Somojo Magazine

Self Destructing Messengers

Hi, how are you?
Phil: Swell!
Kevin: Melting
Brad: I’ll be alright
Mike: Great!

Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play?
Phil: I’m Philonious and I play vocals
Kevin: Kevin Guitar
Brad: I’m Brad… I play drums and other extraneous noises
Mike: Mike….Bass.

How long has the current band line up been together?
Phil: A little over a year now

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
Phil: Neo psychedelic with bits of postpartum depression
Kevin: Hypnotic Elevator Music

What have you been up to recently?
Phil: We just finished and released the last song on our E.P. it’s called Planting Stars.
Kevin: Recording and regional touring
Brad: Breaking shit in the studio
Mike: Also a little regional touring and writing some new material

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
Phil: Hopefully hearing Planting Stars on their favourite radio station. We’re about to launch a radio campaign with Notorious Radio.
Kevin: A full length CD…
Brad: And, new music!

How did you meet each other?
Phil: An internet dating service
Kevin: Food stamp line
Mike: In the unemployment lines

How did you come up with your name for the band?
Phil: Literally, I had a dream I was in a band named Self Destructing Messengers.  I told my girlfriend and she suggested I use it.

Did you always want to be in a band?
Phil: I’ve always loved performing live and being in a band just seems natural. 
Kevin: I still do!
Brad: Yes

What music did you listen to while growing up?
Phil: The Beatles, Pixies, Flaming Lips
Kevin: Blue mostly
Brad: The Beatles, Blondie, 60’s Rock and Punk

How long have you played your instruments?
Phil: I’ve been singing since I could speak.
Kevin: Since the age of 12
Brad: I was 15
Mike: Me too… I was about 15.

What were your first music making experiences?
Phil: Started playing saxophone in 5th grade. I was in choir as a child also.
Brad: A Mop Handle and a Basketball

Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?

Phil: I went to music school in Los Angeles and had lesson sporadically throughout my childhood.
Kevin: I had lessons and I’m still trying to forget what they taught me.
Brad: Lessons…
Mike: self taught

Self Destructing Messengers

What is your current equipment?
Phil: SM87 Microphone, Moog Prodigy and a shitload of studio gear! Also, I’m putting together a Reason rig for the road. This will basically be a laptop and a midi controller.
Kevin: A Koch boutique half stack, a vintage Fender Twin, a Roland Space Echo, a Wah-wah pedal and a Route 66 Distortion
Brad: 1970 Blue Sparkle Ludwig set and a 1971 Slingerland 4 piece Jazz set.

If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
Phil: A Vintage Neve Console for our studio!
Kevin: A Mellotron
Brad: A Vibraphone and a Scully 2” Tape Machine
Mike: Moog Taurus III pedals

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
Phil: Sometimes… It depends on the song.
Kevin: Yes, but mostly the Fender Twin.
Brad: My Slingerland is my tour set.
Mike: yep

Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
Phil: I usually come up with an idea… a melody, chord progression or a complete arrangement and everyone else does their magic.

Which software/recording process do you use?
Phil:  We use both analogue and digital. Analogue being the favourite of course, but I really like the editing capabilities of digital. Our digital audio workstation is Nuendo.

Would you sign with a major record company?
Phil:  Do we get to keep all the rights to our music and have creative freedom?
Kevin: Sure
Brad: If the offer is good

Do you have any new recordings planned?
Phil: We have already begun recording our first full length CD
Mike: and many in progress

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
Phil: Brad and I are the technical guys, but everyone has a hand in the process. Nothing goes beyond our studio unless we all say it’s okay.

Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists?
Phil: Brad and I have already produced a couple of artists.  It’s my second passion to song writing.
Brad: Most definitely

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
Phil: It’s never easy really.  There are always frustrations, but we love to do it.  It’s all about the outcome of the hard work we put into it.
Kevin: I feel like the songs come together more after recording them.
Mike: It’s not as easy or forgiving as a live performance, but when you hear the end result, it’s worth it.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
Phil: I like to think we do, but in reality there’s a difference.
Kevin: I think they go hand in hand.
Brad: And, we try to let the audience guide us.

Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
Phil: Planting Stars and Gift Horse are my faves!
Kevin: Planting Stars
Brad: Planting Stars
Mike: Pretending I’m Visible and Gift Horse

Who are the main songwriters for the band?
Phil: I bring the initial ideas to the band, but everyone deserves equal credit.

Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc)
Phil: They happen in different ways.  Lately though, I’ve been writing music and melody first.

Do you write songs only about personal experiences?
Phil: Well, you would never know it by reading the lyrics.

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
Phil: Both!

Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
Phil: I would like to work with Phil Spector if he promises not to shoot me.

Who are your favourite songwriters?
Kevin: Too large to name

Which countries have you gigged in?
Mike: US

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
Phil: Japan
Kevin: Italy
Brad: Great Britain, Germany
Mike: Europe

Who would you like to tour with?
Phil: The Flaming Lips!
Brad: Radiohead
Mike: Pink Floyd

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
Phil: Well, aside from the typical: MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, Somojo deserves a plug!

Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
Phil: We have in the past, but honestly I haven’t seen many results from them.

Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
Phil: Definitely! Some more so than others
Brad: It’s the wild west of music promotion

With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists?
Phil: I think we need a good marketing tool that reaches real contacts and doesn’t cost us our limbs.  And, we need a way to submit music for valid licensing opportunities.
Brad: An easier way to network with other bands for live shows

How do you relax?
Phil: Brad usually gives me a back rub and a happy ending.
Mike: Relax? I’m not sure I know that term.  But, good beer usually helps.

Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?
Phil: No. I personally don’t think music should be a competition.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
Phil: Not really nervous, but I always hope our audience has a good time.
Mike: not really, it’s just fun for me, we are well rehearsed and ready to perform !

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
Phil: So far, no!  We are seeking licensing opportunities though.

Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
Phil: Certainly!
Kevin: Yes! A car commercial… why not!
Brad: Hell yes!
Mike: Yes!

Is there anything you'd like to add?
Phil: Please download our latest single Planting Stars on Itunes and send us a friend request on Somojo, Facebook, or MySpace or all three if you like!
Kevin: See you on tour!
Brad: See you soon!


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