Poised to release their yet to be titled sophomore album, New Hope, PA natives Aderbat are on their way to making a splash in the music scene. Having been featured on an episode of CBS's "Joan of Arcadia" and shared the stage with the likes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Aderbat is bringing their energized show to the Galaxy Hut on Saturday, April 29. Aderbat's drummer Todd Schied took some time to answer a few questions about the success of their band.
How did you guys form?
"On a Monday night in 2002 at the legendary folk venue, Jon and Peter's in New Hope, PA, Matt Taylor was playing some of his songs from his forthcoming solo album with guitarist Chris Blasucci. Future bassist Brad Kunkle was listening in the audience with a close college friend, hearing the unknown duo for the first time. The quartet transitioned from performing Taylor's solo record to playing and molding his unrecorded material into their debut release. Aderbat's first record, "Rabbits and Rocks," was recorded over a six month period on a laptop computer in three living room locations, and caught the attention and ultimately the mixing talents of producer, Andrew Weiss (Rollins Band, Ween, Cafe Tacuba). Soon after the making of the album, guitarist Chris Blasucci left the group to pursue other projects, and experimental guitarist and jazz composer Christopher Covatta was asked to fill in the spaces.
Describe your influences, both musically and otherwise, and explain how that plays into the music you write:
"Individually our interests are varied, but as we become a better band, we definitely are becoming more interested in the song. Sounds a bit obvious, but I think a lot of bands are interested in sounds and moods and get caught up in the amazing tools that everybody now has at their disposal. Don't get me wrong, we are definitely interested in sound and electronics and loops and all that kind of stuff, but we are trying hard to make sure that stuff serves the song first"
What contemporary bands are you currently listening to?
"All of our tastes in music are so varied. Brad tends to be our "indie rock" guy, whatever that means. You know, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Doves. Chris is into so much music. He listens to lots of New York jazz like Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin, Mark Ribot. He is into The Books right now. I think Chris also likes the new Coldplay record but I can't really understand why. I really like The Shins and the simplicity of the first few Strokes' records. We all really like Wilco, and Matt wants to give a big shout out to Andrew Bird. He really is amazing."
What was it like having a song on "Joan of Arcadia?"
"It was fun. We got together with a bunch of friends and watched the show. None of us have TV so that part was really funny. You know trying to find somebody who actually pays for cable! I think we went to Chris' mom's house. It was cool watching it, it sounded good, it wasn't buried like a lot of those songs tend to be. It was just like any gig really. The more opportunities you get to have people hear your music the better, right? We made a little money and that was cool.
Your web site says that a follow-up to "Rabbits and Rocks" is due out this Spring. How has the music evolved from your debut? What is the name of the album?
"No name yet, but we are playing several songs that most likely will be on the record. As far as how the music has evolved, I guess the best way to answer that is say that the process has changed. Our first record was done using a laptop and an m-box with two inputs on it. Sometime we ran two laptops so we could record drums with four mics. That was fun trying to have me and Matt press record at the same time so the tracks would get time-stamped somewhat close to each other. I think that was part of the charm of the first record. Our friend Andrew Weiss mixed "Rabbits and Rocks" and has taken on a larger roll in the new record. Most of the stuff is being recorded at his place. He is really challenging us to be a better band. We are recording a lot of stuff live and keeping what is good. Like I was saying before, we are really trying to serve the song better. It really helps that Matt is writing some great songs. He has an amazing voice, the lyrics are interesting and the melodies are really strong. I think when you have all that going on, you really don't need to do that much to let the song live."
Do you think there a trade-off with creativity and being signed to a label?
"It does make sense that the more people you have involved in a process, the greater the chances are for the core idea to change. Hopefully most of those people will have the best interest of the band and the music in mind and then there wouldn't be trade-off's at all. Some people involved might have other interests however, and I guess that could lead to some trade-off's with respect to creativity. Record companies need to make money and I would think that they sign you because they think you have some potential to help keep them in business. Obviously if you sign to a big label, they are going to want you to write a hit and sell a few million records. That totally whacked out marble rolling around a huge cymbal, miked, sent through a space echo, then into a Juno Arpeggiator probably isn't going to make it onto the Britney Spears' comeback record. However, the label that is run by your uncle or the local record shop might be totally into that kind of stuff. Who knows, there might even be a label out there specializing in that kind of stuff now. Really though, once the idea is born it is constantly going to change and be passed through other people's filters. I guess the objective is to allow your idea to be touched by more trust worthy people than not. Probably a little bit of evil isn't that bad though. You can learn a lot from the devil. We really wouldn't know though because we aren't signed to any label.
What are your future plans? Any big events or shows coming up?
"Keep working on our record. Continue to get better live. Honestly, every show we play is a big event. It really shouldn't make a difference if you are playing to 50 record execs, 100 kids at a high school or a huge club. Every time we get to play our music in front of people is really fun.
<1b>— Christopher Staten