Archive for the ‘the antlers’ Category

The Antlers – Peter Silberman Interview

November 11, 2009

Interview By: Jim Markunas

I just recently got into The Antlers after my angriest staffer told me that he actually liked them (and he doesn’t like much… not even me). I figured they had to be pretty good. I asked our friends @ Tell All Your Friends for a copy of Hospice and the rest was history.

The Antlers spent a few years making this album, a concept record about the birth and death of a relationship. Under normal circumstances, I (and the rest of my staff) would call that concept ‘cliche,’ but The Antlers not only tread new musical territory on Hospice, but the fact that they’ve morbidly compared a relationship to a place people go to die appeals to my dark sense of humor. Kudos, Antlers! Kudos!!! We caught up with Peter Silberman for a quick interview.

Jim: First, I’m a big fan of your record “Hospice.” I like the sound you guys are going for. For our readers who are unfamiliar with The Antlers, can you tells us a little about your band- the music you make and why they should buy it?

Peter: The band was really focused on this record. We made the record over the course of a few years and was it released a few months ago. The album tells a story, basically detailing a relationship between two people. It’s atmospheric and narrative. It’s post-rock and electronic.

Jim: That makes sense. I liked (I have a dark sense of humor), the fact the record is about a relationship and you called it “Hospice,” a place where you go to die.

Peter: Thanks.

Jim: Can you tell us why this record took so long to come out?

Peter: A lot of stuff with this record took a long time. The writing took a long time and went through a lot of editing, so that the story would make sense. We wanted it to flow from start to finish. You have to be careful that there are no plot holes. Recording Hospice involved a lot of parts on top of another. We would take time away after recording a song to make sure we were happy with it and that the song worked with the others. It can be frustrating. It was either totally working or totally failing. The lyrics had to make sense to make sure that the story work. After recording, we were happy to have a break.

We finished the album in August/September 2008 and that was when we started touring. We became a solid three piece. We took the album to a couple of places and in the beginning of 2009, we just wanted to get the album out, so we self-released it in March. It gained momentum. We signed with French Kiss in May and they re-released in August. So the album has been alive for about a year. We are surprised it has lasted this long and we are touring and moving forward in a positive direction.

Jim: We totally wanted to catch you live to see how the music translated, but we fell off the guest list.

Peter: Really? When was that?

Jim: It was the last time you were in LA- about a week-and-a-half ago.

Peter: Oh, there was a fiasco, where we had a guest list, and we gave it to the promoter, and it never made it to the door. A lot people could not get in, and we didn’t find out until after the show. We’re not pointing the finger at anyone. Sorry about that and we will be back!

Jim: We definitely want to see you guys live the next time you’re in town.

Peter: Sure, we will make sure you are on the list. It was nothing personal.

Jim: No problem, it happens in music! (laughs)

Peter: It’s a cluster-fuck!

Jim: That leads to my next question. What’s it like working with Syd Butler and FrenchKiss Records? What kind of experience has that been? (No offense to Syd or FrenchKiss, this just happened to be my next question!!!)

Peter: It’s been really great! They are great running a label. It is a fair relationship and they’re fair people. We got really lucky with them. I can’t think of a better relationship a band could have with a label.

Jim: That’s good. You don’t often hear that from musicians. It’s refreshing.

Peter: Yeah, it’s been great, and I could have never expected to have this experience. They are great people!

Jim: What are some of your influences? What is in your CD player now? What has helped influence the sound of The Antlers?

Peter: Well, we were into indie rock while we were recording Hospice and we were listening to Sigor Ros, and stuff like that, but now we’re on a big electronic kick. We’re a little tired of indie rock. We went into another direction. We’re in a van now and Mouse On Mars is on the stereo and they’re good.

Jim: Are there any bands you toured with that you like?

Peter: We got lucky and we are having a great time working with other bands. They are a pleasure to watch. Holly Miranda for example, is so talented and wonderful and her record is about to come out and it will be a big deal.

Jim: Is Holly a label mate?

Peter: No, she’s on XL. Check her out.

Jim: I have some silly questions that my writers wanted me to ask. If you were to attend a baseball game and buy a hot dog, which condiment would you prefer- mustard or ketchup and why?

Peter: Definitely ketchup. I hate mustard! I have always hated mustard. It’s weird.

Jim: In Chicago (where I’m from) you would never catch anyone putting ketchup on a hot dog. That’s blasphemy!

Peter: It’s a NY thing too. My mom was always on me for having hot dogs with ketchup.

Jim: What was the last good movie you guys have seen?

Peter: I just saw “Synecdoche, New York.” I thought it was incredible.

Jim: What was that movie about?

Peter: It has Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener. It was directed by Charlie Kaufman. It’s hard to describe, and I’m still trying to get my head around it. Basically, Phillip is a play director and he constructs a world within a world. He discovers he has a rare medical condition and he starts to lose touch with reality. As the movie progresses you can’t tell what’s real and what’s in his head. It is amazing.

Jim: Is it more or less confusing than a David Lynch film?

Peter: It makes more sense than a David Lynch film. It’s not as absurd. When I used to watch “Twin Peaks” there would be random things that didn’t make sense. I ask myself, “Why is that there? There’s no reason for that.” Sometimes, David Lynch’s films are weird for the sake of weird. In “Synecdoche,” there’s a reason why things are happening; you just have to figure it out.

Jim: I’ll have to check it out.

Peter: Yeah, check it out.

Jim: There is anything you would like to say to our readers or your fans?

Peter: I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Jim: Thank you for the interview.

Peter: I hope we can see you the next time we are in LA.

Jim: Of course! Like I said, “We’re on a mission.”

Peter: Thank you and take care.

The Antlers – Daytrotter Session

November 8, 2009

Download “Shiva

Download “Cold War

Download “Kettering

Download “Two

MP3’s Courtesy of Daytrotter

The Antlers – Hospice

November 7, 2009
The Antlers - Hospice

Written By: Sebastian Barnum

Label: Frenchkiss – Rating:

Even though they remain relatively unknown, The Antlers are going places. Between releasing the album that their loyal fan-base has been waiting for roughly 2 years, and touring behind indie up-and-comer “Minus the Bear,” it’s safe to say that The Antlers have something special about them.

There newest full length album “Hospice” is the first studio album that Peter Silberman (the bands founder) has had band mates on. While recording his first album, titled “In the Attic of the Universe,” Silberman did the album alone and released it under his own name, having originally decided the band would be a solo project. However after that, Peter Silberman joined up with Michael Lerner on drums, and Darby Cicci on keyboards. The result was a set of EPs, titled “Cold Wars” and “New York Hospitals.”

The Antlers new album is an orchestrated masterpiece. It begins with a song adequately labeled “Prologue” which is essentially the departure point on your journey of emotions that the band attempts to take you on. As the beginning of the album revs up with a beautiful tapestry of sci-fi sounds, and gentle keyboards. A listener quickly gets sucked in to a repetitive dance of melody and madness as “Kettering” starts. “Kettering” shows the final product of the prologue as you are racked with the writers emotions and thrown into their world of sorrow and confusion. Listening to the song was, putting it mildly, redeeming.

“Sylvia” is somewhat of an out of place moment in the album. It follows the mellow opening of the album with what reminds us of an awful dial-up internet connection. However, once you get past the intro of the song, the music seems to explode into what resembles U2 before they became mainstream. It’s comforting to be gifted the realization that innovation isn’t dead.

“Antrophy” is in my opinion the milestone of the bands masterpiece. It’s an eight minute journey through the bands past, which leads you to realize the way they wish a future might be. After soft quiet verses that resemble a guilty man going to a confessional, it begins to build, until you’re so anticipant of what comes next that it almost itches. Finally, after over half the song is over, it seems to be shuddering, and the chaos of childhood trauma is clearly illustrated.

The albums first single “Bear” reminds us of childhood innocence. With lines like “We’ll drink champagne although we shouldn’t be,” and “I don’t see how we’re too old,” Peter Silberman pleas for peace again. Speaking about childhood trauma, dysfunctional adults, and attempted suicide, you would expect this concept to be a huge mistake. However The Antlers handle it with ease and poise. With persistent drums, and music all set in a major key, it’s somewhat puzzling to have such happy music be the medium for such a sad story.

This album is relentless. From soft exploits such as “Thirteen,” “Epilogue,” and “Shiva,” and explosions of raw sound like “Wake,” “Two,” and Sylvia” you can get everything you might hope to from a concept album. The songwriting is spectacular, the orchestration superb. However there is always one major flaw within an album and that is that the vocals are less audible than you might want.

Regardless I can’t help but feel like if the band never wrote another song, they could be proud of a musical success like “Hostile” for the rest of their lives. Peter Silbermans directions of melocholly concepts, and musical fluxuation brought this album full circle. Even though it is a concept album, and could’ve fallen apart at so many different places, they made it work. Bottom line… I’m impressed. I give this album 3 out of 4 guns.

Like The Antlers? Try: Coldplay, Manchester Orchestra, Chimes & Bells