Shadow Band discuss their new record on Mexican Summer, Wilderness of Love.
You are a Philly based group. What makes Philly a good place to live and create music?
We followed ley lines to get here, and aside from the energetic forces that will us together, it's also a place rich with history and lore that we are receptive to and enchanted by.
How did the band form? How long have you been making music together? Are you in any other groups?
We were brought together by atmospheric winds and shaped by sub-sonic frequencies emanating from the moon. Most of us have been playing together, and separately, for many years now
What is a shadow band and how does it describe the spirit and nature of the group?
Just as with a shadow band, the planets have aligned to bring forth our sonic projections ~ one can see now the patterns of light and dark.
Wilderness of Love is your debut record on Mexican Summer. How did you get involved with the label and was this the first time you had worked with one? How did it change the record from a business standpoint compared to your previous EPs? Were there added pressures or a sense of relief?
Mexican Summer has been a true pleasure to work with; every one of the light elves and wizards behind the scenes there are masterful adepts and have been endlessly patient and supportive with us. As I understand it, our music was first introduced to them a few years ago after we played a show below the earth-surface in Philadelphia with now current label-mates and friends Quilt and Weyes Blood in the castle of dreams. Shortly thereafter, our relationship began to develop and this album is the first flower to show. I've released records in the past with Texas-based labels Haute Magie and Marmara Records when I was playing solo and also with the family band as well.
What's the theme of the album? It gives us a California desert trip feeling. It doesn't seem like an aesthetic that would exist in Philly. What was the inspiration for the sound and songwriting?
Perhaps the California feeling you're describing is resultant of the gloom and darkness of our East Coast reality that begs for warmth and light. The sentiment might be present and encapsulated better in the lyrics of that wonderful song, "California Dreaming" where "all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Was it self recorded and produced? What was that process like?
It was recorded and produced by members of the band in familiar spaces where we dwell often.
Shadow Band is an 8-piece ensemble. It provides the opportunity to have a full sound for your live shows. What are your live experiences like?
It's not always 8, or any other set number. As I'm writing this we're on tour as a four-piece, on route to Lexington, Kentucky from the charmed city of Cincinnati, Ohio. When we're at home in Love City and get asked to play a show, we take inventory of who of us among the shadows will be available to play and go on from there to organize a setlist and so on. It's important to figure this stuff out before actually playing most of the time because once we're inside of the songs everything else sort of disappears as if we've altogether fallen into a portal or altered state of reality; it's good to have a map to work with, so we don't get too lost. Sometimes, however, we completely leave things up to chance to see what will happen.
Is the songwriting process a group effort? How does the group divvy up responsibilities for that?
Our process differs with every song. I'll typically bring a song to the group, then we start playing it, it comes to life as it will. Some of the songs I've carried with me for a while, like "Daylight" which first visited my bedside when I was a teenager, and others like "Endless Night" revealed itself like a gust of wind one night unexpectedly during the WOL sessions and the following day we recorded it and added it to the album.