Violens are a Brooklyn-based three piece who formed in 2007. They've released a bunch of 7"'s and a debut full length, Amoral, and cemented all that with a sophomore album released last month. Called True it consists of the lilting post punk Violens have become synonymous with. UTR caught up with Jorge Elbrecht to chat about the latest release, how it differs from earlier work and why Brooklyn's got it going on.
How did Violens form?
Iddo Arad and I have known each other for years and years--since we were teenagers in south Florida. We formed Violens when we were both finished with school here in New York.
Did you have an idea of what you wanted to sound like when you started or was the process of finding your sound more organic than that?
Yes we set out very specifically to merge layered vocal harmonies with karaoke sounding synths & aggressive guitar playing.
How would you say you've developed over the five years you've been together?
I think we've zeroed in a bit more on what we want the band to be / sound like. Things like writing/producing a song and touring have become a lot more enjoyable as a result.
You just released an album True. Tell us a little bit about writing and recording that album.
True began as playlists of demos made while on tour over 2010. We fleshed 9 of these out over the course of 2011, releasing them quietly on our site month-by-month. By late 2011 we knew a little better what the album would consist of and we tracked drums for those songs, mixing them so that they flowed together as a record.
Were there any specific influences or sources of inspiration while writing and recording True?
I'm sure, but not really. Not like a fashion designer has for different collections. We just knew what moments of songs had been the most fun onstage, so ideas would strike we'd put them down keeping in mind the tempos and keys, etc. It happened pretty quickly, which to some degree maybe comes from us being inspired and influenced by eachother and our interior process.
Was there any sound of theme you were particularly trying to translate onto True?
No not really except for perhaps having our cake and eating it too with the fidelity. All of the records we like sound a bit thin but we didn't want to make an "old sounding" record. At the same time, the ideas and songs didn't fit with a "polished" mix treatment either. So it's somewhere in between, probably as a result of not fussing over the process too much.
You guys live in Brooklyn and there seems to be a bunch of awesome bands coming out of there at the moment. Is this a particularly strong time for musical creativity in Brooklyn?
I'd say so, sure. Ice Choir is our favorite.
Do you guys exist as part of a broader musical community: bands or artists who you have a similar direction or set of interests with?
I would say that we do, but it isn't super broad. There may be a handful of songwriters that we identify with in the community.
What do you think it is about Brooklyn that sees it consistently creating interesting sounds and being a place for subcultures and sounds to begin?
This sort of thing is bound to happen in spurts in major cities in the US that attract artists and where industry is, but there may be a excessive focus on BK right now or one that's been lingering for at least a few years but that's maybe not so rich as it was even a few years ago. LA seems to be just as interesting in this respect.
What are you guys working on at the moment?
We're working on playing our new album out live, but there are new song ideas sprouting at the moment as well.
What is the plan for Violens for the rest of 2012 and beyond?
We will likely release some new material in the fall, and keep playing shows until it's time to record again.