Æ: Aglet Eaters

Interactions in Installments: Echodrone Part 2

Posted in Discover by R on September 2, 2012

Something I said led Eugene to give me the story behind ‘Cold Snap’. Like almost every person on the planet, I love stories. Like  a spoiled child, I asked for more. Eugene passed the mic to Meredith.


[on writing lyrics for ‘Under an Impressive Sky’, ‘Hypnogogic’, and ‘Infinite Arms’]

I was kind of inspired by the movie Super 8 for ‘Under an Impressive Sky’. Sometimes not even particularly good movies make a big impact on me. ‘Infinite Arms’ maybe about the memory of people who have died. I think the track that made me the most excited from ideas sent around by Eugene was ‘Hypnogogic’. I was just completely mesmerized and in love with the sound of it the first time i heard it. That song just made me feel a flood of emotions so that one I just sang exactly what I was feeling: “its been a long day, and I’m back from the grave. I never thought I’d be this whole again. It’s been a long year, and strange without you here. I never thought I’d see your face again. Now I’m whole.”

Æ[demands more stories] [fears coming across petulant] [politely asks about changes in band dynamic]


I would say band logistics have mostly changed the sound. Life is always changing but the music has been always pretty constant for me. Whether things were good or bad, I think the output has been pretty similar.

Relationship changes have been huge, both negative and positive. More huge, to me, is how we have been able to keep our bond so strong with one another. Eugene and I were talking about whether we had any stories to share from writing/recording the last album. While I don’t have any that are funny or whatever, the overwhelming feeling I have in memory is how incredible it felt to be able to walk into a room with you guys and immediately rekindle the energy and connection we had before folks went off to grad school – it was really comfortable and so easy to lay down music we had frankly barely rehearsed. I know we had some trepidation about how recording would go so it was funny that we finished tracking etc. so ahead of schedule.


So I think my story is that we’ve been able to keep our connection going strong against so many reasons against it – relationships transitioning, major life changes, distance, time etc.

Æ – [compelled to ask about past work – part of the No Release Left Behind act. You’ll find the best stories here]


What I remember from the Echodrone EP recording was the sound engineer’s pot use and diminishing mixing abilities as he smoked more pot over the course of the day. But he was a great guy to pop our recording cherry with.


The engineer for our first album really was a great guy and had some very interesting sound engineering techniques. That was one of my first recording experiences ever, and he did an excellent job making it feel like we were just hanging out at our practice space. That being said, there really was a lot of discussion about dinosaurs and Nacho Libre quotes once the pot use increased over time. Oh, that vaporizer!


As for The Sun Rose In A Different Place, because things were so crazy with ES and MG’s personal lives I don’t have any real stories from that. I just remember how quickly we worked and how decent the stuff sounded at the time when played back and the excitement around the general process.

Mark: The album (The Sun Rose in a Different Place) actually took a lot longer to make since we recorded it in chunks over the course of several months. We got the basic rhythm tracks banged out for half of the tunes at a local studio and then did most of the guitar overdubs and vocals at our rehearsal space in Oakland at the time where Eugene and I spent weeks being mad scientists, along with doing Meredith’s lovely vocals and then had it mixed which took a few more months so it started to feel like we were never going to finish, but we eventually did and we were all very happy with the results!

Eugene: We also approached the songwriting for The Sun Rose in a Different Place from an entirely different angle than Bon Voyage. At the time, Meredith and I were both getting ready to go to grad school. We weren’t sure if The Sun Rose would be our last album ever as Echodrone [gleep! – Æ]. As a result, we wanted to cover all the different aspects of Echodrone in one album and make it our definitive statement to the world. So I was challenging myself with each song to try something different. ‘Seeing The Forest for the Trees’, for example, started off being heavily influenced by The Sea and Cake. I listened to a lot of SlowdivePygmalion [!!xoxo!! – Æ] when I was writing ‘Sympathetic Vibrations’. We approached ‘Sway and Drown’ as our “classic” shoegaze tune. ‘Pack of Wolves’ was our indie pop number. etc. etc. Thus, we had a certain theme/end-goal for how each song would sound on The Sun Rose. This was a totally different songwriting process than Bon Voyage. For Bon Voyage, we really didn’t put much thought into having pop songs, ambient songs, loud songs, etc. We just wrote what we thought sounded good.

Æ – [gathers up the nerve to get a bit more nosy.]

One Response

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  1. Jim said, on January 17, 2013 at 2:04 am

    “What I remember from the Echodrone EP recording was the sound engineer’s pot use and diminishing mixing abilities as he smoked more pot over the course of the day.” Ha ha ha ha ha! 🙂 What a description!

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