"All About The Album" - If you'd like to feature your band/album, email: urban
The KISS THAT TOOK A TRIP: "How The Mighty Have Fallen"
The KISS THAT TOOK A TRIP - is the brainchild of M.D.TRELLO - the album "How The Mighty Have Fallen" is the instrumental mix of synthetic sounds and styles such as post-rock, ambient, electronic, experimental, progressive, new-age, orchestra pop? That's quite a lot of different genres. It's the spirit of everything from Brian Eno to Talk Talk and 70's prog. Find out more about the album, here's the man behind the moniker: M.D. TRELLO...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
Mainly positive, mostly because right now the album seems to be transcending genres and reaching an heterogenic audience. Although I've never paid too much attention to reaction, I still find it really interesting in purely experimental terms. It's more about witnessing the response than feeding any ego needs.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Up until this album I worked by writing songs and kind of storing them, until some aesthetical or thematical pattern started to emerge. Then, by mixing those themes with the feel of the moment, an album finally took shape. For 'How the mighty have fallen' I operated in a really different way. All the songs were brand new and spawned out of the blue in just a month, in a very badly timed fashion, because I was still putting the finishing touches on the previous album. That was almost two and a half years ago. The rough sketches stayed there untouched for a long time, until I rolled up my sleeves again and devoted myself to their completion. That took over an extra year. The total time is hard to tell, if you take in account how scattered and intermittent the sessions were.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to recording
I always have a very specific mental image of the sound of the albums I want to make, and that can lead to frustration. This time I had an even more precise picture. The sound had to be deep, layered, dark and cold, and I wanted to include some powerful use of silence. Luckily for me, this time I seemed to be in sync with my aims.
What kind of input did friends and fellow musicians have during the process
None. I don't want to sound foolish, but isolation is 90% of my creative juices. I ask for minimal opinions here and there, but it's anecdotic. Plus, I fear that I might end up 'trying to please' unconsciously if I did that.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
This is the closest I've been to it, by far. But there's always some mixing you would redo. The overall feel is the intended one. I just think there's some percussion that would've benefited from a punchier sound. You know, working harder with transients and stuff.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
I did, but they didn't end on the record. A couple of years ago I tried a really fun thing for my side-project Victorian Bug: using a toecutter to strum the guitar strings in different ways. The result was certainly something, so I thought about bringing the trick back for The Kiss. Sadly, this time around it didn't fit, and those parts were finally removed.
Please inform us about your favourite songs off the album
This is the less song-oriented record I've made, so I refuse to talk about favourite songs. I was tempted to pull a 'Lovesexy' and stuff the whole album in just one CD track, but I realized that would've portrayed me like an attention whore. Lyrically, I don't want to play the game of complimenting my own writing. I'll just say that, looking back, the lyrics strike me as odd in their boldness, because they're all around serious but sprinkled with lines that might raise a few eyebrows, and that's risky.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while
It depends a lot on the album. I always try to sound ambiguous, but this time I wanted the songs to have a brainy and almost clinical feel, so when I instilled some melody in them I could have an appealing contrast. Thematically, the album is about coming to terms with decay, so the songs on it evolve like they're struggling to not end, morphing unexpectedly along the way.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
By rock standards, this is going to sound inocuous, but some passages in 'Le temps detruit tout' were built while drunk. Everytime I think of them I chuckle, because I'm really proud of that song and how it closes the album in such a dark note, summarizing the concept deployed by the nine songs before it.
Would you say there's a huge market/audience out there for "your" kind of music?
I don't know what to answer, actually. On one hand, it's a resounding 'no', because we're talking about a very minoritary genre and a very independent attitude towards music. On the other hand, I've heard numerous people say it's 'catchy' or 'melodic' and it seems to reach really different people, some of them completely unaware of bands outside mainstream, which is revealing and makes me totally reconsider that 'no'. Joking a little, I wouldn't like to be the Moby of post-rock.
Ehem, kindly explain the moniker: The Kiss That Took A Trip!?
'The kiss that took a trip' is the name of a song by Acid Mothers Temple. I felt an instant connection to that name, in a 'I wish I would've come up with that' way. I found its highly interpretable meaning beautiful and suggesting. The song, by the way, it's pure LSD guitar insanity. A trip, indeed.
How would you describe the new CD to any potential new fan?
The record is like a trip that is properly listened to either on headphones or in the dark. Or both. It's calm and serene but a lot of things are going on in it. Mostly instrumental but punctuated with non-intrusive vocals. It's not a record for the kind of person who starts popping out CDs like crazy in order to make themselves some sonic company, but for those making the effort of finding 80 free minutes and willing to concentrate on the music. If you rejected ambient music because it lulled you to sleep and lacked rocking passages or guitars, this might be the album for you.
Where can people get hold of your music?
They can download the full discography for free from the official site. All albums can be downloaded independently (and also for free) in many formats, from the most popular sites for musical profiles (Bandcamp, Last.fm, Jamendo and others). If you feel like helping/contributing to future releases, you can purchase the digital files from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and the main online stores. And, of course, if you wish to own the physical CD, it can be purchased via Bandcamp for just 3 euros (plus shipping costs). The price is calculated to cover expenses and get a small revenue,
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
The funny thing with my musical backdrop as a listener is that the set of musicians which I love and the set of musicians that have influenced me don't overlap, except for a few bands. Musically, I cut my teeth with metal and 80s music, but those tastes go through a constant evolution and refinement everyday. I'm a fan of the pomp and 70s bombast you can find in The Smashing Pumpkins; I love the genuine bliss and awe in pioneering post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai or Bark Psychosis; I loyally follow classic metal bands like Megadeth, Maiden and Metallica, as well as gothic-tinted groups like The Gathering or extreme doom like Sunn O))); also, industrial music, alternative rock and minimalism have an extended place in my music collection. When it comes down to influences,
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
I'd like to invite people to join the train of thought that says listening to manufactured heartless music leads to poor critical thinking and, subsequently, to an underdeveloped society. Music is much more important that some people think. This is unrelated to my music in any form. Just be curious and invest some time in discovering new music. It will pay off.
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,