INTERVIEW: Epic Tantrum

Peter, Z (Drums), Greg, Paul

Hi Greg, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi, thank you for talking to me about our new album.  I am doing well.  I used proper grammar in that sentence.  I am sure I will mess that up below so I want to take credit while I still can.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Letting Go”?

“Letting Go” is a meaningful song and one of our favorites to play live. The first time Epic Tantrum played live was at an open mic night in our hometown of Syracuse, NY. When we finished “Letting Go”, the owner of the venue ran to the stage and, declaring us his favorite local band, insisted we play more.

“Letting Go” is a cinematic piece of music. A chapter of disillusionment within that larger narrative. When you listen to the finished version, it may be hard to believe that the song originally started as an acoustic arrangement; the demo evoked hitherto undeveloped instrumentals which masterfully contributed to the vision of our pilgrim’s plight.

The coda juxtaposes the earlier, conventional structure with something more ethereal and impressionistic. The piece begins with a catchy but moody, emotional verse, chorus – twists and turns – becomes a bombastic, cathartic blast of emotion at the end.

I won’t lie, I cut and pasted that response, I always say answer the wrong way if I don’t.  That one has been approved by everyone in the band.  Not all of the answers in this interview are approved so I may be in trouble by the time you read this.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

No one event, it’s more about a period of time and the events that transpired then.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The video was a lot of fun.  The final result was better than I expected.  The challenge was trying to create a lyric video for a song that has no lyrics for the final three minutes and keep it interesting.  My father told me the video was like an acid trip, and since he has never tried acid (that he admits to) I feel like we accomplished something.

The single comes off your new album Abandoned In The Stranger’s Room – what’s the story behind the title?

The new release is actually a double cd.  The first CD, “Abandoned” is all studio recordings of new songs.   Since the album was recorded and mixed in our studio we had the liberty of constantly tweaking thing and make minute changes that no one else would ever care about.  There is a saying that a work of art is never finished, merely abandoned. There seem to be a lot of people who may have originated that saying so I don’t know who to attribute credit to for it… so let’s pretend I made it up I will sound smarter than I am.   But that was the inspiration for the title of the first disc.  We had to abandon those tracks and move on.

The second disc is a live disc.  It contains live versions of some of the songs on the first disc and some songs that we had demo’d but never released.  It is called the Strangers Room because that is what we call our studio.

When we combined the two, Abandoned in the Strangers Room it seemed to evoke the spirit of the music. More importantly it was a cool sounding title.

What made you want to release this as a double record?

This one is all my fault.  I was listening to playback of one of our live shows and I was struck by how much different the songs sounded live as compared to the studio versions.  I wanted people to see both sides of the band.  And frankly, I thought it was a bit bold and ostentatious for an unknown band to release a double CD as its debut release.  I really pushed everyone in the band to do it this way and luckily they went along with my wacky idea.

Was this always intended to be this way or it rather evolve into two albums?

No… evolved.  But I am happy it worked out this way.

Would you call this a conceptual record?

There is a thread that runs through most of the songs lyrically so in a sense yes, but not in the same way that 2112 is a concept album.

How was the recording and writing process?

Each track was different. Some were twenty minute miracles where it went from idea to finished song in no time.  Others were more work, and then some were a lot more work.

Since everything was recorded in our studio it was very pleasant.  We didn’t have that feeling of being rushed that can sometimes occur when you are renting time in someone else’s studio.  We could also drink a lot more.  Wait, I am not supposed to admit to that.

What role does Syracuse play in your music?

Syracuse is everything and everything is Syracuse.  Beyond the fact that we are from Syracuse I don’t think it has much of an impact.  Let me ask the others….

What aspect of disillusionment did you get to explore on this record?

Since Peter wrote the lyrics I asked him to answer that one:

Peter: Throughout the record, the pilgrim focuses his anger at external pressures and frustrations, culminating in “A Howling”. “Abandoned” serves as a denouement, referring to an abandoning of the ego and self absorption which imposes the illusion of those pressures.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I am going to toss this one to Peter again.  You can tell when he is answering because he uses much bigger words than I do, you probably also figured out that he wrote the description to “Letting Go” above…:

Peter: I wanted to take on the challenge of writing dark material that didn’t sound like tedious, self-indulgent bitching. Earlier lyrical material was often typical subject matter – unrequited love and the like. I think the darker, more serious the subject matter, the more you run the risk of just sounding whiny and self-indulgent. I wanted to see if I could write something very dark that wouldn’t make me wince years later.

Any plans to hit the road?

We have some shows scheduled in the northeast this year.  No full on tour yet.  But stay tuned.

What else is happening next in Epic Tantrum’s world?

We have already started writing songs for our next release.  We hope to release one or two EPs this year of new material.  Then start working on a new full length.  If that takes as long to record as this one we will see you in ten years.  In the meantime please check us out at our web page EpicTantrum.com and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/epictantrumband and all over social media places.  Thanks!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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