Friday, November 9, 2012

ICHABOD: Interview & Full Streaming for “Dreamscapes from Dead Space”

Firstly I want to thanks ICHABOD for his time and availability to answer some questions and give the band our cheers for their awesome work. Keep rocking!

Pedro Ribeiro.  Guys, this is our first interview and we would like to know a little more of the glorious band history, the birth, first steps and first difficulties, can you enlighten us?
Dave - Sure…I started the band back in the late ‘90’s, with a handful of songs I had written for another band I was in that had broken up. I didn’t want the tunes to go to waste, so formed a new lineup to perform them. It was called “Headless,” until we found out that there were several other bands worldwide that already had that name. That was the first big difficulty we faced right away. 

PR. Why the name ICHABOD? We already know the history from the Samuel books, but how does it fits in the band formation?
Dave - I suggested Ichabod, since the inspiration for the original name was Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” If we couldn’t name the band after the horseman, then why not opt to name it after the protagonist?! I’m a literary geek and a secondary school English teacher here in the states, so it made sense that I’d choose a name related to great American literature. I did like the biblical meaning of the name too though, and we named the first song on Let the Bad Times Roll after the translation: Inglorious.

PR. Now moving fast-forward to ICHABOD´s latest work “Dreamscapes from Dead Space”. The album is a brilliant junction of different themes and well played crazy loud music; tell us about the musical and personal inspirations that influenced “DDS” construction.
Dave - We just want to keep evolving…we never, from the first album, wanted to stagnate or be one trick ponies. Inspiration for us tends to vary from the intellectual to the spiritual, from conspiracy theory to the paranormal, and from the philosophical to everyday life…Politics, art, religion, literature, poetry, current events…it’s all fair game. We strive to deliver musical consciousness-expansion.
John - It had been a long time since I had come into a project where the guys were crafting the music around a particular idea, like "hey I wanna write a song about a Easter European folk tale about a hag who appears in the dead of night and strangles you in your sleep" [Baba Yaga] and then focus on the task of creating riffs and arrangements that tell that story without words. It doesn't hurt that each of us have a certain interest, a favorite author or film that we not only draw inspirations from but we want to share with the others and hope that our own enjoyment of it extends to them. We're all constantly trading DVD's, music, books, and ideas back and forth when we're all together, it can get pretty intense when we're sitting around after a rehearsal on a Sunday morning.

HIllarie E. Jason
PR. Normally many bands give the name of a song to the album or the name of the album to a song because that song or album name represents the whole work. This is not the case. I noticed that the words dream and space are used in some songs. How does the name “Dreamscapes from Dead Space” is related to the album musical journey?
Dave - Dead Space could have so many relevant meanings…it’s wordplay. I’ll let John get more specific.
John - When I'm writing lyrics it comes in spurts where everything just sort of writes itself, literally I blink and it's there on the page. The line "Dreamscapes from Dead Space" came out when I was writing the lyrics for 108 and I circled it this time instead of crossing it out or trying to work it into some crafty phrasing/delivery. I knew it showed up on the paper as something that didn't necessarily have to be a specific song title or just another line in a song. I look at it as a metaphor for the way the cohesive collections of words I put over these songs have materialize themselves from out of the cluttered mess of thoughts that take up residence in my head. 

PR. When I first heard and read the lyrics I was overwhelmed by the intensity, complexity, energy and beauty of the vast knowledge presented. Is the message of the song “Looking Glass” the reality alienation? Do you think people are victims of space and time?
Dave - It’s about a top secret U.S. Government project in which a device was built with the intent of bending space/time, in order to be able to “see” the future.
John - The Montauk Project was trying to use energy, frequency, and vibration to manipulate the body's magnetic fields into a level of disruption that it would induce psychotic episodes in human beings, the ulitmate long distance weapon that would leave the least amount of collateral damage. Imagine wiping out an army on the ground without damaging the landscape of your enemy. This type stuff was talked about in the bible when the Ark of the Covenant would give off a terrible sound and people would just fall dead where they stood. Well I think we are all victims of it in a way already. Radio ads, TV ads, the downer it is when you try to watch a video online and you're forced to sit thru some stupid ad that sucks a little bit of the excitement of what you're going to watch out before it even starts. It all brings our minds and bodies to a different place than we had planned going in and if you don't think they figured that out and are trying to do it deliberately then you aren't paying attention. I did put my tongue in my cheek at the end when I used the instructions that pop up on your Ipod when it's done syncing but I thought that "eject before you disconnect, it's ok to disconnect" was a great metaphor for what I was trying to say with the rest of the song and it sounded pretty badass if I do say so myself over that riff at the end of the song. Sometimes the best thing we can do is shut off all the technology and go outside for a bit.

PR. To be able to achieve an epiphany is breaking the common knowledge and reaching a higher state of mind. “…limiting the potential of positive energy is denying immortality and understanding.” Is a phrase of “epiphany” lyrics! What´s this positive energy and how does it give us immortality and understanding?
John - song is the harbinger of the singularity. It's 2012 and people still live in the stone age, or worse pre-internet. We are children of a technological age that is expanding at a rate our earthling minds didn't anticipate and cannot fully comprehend without putting it into a good and evil dicotomy. To quote futurist Jason Silva "It's an amazing time to be alive." At the same time this is all happening we have cross-sections of people who think that this is territory we are not meant to have knowledge of, let alone utilize to move humanity forward. In the voices, written words, and images inside radio waves and signals broadcasting out into space our species and our accomplishments can live into infinity. The greatest thoughts from the greatest minds can transmit from person to person in a matter of nanoseconds, allowing us to connect with one another in ways previously impossible, helping us in gaining an understanding of what role in this tragic comedy we play. Another quote from the song I think is a powerful one. "We are all shooting in the same direction, we are all a part of the same inescapable flow". We are all the same under a microscope, it might be true someday that we're all the same under a QR reader or whatever it is that comes next. 

PR. Is “Hollow God” a shout against beliefs? The truth is what we see and know and god is only Humans creation? Who or what is this Hollow god that rejects the puppets power?
Dave - It is mainly based on an undertaking of American Reverend John Murray Spear and his congregation; they built a “God machine” which they hoped to pray to life. But as with all good stories, this can be a metaphor for so much more, and I think John nailed that.
John - The story is that Rev. Murray and his followers invested their time and savings into building a gigantic metal skeleton and that they thought they could "pray" to life and then their creation would become their "God". The lines "it's your own creation but you can't get over it" and "the blood of your labor taints the fruit on the tree" are speaking directly to this and what it ultimately turned out to be; a failure, a waste of time and resources. I think man created religion to cope with trying to understand a physical world they could not control and had a limited understanding of, including why it is happening at all. I think putting the word, the label "God" on what we consider to be our creator has changed what the role of "God" was supposed to be into something that is worthy of fighting and killing over. I try and not get into debates or arguments with people over their religious beliefs as long as I'm not being preached to by them about it. I felt the subject of creating false, or Hollow God[s] was also fitting of the tone in which people approach politics in the modern age. You can't put these suits up on a pedestal like a statue of Jesus and not expect them to let that go to their well-funded heads. You see these guys preaching what their definition of patriotism is like it's been handed down by the creator himself, it's almost the identical type of brainwashing that you'd imagine goes down in the Sunday services of the Westboro Baptist Church or something. God as we've constructed him in todays society does reject the collective power of the people who follow and believe because it's bought and paid for at the highest levels of corruptions so it doesn't need the love and kind nature of humanity to move it forward, it has ad dollars and military might to enforce it's gospel. I reject all of it. 

PR. 108 is a sacred number of the Hinduism culture and it´s the number of times one should intone the mantra but it also has other meanings. Is “108” a ritualistic song or poem that you want to be intoned?
Dave - It is a ritualistic song of sorts…we had no real lyrical or thematic direction for the song at first. We were working on the tempo one day, and Phil checked the BPM with his metronome app…it registered at 108! Total synchronicity…we knew the sacred implications of that number throughout many of the world’s religions…
John. This was the last song on the album that I wrote the complete lyrics for and I wrote them in the studio standing in front of the mic. It's about an intense psychedelic experience shared between two people, two spirits. One a guide the other is the passenger or the tourist. It sounds like a love song and it is in a way, but not in the romantic sense. It about the love of spirit and exploring ourselves internally. 

PR. Changing our subject to live performances. What is like an ICHABOD´s concert? Do the band transcend to a “ritualistic” music monster?
Dave - We sure try to! We incorporate as much sensory stimulation as possible in our ceremonies.
John - I hope we try to as well. I know I don't feel like it is me up there when I watch videos of us playing live. I still don't believe my voice sounds like it does when I hear it on a recording. If playing live is a ritual then I'm definitely "testifying" when I'm up there. When I look around at the rest of the guys I get the feeling they're on the same level as I am during our performances. It's great to see and feel that type energy from all directions.

PR. How was ICHABOD´s presence in Thursday, November 1st in Ralph´s Diner Worcester, MA? 
Dave - It was a great show…Second Grave and Castle are on the rise, and Witch Mountain are phenomenal. 
John - Yeah we had a great time, all the bands were amazing. I geeked out a little over Witch Mountain, damn their singer, Uta Plotkin, has the voice and the face of an angel...see there goes my geek coming out again, haha! I loved all the bands that played with us that night and I would definitely share a stage with any of them anytime.

PR. When we first talk about doing this interview you talked about new tunes this week and new material next year! Want to share some news?
Dave - We’re finishing up a concept album about a river in our area of the planet called “Merrimack.” Jay and John are going in to do overdubs in December. We’ve also got at least an EP’s worth of new material we’re working on too…
John - Merrimack is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from DDS and the new songs are an even further departure from either of the two. It's still gonna sound like Ichabod though, maybe just higher upgraded version.

PR. Again I have to thank you I enjoyed very much doing this interview and I hope to see you some day in Porto, Portugal. Any last words to your fans and readers?
Dave -  We sincerely appreciate any support that anyone gives us…thank you so much for this opportunity. We’d like nothing more than to come to Portugal to play…
John. Thanks to everyone, even the haters. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Dreamscapes From Dead Space Track Listing:
1. Huckleberry
2. Looking Glass
3. Baba Yaga
4. Epiphany
5. Hollow God
6. All Your Love
7. 108
8. Return of the Hag

The digital download of Dreamscapes From Dead Space is on sale now, the album to see a proper CD release via Rootsucker Records/Black Lotus Entertainment on October 30th, 2012. Official info on even more new ICHABODmaterial pending release, and new gigs being booked now and through the New Year, will be announced over the months ahead.

Dreamscapes From Dead Space is streaming now via the ICHABOD Bandcamp page.

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