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Monday, May 17, 2010

Burning Down the House

Since I still don't have internet at home, I can't blog over the weekend.  Thus I will have 3 posts today to make up for the lack of quality product since Friday.

Good morning to all.  Today we are lucky enough to have our second interview here at Things I Don't Remember, with a fantastic musician named Aria C. Jalali, who makes music under the moniker Railcars.  You can read about his recent album here: Cathedral With No Eyes.  Please read on to find out what music is really like in California and just who this fine young gentleman is about whom I've been speaking.

What is the local music/art scene like in Berkley?

eh, berkeley is pretty dismal relatively speaking, even san francisco for that matter. in the bay area, in my opinion, oakland is where the music scene really resides. (i just preferred to live in san francisco.) but i've since then moved back home-ish to Los Angeles, home to - again, in my opinion, the best music scene in the US. but soon i'll be headed to new york, and i'm excited to be going to a lot of shows there and nearby, like baltimore. they've always been a blast when i went through on tour.
i guess you just caught me at a bit of a transition stage.

Do you have mostly house shows or bar gigs?

hmm... i guess it depends where we are. Usually in the U.S. we are playing a lot of DIY spots like the smell, in LA, or shea stadium or the market hotel in New York. i guess in a lot of ways they feel more like houses (though they aren't. well, i guess a few of my friends live @ market hotel, so kind of it is... anyway it doesn't matter)
but in Europe, for instance, we end up playing much more proper venues with all sorts of fancy flashing lights and places to buy cocktails. im not sure, maybe because we're an 'import' over there. 
i like the feel of houses/diy spots much more, but i won't lie, having a backstage area loaded with free drinks is also quite choice.

You've previously spoken about touring w/ Handsome Furs (one of my fave bands ever), what was that like?

oh yeah, they are just great. railcars owes a lot to them, the whole project started when i was asked to do some shows with them in 2008. played with them again after that too, and they were always the most down to earth people. i think most recently was a show we had together @ great american music hall in san francisco about a year ago. they fucking killed it that night. they are so talented that sometimes i must suspect wizardry or witchcraft. its just too good.

Do you record your albums all at once or do you record songs as you come up with the ideas and piece them together to make an album?

oh always at once. im really into writing albums instead of songs. to me thats the whole point of an album - its an extended piece of work with multiple movements. an album as a collection of singles, having nothing to do with each other doesn't make as much sense to me... i would rather just release the unrelated singles as... singles. on 7" vinyls or something not as album. though, thats not to say i haven't heard albums-of-singles that didnt rock. sometimes they do, its just not for me. an album, to me, is "heres the big picture i've been working on since we last saw each other."

Who/what is your biggest inspiration?

pop music, and the ensuing guilt that follows for liking it.

Who does your album art?

cities vs submarines and cathedral with no eyes, both had their album artwork done by Claudia O'Steen. she lives in tennessee and she's one of the most talented artists i've ever met. i'm very fortunate. the upcoming 'remixes' EP's artwork was done by Hunter Mack (who runs Gold Robot records), the upcoming Kate Bush cover album and the upcoming railcars full length album are both being done by Claudia O'Steen. She's an integral part. 

Thanks for reading, may love and peace follow you or hatredy.  Take your pick.


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