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INTERVIEW: Research Society
By
Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

"Good Vibe"

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-

 

 

www.researchsocietymusic.com

 

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I recently had the privilege of reviewing the debut "Best of Seven" EP by Research Society. Overall “Best of Seven” is a solid debut release by Research Society. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are passionate, upbeat & positive. At the end of the day – they are a just a fun band to listen to, hang out with or check out live. This release clearly proves they are on to something, I can’t wait to check out their full length soon.  

 

 

Read the CD Review

 

 

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IMD How would classify the music of Research Society?

RS Very simply put our music is modern soulful indie rock. It is the continuing natural evolution of the alternative rock/college radio that came of age during the early 90s.  We also incorporate elements of other genres that came out of that era: electronica and neo-soul; our own brand of sci-fi soul, if you will.

IMD Who are some of your top 5 musical influences as far as bands & composers go? Starting with the most influential? 

RS “Influences” is such a loaded, yet enigmatic word.  And it’s tough to come up with a list given that we all listen to different music. But, since you ask, we would say the five top musical “influences” are The Smiths, Radiohead, U2, Rage Against the Machine, and Pink Floyd.  Each one influences our music in a different way, and maybe only influences one particular aspect of our music, but those are the most influential. 

IMD I hear a bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Roy Orbison, in your music; am I off the mark there? 

RS Those are two great artists!  You’re right on the mark with Roy Orbison.  (Namky)  When you're growing up as a chubby-cheeked dork with coke-bottle glasses, guys like Roy Orbison made you think that you just might have a shot in life!  He was a huge influence on me.  He had an ache in his voice that made everybody else just sound maudlin in comparison.  (G Mann)  Funny you mention RHCP because we’ve heard that once or twice before, but we really don’t hear it ourselves.  Like RHCP, our music is diverse, and we have a driving rhythm section that really grooves, combined with interesting guitar dynamics.  And more recent Chili Peppers’ music is more rock than funk, so I guess the comparison is valid.  But, I think Namky’s voice and vocal performances are richer and more ambitious.

IMD What inspired you to start writing & composing music in the first place?

RS (G Mann) I’ve been writing lyrics since I was in junior high, although I used to be a rapper.  I took up guitar in high school and immediately started composing alternative music and non-rap lyrics.  For me, it was an opportunity to express my feelings and emotions: usually angst and frustration.  And as a hip hop, jazz and electronica fan that plays guitar and bass, I’ve always blended musical genres to create something a little different.  Namky and I were next door neighbors in college, and we really influenced each other’s taste in music: before me he wasn’t exposed to as much hip hop, and before him my exposure to alternative music was limited.

(Namky)  I had always loved both music and writing growing up, but I had never had the courage or inspiration to start writing my own songs until I was out of school.  Once I started, the floodgates flew open.  I can look back on the songs I've written and see a linear documentation of my life.  Rock 'n roll is as much my language as it is my profession.  I feel completely at home on stage, amplifying the intimate.

 

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 "simply put our music is modern soulful indie rock."

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IMD How’s the music scene in LA these days?

RS The music scene is thriving!  There are a lot of solid bands in the greater LA area and tons of venues to perform at.  There are several different “scenes” as well: Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park, the Sunset Strip, downtown, and the outlying areas (Long Beach, Orange County, etc.).  The one downside we have encountered is that some scenes are dominated by a few major players, so it can be difficult to break into a scene if those major players don’t support you.  But, there are enough scenes, venues and fans that any hard working, talented band can succeed.

IMD What is the best concert you have been to over the years?

RS (G Mann) Tool at the Nokia Theater (twice), Prince at Staples Center, Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek, and Silversun Pickups at the Wiltern.  I’m really looking forward to Roger Waters performing The Wall later this year at Staples Center!

(Namky) U2 at the Rose Bowl, A-Sides at Spaceland, and Arcade Fire at Lollapalooza '05.

IMD I especially enjoyed the piece ‘Mr. Awesome.”  Can you tell us about that particular piece, what inspired that one?

RS (G Mann) I came up with the basic music to Mr. Awesome late one night, but it was originally much, much slower (about 80 bpm versus the 120 bpm it is now).  In fact, it was much more shoegaze, with lots of reverb and thick distortion.  Somehow, it occurred to me to speed it up, and once I did, Namky immediately liked it.  After he came up with the very cool bridge, we knew we were onto something, but still felt there was something missing.  One night – when our minds were wide open to crazy ideas – I was struck with the idea of changing the intro, outro and breakdown to 6/4 time.  Namky thought it was just crazy enough to work.  He jumped on the computer and programmed a 6/4 beat, and we knew we had something special. Lyrically, on another night when our minds were open to out-of-the-box ideas, we watched the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.  We were so inspired (and disturbed) by the individuals’ stories.  Though the stories and individuals’ lives were very different, they all shared certain themes: outsiders seeking inclusion, a desire to achieve big things, and living in one’s own (make-believe) world.  Those themes really resonated with us.  I wrote the verses and Namky the choruses and bridge, and somehow it all came together.

IMD How about “Talk about the Weather” could you tell us more about that piece of music?

RS (Namky) I came up with the basic music and lyrics on Weather at the tail end of the Bush administration.  Lyrically it went through many manifestations before my frustration with our “leadership” in Washington overwhelmed me and it became a song about America confronting it’s values in the face of a threat (e.g., the issue of torture).

(G Mann) It took me a long time to find the right guitar parts on Weather.  It was originally a much different, less edgy song.  But once Namky showed me his lyrics, the riffs and tone revealed themselves to me.

IMD What’s next for Research Society? When should we expect a Full Length CD?

RS We’ve got enough songs for another EP, or to combine with the songs from Best of Seven and re-record them for a full-length.  We’re not sure which path we’ll take yet, but we plan to release some new music next year, so stay tuned!

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interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.

Copyright © 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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