Interview: A Weather

A Weather

Portland-based A Weather released a new album called Everyday Balloons earlier this March. The latest record is a hushed-voiced gem, but I’ll leave my in-depth thoughts for an upcoming album review. Until then, satiate your A Weather appetite with the following interview. Frontman Aaron Gerber was kind enough to field my highly disjointed questions about the latest record, understated moments, and stuffed animals.

IndieMuse: How do you think the overall sound of Everyday Balloons builds on the sound of your previous record Cove?

Aaron Gerber: I’d say that Everyday Balloons pushes the dynamics a bit more than Cove does. The focus is more on the electric guitars whereas with Cove the acoustic played a more dominant role. There are more cacophonous elements to Everyday Balloons (our guitar player, Aaron Krenkel, uses the word “raucous” which I think is fitting). There is also maybe more playfulness with the arrangements and overall more layering of overdubs. But paradoxically I feel like Everyday Balloons also has a more direct live sound to it. We wanted to use as much of the natural room tone as we could when recording.

IM: A Weather lyrics take the time to appreciate the understated moments of day-to-day life, like in “Third of Life” when you say “Take a breath and brush it off / Brush your teeth and sort your socks.” I’m wondering if your lyrical attention to small but beautiful everyday moments explains the album’s title, Everyday Balloons i.e. admiring the little moments that often go by unnoticed but are kind of remarkable for all their quietness.

AG: It’s important for me to ground my writing in the concrete world. I’m trying to give the listeners those little moments you mention as means of getting their bearings, little recognizable elements one can grasp among the weirder or more abstract stuff. I don’t want to create a narrative or a confessional, but I do like the sense that there is something real going on, even if you can’t be certain exactly what it is. For me the title Everyday Balloons has multiple meanings (the more I sit with it the more it continues to change), and the interpretation you describe so nicely can definitely be one of those meanings. I would never want to create one way of orienting the listener towards our music or my lyrics, or say that there is one over-arching theme to the record.

IM: What are some of your favourite everyday, understated moments?

Hmm. I take walks to the grocery store. I enjoy petting cats that I meet around my neighborhood. Sarah [female vocalist in A Weather] and I love going to Sauvie’s Island (a bit of farmland on the outskirts of Portland) during the fall. Cooking is a big hobby of mine.

Interview continued after the jump…


Cove (2008):

(mp3) A Weather – Shirley Road Shirley

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Interview continued after the jump…

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Levi Fuller – Colossal

photo credit: Hayley Young

If you’re a fan of Red House Painters, Modest Mouse, or Neutral Milk Hotel, check out Levi Fuller’s album Colossal. The Seattle-based musician has a unique approach to making music, especially when it comes to lyrics. Many of his songs are from the perspective of various animals (his last album, This Murder Is a Peaceful Gathering, is themed around crows). On Colossal, his song “Mouse on Fire” is from a mouse’s point of view when he runs into an inviting house. I kinda have a little thing for not liking rodents, so I am going to keep this song close at hand to help me get through it. Mice are people too, after all.

Two tracks in particular that have been on heavy rotation for me are “The Mall of America” and the instrumental “Wheels within Wheels.” Listen to those two songs and you’ll likely see why I referenced those other great musicians as influences.

Levi is extremely active in the Seattle community. In addition to this solo project, he has another solo project, Passenger Pigeon, and plays bass in the band Luna Moth (all while maintaining a full-time job). He is also the founder and editor of the Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly, which are compilations that feature local musicians. It’s DIY musicians like Levi who bring culture to music.


(mp3) Levi Fuller – The Mall of America

(mp3) Levi Fuller – Wheels Within Wheels

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Broadcast 2000 – S/T (2010)

A few years ago I featured Broadcast 2000’s EP Building Blocks on the site.  Thought I’d give you an update that he just released his self-titled debut on Gronland records. It’s some of the catchiest folk music out there, and it’s definitely worth your time to check out.  There are a ton of great songs on here, including “Get Up and Go,” “Rouse Your Bones,” “Don’t Weigh Me Down,””I Hold My Breath,” too many to list…

Broadcast 2000 is based out of London and is a bedroom project of Joe Steer. He classifies his music as “folk-influenced indie acoustic pop,” which I would say is a surprisingly accurate description. Also, I just read an interview with him on Spinner, and he was asked about his craziest tour experience . He said that at one of his shows he met somebody who legally changed his name to a number! His name was 1069. And people called him 1-0 for short., I don’t really have any reason for sharing that tidbit… I just thought it was awesome. It makes me wonder if I can officially change my name to  “exclamation.” I guess I would just go by “ex” and then spell my name “!”.

Anyway… check out Broadcast 2000.

Broadcast 2000 – S/T (2010):

(MP3) Broadcast 2000 – Get up and Go

(MP3) Broadcast 2000 – I Hold My Breath

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