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Infusing moody instrumental post-rock with positivity

Explosions in the Sky: Part Two

[Part 2 of 2]


Read part one of the interview



 

[more:]Prefix Magazine:
How do you guys come up with your songs and how you arrange them? Is there a way it generally happens?

Explosions in the Sky:
CH: It'd be nice if there was some sort of process we followed.
MJ: It's been really luck to this point. We've just gotten together and played music together because we really enjoy it, and I think we're all very enthusiastic -- probably much more so than we are technically talented, probably. So we get together and we work really hard and we play and we know what we like. There's just no way we put songs together. It's just like, "Oh, this sounds nice; keep playing that and then I'll play something on top of that."

PM:
People describe your shows as loud. Have you guys lost your hearing from it?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: Probably.
CH: Somewhat. To some extent. We constantly have ringing in our ears. We should wear earplugs. We don't and that's actually really stupid on our part.

PM:
None of you guys wear earplugs?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: No, but we should. I started wearing earplugs in practice and that was a big concession because it just sounds bad. It really sounds muddy and unclear.

PM:
Another thing that has been touched upon in the press has been post-9/11 problems. Can you give one incident that really stands out?

Explosions in the Sky:
CH: There really is only one incident, in my book.
MJ: I don't think even really had to do with 9/11. It's just airport security. We were in Amsterdam and on the inside of our last record it says "This plane will crash tomorrow," and Munaf had that written on his guitar. So they opened it up and they saw "this plane will crash tomorrow" on his guitar and were understandably concerned. So when we got to the gate, they pulled me aside since it was checked under my name, and they asked me to explain myself, and I did.
MJ: There has been a lot written about that, which makes it sound like the FBI was following us. That's not true well, maybe they were but I sincerely doubt it. I think the FBI had better things to worry about.

PM:
You guys mentioned Mogwai earlier and people often put you guys in the same category as those guys and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. How do you think you guys differ from those bands?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: The biggest difference that I hear between the music we play and what they play is there's just a lot more darkness and sort of fatal feel in Godspeed. Whereas I think we try to create more positive emotions and hope and a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

PM:
The really big news surrounding you guys lately is your role in the movie, Friday Night Lights. I think a lot of people are wondering how that opportunity came about.

Explosions in the Sky:
CH: Just through e-mail [laughs].
MJ: Again, it was luck.
CH: This guy Brian Rietzel, who was the music supervisor for the movie, just sort of organizes all the music regardless of what it is. He e-mailed us then called and told us what it's about, and it was something we were familiar with. That was basically it. Then it was just talking on the phone every once in a while. Then we would go out there. He just heard us somewhere.

PM:
Do you guys feel any additional stress since the movie has been getting good press and it looks like it's going to do well. Do you think expectations may be too high?

Explosions in the Sky:
CH: I don't know. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but we don't ever really have expectations for anything. Not out of not caring, but we've never done this before so we have no idea what to expect. If the movie is a big hit maybe it will do something for us, but maybe it won't.

PM:
I always like to ask what bands are listening to now and what bands are influences.

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: Definitely everywhere.
CH: We don't actually listen to a whole lot of instrumental-rock stuff. The Shins is a big favorite of ours, but we don't really listen to a lot of stuff that's in the same genre us.
MJ: M83. Destroyer. Metallica.
CH: Always Metallica. We haven't been listening to much the last few days.

PM:
Were you guys friends before the band started? I think you touched upon that earlier.

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: Well, I've known Munaf since I was 14, and I've known Mark for much less than that. We met Chris when we were trying to get a drummer for the band, but as soon as we met, we thought that even if this guy is a horrible drummer we'll still be friends. And it turned out he was a really good drummer.
CH: Hey, thanks buddy.

PM:
Aside from playing together, what do you guys like to do to let loose and relax?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: Eat. That's a big one. Watch movies. That's about it.
CH: Read books. Watch movies. Eat food.
MJ: That's about it. None of us really goes out much or party too much.

PM:
I like the topic of food. What's the food of choice?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: I like Mexican food.
CH: Me too.

PM:
What are we talking? Burritos? Tacos? Enchiladas?

Explosions in the Sky:
CH: All of that. Burritos, tacos, enchiladas --
MJ: Chalupas, chimmy chongas, nachos, tostidos

PM:
Taco Bell?

Explosions in the Sky:
MJ: Oh, Taco Bell is great. That's sort of a shameful secret, I guess. Because a lot of the bands we tour with are healthy. They'll say, "We're going to this all-vegetarian restaurant with cous cous." I just ate about four Quarter Pounders so I'm not really hungry, man.
CH: I think we all have a problem and are addicted to fast-food.

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