16 May, 2008

In Their Own Words: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun - Part One

As you previously read here on The Atlanta Rock Blog, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun will be releasing their debut EP on May 31st. I recently had the privilege to sit down with all four members of the band to talk about life, music, and the record. In today's entry, you will get an idea of what the band is and aspires to be, as well as a little bit about who they are and what makes them such a promising upstart band here in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Rock Blog: Thank you all for joining me today.
TTM,TTS: Thank you!

TARB: So the first question is inevitable. How did you come up with the name of the band?
Lauren: We were recording our first demo at Opium Den Studios, and we had yet to come up with a name for the band. So Micah and I were reading through the World Daily News or some other National Enquirer-esque newspaper, and there was an article about what other countries might say to top America's famous phrase when they first landed on the moon. The coolest phrase we saw in there was Poland's "Today the moon, tomorrow the sun."
Micah: We just thought that was hilarious.
Cregg: It's a really bad Pollock joke.
Micah: Well, I'm Polish, so I don't think we'll be offending anyone there.
Cregg: Yeah, we won't mention that if we ever play Poland.
Micah: In addition to that, it meant a lot of really cool things. You know, what can you conquer today, what can you conquer tomorrow, or today you're one thing and tomorrow you're another. It just had a cool general vibe to it.
Cregg: Yeah, and to think of something like landing on the moon. It seems impossible, yet, maybe it isn't. I don't know.

TARB: How did the four of you get together after the breakup of your previous bands?
Lauren: Micah and I were still playing together for a while. At the same time, Cregg, Jeremy and I were thinking about starting a side project together, and it just made sense for us to all do it together.
Cregg: Yeah, we didn't have a bass player. It was just two guitars which we thought was pretty cool, but obviously Micah was a perfect fit. She was also playng with The Libras at the time, and we didn't know how serious that was, but luckily she wanted to do it.
Micah: Lauren and I had never been able to find a drummer, and the only one we had enjoyed playing with was Jeremy. So that just made sense to us as well.

TARB: So you were constantly playing with someone; there was no real interim?
Lauren: Well, we kind of were. It would be more like rehearse on the weekend and then three weeks later we would get together again. Micah and I played together pretty steadily, but Avenge Vegas had definitely gone away.
Jeremy: After Linger broke up, I was in a car accident and I snapped two tendons in my wrist. So after that I was in physical therapy and rehab for about six months. So when I finally got back to the point were I thought I could play was when Cregg said, "Dude, you gotta come over and jam." So I came over and Lauren was there, and we just started doing that randomly.

TARB: Did any of you consider giving up music?
(Cregg and Jeremy raise their hands.)
TARB: Why? What exactly happened with Linger?
Cregg: I think we had taken the band as far as it could go and just got tired with it, I guess. We had evolved so much, and by that time I had started Linger about 7 or 8 years before. You can only evolve so many times. There are so many bands that are evolving and growing all the time, but with Linger nothing ever seemed to happen. It was just time to try to start anew. Not as Linger with a different sound again, but as a whole.
Jeremy: It was just time. If we were going to move on, we were just going to move on. Cregg and I didn't really have any regrets about it.

TARB: Cregg and Lauren, you were both previously lead singers. How did you arrive at the decision to have Lauren be the primary vocalist for this band?
Cregg: I basically wanted her to do it. I was burnt out with being the lead singer and writing tunes. There was a conversation where I told her that I was burnt out and didn't want to sing anymore, and she said, "Well, I still have things left I want to say." So she just assumed that role, and everyone's been happy with it. It seems like that's the way it should naturally be.
TARB: So you wanted the freedom to just be a guitarist?
Cregg: Yes, I wanted to completely focus on guitars. That was my main goal. You know, I do sing on one of the songs on the EP, and I'm sure there will be others coming, but she is the lead singer of this band. That's how we want it to be.

TARB: What do you feel is the goal for this band?
Jeremy: Today the moon, tomorrow the sun!
Cregg: Tour Europe.
Lauren: We just want to play everywhere.
Micah: I think there are lots of little different goals. First and foremost is to make cool music and explore our collaboration. A small goal for me personally has always been to make a music video. I hope that we can do that soon. And then, yeah, tour Europe.

TARB: Cregg and Jeremy's previous band received a little extra attention when they covered The Cranberries' song "Zombie." Have you as a band considered covering a song or two yourselves?
Jeremy: I have a Rusted Root song right now that I want to cover.
Lauren: That would be really intersting.
Jeremy: I'm not kidding!
Lauren: Oh, I know you're not kidding!
Micah: We've played two covers for the 500 Songs for Kids, but we haven't played them outside of that. If we did cover a song, it would be because we all thought it was really cool, not for any reason of putting it on an album to get some extra attention or anything like that.
TARB: So you played Veruca Salt's "Seether" and what other song for 500 Songs for Kids?
Lauren: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" which was really cool. We hadn't even played our first show yet; all we had done was record a two-song demo. We had no idea what we wanted to do with it. We just listened to the song over and over. We did know that we wanted it to be really cool, because it was the first time anyone was going to hear us play. So we ended up changing the key and rearranging the lyrics.
Micah: Jeremy started it off with a really cool electronic drum beat, and that just kind of sparked it from there. It was a real labour of love that song. We worked on it, we struggled, it was frustrating; but it ended up being really cool. Probably one of the coolest things we've done.
Lauren: I think we've all agreed that when we don't hate that song anymore, I think we will eventually add it to the setlist because I think we did a really good job with it.
Jeremy: Yeah, it's been a little over a year now, and we still hate [playing] it.

TARB: Cregg, I often have a hard time describing your playing style. How would you describe it?
Cregg: Controlled chaos. I like to play with pedals, I like to play with noise. I've never really considered myself a lead guitarist. I mean half the time I don't really know what I'm doing. It's just experimentation, and, yeah, I guess experimental noise is the best way I can describe it.
Jeremy: If I could just add something about Cregg's style. If you could compare two things. Take Stevie Ray Vaughn, who could play a scale faster than the speed of light and the passion behind it is just awesome. Then take David Gilmour, who could just hold a note out for like 45 seconds and just sustain it and make you cry. I compare Cregg more to David Gilmour. He just does things musically where you think "What the freak did he just do?!" and it's not ridiculously [over the top].

TARB: Micah, even though all of you play multiple instruments in the band, you seem to be the full time multi-instrumentalist member. How do you view your role, and what do you feel are your responsibilities?
Micah: I think the reason why I play more instruments the most now is because it's OK if the bass drops out. A lot of the time Cregg's guitar and the effects will fill the low end just like a bass would, so that frees me up or someone else up to play the keyboard or Jeremy's drum electronics. I think the more expansive the better. I'd like to try anything and everything moving forward. I think my role is to just do whatever I can to make things more musical and better.
Jeremy: Again, let me talk about my people here. As far as Micah goes, I can't play the drums like she can play the bass, or keyboards, or guitar. I mean it's kind of ridiculous.
Lauren: Seriously, Micah can hear anything, and then she can play it. Bass, guitar, keyboards...
Cregg: Even xylophone!
Micah: You guys should know though that I can play the clarinet better than I can play anything else. I mean, I played in a Dixieland band guys!
Lauren: That's why I thought when I first met Micah, "This chick can play the clarinet! I need to play in a band with her!"

TARB: Lauren, you have a very sunny disposition and an outgoing personality, but many of your lyrics have a dark or moody tinge to them. Would you say that the songwriting process is a sort of therapy for you?
Lauren: Yeah, definitely. I think a lot of times my songs will start off thinking about someone else and how they effect me, and they end up making me analyze myself. They make me think about myself and the areas where I would like to do better. A lot of times I point the finger at someone else, and then the finger ends up being pointed back at me. I am a genuinely nice person, and I am a happy person. But in the same sense, writing for me is very therapeutic and it helps me be that sunny disposition. It gets my demons out there on paper, and it helps me [understand] other things people do or what I've seen or been around. It helps me release that and not hold on to it.

TARB: Jeremy, you have a very aggressive drumming style and are the most demonstrative performer onstage. Is that you just being you, or have you been influenced by anyone in those regards?
Jeremy: Not really. I mean, I love Dave Grohl and Nine Inch Nails. I release my weekly demons when I play drums. Even in rehearsal, I'm yelling and throwing stuff and hitting hard.
Micah: He is just as passionate at every single rehearsal as he is at every single show.
Jeremy: You know, some people write songs, some people do drugs; I play drums, and that's how I get rid of my demons. And if I thought about it and told myself, "OK, you can't go crazy this show" it just wouldn't happen. I just don't have control over that, I really don't. He did it to me (pointing to Cregg). He used to turn around and yell at me, "Play harder!"

TARB: You all have day jobs at the moment, right? So what are your occupations?
Micah: Art director for a rich-media vendor. Online advertising. I do creative direction for online banner codes. It's really boring.
Lauren: I guess right now you could say assistant to hairstylists. I'm soon to be a hairstylist myself. In a few weeks I will graduate from beauty school.
Cregg: I am a hairstylist.
Jeremy: Retail Management. No further elaboration necessary.
TARB: How do you manage to balance your day jobs with the band?
Cregg: For Lauren and I, we don't have jobs that we have to take home. You know, when I cut hair and I leave, that's it. I'm done. I can't say that so much for [Micah]; she has to constantly be thinking about her job. And the stress of Jeremy's job constantly follows him around everywhere. But as far as touring, we haven't crossed that threshold yet, but I'm interested to see what happens. We are all prepared to do what it takes to make the music happen. But we work really hard on the music, and we work really hard at our jobs, and right now it's making everyone happy. Maybe not ourselves all of the time, but the music...
Jeremy: Yeah, the music makes me happy.
Micah: Yeah, we do it because the passion drives us to make music, and we're not going to stop doing that. But we also can't quit our day jobs.
Jeremy: If I wasn't in this band, I mean this band has probably saved my life. I'm not saying I'm depressed or anything like that, but without this band there's no telling what I would have done.
Cregg: Yeah, we need this. It's not just because we want to; we actually need it and feed off of it.

TARB: What do you do in your spare time to unwind?
Jeremy: Sleep. Drink.
Micah: Crossword puzzles.
Cregg: LOST [everyone clamorously agrees]
Lauren: Yeah, we're all LOSTies. We make music, we work, and we watch LOST.
Cregg: And really, just appreciating having time to unwind I guess.
Jeremy: And we all have pets that we love a lot. I think I can say that we're all into animal rights. I mean, if they could vote, I say let 'em vote!

TARB: What one thing have you learned about yourselves from your previous bands that has made you a better musician today?
Lauren: For me that was my first band, and I think it's intersting that I never thought of myself as a lead singer. But with Avenge Vegas I was the only guitarist, and I never really thought about the vocals. They just came out. I paid more attention to the dynamics of what we were doing instrument-wise. I guess it taught me how to be a multitasker, because I had never done that up to that point.
Micah: For me it's the same as Lauren, it was my first band. I never thought I could stand up on a stage and do anything. It's part of my personality; I was really shy and quiet and afraid. So I learned that I could actually do things that I never thought I could.
Cregg: I was in Linger for eight years, and it taught me a lot musically of course. But business-wise I think it taught me not to trust anybody. We had a lot of meetings with record labels and management that never really got us anywhere. I think now in the independent age and the way we can do what we do independently; I mean in this band we look forward to doing things on our own. We get some help with booking, but we can record our own stuff. You put a lot of faith in people in this industry, and it's a very jaded industry. All it does is slow you down, because while you're waiting on other people you could be doing it yourself. So I learned not to trust anybody. [laughter] And I mean that in a positive way, you know, believe in yourself and do it yourself. With the way computers are now, iTunes, MySpace, that stuff; in many ways, MySpace is kind of like a record label, and iTunes is distribution to the whole world. That really makes it quite easy.
Jeremy: As far as muscially, I went from not knowing anything about electronics to where I am now. The main thing between then and now is I learned that I can't break as much stuff now because I can't afford it anymore!

******

Check back later this month for Part Two of the interview in which we will cover the record, their musings on the Atlanta rock scene, and a few more insights into the band members.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Great interview. I wasn't aware of your blog yet! Looks like you have some great content.

We did a segment with TMTS on my podcast / blog called Have You Heard. We recorded some live tracks of theirs. Check it out:

http://www.haveyouheard.net/have-you-heard-sessions/