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Interview with Bryan Scary (& The Shredding Tears)
The latest band to release songs on Elijah's record label granted A&F a quickie interview. The third collection of tunes from this prismatic group out of Brooklyn New York will feature six tracks on their EP (extended play) due out in October 2009.|
A&F: The Shredding Tears was the title of your debut album. How did that come to be the name of the band or was it a self-titled album? If the latter, how did the name come about?
BSST: The debut came before the band was formed - I recorded it myself as an elaborate demo. I wanted to find like-minded musicians, and decided to make what I considered a calling card. "The Shredding Tears" was the name of an imaginary band referenced throughout that album. When the real band solidified, they felt it was the obvious name.
A&F: BSST music has a fresh psychedelic 60's - 70's pop feel which is a hit with the college and indie circuit. Is today's mainstream audience ready for that and do you want to go there?
BSST: I don't know what mainstream audiences want or like, or even what the indie circuit is going to stamp approved. I only know what I like. And that's always been the only guideline we use as far as committing to ideas: is this something WE would find appealing? Which isn't to say we don't want to entertain and delight audiences - that's certainly the core of the project, and if mainstream audiences are willing to follow us, we'd love that!
A&F: Will the new set of songs on Mad Valentines differ from those in the past?
BSST: The EP was meant to follow on the heels of our previous full-length, FLIGHT OF THE KNIFE, and represent the more "user-friendly" side of the band. The songs are generally more straight-forward and "pop" than things we've done before. The EP format allowed us to collect some mostly unrelated songs that wouldn't fit our more conceptual full-lengths.
A&F: With the past artists releasing material on Simian Records, Elijah has told how the collaborations began. What brought you two together and why did you want to work him?
BSST: We met Elijah through Jonathan Sadoff, the producer of the EP and a longtime friend. We wanted to make an EP with Sadoff in Los Angeles, and he brought it to Elijah and Simian. Elijah is incredibly supportive and enthusiastic, and we were all very much on the same page about how the EP should sound, and how the band should function.
A&F: I've read your live performances are quite a spectacle. (I mean that in a good way) Can you give some insight to the on stage madness?
BSST: We certainly try to put on a show, and give it our all. The music lends itself to more onstage storytelling and theater than most contemporary rock fans are probably used to. And humor. Madness and spectacle, to use your words, generally appeal to us far more than subtlety. I strongly believe that silliness and bombast and absurdity can be just as poignant, if not more-so, than po-facedness.
A&F: Besides the Internet, I assume the new EP can be bought in stores.
BSST: Yes - it will be released on October 27th in stores.
A&F: You've been compared to the likes of Queen, ELO and The Kinks. Do you embrace those likenesses or would you rather be known for your own unique style?
BSST: Those bands have legendary songwriters and singers, and very pronounced senses of playfulness and humor. I certainly don't take the comparisons as insults! But I would hope most bands WANT to sound unique. And I do wish people would be less presumptuous about bands' influences. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and nowhere, and it's not always useful to an artist when people pull it down, box it up, and pin it to their own provincial charts of rock history.
**Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears MySpace