Sanvicens from Xtreme Music interviewed
Sam Bass and Robin Coomer of Loop!Station on May 30, 2004 San Francisco
(CA), Studio Z.
Music: I'm here with Loop!Station.. it's an absolute pleasure to meet
you both after a fantastic performance last summer.. I'd like to start
the interview by asking how exactly would you describe your music?
I'd describe it as adult contemporary.. we are attracted to a lot of
different styles, everything from full swing to anthemesque stadium
rock. It's kinda like whatever we feel like and whatever vibe we are
going towards. We both have a deep background in hard rock and classical
music. Anything goes with Loop!Station, if you listen to the record
I think you'll find a lot of different styles available.
Music: Who would you say are your main influences and how have they
shaped your musical direction?
I think a lot of our main influences are people that we play with and
around in the community. It is such a great musical community.. I think
that bands like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Eric McFadden. There are
obvious links you can make to My Bloody Valentine and bands like that,
which I think are so influential. Tom Waits is a huge influence...
For me it would have to be Bootsy Collins, Johann Sebastian Bach and
any good hard rock band.
Music: Where do you find your inspiration lyrically and musically?
What started Loop!Station was an excuse not to conform to the three
minute, thirty second pop format. We were getting a little sick of it,
so I let the music tell me what the song is about and we write a lot
of things through improvisation.
Sometimes I notice that when Robin is working on lyrics, it kinda starts
out with words that sound good over what's going on, and it's more of
a stream of conciousness.. not really anything specific.. As far as
our music writing goes, some of our better songs start with one of us
just messing around with our loop stations at home, trying to create
a texture or a song and then bringing that into the other person and
trying to work out our parts together. In times where we're recording,
you actually finalize the music.. and then we try and play it. So, it's
this really weird long process that involves a lot of stuff! (laughs)..
Xtreme Music: Other than the loop stations that you're using,
what production techniques do you incorporate into your recordings?
Whenever you record I feel like you have to take all your recording
experience and try and push yourself to the next level. Production-wise
we are always trying to use different sounds, different ways of voicing
harmonies, more minutes of the track, making things more organized,
just to make things go faster and sound better.
The recording has been a really interesting process..
Music: And what would you say has been the best experience in Loop!Station's
I don't know!.. (laughs).. That's a really good question..
Bass: Yeah, that's a good question, I think
probably all our recording times, I think it's really fun to record.
Personalities, we're just hanging out, you're working on making a record,
you're kinda documenting what you've got in your head and where you're
at in terms of life.. kind of a historical document. So I find that
the most rewarding in general.
Music: With your live shows what has the crowd
reaction been like?
People have been overwhelmingly responsive, I mean when
we started this whole project, I personally didn't really think anyone
was gonna be able to listen to it. After our first show, we were glad
that we had done it. We had a really interesting and unique following
developing. People were coming from all over, just because they found
something in the music that attracted them. I think there's something
really great about that, we kind of get our demographic.
What have you both been working on recently, is
there a new album in the works?
Bass: As a matter of fact yes, we're
in the middle of tracking, recording and mixing right now. We are working
with the same engineer [Justin Phelps at Closer Recording, San Francisco].
We're using basically the same process as we did on our first record..
Only we're smarter!.. (laughter)..
Bass: It's gonna be a different sounding
album but I think a good album and we're looking forward to finishing
up and printing.
How do you feel it will be different from your debut album "Conversations
Bass: How do we feel it's different?..
A little more attention is payed to a variety of song structures. Not
necessarily on the same loop for the entire song. Breaking it up, giving
things a verse, chorus, bridge feel. More like a classic song writing
We have also become so much more in-tune with the technology
that we've been using. Because we're kinda using this technology that
was mainly intended for what we're doing with it. So we've had to almost
trick it into doing what we want it to do. So it's been really interesting
just getting better at what we're doing. I think that's the main thing..
you start thinking about how you want things to feel a little bit more
when you finally get your brain around what your process is, and you
can make better decisions.
What's gonna be happening in the near future for Loop!Station? Do you
have any gigs lined-up?
Bass: We're playing gigs in San
Francisco and we'll be heading down to L.A. to have little mini-excursions
out of town.
We'll hopefully be in New York in September..
that's the new word on the street.
Bass: Play as many gigs
as we can, try and get some recognition and have a good time..
And then eventually conquer the universe!..
With the live performances you're doing, is there a cult following that
you've noticed start to accumulate around Loop!Station?
Bass: I think we're both
a little surprised with both of our other bands that we play in are
loud and attentive. Whereas Loop!Station is not really loud and attentive..
We're just sneaky about it.. (laughter).
Bass: I feel like we we're
both kinda surprised, like "Wow! We're finally in a band that people
like!" (laughs).. Audience response has been good and people have
been coming back. We've had some great opportunities like The Fire Garden,
Could you tell us a little bit about the side-projects and other bands
that you're involved with?
Well, I'll tell you about Sam's side-projects
and Sam can tell you about mine..
Bass: Let's see, Robin
is doing a lot of swing music right now. Like cabaret style swing with
smaller bands, bass, drums, keys. It's really good, she's really good
at that. Her kinda waiting band in the background, Birdsaw is a hard
attentive rock band, so that's just a classic rock line-up, guitar,
bass, and drums.. and she's in Loop!Station which you've heard all about.
Sam here is in another project called Deadweight, which is a hard rockin'
trio. Just cello, electric violin, and drums.. Rockin', very attentive
and very, very loud. He's also off on his numerous you-know moonlighting
session with some pretty awesome people..
Bass: There has been a
lot of them, some of them I don't even know about!.. (laughter)..
Music: Fantastic! We'll have a great time at the live performance tonight,
I'm really anticipating seeing you both again.