Straight out of sunny Los Angeles, California, alternative band The Absolute have been making waves in their local scene and are ready to bring their music and progressive image to the nationwide stage. Here, in an extended interview with University Pulse Music Director Ryan Hoffman, lead singer Phil Ross discusses personal growth, impromptu album cover shoots, rock band web promotion, and getting a bunch of junk thrown on you in the name of art.
Q: The new record is titled Grow. “Grow” in what way?
A: The band has lots of personal mantras, whether it be “smile”, “grow”… we have always globbed on to this whole idea of “positive apocalypse”, just because today’s music and social outlook on life has become very lethargic and gotten stuck in this rut of copy[ing] what came before you.
When Portland based bands Us Lights and And And And came to Boise to play Treefort Music Fest, I had the opportunity to have them in the University Pulse studio thanks to Tyler Paget and Redbull Sound Select Series. Both the interviews had some small technical difficulties and I missed The beginnings. It isn’t much though and I cant thank the bands enough for their time. Check out my interview with And And And above and Us Lights below!
Until the Ribbon Breaks just released their debut album “A Lesson Unlearnt.” Peter Lawrie Winfield, Elliot Wall, and James Gordon combine to create a sound that has something for everyone. The groovy flow of guitar, piano, dance beats, hip hop, heartfelt lyrics and an amazing voice from front-man Pete all add up to an album this “journalist” can’t stop listening too. Pete and Elliot took time out of their busy tour schedule to grant me an interview about their new album.
CH: How did Until the Ribbon Breaks start?
Elliott: Pete and I went to school together and were in various bands, making various shit music together. We had a great music department in school which really paved the way for our future. We worked on a few projects before UTRB, then James came along and worked on the production side of it as a mix engineer. Then we came to point where we needed to do it live and James was the obvious choice.
CH: Who inspired you guys growing up?
Pete: My relationship with music started long before school, My family is from a long line of professional musicians, both my parents are musicians, as were my grandparents. My love of music started before I can remember.
Elliott: I didn’t grow up in a musical household but I did grow up in a creative household. My father was a graphic designer for the BBC, but music wasn’t really a thing. From a very early age, I was always into live music and would watch as many live concerts as possible and I also watch live music on VHS. I used to tap the dash with drumsticks to Michael Jackson, but I’m not really sure where my music love came from, I guess just deep in the heart.
CH: That’s a good spot for it to come from! You guys use a variety of tools and instruments to create the album. How many instruments can you play?
Pete: The first instrument I learned was a trumpet by the age of 10. There was always a piano in the house, so piano is the instrument I feel most comfortable on. And then I can kind of noodle around a bit on the guitar, but I’m not great. And then we all mess with samples and programing, but that is kind of across the board. Elliott plays drums and guitar.
Elliott: Yeah, Guitar was a weird one for me because I’m left handed and the guitar we had in school was strung for right handed people and so I forced myself to learn right handed. I’m not amazing at guitar but we can noodle, as Pete says, pretty well.
CH: It works! So don’t fix it. Tell me about the process of writing the album.
Pete: I had been writing music for other people and I had kind of lost my love for it, I wasn’t feeling very inspired and I had started thinking about doing something else, whether it be film or whatever. But then I thought I owed it to myself to give it one more shot because of the work I had already put into music and the love I have for music. So then I put a little studio together back in our hometown in Whales and just started making it.
Elliott: I remember Me and Pete were in a project together before UTRB and we had been touring around the UK, and that kind of came to an end, quite harshly. I was disappointed in the music and ended up walking out and working on a building business with my father. Pete started writing this new stuff and I remember listening to Pressure and thinking “I don’t really get it.” He turned to me and asked if I wanted to have a go at it and let’s try and make it work, let’s just try and do music together again, and I was like fuck it lets do it!
CH: I think it is easy to tell that the album came very organically in the studio and you guys have said In the past it was very difficult to make it into a stage show. Can you tell me about the process of taking it from a studio production to an incredible live show?
Pete: That has been a longer journey for me than for James and Elliott. I never really imagined the record to be a live show. After the first project, and I think now looking back its because I never really loved the music enough, but I felt that making records was more inspiring to me than playing them live. When I made this record I still felt a bit like that, I could sit in the studio all day and write. It wasn’t until James and Elliott pushed for this to be a real live project did it become one.
Elliott: Luckily we had the freedom to spend 2 months in London with whatever gear we wanted. So we basically we just noodled with gear for 2 months and came out with something we were very proud of. I think we first played with 20 of our friends in the rehearsal studio. We never played a show in London we went straight to the states and joined the Lorde tour, so the first show we ever did was in front of around two and a half thousand people, with Lorde! So it was fucking nerve racking! We are so happy though and think it’s going to evolve more and more.
CH: You Guys are going to play Coachella this year. How excited are you and do you have any other festivals on the docket?
Pete: We love playing festivals and we are super excited to play Coachella, and as far as any other festivals this year, we do what we’re told. We want to do them, we are happy to do them but we just want to play live as much as we can
Elliott: We played a great one last year called Electric Forest! We have been on tour recently and the last two dates we played were Minneapolis and Chicago, we have just had a stream of people coming up to us and saying “We saw you at Electric Forest,” and we had no idea we had mad such an impact there, but apparently everyone that had come to the show had seen us at Electric Forest.
CH: So are you guys going to play Electric Forest again this year?
Elliott: I’d love to but I don’t know how that works about having the same bands come back two years in a row.
CH: Thank you guys so much for your time and good luck in the future.
In case you haven’t heard it yet here is Revolution Indifference (featuring Run tha Jewels) from “A Lesson Unlearnt.”
Here at the Pulse, we often get emails from radio promoters thanking us for promoting their artists at radio. Occasionally, we’ll even get messages from the artists themselves. On the hip-hop side of things recently, Matt De Marco (no, not THAT Mat DeMarco), AKA independent hip-hop artist Femapco released his record North American Idol last November, which we promoted on the College Music Journal charts. Among the many different beats Matt utilizes on this record, one stood out to me in particular.
On Monday, Dec, 2nd, 2014, Mike and I interviewed, Jason Murray, and Nate Haderlie, director of PRSSA at Boise State. We talked about what it takes to join, opportunities for students, and upcoming events.
The Boise State chapter is completely student run. They form relationships with real professionals of their craft. Students can enroll in Communication 113 or 313 to earn credits while they are a member of this organization. All majors are encouraged to join as it builds experience you can use in any field and forms relationships which is important in the career world.
The students even provide their work for other clubs on campus and in the community. PRSSA has attended the national conference every year since 2009 which is in Washington D.C. The organization holds several events throughout the year and works with well known public relations firms and non-profit organizations. Listen to the interview to find out more about this great opportunity for students.
The power of rhetoric is a force that inflicts all of us, whether it is subliminal or not, intentional or not. With that, there is something to be said about calling a person “homeless.” To think, someone really exists without a home? I am a firm believer in the idea that home is where the heart is. Considering the fact that many people living without houses have bigger hearts than the rest of humanity, I submit that they are definitely not homeless. Instead, I deploy the word “houseless.” As far as I am concerned, someone is only ‘home’-less to us if we do not treat them as though they are home. One of the reasons we all universally treasure Boise so much is due to the fact that it becomes Home to so many seeking a community-oriented, safe, and beautiful place to settle. All of that being said, Boise’s newly introduced initiatives to subtly strip the basic rights of the houseless population in the area are no longer going to go unnoticed. This new onslaught of attacks on the houseless is antithetical to Boise’s very own aura, its prized personality, its most attractive elemental facets, its most basic, boiled-down, appreciated characteristics. It is in this piece that I aim to explore the issue in a much different way than any politician, organization, and/or researcher has done thus far. Hopefully this nuanced and unique approach is able to offer some new clarity on the issue we face as a city in ostracizing certain human beings based on where they sleep at night.
We had a chance to interview Phillip Daily with HVZ here on Study Break, about what the game is, and how its played here at Boise State University.
Imagine walking to your first college class armed with a nerf blaster and extra ammo. You scout the campus grounds for signs of the undead when suddenly you’re attacked from behind and now must walk the path of a zombie. Sounds fun right, well if you are part of the Zombie Vs Humans Club here at Boise State University, you might know what I’m talking about.