Our latest Reverbnation spotlight, features Infinite Radio and the Shadow People. We speak to guitarist, Brendan Lis.
S] Hi guys. How are you doing today?
B] “Hello. I’m doing good. I just woke up and I’m listening to a jam we had the other night. Looking for good ideas and riffs so we can make songs out of them. We are an improvise, and jam based band. We try to make our songs feel organic and not necessarily purposely structured. We will usually jam on a riff and eventually we move into another part and it all happens on its own. I can only clear my mind and literally let the music flow through me. I try to record all these jams. We usually pick the best parts that we played and structure the songs like that. We don’t follow a verse chorus verse formula. We just let the music take control and tell us where it wants to go. Sometimes we just use the entire jam and recreate it so it has all the same parts, but make it much shorter. Some of our jams can last almost an hour. That’s our songwriting process. Our song ‘Habanero’ is just us jamming for 40 minutes straight. We thought the whole thing sounded awesome so we decided to release it just like that.
S] What inspires your music and tracks in terms of ideas and motivation?
B] “I believe all the music I write is a mix of all the music I love and have seen live. My brain processes all of this love into a listenable form when I record or play. I play what I love playing. I feel like I naturally make psychedelic music and that’s convenient, because that’s the kind of music I want to play. I love psychedelic and noise music. I like all kinds of different music, but psychedelic definitely stands out for me. I think live music motivates me the most. I try to see as much live music as possible. I go to a lot of festivals as well. When I see an incredible live band all I can think is that’s exactly what I want to do.”
S] What about outside of music – in art, or film – are there any inspiration you draw from?
B] “Cinema affects my ideas subconsciously I think. I love film; and music is a giant part of why films can be so magical. A lot of times film scores can be very epic. I think that’s why sometimes my music feels cinematic to me. I also love the theatrics live music can have. Some people just walk on stage and play their set, but for me it has to be bigger than that. I love lights, lasers, strobes, fog, foam, bubbles, silly string, confetti cannons, balloons, dressing up, theremins, noise makers, and drums. Any weird thing I can get my hands on I try to bring to my live shows. I want to put on a real show that people will really be impressed by. I want to be a showman. Bands like The Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers and Gwar inspire me to try and put on the best show I’m capable of. I also like glam rock a lot. David Bowie and T. Rex are great inspirations. I love their stage presence and attitude about playing and putting on a show. They don’t even have to have special effects. The way they dressed was just rock n’ roll enough.”
S] Do you have any plans to tour the UK soon?
B] “I really wish we could do that. We are an unsigned band. I do this from a little room in my house. If I actually had fans and support from a label I would be there immediately. I wish I could just travel around the world and play my music for the rest of my life.”
S] What are your main plans for the rest of 2015?
B] “I plan on writing more music and playing shows as much as I can. I’m about to leave for the bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Music is a huge part of my life and who I am. I will never stop being interested.”
S] Is there a song that you’re working on right now that you feel like perfectly defines where your band is right now – what is that song and why?
B] “I feel like every song I write has my signature on it. Like only I could have written it. We experiment a lot and play a few different styles of music, but at the same time I feel like I have a sound that can be recognised as my own. I think the song that best defines what we do is ‘Seaweed Steve (The Second Coming). It’s one of my favourites and definitely my favourite to play live. It’s a lot of fun. It has all my classic elements. It starts off one way and ends completely different. It really builds and ends really huge. I have a really fun guitar solo in the song and at the end I make a lot of noise and play intensely on some tom drums I have set up for me. The picture here is us playing that song. It gets really intense.”