Back to Part I
RNW: I’ve listened to
your CD, I’ve read the lyrics, I know Nate does the lyrics writing, right?
RNW: But, one of you being
the guitarist and the other being the bassist, when Nate brings you these
lyrics, you’re creating this music around them, is that correct?
KL: No, actually, that’s not
RNW: So you’re creating the
music and then he’s creating the lyrics?
BS: Right. That’s basically
how it is. Everything is also written together. There’s not
one person who writes the music, or two people.
Its four people that write these songs. Usually it will be something
like either me or Kevin will come up with a riff or something. Then
Nate jumps in and the three of us start forming a certain layout to the
song. Like maybe we’ll get a verse, then a chorus will start going.
That kind of thing. Then we’ll start with some chords and then Andy
will just come over the top of it, start laying down some melodies.
Stuff like that. Let the song develop itself.
KL: Like sometimes there’s
cases where we worked almost as two separate entities. Like we’re
writing the music all together and then he (Nate) might have already had
lyrics which could have been stored, it could have been a poem. It
could have been whatever. He might have had that in a notebook and
the emotion of the song, the emotion of the music struck a chord and for
some reason he starting about the experience, which he already had written
down. So, there are some times where it works in that case, but he
never comes with the lyrics and then we go “oh, lets write a song emotionally
around that.” It never works that way.
RNW: Now, your lyrical style
and your melodic style have a very definate middle eastern flavor to it.
Do either of you or any of you have a middle eastern heritage and is that
how you come by that, or did you guys kind of fall into that? How
did that develop?
KL: No one really has middle
eastern heritage, I think Nathan just tries to draw from a lot of different
influences. I mean I think he really doesn’t even listen to the kind
of stuff that we’re doing. He listens to a lot of stuff like Bjork
and Tori Amos and Lauren Hill. Stuff like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker.
I mean he just draws from a lot of different things and its typical.
He likes a lot of the middle eastern type culture and its not that its
his nationality, but there’s different things that interest him.
BS: It helps because it helps
also separate us from, like you were asking before you know, what separates
us from a lot of bands. Its good though because you have that generic
sound and you’re just lost in the mix, but there’s a lot of people that
come up to us and one of the first questions that they ask is, does anybody
in your band have middle eastern background? Does any body have anything
to do with the middle east because there’s a lot of that in the music?
RNW: Most definitely.
But I think its really cool and it does kind of set you apart and I like
that. It kind of gets you out in front of the crowd, so to speak,
and gives you an edge so that’s cool.
BS: That’s what you need.
RNW: Yeah, you need every
edge you can get. What are the key messages, if you can think of
any, that the band has consciously thought of, that you are trying to get
across in this project “Mankind?”
KL: I think the key message
of anything is probably like, if you look at the liner notes, there not
all lyrics. Most of them are poems and stories and I think its just,
I think the whole message is that you look at the songs how you view them
instead of here’s the lyrics and you agree with this point of view.
You’re suppose to listen to it yourself and get your own point of view
out of it. Its kind of like, think for yourself, really. A
lot of those issues that are in the songs are real issues, they’re not
made up issues. They’re real situations that have happened and real
BS: For the most part, we
don’t have a specific message we’re trying to portray. People have
different ideas of what they think songs mean, but yet it works better
for them a lot of times, you know.
RNW: Well, you know, part
of the beauty of music, and what makes music and actual language is the
fact that people can take it and use it how they will – make it apply to
KL: You hear stories all the
time of how people relate to the music. How people, they come to
you and they say you know, man, that song touched me in this way because
I had this going on in my life and you’re just like, me personally, I don’t
even know what most of the lyrics are, actually, to the songs. Its
so strange because you get an outsider’s point of view on what – you’re
so passionate about writing and stuff, and its really interesting actually.
I’m really glad that we actually didn’t put all of the lyrics in there.
RNW: It does kind of make
it more of a “fit the situation” type of a thing. Can you tell me
a little bit about how you guys were signed to Mojo Records, how that all
came about, and why don’t you even back up a little bit more and tell me
how you all came together and what the road was to getting this record
KL: A s***-load of hard work
RNW: End of story.
BS: Me and Kevin have been
playing together for about eight years or so now. We kind of met
through a mutual friend and kind of got a band going. Nothing like
this you know, but basically through time, we brought members in and out
and it kind of became Factory 81. You know, right about the time
that Nate joined the band about three and a half years ago, four years
ago. Basically there was just a lot of playing
as many shows as we can in the Detroit area, trying to build a following.
We had done some shows at a high school in the Metro Detroit area, a couple
of times acually, a benefit show for the arts programs in the schools,
so we played there a couple times and that really spread the name around
a lot. It was a chance for us to play in front of a lot of kids,
and then after that, the smart thing that we did, a lot of the other bands
were just playing the bars, doing over 21 shows, but we were fortunate
enough after having done those high school shows, we kind of just stuck
to doing all ages shows. So all those kids that had seen us got to
come see us again and again you know.
to Part III