The excitement is reverberating ahead of the Caspian Echoplex gig. Here the interview with Caspian’s Phil Jamieson continues from part one.
W.E. Could you describe the impact that the Cambridge/Boston music scene (where this journalist started primarily as a musician) and the current Los Angeles music scene have on your sound?
P.J. It had a much larger impact on our sound when our family of bands (Junius, Constants, Seneca) were all getting this started back in 2006-2007. We had a shared sense of purpose, respect for each other, shared tastes, and created a support network that made getting this off the ground possible. Now that everyone is spread out across the country and our scene has dissipated somewhat we draw more on experiences at home and on the road I guess.
W.E. Favorite thing about Hickory 54 and how did you achieve the spaciousness?
P.J. We named it after one of our collective favorite movies “Hoosiers,” since, for whatever reason, my repetitive guitar melody for the first few minutes reminded us of the soundtrack from it. That melody and the song in general makes me feel so incredibly nostalgic for growing up and playing ball and watching that movie over and over again. Sometimes, when we are playing it, forgotten memories from childhood resurface and level me out in the best possible way. That’s part of the self exploration aspect of music I mentioned earlier which is the main reason why we create this stuff. Achieving that space you mention was a combination of holding back our individual parts and trusting that the melodically sparse atmosphere would be enough to get the listener “there,” instead of mucking it up with millions of melodies and progressions. It had a positive pulse we didn’t want to mess with. I also spent a solid 4 hours dialing in a reverb setting that I thought it needed and didn’t quit until I thought it was perfect, which is something dangerous and time consuming to chase in the studio but I felt was worth it.
W.E. Most powerful influences on such a unique, awesome sound?
P.J. Life experience. Landscapes. Memories. Movies. Books. Not sucking. Our smelly, uncomfortable van. Game of Thrones. Hope.
W.E. The biggest, greatest thing you see in Caspian’s future is?
P.J. Besides this show Friday at EchoPlex (no joke), getting to see a few smiles and closed eyes in the audience for the next few weeks on tour out there across this beautiful and diverse country sounds like enough for us right now. We are really grateful for this amazing opportunity to play our music for whoever wants to listen to it.