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Gifts From Enola

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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 15 2011 at 04:10


Gifts From Enola is a post-rock band from Virginia; United States that formed in 2006. They have so far released three albums. 

I got in touch with the band and Andrew answered my questions.

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When, where and by whom was Gifts From Enola started ? Did any of you, past and present Gifts From Enola members, play in any other bands before joining up in Gifts From Enola ? Why did you choose that name ?

Our bass player, Nate, and I started recording music together in late '05 during our first semester at college in Harrisonburg, VA. We never intended to be a full band, but sure enough in the summer of 2006 we started playing shows under the name Gifts From Enola with CJ on 2nd guitar and our old drummer Jordan. We all played in some not so awesome high school bands prior to this band. Jud joined the band in 2009, and he had previously played in a really good band called Wanli that GFE had played with before. 
I came up with the name of the band in high school. It actually was originally the name of our song 'early morning ambulance' in its rough stages. The idea behind the name was to create the imagery of a tragic event being reversed. It seems kind of silly in hindsight, but there are definitely worse names a 17 year old could come up with.
 
How was the music scene in your area when you started ?

We were completely out of touch with the music scene in Harrisonburg when we started. We didn't really know anyone in the local scene since none of us were originally from the area or had visited Harrisonburg, and it took us a long, long time to meet people that were involved with it. We started off just playing parties and house shows here, and people slowly warmed up to us show after show. Our friends have always been super supportive of the band, and despite constantly heckling us, will always come out to our local shows and spread the word. The people involved with the music scene here are incredibly hard-working, and book some amazing shows. The annual festival MACRoCK is proof that a small town like Harrisonburg can still have a great music scene. There has been a ton of tremendous musical talent in Harrisonburg throughout the years, it's just a shame that bands seem to come and go so quickly.



Over to your albums. Your debut album was Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind from 2006. Please tell us more about this album.

Loyal Eyes was recorded in Nate's dorm room in GarageBand in 2006. It was originally just 9 demos that Nate and I had recorded for fun with midi drums. We had no goal of making an album, but when the songs were all demoed out, we decided that we could put them together as a cohesive record. CJ ended up recording some guitar parts over what we had recorded, and Jordan and I scrambled to record live drums at the very end of the recording process in some dude's garage. It was a completely backwards way of making a record, but it turned out OK in the end. My dad fronted us the money to get some CD's pressed and from then on we tried to hit the road when we could and learn how to be a band. 



Your second album was From Fathoms from 2009. Please tell us more about this album.

We started writing for From Fathoms in late 2006/early 2007 and started to get real excited about the material we were coming up with. We started playing a lot of these songs live on tour in 2007, so they had more time to be smoothed out in a live environment unlike with Loyal Eyes. We recorded the drums in January 2008 and thought that we were off to a quick start. Then Nate's computer started to crash when were recording everything else, and we had to abandon the recording process for a bit. This ended up kind of being a blessing. We went on tour for the whole summer of 2008, and when we got back, we had access to our university's recording studio because of a class Nate took in the fall. We finished up guitars and everything else in that studio and mixed it ourselves (bad idea in hindsight). We videotaped a lot of the making of this record which you can see on good 'ol youtube. I'm still proud of this album, but I doubt it's something we'll do again. It was our big, epic, post-rock, concept album, and I'm glad that we got it out of our system. We hope to get it re-mixed and re-mastered at some point in the near future, so that it'll finally sound how we want it to sound. 



Your third and most recent album is Gifts from Enola from 2010. Please tell us more about this album.

The self-titled album was our first time writing with Jud, who joined the band after From Fathoms was recorded. We took on a new approach to writing music which I enjoyed a lot. We rented out a tiny 10x20 storage unit, and the 4 of us wrote in a live environment for the first time. I had demoed out a few of the songs before, but for the most part it was the 4 of us bouncing ideas off of each other during every weekend for 2 and a half months. The songs came to us very quickly, and I think we're more proud of these five songs than anything we've ever released in the past. We wanted to cut the bullsh*t from the songs and have them get to the point. We went down to Atlanta and recorded the drums and bass in a super nice studio where Ludacris was recording the next day. Then we finished up the guitars, vocals, and whatever other noises in Harrisonburg. It was the easiest record we've ever made, and also our best in my opinion. We didn't overthink anything and we didnt try to throw a million layers into one song. I think the material is strong enough to speak for itself. 



How is the creative processes in your band from coming up with an idea to submitting it onto an album ?

As I mentioned before, we used to just demo out songs and rerecord things until we had parts that we enjoyed. But, for the newest album we wrote the majority of the songs in a live environment, which we have continued to do for new material. 

Your music has been branded post-rock. A label as meaningless as branding Elvis Presley as a post-swing artist. But how would you describe you music and which bands would you compare yourself with ?

The "Post-Rock" brand can be incredibly frustrating at times. I understand that people need to organize things in their brains, and genre tags help that process. However, I don't know what people even define as "Post-Rock" anymore. I always thought it was bands that start with a simple idea and keep building and building until this big, climax part happens. None of our songs, except for "Memoranda" and "Resurface", follow this formula. Due to our songwriting ADD, our songs are constantly changing. Sure, there are short buildups and tremelo picking during certain parts within our old songs, but "post-rock" music has never been more of an influence than any other type of music to us, and it's becoming less and less of one. In high school I thought that bands like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai were new and interesting, but that was almost 6 years ago now. So many bands have hijacked their sound that the honesty and emotion behind that kind of music has been completely taken away. I just think that people are lazy and when they hear a mostly-instrumental song they just throw it in the "post-rock" bin. If people actually sat down and listened to our music, especially our last album, they would realize we really don't have a lot in common with bands that are typically considered "post-rock".



What is your plans for this year and beyond ?

We'll be touring throughout 2011 in the US, Canada, and Europe. We'll also be recording in April and May for a special Fall release. We can't really announce much about it yet, but people will hear new material from us this year. 

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

Thanks to Torodd and ProgArchives for getting in touch with us, as well as anyone on this site that has supported us! Keep an eye out for our 2011 tour dates to see if we'll be coming to an area near you. I'm going to go take a shower because a commercial came on the TV for "Jersey Shore Season 3" and it made me feel infected. Cheers!



Thank you to Andrew for this interview

Their PA profile is here and their homepage is here

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prog Geo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2011 at 04:28
Congratulations for the interview mr Torodd!Gifts from enola is a great band.ClapPost rock!Thumbs Up
Sonorous Meal show every Sunday at 20:00 (greek time) on http://www.justincaseradio.com
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