Q&A: L Mag 8 Bands You Need to Hear Alumni Violens

04/12/2012 12:39 PM |

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Violens have been on a prolific tear of late. After releasing their debut album in November 2010, the Brooklyn band launched into a digital singles series, more or less releasing a new track every month in 2011. A few of those ended up on True, Violens’ terrific new album for Slumberland Records that melts a variety of ’80s touchstones (Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Prefab Sprout) into a distinctly dreamy sound. We sent main man Jorge Elbrecht (who’s a busy producer with Erika Spring and Ice Choir as well) a few questions via electronic mail:

So how did your deal with Slumberland come about?
A mutual friend played Mike Schulman some of our new songs and he was into them so he got in touch. We kept sending him tracks as they were nearing completion and he decided he wanted to put the album out—we were excited to say the least.

A few of these songs were first released as part of your 2011 digital singles project. Did you always know some of them would end up on the album?
Yeah we had a feeling a few would, but we had always planned on re-mixing them to fit with the album tracks, as the 2011 series was a lot more experimental mix-wise. We tried different things EQ and FX-wise for every song last year but wanted to make sure these were consistent for the album.

Violens have been prolific in the last 18 months. Is there more in the works?
Yeah we are always writing songs, there are a handful that weren’t released last year but didnt make sense anywhere album sequence-wise. So yeah absolutely, more to come.

This album (according to the press release) was more of a band effort than Amoral. Is that true in the songwriting as well?
Yes, it’s true in many ways including the songwriting. Many of the new songs were started while on tour together last year.

As someone who produces and can play most rock instruments, it hard giving up control?
No not really, not with Iddo (Arad, synths/guitar) and Myles (Matheny, bass/guitar). If you are working with people who you respect creatively, it makes things easier, actually.

There is a through-line (literally) to most of the Violens artwork. Do you feel record sleves are a dying art?
No, I imagine that just about every band out there puts thought into their artwork.

What bands’ artwork do you admire?
Bethlehem, Roxy Music, Cocteau Twins and Magnetic Fields.

What are you currently listening to?
Things I like: Chairlift, Ice Choir, Bethlehem, Harold Budd, Julie Cruise, Exodus and various rough mixes

You’re doing some production work outside of Violens. Who are you working with?
I’m pretty busy these days! It can be a struggle to get it all done on time but it’s definitely one my favorite things to do.

Specifically, you’ve been working with Au Revoir Simone’s Erika Spring. How’s her record coming along?
Erika’s EP is done! It will be out soon.

Violens’ True is out April 17 on Slumberland Records. The video for “Der Microarc” and a stream of “Totally True” below.