no crap, no pretentiousness, just 5 questions
All shall be well (and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well)
Your last release, ROODBLAUW, was a great success, what’s next?
Success is always relative, but we sure were happy with the feedback we’ve gotten. It has made us hungry to make record #2. We hope to release it somewhere in Q1 of 2012. In the mean time we have a new track coming out on the ‘More Hope for Japan’ compilation record and we’re also shooting a music video to accompany the song. Apart from that we’re trying to see if any bookers out there are interested in booking us a EU tour.
Post Rock generates creative (and often lengthy) band and track names, how does ASBW come up with these?
Since our official name is ‘All shall be well (and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well)’ we kind of have to answer this question, don’t we? Rest assured, we know the name is ridiculously long. We just like it. It fits with the music. We got it from the novel with the same name by Tod Wodicka.
As far as song titles go, we keep adding possible titles to an already long list. Sometimes it references works of art, literature, movies, current affairs, personal experiences, etc. Lately, when choosing a title for a track we made it a small competition where we all have to kick a football as close to the bar of the goal as possible. The one who wins gets to choose a name from the list.
How does ASBW decide which tracks will be on a release? testing them at gigs, or a different method?
I don’t think we really have to play a song live to know if it works or not. It’s more a feeling and when it’s right, it’s right. We are, however, playing around more and more with streaming our rehearsal sessions. This means that people can hear (parts of) songs before they are finished. It’s kind of scary sometimes, but also an interesting experiment for us. We have a HUGE database of unreleased material. They’re not full songs yet, but it’s an endless stream of melodies and themes that we’ve written over time but weren’t able to fit into a song yet.
The obligatory political question: Can politics (whichever side of the road) solve global social problems? Discuss
In general we feel people should form their own opinions. We’re all intelligent human beings (well, most of us). Instead of politicians doing everything to please the public, maybe they should stand for what THEY believe. In a way, this is why we like to make instrumental music. With the visuals beamed during our live shows we try to suggest storylines, but it’s up to the listener to construct them.
The obligatory digital media question: We all know that digital downloads (legal or not) are changing the music business, would you say this is a challenge or an opportunity, and why?
For us, it’s truly a blessing. We made a clear and conscious choice from the beginning to release our music digitally for free. It’s simple: we want to get our music out there. It’s nice enough playing in our rehearsal space, but it’s the shared experience that really makes it worth it. But we do also believe in adding value, making the record something more than a cd. That is why we also released ROODBLAUW as a physical limited edition in a 40 page booklet.
The best thing, however, about the digital world and how it influences the music business isn’t downloading (legal or illegal) for us. It’s the way it removed the barrier from band/artist to listener. We’re in direct contact with people who listen to our music. We’re constantly surprised how happy people are when we respond to their tweet, facebook message or email. They should realize that we are the ones who are truly grateful for them to take the time to talk about our music.
And the digital era really made the world smaller. The most interesting thing for us to notice is that the traction we got really was global. About 75% of the downloads and sales we got were from abroad (and abroad in this case means anywhere outside the Netherlands). The fact that people in countries as diverse as Mexico, Iran, Malaysia, Chili and Nigeria are listening to our music is simply mindblowing.