Static Cycle Talks "Part 1: Hydrate," Songwriting, "Transformers," and More
Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:55:58
On their EP, Part 1: Hydrate, Static Cycle forge icy rock melodies to airy, elegant soundscapes. Gusts of Tool and Dredg blow through the Alaskan trio's experimental palette, but they've got an ethereal sensibility that's distinctly theirs. Static Cycle conjure a myriad of emotions through various sonic colors, making for an EP that's unique, undeniable, and unforgettable. It's heavy where it counts, but it's remarkably poetic as well. Hydrate also perfectly sets the stage for the band's forthcoming follow up Part 2: Rehydrate. They're going to have all eyes on Alaska very soon…
Static Cycle vocalist and guitarist Jared Navarre sat down for an exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about Part 1: Hydrate, the stories behind the songs, getting "futuristic," and so much more…
The sound morphs and changes on the album. It's alive and kicking, but there's sensitivity to it. Was that balance of feelings important for you?
The majority of studio time was spent selecting and crafting these sounds. We had everything written on the song side, and we let them shift and take form in the studio. Sound engineering for this record probably took us a full month. The nuances were very important. We wanted to make the album sound like an organic action movie soundtrack. If you strip the vocals from the record, that was our vision for it.
What's the story behind "I Won't Let You Down?"
I actually wrote the verses prior to Static Cycle so they've been around for probably six years now. It's odd how that song has formed. It's my favorite song on the record, which is probably why the emotion is conveyed so well. It was written early on about my first love and really striving towards unconditional love. That was the concept behind it, and that's where the lyrical content came from. We tried to match that lyrical and emotional concept sonically behind it. It's got an old West, country, futuristic sound as a result [Laughs]. There are some heavy organic bells behind the hip hop backbeat at the beginning of it to set it off. Then you have the acoustic guitar behind it and piano throughout.
What's up with "Inside This World Of Mine?"
We write from all different angles. About half of the record originated from an acoustic. The other portion was a little different. Our lead guitarist Josh [Witham] will write a song from start to finish on the guitar, and he and Dennis [Smith, drums] begin to construct the shell of it. "Inside This World Of Mine" was one of those. I was actually in Arizona seeing family, and the guys were in Alaska. Josh calls me and says, "We've got something musically. It's a different direction." They were in love with it. For the first time ever, I was in a room by myself and I went off to listen to. I had no melody or lyrical content. I just listened to the music and what they constructed for about a half an hour. Sonically, the song felt like it was conducting the world. I fell in love with it. That doesn't happen to me. Normally, within 15 seconds, I start to sing, write, and craft. That's where that came from. The lyrical content parallels the cold weather in Alaska to life with the darkness and everything we experience there working up the North Slope and all that. It's a different world.
Which artists shaped you?
I came from R&B when I was a kid. Boyz II Men was my foundational artist as crazy as that sounds [Laughs]. Then I got into some soft rock. I got into 3 Doors Down and Chevelle a little later in life. Josh came from Metallica and Dennis actually came from gospel and hip hop. Dennis wasn't really exposed to any rock.
Is one of your goals to evoke visuals with the songs?
We are trying! In today's industry, I think fans are visual listeners. They want to be visually stimulated while they listen to music. We actually were thinking about constructing some artistic movies to go along with the songs themselves almost for the entire record. We want to do something like that in the future.
If you were to compare Part 1: Hydrate to a movie or a combination of movies?
For a lot of the songs, an adjective we used was Transformer-esque [Laughs]. The second half of the EP is already done, and it has some even crazier electronic sounds. As far as the visual imagery goes, I'd say the Transformers movies.
Have you heard Static Cycle yet?