Saturday, October 31, 2009
Q&A with The Soft Hills, Garrett
Q: How and where did the band meet?
A: I moved from Santa Fe to Seattle in the summer of 2007 to pursue music and posted an ad on craigslist with links to my music saying that I was looking for musicians to collaborate with. That’s how I hooked up with Caleb Heinrich. We then began working on arrangements and auditioning musicians. It wasn’t until we hooked up with Drew Dresman a few months later that we fully began to realize our vision as a band. Brett Massa and Brittan Drake were old college buddies of Heinrich’s—they joined in the spring and fall of 08 making it a 5-piece project.
Q: What has been your most memorable show you all have played and why?
A: Playing the Knitting Factory in LA was my most memorable show because I felt a deep sense of connectedness with the band and audience that I hadn’t experienced before.
Q: When did you see yourself actually playing in a band, the "A-Ha-Moment?" Like this is what I am meant to be doing, dah.
A: When we began performing shows at better venues in Seattle and people seemed to be genuinely enjoying our music I remember feeling for the first time that we were doing something meaningful, and that we weren’t just wasting our time chasing after a mirage without substance, but that there was a purpose and beauty to what we were exploring as a group.
Q: What is your goal for the band right now? For example what festival would you like to play in and why?
A: Goals for the following year include: signing with a reputable label, promoting our new record, touring the US and Europe, licensing our music for film, booking music festivals such as Bumbershoot, and recording our 2nd full-length album.
Q: What band would you like to jam with?
A: Radiohead or The Flaming Lips
Q: What band do most people compare your band with? And do you agree with them or find it false, and why?
A: Some people compare us with Sigur Rós because of our high falsettos; many people have mentioned Sun Kill Moon because of the mellow reflective melodies of our songs; and there have been a few comparisons to Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear because of our group harmonies. I’d like to think there’s some validity to these comparisons. I hadn’t really listened to Sun Kill Moon before, but when people kept comparing us to Mark Kozelek’s music I had to check it out… and I love Sun Kill Moon now!
Q: What have been the biggest benefits being in a rock band? What have been some drawbacks and how have you worked to improve that situation?
A: The benefits are that we get to devote our energies to artistic expression which is a privilege and real joy. It’s also nice to be able to come together as a group and collaboratively carve out arrangements. I like to think of the process as a sort of metaphysical journey. One must surrender and touch the unknown, becoming the integral instrument of a dynamic vehicle. Every idea for a song beckons the musician to become a miner, as it were, and dig out the rare gems that can be used to build a beautiful vehicle. Hence, writing songs and working out arrangements is a process of self-discovery and illumination. It is an act of making manifest our imagination.
Some of the drawbacks are that we sometimes see things differently, and it can feel like a painstaking struggle to come to a mutual understanding about things. Another drawback of being in a band is that we are often broke!