by Paige Stern
How and when did the band originally come together?
Kevin Shannon: The band formed almost a decade ago. It started as a little ambient project between Ryan and me, and it just blossomed from there! We got bored of the bedroom “chill” sounds and wanted more of a full band experience. We grew from there, and here we are now.
It’s been nearly a week since -aire was released. What’s the response been like from previous listeners?
Trish Chisholm: We’ve gotten really good feedback so far!
KS: Yeah, it’s definitely a different record than everything we’ve done. It’s got its own sound that’s separate from our previous work. We were curious to see the overall response, and I think it’s been super positive.
You guys have been touring for a week now. What’s it been like, being a few years since you all toured together?
Tara Mayer: Despite the fact that it was seven years ago since we really hit the road hard, we know what we’re doing. It’s just a matter of showing the label that we can do it, toughen up on the cold days, but it’s been a good time.
Have there been any moments that have really stood out so far, even in the last week?
TM: I’d say every show has been pretty excellent in its own way. If something doesn’t go exactly as we planned, we take advantage of the next night and play even harder the next show.
Are there any things from your last tour experience that you are trying to do differently this time around?
KS: I think we’re trying to really take this trip in a lot more, give ourselves time to actually enjoy it, and not beat the scene immediately after the next show or city, sleep for three hours, and then drive, like the “super-hustle” thing. While trying to enjoy the cities more, we’re actually exploring a bit, too, which is nice.
Any noteworthy experiences as you’ve begun to explore more?
KS: A lot of food exploration, for sure! Sights and stuff, we previously did the whole Liberty Bell thing in Philly, the popular monuments and things like that. Unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of time, which is the weird double-edged sword of touring. It’s not totally a vacation where you can just wander and do you what want.
Any foods in particular you’ve really enjoyed?
KS: Wes and I are big fans of Paprika Pringles in Europe. They are crucial, clutch, and unfortunately, are not sold in the U.S. They’re so good! Amazon does have them for seven bucks a can with free shipping, and it takes a week and a half to show up, but you gotta feed the beast, you know?
Instrumental periods make up the entirety of your music, with no lyrics at all. What lead you to choose that style of music from the very beginning?
KS: It’s a weird-fun challenge to convey a story or emotion with no words. Definitely very challenging, but it feels rewarding to actually make it happen. It was decided from the start our music was going to be completely instrumental.
As some of you were undergoing difficult life experiences over the last few years, are there any songs in your latest album that bring you back to one of those particular difficulties?
TM: Absolutely. I would definitely say, some of the standouts included in our set, “Jubilant,” “Desire,” and “Forsaken” have very poignant meanings we can all refer to at some point during the writing process, or our personal lives, where something was going on.
The figure on the -aire album cover, which is also featured in the “Desire” music video, what is it and what does it resemble?
TM: First of all, the image is spooky, and we like spooky stuff. It’s kind of an ambiguous representation of our own humanity, our spirit-selves. A lot of the song titles are based on the human experience, or human emotion, which are huge cornerstones of everyone’s life. We wanted an ambiguous figure to represent the anguish, the torture, and the exuberance it takes to be a human.
During an interview with Metal Insider, you were hoping for the chance to tour Europe again. How are those chances looking right now?
TM: We have no clue! [laughs] Yeah, at least not yet. We have high hopes that it will happen. This band is very “roll with the punches, roll as it comes.” And luckily we’ve been hit up quite a bit to do different projects, try different runs on the road. We’re excited to branch out and see what happens.
When was the moment you guys decided to create another album?
KS: Even back when we cut our In Excelsis-EP, we always planned on cutting another full-length album. We’re all adults, life gets super busy, everybody has got their hands on multiple projects, so it was mainly figuring out when it could happen. It’s always been in the books for sure. We started seriously writing for it about two years ago, and it went from there.
Thank you so much, I hope you continue to enjoy the tour, get your hands on another can of Paprika Pringles, and I’ll see you tomorrow night at the Great Scott!