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Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Gentlemanly Conversation with Blanche Blanche Blanche

              Music is pretty fun.  Of course there are a lot of pressures for bands to top themselves or please their fans or have the coolest hair (I don’t know.  I’m not in a band.)  But at the end of the day music is a fantastic expression.  I think this shines though in Blanche Blanche Blanche.  After discovering these guys a few months back I decided to try, and catch up with these guys to see what makes them tick.  The results of the interview is as follws:

What genre would you consider your music?
Sarah: i wouldn't do that if i were you.

Zach: respect to working musicians, but we aren't trying to win anyone over with our vibe or stake our brand or help you chill out. we're not even trying to open your mind, it's already open. we're gonna get you some actual new music and try and play it fast and loose. There will be a lot of it, because there is so much possibility between decisions. And hopefully musicians like it, hopefully the soundwoman likes it or the doorman likes it. If Cloud Becomes Your Hand like it then we’re okay. “If Ruth likes it” is the genre we play. "i've never heard that rhythm before, i've never heard that structure. i've never heard someone say those things in a song. What a bunch of freaks" and hopefully raise the novelty bar for all of those things. the willingness of so many to be boxed in is unsurprising given the modes of identification that predominate today. look at the so-called "social media." but we're not gonna cave in and speak that language, we’re not even gonna inflate big enough to be asked to.

You guys are certainly very different from anything else I’m hearing right now.  What musicians do you draw inspiration from?
Zach: you hear a record and it shocks you. the attitude of someone is shocking, it's radical and it changes the way you hear music, the way you look at things. there are so few contemporary role models... a lot of ours are holdovers who have stayed productive, stayed fresh in their approach to life and keep bringing that to their music. Jennifer and Neil from Royal Trux, Tori and Reiko from Maher Shalal Hash Baz. E-40. The Minutemen, the Clash, the Comateens, the Ambitious Lovers. Annette Peacock. Gary War, Ariel Pink. Inc. D'Angelo. and our friends most of all: Chris Weisman, Ruth Garbus, and Kurt Weisman from Brattleboro VT. Ryan Power. Son of Salami. Big French. Hartley C. White. Happy Jawbone. Jon Appleton. the list is long

Was there one moment when you guys realized “Wow, we’re really making music professionally?”
Sarah: that moment hasn't come. we both have jobs & do music because we want to.

Five albums they'll have released on four different labels in 2012?!  How do you guys find the energy?
Sarah: music is a fun way to hang out.

Zach: working on new stuff is where it's at -- if you hammer the same nail too much it'll disappear to the other side.
This music really makes me think of a younger, simpler time.  Is that the same for you guys?
Sarah: not at all.

Zach: you can’t go back into your mother. But isn’t it already whatever time you want it to be? Music isn’t so complicated, you get together and you work on it and you get better at getting better candy & scorpions into bigger card castles

How do you think being a two-piece changes up your dynamic compared to a larger ensemble?
 Zach: we're working with more people now. Keep your eye out for Big French

Sarah: we are a one-piece suit

How has being based in Vermont affected you guys musically?
Sarah: i moved out of that hell hole

Zach: this should help:

Give me an overall theme for “Wink With Both Eyes.”
Zach: our recording skills caught up to our songs on that record, and so we willfully worked on a "good sound," unwittingly skirting dangerously close to some contemporary musical tropes -- which has paid off in the sense that people are like "oh a synth band, synths, yeah" check out the record and find that there's actual content in there, you know, real songs with a lot of weird shit going on internally. we wrote "That's Siberia" about our friends Happy Birthday going on tour, we felt the business thing they were going through. I wrote and tripled solos, etc. and then we got politicized about the obsession w/ aesthetics and the art-world infrastructure / art-world conceptual vocabulary haunting music today and made three very bare-clean-opaque records (Papas Proof, 2wice 2wins, Our Place) where we worked on different structural approaches to songwriting & arranging & recording & fought "sound": block the roses. it was necessary to get out of that framework, do some recon on the outside, etc., and now we're ready to storm the aesthetic Bastille so to speak. No more synthesizer records, I'm gonna wail on a drum and stop talking so much

Sarah: i was really sick when we made that record & so that's all i remember.
           Thanks again to Sarah and Zach for taking the time to talk with us.  Check out their website and facebook here.

You should like the blog on facebook for updates and also check out some of of our other recent interviews with Kemp and Eden, Ed Schrader's Music Beat and Spider Bags

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