You’d know what we were talking about if you were there… If you ask, maybe we will tell you a story, but we like to keep our cards close to our chest.
March 29, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink
And that’s a wrap! Monty is waiting outside in the background for these weary travelers.
March 28, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink
We were together…
March 28, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink
Maida Vale Paints Musical Portraits
You’ve probably heard the beginning of this story a time or two: High school buddies pick up instruments, play around in several bands and eventually drift off into their own careers or form the band that carries them into adulthood. Tallahassee, Fla., residents Josh Fruit, Justin Barfield, Nathan Lee and Stratton Glaze follow that model, having played together and in other bands for about 10 years.
But the storyline changed when Eric Case moved from Chicago to Tallahassee in 2006. He added a new dynamic to the group and they formed Maida Vale, an Americana band with ambient rock tendencies. The band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday night at O Kafes in Pepper Place.
Birmingham Box Set: What brought you to Tallahassee?
Eric Case: Job move. I had been playing in Chicago, and I also had been working at churches. The music thing was kind of helping to pay the bills, but you know there’s no health insurance. But I’ve got family. We decided to just look around and see if we couldn’t find a more steady gig. I actually work at a church down here in Tallahassee, and that’s how I met all the rest of those guys. But essentially, it was just in the interest of making a good decision for the health of my sanity and my family.
BBS: What led to the formation of Maida Vale?
EC: Basically, not to be melodramatic, but it’s essentially my baby. I got down here and I just wanted to do something creative. I had come off of potentially playing guitar as a sideman for years. But when I moved to Tallahassee, it was the first time I was like, man, I just really want to do something that is just really creative and a really dynamic thing. It really started with Justin Barfield, because he was kind of the first guy I got to know. I was like, hey, let’s start a band.
I think also because it was the first time in my life that I had a lot of free time because I didn’t have all these gigs to go to. I wanted to try my hand at songwriting a little bit. Justin introduced me to all the guys slowly but surely. Everybody was kind of at the same time of their life where they weren’t really busy musically.
… They wanted to do something together musically, and I had the vision and the drive to get something off the ground.
BBS: Music writers always use genres to classify a band—partly because it helps people whohaven’t heard you decide if they want to give the music a listen. But I’m also really interested in hearing how you would describe Maida Vale’s sound.
EC: Musicians always like to their inspiration mysterious, but Maida Vale was born heavily out of what Wilco was doing … combination of really earthy, folky songs with noisy and sometimes ambient sounds. It was really born out of that place. Also, just the interest of trying to write songs that were lyrically very personable and descriptive. That’s kind of where I breathe as a songwriter. Just trying to say—not deep things, but things that are really close to my heart and close to my soul, honest places.
I think we kind of combined intimate lyrics and telling these small stories about people with a certain amount of applying this cinematic approach to music … trying to paint the images of the songs. I think that still governs our approach to the music now.
BBS: How do you balance touring with work?
EC: Right now it’s not that much of an issue, but basically we try to be … as intentional and precise about when we travel. We don’t travel just to travel, and we don’t play shows just to play shows. We don’t play Tallahassee very much and that helps. We know that our time is limited and it’s also very valuable. If we’re going to go out of town, we try to make sure it works as successfully as possible and that it’s a place that makes sense. Not financially, necessarily—like we need to go here to get new fans, we don’t go just to go.
I guess what I’m saying is right now, everyone just takes off vacation and we go when we can, and we drive all night just to get back in time to go to work.
BBS: What’s ahead for y’all?
EC: Right now—this is going to sound horrible—we’re actually sort of in a goal-less time right now. This band was started with such intense pressure, we just hit the ground running as hard as we could. We recorded an EP that was recognized by iTunes, and then we recorded a more or less full length that was again recognized by iTunes. We’re barely two years old right now, and everything we’ve done has had such goals and intentions to it, that we’re in the midst of trying to take the pressure off right now.
We have our own studio space, so we’re using that to experiment with how we will approach recording. We’re trying to take the opportunity to meander just a little bit and say, how can we be more creative with the way we approach the studio. … And in that, just trying to give ourselves permission to take time for a little bit. The best music, most of the time, is made under relaxed circumstances. So we’re like, we’ve got to figure out a way to help ourselves relax a little bit and put off some goals right now to have fun writing and have fun playing together.
On a personal note, Maida Vale’s Josh Fruit was part of the soundtrack to my college experience. Fruit played in several groups I listened to while at Florida State University, and at one point was my next door neighbor.
Ring The Bells…
March 17, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink
Cousins. They will sing a family song for you tonite at Potbellys.
March 14, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink
Upside Down Maida Vale nite begins now…
March 13, 2009 // posted by: Band // permalink