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Seismic Interview: With Tied To The Branches

July 20, 2010

Seismic-sound.com just recently did a little preview for the fellas of Tied To The Branches during their recent performance at The Josephine in Ballard. So now we wanted to take a little time to find out how they make the magic happen, and where they draw their inspirations from. Here is a little interview with Marc and Brad.

SS: Where does the name Tied To The Branches come from?
MM: Its a line from a Tom Waits song “november” from the Black Rider album. The full line is “Tied to the branches of a roebuck stag.”
SS: You don’t necessarily have a conventional sound, what things (components or musical trinkets) do you enjoy using most while recording?
MM: Hmm … we pretty much use the same equipment when we record  as when we play live. We play thru tube amps and Brad plays an electronic drum set; we both use lots of reverb and delay.
SS: Lyrics first or music first?
MM: Mostly music first… when the lyrics come first, they sit and wait in a notebook till I come up with a melody that I think will fit.
SS: Is the whole process a collaboration or does one just write, and the other arranges?
MM: We dont have a set way of writing songs,  but lately its been me showing a song to Brad and he comes up with a beat, then I change the song to fit his drum beat.
SS: How did you two meet? and how did the band come about?
MM: I met Brad when I was on a short tour down the coast from Portland, we had a lot in common especially when it came to music. I moved to San francisco soon after for a job; then later on Brad started playing the drums … sooner or later I just started playing with him. I had a lot of songs that I had written as slow atmospheric things that were just not working. When I played them as more rock songs with Brad they just seemed to finally click.
SS: I really like the simplicity, yet the thought behind the EP art. Who did the EP cover?
MM: I took the picture when I was traveling in Romania … its of a black sea town called Neptune. I’m from Neptune,NJ so I felt some kind of connection to the place. The image has been sitting around with the words “tied to the branches” for about 14 years. 
SS: The song “ice“… it seems a bit dark, what does ice represent in that song?
MM: That song is about an ice storm that I experienced in portland some years ago, its also about impending doom. I wrote it some years ago when it seemed like every song I wrote was about impending doom … some times doom is impending and you just have to write a song about it!
SS: Alot of your songs seem organic to where you live or the surrounding areas? Is there a reason why the landscape of Northern California has such an effect on your lyrics…do you write outside?
MM: I’m  obsessed with the forest and mountains … there is something mysterious and magical to me… something secret and hidden.  
SS: Biggest musical influences that are among the living?
BD: Blixa Bargeld, Clem Burke, Dale Cunningham and Martin Atkins.  
MM: Throwing Muses, early Cure, Pixies, Iggy Pop, Legendary Pink Dots and the Laughing Hyenas.
SS: Favorite things in Seattle?
MM: Moss, the Olympic mountains, Mt. Rainer, Sitka and Spruce and Wall of Sound.
BD: Easy Street Records, Dicks hamburgers, The EMP and KEXP. 
SS: Favorite things about the road if any?
BD: The color (grey and yellow), constant companionship, otherwise I don’t really like the road that much.
MM: I like watching the scenery go by, the feeling of constant new stimulation, seeing old friends that live far way, playing music for strange new people.
SS: So whats the plan…is there a time frame on a full length, and another tour?
MM: I think we are going to release only ep’s.  We may tour again in the spring of 2011, or anywhere we can get to over a weekend. We really want to put out vinyl some day…
Seismic-sound.com would like to thank Marc and Brad for their time.  For a quick listen of their stuff, take a look below and hit play. Or even better (click to order EP)
 

Tied To The Branches-Ice

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