Sunday, February 15, 2009

Band Interview: The Globes

The Globes are an amazing Seattle band that caught my attention with their 2008 EP. The EP had just five songs, but it was an undeniably beautiful release that left me begging for more. Luckily for me, The Globes are hard at work on a full length album! Lead singer Erik Walters was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule and answer some of my questions. Here's what he had to say about the day in the life of The Globes:

f/k: As The Globes, you guys are fairly new. How did you become a band?

Erik: I could write a small novel about the history of our band, but I'll keep it as short as I can... As a band we're very close. We all grew up in neighborhoods around Spokane, WA, and have been playing together for close to seven years. I was approached by a friend in middle school asking me join a band with him, and I went on to ask Marcus, who was a year ahead of us, to play drums. We performed covers and wrote a few originals, having fun imitating the sounds of the bands we were collectively into, such as Incubus and The Deftones. Although we were young, we took our playing seriously and practiced fairly regularly. By the time we entered high school and Kyle and Sean joined the band, we were composing original material and playing shows around town, at small and now defunct clubs and youth groups. We were all actively involved in our school's music programs, performing in wind ensembles, jazz bands and small combo groups. We started listening to Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Interpol, The Arcade Fire and Wilco, and began experimenting and finding our own voice as a band. It never crossed my mind that the group would dissipate after high school, and though a few members came and went, the core stayed strong. As senior year approached it's close and our minds began to drift to plans post high school graduation, we discussed the possibility of relocating to Seattle to pursue our music seriously rather than going to college and reuniting during breaks and summer vacations. I remember gathering in Kyle's bedroom that Spring and making our commitment. In the Fall we packed up and rented a house in Seattle, found jobs, enrolled in community college classes and changed our name to The Globes. That year was a sort of "taste" of being a real band; recording an E.P. and distributing it independently, playing nearly one hundred shows, touring a little. It's been great.

f/k: You're in the process of writing a full-length record. What does your process look like? How is it different than the way you worked on your 2008 EP?

Erik: As a band, we're extremely collaborative, and our songwriting process is thick with deliberation. Kyle or I will bring a song to the table, or rather a sort of skeleton, and we will finish it collectively through a process of experimentation, discussion, reworking and rearranging until we settle on something we're all happy with. It's both rewarding and frustrating, but it's been that way since the beginning, even when we were high school freshmen. When we recorded our first E.P. as The Globes, the process was hectic and very scattered, with many variables contributing to the fact. We were all adjusting to living in a new city, working and living independently, going to college part time... it took us over six months to finish the record, and it the disc is only five tracks long! We recorded the E.P. with our good friend Johnathan Warman for next to nothing, squeezing in late nights, a few hours at a time, week after week until it was complete. We would sneak into the studio every other weekend to track drums or bass or piano until two in the morning on a weeknight having school and work the next morning, and track guitars at home when we'd have a free night in between playing shows. Much of the songwriting was done during the recording process, and there were a lot of last minute adjustments to arrangements and structure, but it came out sounding great and we're all proud of it for what it is. With our full length record, we're taking a much more structured approach. We have upwards of seventeen songs to finish and sort through before we choose ten to take into the studio. And we're demoing everything. We find it to be a helpful songwriting tool. It's nice to be able to track a guitar part and hear how it relates to the bass line or vocal from an outside set of ears. It allows us to hear the song objectively from a listeners perspective.


f/k: What's it like having band members in school? Does that complicate things?

Erik: Being the only member of the band that's not enrolled in classes, it's sometimes a challenge. It's hard to coordinate rehearsals on top of work. Playing shows during the week becomes complicated. It's harder to tour. However, we all avidly support education and feel it's extremely important, so we make it work. I plan to enroll in school eventually, when the time is right.


f/k: The internet has started to have a huge influence in the way people access music, from MySpace to iTunes and blogs like ours. What do you think of the new role the internet's taking?

Erik: I've had many conversations with friends in other bands about the internet's influence on music and it's honestly difficult to imagine what it was like twenty years ago when there was no Myspace.com or email accounts. 99.9 percent of booking and info swapping occurs via Myspace or email. It's rare to find a venue that requires or prefers press kits sent though the post office. Everything has become so much more immediate. What I find to be most appealing about the role the internet is playing is the amount of exposure bands are receiving. While file sharing is undeniably hurting the record industry, it's also making music more widely available. Myspace.com is a great, free tool for independent bands to promote themselves and connect with clubs and other musicians. Companies like iTunes and CD Baby allow independent musicians to distribute their music at little or no cost to themselves. Blogs have influenced people's opinions, turned people toward new and exciting music, and given exposure to many bands that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Overall I think that the internet is a positive resource for aspiring as well as renowned artists.

f/k: What was your favorite record of 2008?

Erik: Although we have collective likes and dislikes when it comes to music, we all have individual tastes and opinions. I can't speak on behalf of the band as to what our favorite record of 2008 was, however I can say that the record that was spinning the most in our house from that year was most likely "Offend Maggie" by Deerhoof.

f/k: Is there a band you wish more people knew about?

Erik: The Sea and Cake. (The Sea and Cake on MySpace)

f/k: What does the future look like for The Globes?

Erik: The future is always a mystery. Hopefully the future of The Globes includes making records and touring Japan.
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We look forward to hearing what The Globes have in store, and we would like to thank Erik for taking the time to answer our questions! From everyone here at f/k, we encourage you to check out The Globes. Stay tuned to fork/knife for more updates on the band's full length record.

As a sample, here are two songs from their 2008 EP, songs called "The Glower" and "Little Slickers." They are two of my favorites, and together they provide a great snapshot into the heart of The Globes' music. Enjoy!

The Globes - Little Slickers
The Globes - The Glower
Buy the EP: iTunes


The Globes on MySpace

-Chris

1 comment:

shulearue said...

I love these guys! I saw them at the Empyrean in Spokane a few weeks ago and they were great. I'm really excited to hear that they are making a full CD.