Featured Artist – WE

7 02 2012

A LOOK INTO THE SOFTER SIDE OF POST-ROCK

This week I am happy to feature Edinburgh 4-piece instrumental post-rock outfit WE. This band produce an amazing sound that, in all honesty, would be amazing on any soundtrack. Flowing, ambient sounds are featured thouroughly in their debut E.P “With The Stars As An Audience” and this band have managed to capture a lovely, soothing ethereal sound in this recording. I implore you to check out this E.P. Any fans of chill-out music will love it and it has certainly helped me wind down on a few stressful occasions. This feature may turn out to be a posthumous feature (which I will go on to explain in a while) but I feel this band need and deserve coverage after such a strong debut release.

I first came across WE thanks to my work mate Sam, who knowing my love for all things post-rock, put me onto the band. Safe to say after a skull-crushingly horrendous day in B+Q this band perked me up. On first listen I was really taken aback. What really impressed me was the fact that this band are not afriad to venture into the softer, more relaxed, side of post-rock music. The first (self-titled) track on WTSAAA was terrific. The thing that really stood out for me was the production (this album being entirely self-produced by guitarist Pedram Valiani) of the song. The drums sounded fantastic. They appear to have been compressed a little bit but it really added to the laid-back feel of the song and gave them a vast, echoing feel. Other tracks such as Arrivederci (They Said Their Goodbyes) and the epic Lake Buena Vista really showed WE in all their glory. Creating a sound that does not need to assault the listener full on after the usual passage of built up music but rather lulled them into flowing along with the bands smooth and sleek grooves, an aspect which I really appreciated. It has been a long time since I’ve heard such amazing, relaxing music and I am really happy that I checked this band out when I did. My “Chill Out” iPod playlist would seem quite empty without them. Without a shadow of a doubt Arrivederci is my standout track on the E.P. reminding me very much of my favourite TWDY track “Grandfather Clock”. Check out a brilliant live performance of said track below.

Finally, and rather upsettingly, I was informed by WE guitarist Pedram that the band are taking an extended hiatus or perhaps may cease to exist. All will be revealed in the interview but I for one seriously hope that the band continue on as I don’t think for one second they should let a project this brilliant slp away into nothingness.

Here’s another wee video of We in action

 

Now. Here comes the aforementioned interview with WE guitarist and all round nice guy Pedram Valiani

 

Q – First of all guys, as I do with all acts I interview with this blog, give me a little bit of background into WE. Tell me about your formation and how things got started for you guys.

 Hello, ‘We’ was originally just a bedroom project that me and Tyrone (GTR) had before we actually formed a full band. We both wanted to write some laid back tracks and eat lots of Nandos so we did on a weekly basis (including the chicken) and then released them as soon as we had recorded them at my place.

 

Q – You guys seem to be focused more towards the ambient and chilled out area of post-rock and instrumental music. Was writing in that vein a conscious songwriting decision or did it just simply happen when you started up?

 It’s different material to our other bands, (I play in a metal band and Tyrone plays in a rock/’indie’ band). We literally just jam everytime we write a song. I won’t give you the recipe but almost everything we have written up to now isn’t planned or strictly structured in any way. I prefer that way a lot more, annoyingly it seems to give a lot better results than my other band, we take ages to write something that we all like.

 

Q – Tell me about your songwriting influences. You strike me as a band who draws from maybe early This Will Destroy You (albums like Quiet) and bands of that ilk. Do most of your influences come from the post-rock genre or do you you take influence from some other genres? If so, please expand on which ones.

 I like TWDY but I don’t really listen to a lot of music as I spend more time writing it for my other band. I only listen to it when in a certain mood. Most of the time I’ll listen to angry music that I keep on repeat until I’m sick of it. I’ve been on a Deftones & TDEP binge recently and right now I’m listening to Exoplanet by The Contortionist. Helios (Keith Kenniff’s project) is one of my favourite things to wind down to.

N.B – That right there is the single best answer I have ever recieved. Deftones, Dillinger AND Helios. Mr Valiani. You know the way to my heart. Helios is majestic. Might even try to get a hold of him for this. 10 points to Pedram.

 

Q – How has your music been received in the Edinburgh live scene? Have you guys been well received by the crowds that have heard you? Have you had any significant airplay or coverage since your formation?

 The music has been received quite well. I think it appeals to a certain type of listener. Not everybody is into instrumental music. Again, because it’s a sideproject for most of us (all bar Robert – he will cry when he reads this) we don’t really put as much thought or effort into the little things as we would with our other bands. Two people have been particularly supportive since the start and that’s our friends Bruce and Tom. Tom has a radio station in Texas called ‘Fade To Yellow’ and it’s pretty successful. He’s played us on there a few times. Bruce is a straight up legend, he’s taken videos for us at a few shows. Also, our buddy Noor organised a compilation called ‘Hope for Japan’ and successor ‘More Hope for Japan’ so we got a bit of coverage from that and all for a good cause too. I have more friends in bands who play rock/indie so it’s good to get to play a gig with them in another band.

 

Q – What, to date, has been your most successful or biggest gig? Have you managed to play many gigs outside of Edinburgh? How did these go down?

 We have our first ‘headline’ show tomorrow. Fingers crossed. We haven’t played outside Edinburgh yet. I would honestly be happy playing to 10 people. In fact we played in Edinburgh recently and there were only about 20 there, it was great.

 

Q – Now, you informed me that one of your guitarists is leaving for an extended period of time. Can you explain why this is happening? And more importantly, what does this hold for the band’s future?

 

Tyrone’s going to China for 5 months and won’t be back till the end of July. We will most likely have more jams when he’s back. Who knows! To be honest, I don’t think the Panda’s were a fair trade.

 

Q – Your first album, “With The Stars As An Audience” was entirely self-produced. Was this something that you wanted to do simply to successfully capture the sound you wanted? Also, did the release of the album go well? Were you happy with the final result?

 It wasn’t actually an album it was just an E.P. It was just the cheapest/best option at the time. If I could record drums well and cheap I’d do it all the time. We didn’t really plan anything for it either. It could have been more cohesive but some tracks were written with really long gaps in-between. Gregor did his bass parts literally a few days before we released it. He was originally playing drums until our only fan joined the band and he took over (Robert). A lot of people have given us nice feedback but there are some songs and parts that we are realising now, could have been done better.

 

Q – Hit me with one random fact about either your band or a single band member.

 Me and Tyrone are considering writing an E.P to submit to Nandos restaurants in order to obtain more chicken.

 

Thanks for doing this interview guys. I really hope that you keep going as I really enjoyed your album and hope you choose to continue on. Best of luck for the future.

 Thank you.

 

So. That there was WE. Their EP is available from their BandCamp website (wescotland.bandcamp.com) and I strongly suggest you download it (its a pay what you want deal). It’s certainly wormed its way into my cars continuous circulation playlist.

 

Next time I shall hopefully be uploading my coverage of the recent Breadcrumb Trail event which included performances from ATOS favourites Without Aeroplanes, Ohm and my own band Vasa. All that to come and more (including my first overseas band).

Peace.


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