was set solely in one room and was much more introspective in its existence. That was the ‘awareness record’, if you will, where the character was coming to terms with his anxieties and discrepancies with the world. “Praying for the Be(a)st” continued that trend but the daydream aspect seldom had a differentiation with the realities he was facing. Thereby realizing that most of his nightmares in the first section of the triptych were based in reality and that praying for the “best” doesn’t help much. Denouement is taking that even further and is the story of him not being restricted by his mind or the realities he keeps wallowing in. Yes the tender might often be frightening, but he has now discovered that confusion is his birthright.
Musically, the record is a lot different as well. We try to keep the sound of Radio for the Daydreamers’ alive by not really having a definitive sound or a specific style, but the aspect of influences and delivery of those influences is a lot different here as well.

3-             You also have a remix album in the works. Fill us in a little on that?

The remix album is not strictly a remix album. There were a lot of songs that we couldn’t fit into the story of the triptych, so it also features a lot of those, some remixes and some B-sides and rarities. Fortunately for us, the first three records we wrote (including our first record “Clouds of Smoke and Poison”) were very well received and brought us a lot of love and attention. Which also meant that some great artists and producers from around the world wanted to collaborate with us and do some remixes and write some music. “Die! Avant-Garde” is a collection of such songs.
This also gave us an opportunity to learn completely new things about music, production, styles and especially approaches that different people have to their art. Some incredibly useful things that we would have never come across otherwise.. So working on this record helped us shape our ever shape-shifting style even further. And even though the record has nothing to do with the triptych really, it does reflect the same approach that we used in the other three records.

4- Your music is intensely cinematic in places, given the chance, would RFTD score a movie?
Definitely! In fact, we try to approach each record as a soundtrack to an imaginary silent movie. This sort of makes it easier to see the different possibilities as to where the story of that record can go, and also helps us make sure we put out a solid record by using the songs that best tell our story. So taking that philosophy and actually applying it to a soundtrack or scoring a movie would be brilliant. We have worked on a few indie projects in the past with some great storytellers, so given the chance; we would love to do that again and again.

5-Your style on these records is wildly diverse, taking in jazz, electronica, ambient etc.Tell us a little bit about your influences.

This is usually one of the hardest questions to answer. We try to switch the influences according to the record and the story we are trying to tell with it.. But since we all grew up on metal, that is definitely one genre that seeps in each record one way or another. For instance, for ‘Mother Superior’, a lot of inspiration came from movie soundtracks, Arvo Part, some jazz cats like Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler and some good old Black Metal. “Praying for the Be(a)st” was largely inspired by MF Doom and Charles Mingus, but we also listened to a lot of newer Ulver and some other metal bands.. Denouement took a lot of inspiration from Thelonious Monk, some further and deeper listening of MF Doom, older Ulver, Tool and Mastodon amongst a lot of others.
As you can see, MF Doom and Jazz are huge influences on our music but we consider all the aforementioned artists our heroes. These are people who have not only influenced our sound and style, but also given us innumerable and inexplicable reasons to write music and be involved in art at all. Besides music, we are also very heavily influenced by literature and cinema. But that is a list that I dare not start on, because I will never finish.
In addition to the artists (of all mediums) that we respect and admire, as a band, we influence each other a lot as well. Coming from different backgrounds and learning on different instruments, each of us are influenced by the way the others approach art. In working together to actualize the ideas set forth in our albums, we all push each other into arenas of music that, individually, we wouldn't have ventured without the guidance of a good friend and better yet, a good artist.

6- So where next for RFTD?

Well besides the next two records, we might take a little hiatus and collect our wits that are pretty much dismantled after this godless triptych. We started working on the record after “Denouement” but we are refraining from any announcements or comments on that yet, since the story and premise for that record is not completely set yet. So the antenna for inspiration will be up high and looking for things to pick up before we can decide what to do next. Regardless, some live shows, music videos and exploring other mediums of art are in order.

Thank you again for this opportunity man.. Here's wishing B.A.N and you a great luck for the future

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