Friday, July 16, 2010

Interview with In the Cinema: Cinematic music where Folk Rock meets Electronia

Brother duo, Ryan and Joe Hughes have taken the traditional art of folk music, combined it with modern rock and tied it with an electronica sensibility to create, In the Cinema.

In the Cinema brings an artful sound never heard before. Not to mention, their unique music style is nearly impossible to compare with other artists. This sort of quality is what most artists strive to achieve. Many artists accomplish this task, but they do not produce the kind of quality music that people enjoy over and over. Where other artists have failed, the brother duo, Ryan and Joe have succeeded by doing what others only dream of.

Overall, In the Cinema’s debut album, "For the Struggle" is an excellent blend of folk, rock with just the right amount of modern tech. However, I was not crazy about some of the song arrangement, only because the tempo of the music has such dramatic ups and downs. The CD is very mid-toned and balanced, but then goes to a high charged song like, “Theatre…and the Instinct” and it enticed me for more.

While their music is far from a let down, I was disappointed there weren’t more songs with that same fire and intensity. Instead, most of the songs keep the listener down to earth as Ryan and Joe take you on a journey of deep spoken lyrics of compelling stories with somber tones of rich folk acoustic style in songs like, “Shelter, Late Night”, “Tie Me Up”. “Watch the Window”, “Never Leave”, and “Save”.

Songs also worth a solid mention have to be "Midday Refuge", "The Loop", and "Better". These tracks including, "Theatre…and the Instinct" are the life of the party and enough to capture a massive fan following, because it does not get much better than this.

Listen to a special 4-track preview with a special appearance with In the Cinema only on The Great Unknowns Presents, Ep 72.

In your bio, you speak nothing about the meaning behind the name. What does
“In the Cinema” mean? Why that name? How does it represent your band?
When trying to answer that always difficult "What kind of music do you make" question, we kept coming back to the word "cinematic" for some reason. I guess we've always thought our music would lend itself nicely to film soundtracks/scores, which is something we're currently pursuing. We wanted a band name that would take the listener to a place, without being too thought out or difficult to explain.
Having grown up in such a strict house hold where radio and TV was forbidden, do you think that strict up bringing only encouraged you and your brother’s desire to pursue a career in music?
Ryan: Absolutely! I used to get jealous of the stories, people growing up with parents who listened to The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, know, the great music of the time. But I think since I had to search out and find the music that really personally floored me, it kept me hungry for it. It wasn't until I went off to college that I found bands like The Smiths, The The, Toad, Depeche Mode...artists that made me say "Now THIS is music for ME". That excitement was what propelled me into my songwriting, singing and overall journey as an artist.
Joe: Well, I wouldn’t say radio and TV were strictly forbidden growing up. It was more that we weren’t allowed to watch MTV, VH1, or any other shows that were considered “secular.” Same thing with radio- only Christian stations. That being said, our parents worked quite a bit in the daytime so I think we appreciated that time really being able to see the cool new videos on MTV and new songs on the radio. Through that time I think we realized we wanted to do something different like these musicians were were seeing and hearing.
When your parents discovered that the both of you wanted to be musicians, were they disappointed or supportive of your decisions?
Our parents have always been supportive of what we do. They may think it is a little far- fetched to try and make a living off music, but they are excited about everything we try to accomplish.
When you and your brother used to emulate those artists in your living room, who were the bands that you used to pretend to play?
Joe: I’m sure everyone will get a laugh out of this. Ryan and I were HUGE fans of Kris Kross back in the day along with Boyz 2 Men, All 4 One, BBD. We also loved Green Day when Basket Case came out. Ryan would play along with two old rack toms mounted up on shoes supported by a kitchen chair while I rocked it out with a broom as my guitar and a hockey stick as my microphone. Gotta love that early 90’s mainstream!
Do you still listen to those bands?
Of course not. Wink Wink.
How do you describe your own style of music?
We’ve been describing it as beat-driven folktronica.
Where did the inspiration in your lyrics come from?
Ryan: I draw inspiration from just being flawed and human. Most songs are stories about my life, things I'm going through or have gone through. I also find it easier to say things while singing them, so I think some of the lyrics come from a need to, desire, fear, anger, desperation, redemption.
What inspired you to create the type of music you play?
Ryan: Joe and I have our own styles/genres that we are passionate about, and they are pretty different. I have always loved folk/singer-songwriters, while Joe has been partial to hip-hop/electronica. When we started playing together as adults, it just worked. We want to create songs that represent both of those sides, so that it really feels like a partnership.
Joe: A lot of it just happened naturally. We just create and play from our hearts, how we’re feeling, what we’ve been through and are going through at the time. Not to mention our musical influences past and present. Our inspiration and drive also comes from not wanting to be disgruntled 9-5 office workers with too much debt.
A question for Ryan: Several years ago, you had mentioned that “something was missing” when you produced your solo album with your first band. Was your brother the missing puzzle?
Ryan: I really think so. I had a great time making my first album, and after about 8 months of playing live in support of it, Joe moved to Minneapolis and started playing hand percussion and samples with us. I knew instantly that our connection as musicians was still there, like it was as kids. Keeping a band together as a solo artist is very difficult, especially when there is no money coming in. So when Joe and I started doing our two-man thing, it was fresh and special.
Summer 2010 is already upon us. Do you have plans for a summer tour?
We do not. We’re planning on doing a lot of shows in the Twin Cities and we’ll see what happens from there. We are itchin’ for the road though.
So, what else is in store for In the Cinema?
Joe: We’re in the midst of working on a music video which is really exciting. Ryan and I are shooting around ideas about doing some different shows rather than just your typical bar show. We want to keep trying new things.
Ryan: Shows, Shows, SHOWS!!! It's easy as a band to get stuck on your little island, especially with the internet and all there is to do to self-promote and market. It's a dangerous trap, and I personally have spent a lot of time this year focusing on non-creative work in support of the album, so I'm desperate to get out of the office and back onstage. We're booking shows for this fall so playing live and writing new songs will be our main focus like it should be.
Are there any plans for a new album?
For sure. We have been in our studio throwing around new beats and rhythms and are presently building up new songs.
When can fans expect any new material from the band?
Possibly some singles here and there this fall/winter, and hopefully early next year we will have another album ready.

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Written and interviewed by Michael J

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