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    Posted: September 13 2010 at 09:01
http://www.echolyn.com/teibpromo/logo.jpg

http://www.gepr.net/echolyn_nf08.jpg

Echolyn is an American progressive rock band that has released seven studio albums.  Their work encompasses a broad array of sounds and moods, ranging from beautiful acoustic cheerfulness to heavy and edgy angst- but is always compellingly inspiring.

If you are curious about this band, you can download their Jersey Tomato live album- almost two hours of fabulous free music.

Brett Kull of Echolyn was kind enough to answer some questions for Prog Archives.

++++

Robert: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.


It’s been about 20 years since Echolyn formed. Did you ever think the group would be around that long? What lessons have you learned during your journey?

Brett: I actually DID think we would be around 20 years down the road. I generally get involved with things that i hope are part of my life always (in some way, shape or form). Tom, Ray, Paul and Chris are some of my best friends. I love just hanging out with them. We’ve learned over the years to listen more to each other and to remember that making music can be a joyful experience. Even though it is serious and a great release for the soul the “fun aspect” should never be forgotten.

How did you arrive at the name Echolyn, and what does it mean?

When i was thinking of cool bands names i wanted something that had no evident connotation or ties to something else. i wanted something that would just represent us. AH, youthful pretension!! LOL What does it mean to you??

http://gnosis2000.net/pics/echolynband.jpg

Fans are thrilled at the prospect of a new album. Could you tell the fine folks reading this what to expect?

Well, it will be different of course because we are different people now. writing something that is “present” for us is paramount. we don’t like repeating ourselves (even though we do sometimes). Paul is laying down some great drum grooves with tons of feel. I want his approach to be lyrical and beautiful. we want no banging just tone, tone and more tone! i want to feel the drums breathing as well as the space we all create. Space is good! Its so fun to play by instinct and record tons of great ideas and be able to mute things or discover magic in accidents because of it. We have no external time constrains or deadlines other than the ones we make so the process feels very natural and relaxed. So far the lyrics and vibe have been about throwing away what is accumulated. letting go of the past and being present.

Are there any plans for a tour?

Not at the moment

I’ve been asked if you would share your thoughts (long or brief) on each of your albums:

Echolyn

Echolyn Echolyn album cover

Our inexperience shines out in the recording, song writing, and performing. It has sentimental value in spades and shows the beginning of what we would become.

Suffocating the Bloom

Echolyn Suffocating The Bloom album cover

This one actually shows some originality. NO ONE was playing this kind of music back in 1991-92. There were a few progressive bands in Europe at the time but they were not doing what we were doing. I think we “realized” our style on this album because we had been playing a lot of gigs and writing non stop. it was US against Everyone else.  Wink

As the World

Echolyn As The World album cover

This album was a study in seeing how far we could go with our playing and songwriting in regards to melody, harmony and rhythm. All the songs were written in the summer and fall of 1993. Its a shame that the momentum we had created between 1990 and that summer of 93 came to a halt when we became part of Sony Music. It took a year and a half for this music to finally be released and by that point we had become totally frustrated with everything.

When the Sweet Turns Sour

Echolyn When The Sweet Turns Sour album cover

These are just leftovers from 1993 and 94 and represent for me the stagnation of 1995. there are some cool moments here that never got fully developed.

Cowboy Poems Free

Echolyn Cowboy Poems Free album cover

This started out as a non echolyn project but inevitably became one because it WAS. I love the freedom on this album. i also love the organic quality, the melodies, our playing and arranging. For me this is the first album where we started to understand feel.

Mei*

http://www.rprk.net/Echolyn_Mei.jpg

This is my favorite album because it flows and breathes. The scope of this is way beyond what anyone has done with a four piece rock band... except maybe Dark Side of the Moon. it is truly one song that flows effortlessly and was a joy to make.

The End is Beautiful


Echolyn The End Is Beautiful album cover

The energy of this album is what grabs me. Paul’s drumming is very intense. I think the title track, Georgia Pine and Love Sick morning are some of the best things we’ve ever written.

*A few specific questions about Mei: First, was a single track of that length a goal or did it just happen to evolve into a fifty-minute piece? Second, how difficult is it to pull this song off live? Third, could you tell us about the lyrics?

we wanted to write a long piece. it evolved very naturally. We certainly did not “look at the clock” as we were working on it. When is was done we knew it. If it was 30 min or 80 min it didn’t matter... it just felt complete on the day we wrote the ending. Playing the song live is actually not difficult. it would have been back in the early 90s because we couldn’t play like this back then. This album truly represents how we play. We played it live as a 4 piece and it was amazing! We played it as a 5 piece with Tom back in the band and it was amazing! we played it as a 12 piece with tuned percussion, woodwinds, and a string quartet and it was amazing!! All this goes to show that at its heart it works and is constructed very well. the song would work as an acoustic guitar piece as well or if chris played solo on piano. The lyrics are about redemption from despair through the power of love and hope.

When you write music, does the bulk of the songwriting fall on one or two pairs of shoulders, or is the songwriting a more evenly shared task?


We definitely write as a group when working out ideas. we all stand in a room and play together hashing out this and that. We usually bring an idea in and just see were it goes. Ray and I [write] most of the words but everyone throws in their thoughts. The writing goes like this... One of us has an idea. It starts with a riff or a chord progression with a melody. We all get together and figure out what to do with it. I record and do the engineering. everyone keeps throwing in ideas as we develop the song. Because i have my own studio i do the editing and mixing when needed. sometimes these edits spur new ideas and threads to follow. the point is that we have an excellent work flow within the group.

How much would you say your music evolves over the course of putting together an album?

The music always evolves as we work on it. we don’t say no to any idea without first trying it. the key is to know the heart of the song and to never get in the way of it... only bring it out more.


 http://www.calprog.com/images/CP08/calpro2.jpg

Taking a broad view at Echolyn’s discography, it seems the band has moved from a happy, sunny perspective toward a darker, angrier approach. Is that accurate, and if so, does it reflect your own outlook and life experiences?

I would disagree with that. we are all very positive people BUT we are also realists. our music has always reflected where we are at the moment we are writing. looking back i see a lot of struggle and pain, i see hope, i see frustration and redemption... but there is always a “light” in there that shines out. At the very least you could say we are ALWAYS honest. Music is such a release for people and can brighten [the] darkest emotions we have. It is a release and rebirth to us.

What do you think about how the Internet is changing the music industry?

Brett - [It's] shaking up the business drastically... but change is a good thing. Personally i like the accessibility people have to music these days. you don’t have to be on a major label any more to have worldwide distribution. There are lots of ways bands can make money too. I never minded people getting our music for free. some people buy, some people don’t but the point is that our music is getting listened [to] AND THEN those people tell others about us. We’ve done better business not being on Sony Music. The percentages are way better for the artists. You don’t need to spend $200,000.00 any more to make a great record. All the things that seemed wrong back in the day have been changed. the universe has a way of balancing everything eventually.

What was the feedback you received from the music you released for free?

Free is good
Wink

What music are you listening to these days?

the new Crowded House, a band called Menomen, the Punch Brothers new one and a scary Walt Disney record from the early 70’s called Chilling Thrilling Sounds of a Haunted House.

What are your favorite beers?

Pabst Blue Ribbon! simple, clean and cold. Wine is what i mostly drink, good Vodka too. I think i’ll have some now.

Finally, who grows the better beard, Brett or Ray?

Ray has less fear than i do Wink

Anything you would like to add to this interview?

just want to say thank you very much and that we all appreciate your time and interest. Stay in touch for the new record!

++++

Thanks to Brett Kull for his time and insight.  Please visit Echolyn's homepage and Prog Archives Artist page.  Finally, visit CD Baby and purchase one of their fine albums.  It's good for your health.



Edited by Epignosis - September 13 2010 at 14:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 09:08
Great review Rob!  Reading it reminded me again that I want to get Mei (and some others) which is always a good thing too.  Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 09:32
Great job Rob.  Glad to hear that they are working on new material and that a new album will be forthcoming.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toroddfuglesteg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 10:30

Excellent, Rob. Clap



Edited by toroddfuglesteg - September 13 2010 at 10:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 12:30
Excellent, always a pleasure to read about this great band. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote avestin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 12:49
Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed reading it and it's interesting to read Brett's take on their albums. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mellotron Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 14:02
That was interesting,makes me want to throw on some some "Cowboy Poems Free".Looking forward to their new one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sigod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 14:14
Cheers Rob. Always a pleasure to see the subject of Echolyn pop up on these pages. God bless 'em. Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 15:59
Excellent, thanks Rob! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 17:16
A new and great interview. Thanks.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 19:46
Fantastic review Rob. Interesting to hear what these guys are up to nowadays. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheGazzardian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2010 at 20:42
Great work Rob Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ingmin68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2010 at 04:41
Ahhhh!!! Fantastic addition! I'm so keen to seeking any news about Echolyn that all this great interview would drive me drunk for a while LOL...until next mandatory purchase of the band's album! Really: it emerges a very good feeling in the band about music "construction" - check out the small video in Echolyn's website to see how they do it. And I have to say that I appreciate a lot the questions about brief notes on the Echolyn's discography: I do share 100% Brett's replies. Congratulations, and thanks, to the interviewer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rivertree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2010 at 05:02
excellent work, Robert! Thumbs Up I prefer Mei too by the way ...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote omardiyejon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2010 at 11:01
thanks for this great review, i have just started to get into echolyn and what i am hearing is a true piece of art!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Todd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2010 at 13:06
Great interview, one of my favorite bands.  Cheers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MovingPictures07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2010 at 21:13
Awesome interview!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2010 at 21:20
Somehow I missed this back then, nice job Rob!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 16 2010 at 13:08
Like Jim, I missed this at the time - excellent job RobertClap

On the strength of this, reviews, and other posts you have made, I have bought Mei, and will listen shofrtly, and am looking forward to it.


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