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Tombstones In Their Eyes - We need to be known to a certain extent, so that is the next goal, get more people listening and get our music and name out there

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Tombstones In Their Eyes - We need to be known to a certain extent, so that is the next goal, get more people listening and get our music and name out there

Tombstones In Their Eyes is a psych rock band from Los Angeles that has been going strong since 2015. The influences of Tombstones In Their Eyes are extensive, from Mogwai over Electric Wizards to Melvins. We even think we recognize Pink Floyd. Characteristic of the band is a sound that slowly but surely opens up to a heavenly climax. Tombstones In Their Eyes offers a multicolored palette. The combination of those psychedelic peculiar sounds, with post rock and others that go to a climax, put you in a deep trance, compelling and deafening; at the end of November a collection album came on the market , 'Collection'. Where this proposition was further highlighted. You can read the review of it here.  http://www.musiczine.net/nl/cd-reviews/item/80515-collection.html  Partly because of this collection album we thought it was time to interview the band. And had a nice conversation with singer and writer of the band , John Treanor who told us who this band is and was, but also the further plans for the future were rolled out.

The influences of Tombstones In Their Eyes are extensive, from Mogwai over Electric Wizard to Melvins. Is this description correct? How do you see it yourself?
It is difficult to properly list influences for a band like this.  As the songwriter, the influences really cover many years and bands, starting from childhood, with stuff like The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Elton John.  Then to the teens with Kiss, Aerosmith, Neil Young, followed shortly by my exposure to punk, independent/alternative music and stuff like Devo, The Germs, The Cramps, Gun Club, Black Flag, discovering the Stooges, etc. Then the 80’s with bands like the Butthole Surfers, Miracle Workers, Pussy Galore, Spacemen 3, Motorhead, Metallica and many more.  Following that, the 90’s with bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, My Bloody Valentine, Melvins, Catherine Wheel, Ride, The Dandy Warhols, Elliott Smith, etc. Over the last 20 years, since 2000, there have been many other bands and that is where bands like Electric Wizard, Power Trip and some of the other stuff came in.  Some of the newer bands I like are The Kundalini Genie, RevRevRev, The Vacant Lots and many more.  And, of course, there was always going backward to the 60’s and 70’s, some of the better stuff from those years, I’ve left a lot out, obviously.  So, there is a melding of all those influences, punk, noise, psych, heavy rock/metal, shoegaze and rock and roll. What comes out of that mix is Tombstones In Their Eyes.

Tombstones In Their Eyes is a psych rock band from Los Angeles that has been going strong since 2015, what were the highs and lows so far?
I would say one of the definite highs was being able to go on to KXLU, a great college radio station in Los Angeles, and do a combination interview and guest DJ set.  That was big for me, as I’ve been listening that that station for many years. 
One of the biggest highs was finding our producer, Paul Roessler, who is essentially a part of the band at this point.  We found him when it came time to mix the Sleep Forever record and have been with him every since. Without him, I don’t think we would have realized our potential.
Another high was when a fan sent me a photo of a self-made tattoo reading “maybe someday”, the title of one of our songs/albums – that was humbling and meant a lot to touch someone in that way.
One more high point was signing up with Somewherecold Records.  Jason Lamoreaux has been great to work with, and it was nice to have their backing and assistance with the releases.
One of the lows was losing our long-time bass player, Mike Mason, who moved out of state and hasn’t been in contact since.  That doesn’t feel good.

I got to know you personally through Shauna , promoter of 'Shameless promotion PR' how important has this promoter been for a band like you?
Shauna has been our promoter for most of our releases and I wish I had found her when I first started out, but I didn’t realize the importance of having a press person to help get the music in front of people. I thought I could do it myself and made many mistakes.  Shauna is fantastic and has really helped the band a lot.

The music of Tombstones In Their Eyes often contains an underlying message. What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
In the beginning, the music centered around darkness, depression, anxiety, failure.  The first demos were pretty dark.  As the songwriter, I have used the songs as a release for those kinds of feelings, and as I got into a better space mentally, the darkness has receded a bit.  I still like the dark side of things, lyrically, as I feel these things and music is a great way to get them out and connect with others that may feel the same feelings.
The music/lyrics have always been more personal and less about the outside world and the issues of the day.  But, of course, you cannot remain unaffected by the things going on in the world, so those things may influence the feelings, but not so much the content.

‘Collection' your latest release, is a collection of songs that show and hear a period of five years, from 'Sleep Forever' (2015) to 'Maybe Someday' from 2019. How did you choose the songs? What did you base your choice on?
Collection is a compilation of almost all of our released music up until the Maybe Someday album in 2019. It contains every EP we released, one single, and 5 songs from our first album, Sleep Forever. I didn’t include everything from Sleep Forever for a couple of reasons. One is that on our first record we hadn’t totally found our sound yet, so there are songs that I don’t feel fit in the way I would like. And two, I wanted only 5 songs so that it would fit on one side of a vinyl LP, haha. 
The primary reason for Collection is that I wanted everything in one place, as some of the early stuff had never been promoted and I wanted it to have that chance, and I wanted it on vinyl. Also, it gave us the chance to re-work and remix some of the earlier songs that I felt needed a little touching up, given our years of working with our producer, Paul Roessler, and using the knowledge we had gained working with him in the studio. 

I mainly see a band that is evolving, exploring boundaries but also staying true to its roots, What is your opinion about this proposition?
I agree with this proposition.  Our next album, coming out in early 2021 and called “Looking For A Light”, is the next step in that evolution. It is a little more stripped down, less layered, but is still TITE.  I am very excited about it, and it definitely stays true to what we are.

In my opinion, isn't there some kind of common thread running through the different records? Tombstones In Their Eyes is a band that connects all kinds of music styles into an emotional whole, crossing the line between fear and joy every time. What is your opinion about this statement?
I love that statement and find it to be accurate.  I would not have thought of that, but it is a great way to see the music/lyrics. I think the next record will continue with that thread, for sure, and there is also a little more light!

How were the general reactions to this compilation album?
So far it has been great, it has sold better than the ‘Maybe Someday’ album already.  The only thing I care about is getting the music out there to people to hear and it seems this has been a good introduction for many to our songs and sound.

In these times, let's also talk about the corona crisis? I suppose your plans have also changed? Or just not? How did you deal with that as a musician, band and human being?
We played our ‘Maybe Someday’ vinyl release show on March 5th of this year.  That was right before things were locked down in Los Angeles.  The lockdown essentially derailed our live show activity, which was a shame, as we had practiced, learned the new songs and were ready to do more shows. We haven’t played out much in Los Angeles over the years we’ve been together and it was time for us to get more involved in the live scene.
As a musician, I dealt with it by writing songs for a new record.  And then, as a band, we recorded 13 of those songs in the studio as things began to loosen in Los Angeles, eventually choosing 8 songs for the new LP and the remaining 5 for a possible EP release.  We also spent time compiling, remixing, remastering and releasing the Collection LP, as well as a release of some of our favorite demos (Demos, Vol. 1).  So we have been busy behind the scenes.
As a human being, I was fortunate to have a job that allowed me to work remotely (I am an IT consultant), so the lockdown did not affect me financially and I was already used to working from home a lot.  The more difficult part was the political climate around the virus here in the US, with many stupid decisions, opinions and general noise.  For my mental health, I had to work hard to maintain a positive attitude amongst such stupidity.

What do you personally think the consequences will be for culture and music? How do you think music will survive this crisis emotionally and economically?
That is a difficult question.  The hope is that eventually things will return to some kind of normal.  That is not guaranteed and the time frame is very cloudy. Culturally, I think here in the US we have some big problems, not just with Covid but politically. There is a great divide that has been revealed and I am hesitant to be too hopeful for the future.

Are there plans for 2021 in the direction of performances and the like? Because something still strikes me in those five years, it's very visual music that begs to be brought live
Once the door has been opened for live performance, we will need to reconvene as a band and, if necessary, find some more musicians to help bring the songs to life live.  My ideal band would be similar to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, with at least 3 guitar players, a keyboard player, bass player and drummer.  I would love to do more with the lighting, as well, to give it the full psychedelic effect.

Speaking of live performances, which countries do you have the best memories of?
TITE has not played outside of the US or even LA at this point.  We had a tentative European tour scheduled for September of 2020 that was shut down by the virus.

Besides possible those live  performances, are there any other plans?
In general, we love recording, so we will keep doing that as long as the songs keep coming. And I would like to do more videos, so we have something special planned for the new record, working with a video producer that I think is fantastic.

In these times, many bands resort to live streaming, sometimes of a very good quality but often rather undersized. Do you have plans for live streaming? And what is your opinion about this?
No plans for live streaming at this point.  Things are very locked down in Los Angeles at the moment, and we would need a lot of band practice to do that properly.  I personally have not watched any live streams, although I should!

To go further, including digitization, streaming via spotify has been booming in recent years. Does it still make sense to release physical records then?
Originally, I didn’t care much about the physical copy or artifact, but that has changed, especially in relation to vinyl.  Even though it is expensive, it is really nice to have and there are people out there who also want the physical copy.
I make sure our music is available anywhere possible, so that we can reach people everywhere.  That is what is good about the streaming platforms.  The pay is not good, but for a band trying to get their music to (and make new) fans, it is essential.

After all these years, are there still ambitions or goals you absolutely want to achieve as a band but also personally as a musician?
My goals and our goals as a band were very humble when we first began and, to be honest, we have already achieved those goals.  But each time you reach a new plateau, it makes sense to try to reach the next one.  I would love to tour, and to do that properly, we need to be known to a certain extent, so that is the next goal, get more people listening and get our music and name out there. 

Adding one of my own questions!  Who is (and was) the band?
Myself, John Treanor – I write and sing and play guitar, keyboards, bass.
Stephen Striegel – drums/percussion. Stephen was originally hired to play on the Bad Clouds EP, and then some of the songs on the Fear EP.  He is a graduate of the Berklee College Of Music, a prestigious music school.  After playing on those two EP’s, he said he loved the music and wanted to be a part of the band and has been with us ever since.  He is both a great drummer and person, I’m very glad he is a part of TITE.
Josh Drew - Josh has been with the band since the beginning, alternating between bass originally, then switching to guitar, and now back to bass for the last recording. Josh is a good friend who agreed to help me record the first record and has been with us the whole way.  He has contributed some great musical parts and is very talented.  He is currently working on his own first EP, which I look forward to hearing when it is complete.
Mike Mason – our former bass player.  Mike is a fantastic musician and contributed great parts to our songs, from the Fear EP through the Maybe Someday LP.  When Covid hit, he and his family moved to Washington State and I have not heard from him since, which is a shame, but I am forever appreciative of his contributions and time spent with TITE.  He has his own sort of desert rock project, which sounded great and I hope he will release it soon.
James Cooper – James and I started the band. James lives in NY and functions as my musical guide and producer.  He hears things that I don’t, helps guide me with songwriting, sounds, and opinions. I trust him implicitly.
Paul Roessler – our producer. A long-time fixture of the music scene in Los Angeles.  He plays keyboard and sings harmonies on a lot of our recordings and also helps guide and create the sound.  He has been essential to our evolution as a band.
Paul Boutin – we brought Paul on to play as the 3rd guitar player for our last live show and he plays bass on a couple of tracks on the new record.  A great guy, wonderful to work with and will hopefully remain with the band for live performances and more contributions to future recordings. He also does wonderful solo work as Paul Lovecraft, most of which can be found on Spotify.

Thanks for this pleasant conversation, in these times without concerts people are forced to order online merchandiser and so on, feel free to put some links below where they can find your merchandiser?
Thank you!  Wonderful questions and I really appreciate your time.
Here are the main places to find our merchandise:
https://tombstonesswc.bandcamp.com
https://tombstonesintheireyes.bandcamp.com
Twitter: @tombsinthreyes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TombstonesInTheirEyes
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tombstonesintheireyes

I hope that in the near future you will also come and perform in our country, so that we can have this conversation face to face enjoying a fresh glass of Belgian beer :)
Would love to get over to Europe and meet in Belgium.  Hopefully this year!

Aanvullende informatie

  • Band Name: Tombstones In Their Eyes
  • Date: 2021-01-06 23:00:00
  • Rating: 8
Gelezen: 327 keer
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