mardi 29 janvier 2008
Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned
Rien qu'avec ce nom, Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned, et la photo ci-dessus, je suis sûr que vous avez une idée de la façon dont sonne la musique de ce groupe originaire d'Albany, NY. Bordélique? Plutôt. Jouissif? Sûrement.
Principalement influencé par Neutral Milk Hotel, le son de Sgt Dunbar se met en place dès le premier titre de The Thing About Time, leur dernier album. Accordéon, trompettes, guitares acoustiques saturées, voix éraillée sont au rendez-vous de Passing Time, Don't Fall Asleep ou Move Your Memories, Pt. II.
Mais heureusement, ils savent aussi changer de rythme et ainsi la jouer plus calme sur The Weight (avec ses superbes guitares acoustiques et sa scie), plus enjoué sur Move Your Memories, Pt. I (le banjo sautillant dans le fond) ou plus triste sur Telescope et sa trompette en fin de vie qui semble lâcher son dernier souffle. Communist Father nous emmène même dans une bonne ambiance western, avec ses guitares semblant se livrer à un duel.
Alex Muro, le chanteur du groupe, a bien voulu répondre à quelques questions: voici ses réponses.
Erwan: First of all, where does this strange name come from? Any reference to The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's?
Alex: The name comes from a real hobo (clochard) I met one day taking the bus. He was a very interesting person and made me thing very hard about certain things that I was doing at the time. That was a little over three years ago and at this point the story has become a bit of a myth which I think is best understood by the song that I wrote about him shortly after meeting him which you can find here, please excuse the poor recording quality, its quite old. There will be a new recording of this song on our next album.
There is no reference to Sgt Pepper and the similarity is a bit of an unfortunate coincidence because I don't really love The Beatles and don't consider them much of an influence on our music at least directly.
Can you tell me about the creation of the band?
The three main members of the band myself, Tim Koch and Dan Pardee met in college and started the band after being friends for a couple of years. Mostly we just recorded songs and posted them on our website. We have now lived together for six years and the band just kind of became a real performing band over time as we have had lots of different friends and acquaintances play and sing and contribute to our songs and shows over the years. The lineup of the band is different for almost every show now but as we get more serious we are dealing with needing to have everyone in the band make large time commitments.
Your influences: the first name to come is Neutral Milk Hotel, known to be one of the most influent bands of the 90's. Is it an influence for you, and who are the other ones?
Neutral Milk Hotel is the most obvious one, also The Microphones/Mt Eerie aka Phil Elvrum, Ramona Cordova, Modest Mouse, and lately Grizzly Bear as well as a lot of Bob Dylan which is only apparent in certain places. In general I listen to a lot of music and there are countless bands that have made an impact on me as an artist but the ones listed above have on a much greater level.
Since one or two years, I enjoy more and more the folk/rock american scene with bands like Rock Plaza Central, Bowerbirds, Bodies of Water, Loch Lomond.... Do you know/like those bands and will you considerate that this scene really exist?
America is very costal and the east coast and west coast music scenes are really still kind of seperate I think. I love Rock Plaza Cenrtal and we are good friends with them and have played with them a couple of times. I am also a big fan of the Bowerbirds although I still have yet to even see them live but I really like what they are doing. Bodies of Water I don't love as much, that really polished LA sound kind of turns me off. I had never heard of Loch Lomond until this question, I went and looked them up and think they are really awesome, it seems like really neat stuff comes from the Portland/Seattle area.
I guess in general it doesn't seem like there is a national folk/rock americana scene that is going on, at least not to me. I don't think most of these bands are interacting with each other very much. Music scenes anywhere seem to me to be much more local, especially at first and that seems to me how this new resurgance of folk and americana is happening but I don't really know.
What about 2008? A tour I guess?
We are working on a new record already, it should be done in April I am hoping, or May maybe, not having a record label makes doing releases very simple. We are going to do a small tour in March and then a midwest tour I am hoping for the summer. In the mean time we are going to be trying to play in North Eastern cities as much as possible (NY, Boston, Philidelphia, DC ...). We would love to come to Europe but that doesn't seem realistic at least this year.
And finally, can you tell me your favorites records of 2007, and the name of a band that I should look at in 2008?
This is my top ten, as for bands to watch, I like Dust From 1000 Years and I would love to see them blow up but they are still a very small sort of band from Bloomington, IN. A Poet Named Revolver already broke up unfortunately. Deer Tick though is definietly one to watch, we just played with him last week, he is pretty amazing and a real nice guy.
1. Dust From 100 Years - Buzzard
2. A Poet Named Revolver - Meets Gruesome
3. Beirut - Flying Club Cup
4. Deer Tick - War Elephant
5. Bowerbirds - Hymn for a Dark Horse
6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
7.Hansel and Gretel - Stories from the Stove (http://www.myspace.com/wearejeneric)
8.Les Savy Fav - Lets Stay Friends
9.Okkervil River - The Stage Names
10. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned: Passing Time (mp3)
Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned: Move Your Memories, Pt. I (mp3)
Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned: Telescope (mp3)
Album: The Thing About Time