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Peaking Lights

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Aaron Coyes & Indra Dunis, am: 15.12.2011 ]

Eines der schönsten und interessantesten Alben des Jahres heißt 936 und kommt von einem Duo aus Wisconsin namens Peaking Lights. Was dieses Album so erfreulich macht, sind die irrwitzigen Verbindungen, die hier immer wieder zwischen Dub, Pop, Psychedelic, Nerdtum und Ennio Morricone durch ein sehr feines musikhistorisches Gespür hergestellt werden. Natürlich ist es wahrscheinlich freies Assoziieren, das diese Songs scheinbar mühelos entstehen lässt. Wir sprachen mit Aaron Coyes und Indra Dunis über Isolation, Elternfreuden und den Popsong.


Musicscan: I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about the writing and recording process for this album? Did you approach it any differently than your previous album?

Peaking Lights: We approached it differently in the recording process by having more studio to work with our early recording were made by dubbing cassette to cassette, it was the first time with this band that we were able to record with better fidelity and bring out some of what was lost by our original recording techniques. We tried to capture what we were hearing out our amps which was a problem using a shitty microphone or two.

Musicscan: How did you get in touch with Domino and how would you describe your relationship up to this point?

Peaking Lights: Jack Shankly reached out to us shortly after “936” was released. It's been amazing to work with weird world/domino. Jack & everyone is so on top of it and has treated us so well. Things are manifesting very fast. We have people to float ideas to and everyone has been very receptive. It's great because we are allowed to develop as a band, neither of us want to tour non-stop. We'd rather spend time developing our sound and working on making music in other ways, like doing soundtracks and stuff. There's just a lot of respect, pure gold!

Musicscan: Do you write songs individually or do you always sit down and work on songs together?

Peaking Lights: We write together all the time. We always jam stuff out to get the vibe.

Musicscan: What is it like to be in a band with your spouse? I would imagine this to create a bit of tension in the relationship?

Peaking Lights: Well, it's really intimate. It's not always easy but we make a point to communicate well with each other. We don't let resentments build. We both want to make tunes that bump and be caring and loving towards each other.

Musicscan: How are you planning to reconcile being in a band and being parents? How do you think your lives are going to change as parents?

Peaking Lights: What's there to reconcile? It just is. If anything it's more positivity. Anytime Mikko is in the room it’s pure love. He's total positivity.

Musicscan: What made you decide to move from the Bay Area to Wisconsin? How has the move influenced your music?

Peaking Lights: I just wanted to get away. Indra wanted to spend some time with her family there. I never had lived outside California and rent is cheap. We wanted to get into a focus zone and initially moved to the country in kind of a natural isolation tank.

Musicscan: Apart from the obvious Krautrock influences, where do you see your most important musical influences and why?

Peaking Lights: Well, I'm not sure if it's just about genre as much as it being about an openness to many forms. There are obvious ones like Jamaican music, but we listen to a lot of other types of music as well. We love latin rhythms, African rhythms, dance music, world music, psych, jazz, noise, electronic. It's really just trying to stay open.

Musicscan: The songs on “936” are much more structured or, shall we say, adhere more to a pop format than your previous efforts? How did that change come about?

Peaking Lights: We have always adhered to the pop structure with all the records we have made. If anything, “936” may be a bit hi-fi but even with “Clearvoiant” it was essentially all pop songs, just maybe we used a different type of paint. We hadn't built up our studio at that time. We still used what we had to create, what we thought were pop songs. “Imaginary Falcons” was the same, but we had some time to upgrade from a handheld cassette deck to a 1/4" two track and I had built some more synths by then. So those were all fair game. “936” we recorded at Flat Black Studio in Iowa City with Luke Tweedy. So it was one more step or another approach. By then we were able to clean up the sounds moving from 8 track tapes to cassette tapes and doing a higher fidelity mix to the tapes.

Musicscan: What are you looking for in a song?

Peaking Lights: When the vibe just locks in, when we can tell people are feeling the vibe. It can't be forced, it's just a feeling.

Musicscan: Is there a difference between art and entertainment in your opinion?

Peaking Lights: Yes and no. Both are acts of the manipulation of energy. Ideally, art entertains fantasy and thought through process, and entertainment through process describes the fantasy of art. Both are culture and it's more of a sense of how a collective consciousness can or will relate or tolerate the infinite possibilities that culture itself is capable of.

Musicscan: What do you hope people to take away from a Peaking Lights show?

Peaking Lights: We just try to make people feel good.

Musicscan: What can we expect from you in the near future? Any tours, collaborations, further releases planned?

Peaking Lights: New LP will be out in May. We just finished tracking it at Mexican Summer studio in Brooklyn with Al Carlson. We've got some UK and a few Euro dates in early December. Next year we'll be playing more shows and touring more.

  Peaking Lights
  Domino Records
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