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L’ormai storica band texana dei Balmorhea sarà di nuovo in Italia nel tour di presentazione dell’ultimo disco, Stranger. Le date in questione sono le seguenti:

02.10.2013 – Raindogs, Savona
03.10.2013 – Init, Roma
04.10.2013 – Cortile d’Onore, Carpi (MO)
05.10.2013 – Bronson, Madonna dell’Albero (RA)
06.10.2013 – Apartamento Hoffmann, Conegliano Veneto (TV)
07.10.2013 – Blah Blah, Torino

In occasione del tour, siamo riusciti ad intervistarli. Ecco la nostra “piacevole conversazione” con i Balmorhea, in inglese, mentre quella in italiano verrà pubblicata tra qualche giorno!

Hello. Thank you for taking part in this interview. I didn’t want to ask you how and when was your band born so I chose to simply ask you WHY did you choose to form it?

Michael and I chose to start the band because we simply wanted to play music together. We had each been working on some simple and quiet music individually and wanted to see if we could help each other fill our songs out.

You are currently touring to promote your latest record, called “Stranger”. Are you satisfied with the reactions you had from reviews and fans? What are the main differences from Stranger and everything you produced before?

We have been very satisfied with the reactions from fans and the media! Stranger is a bit different from some of the previous music we have made. Most notably, it is quite different from the preceding record, Constellations, which is a quiet and somber affair. We have always made it a point to constantly be moving our music in new directions, not allowing ourselves to get stuck doing the same things over and over.

Is Austin, or Texas in general, an area where you could find great influences for your music? Are there any bands, still active maybe, that have been important for your sound?

While there are many great bands from Texas, and Austin in particular, I don’t think there are any specific artists who I could name as being important for our sound. Because that might be misleading. There is music we love from Texas and from all over the world that somehow gets distilled and filtered and mixed and recombined to become our own.

Your genre have been called in so many ways that it’s now impossible not to ask you…what do you think about that? how do you define your music? Is “chamber music” a good definition or not?

The problem is that we continually are making different types of music. Some of our music could be called “chamber music,” but that would be a relatively small percentage of what we have created. Some could comfortable be called folk, some called rock. Someone called our music “music of dreams” which I thought was cool. In the most basic sense, it is pop music, in so much as it is not academic music, not stridently avant-garde and works with popular music instrumentation and structures.

In the past, Balmorhea did a great work with music videos too. One that particularly impressed me was Mike Anderson’s directed one, “Candor”. Do you recall any interesting detail about the concept of that video? Are music videos important for the music you make as they are for pop music or not?

Thanks, we like that video for Candor as well. We had seen some of Mike Anderson’s other work and liked it a lot. We knew we wanted something a bit strange and other-worldly to visually represent Candor and he seemed like the right fit. We discussed a few basic thematic ideas with him and then he did it from there. He created all the sets and costumes and everything himself. It’s pretty fantastic! I’m not sure how important music videos are, but we do like working with other artists to give a visual representation to our music.

In 2011, you recorded a live concert inside a church, and released it as Live at Sint-Elisabethkerk. How did the idea of recording inside a church come to your mind and do you feel that the environment added something more to your music? Is that why you chose to record a live there?

We were asked to play in that church on a tour a few years ago and we decided on a whim to record the show. It is such a cavernous space and the atmosphere was so strange and unusual (it was so cold that we could see our breath) we new that it would be a special night. At the time we had no plans of doing anything with the recording other than listening to it to see how it sounded, but once we heard it we new that we wanted to share it. That show also came at a liminal moment for Balmorhea and represented pretty well where we had come from and where we were headed at that time.

Members of Balmorhea work outside the band too. Do you feel that the external experiences (like Aisha Burns’ solo project) can mean a further exploration for Balmorhea too?

We are super excited for Aisha and her new record! I think any time individual members grow and try new things its bond to have an effect on the band. What that effect will be remains to be seen. For example, as Aisha has grown more comfortable singing in the past few years we have been able to incorporate her beautiful voice into more Balmorhea music.

I’ve seen you tour Italy more often than I could imagine when I first listened to your music. What are your feeling about playing here? The Italian audience often polarizes comments: you get someone who particularly loves it and other totally hates it because it seems to be noisy and maybe not interested in music. Do Balmorhea have their own opinion about this?

We love playing in Italy. There is something so warm and receptive about the audiences there. Pretty much everyone we have met treats us like family, cooking meals for us, sharing the best grappa.

Do you recall any strange, interesting or simply noteworthy fact about your last dates in Italy? You were here last March, right?

We had an amazing concert in Foligno at Auditorio San Dominico. In the US you would very rarely get to play in such an old and beautiful space. It was special. We also are starting to think of Init in Rome as one of our favorite stops in Italy, as well as Bronson in Ravenna, both of which we are excited to play again on this tour!

What is the best country where to play, according to your touring experience by now? And where would you love to bring your music but you didn’t have the occasion yet?

We love playing everywhere. some of our best audiences are in Italy, Spain, Belgium Istanbul and Russia. We would love to perform in Greece, Australia or anywhere in Asia. But truly, we want to perform everywhere!

Thank you for having taken part in this very pleasant conversation. Let’s see you in one of the future Italian dates!

Thank you!

Ecco l’ultimo disco Stranger su YouTube

si ringrazia Ja.La Media Activities per averci messo in contatto con la band

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