Interview with I, Us & We

i-use-and-we

I, Us & We

Hello Jordan, Evan, and Aaron.  What are the vibes like now just after the release of your alluring synth-pop/dream-pop EP Mono?

The vibe for us at all times is creativity and forward motion.  As much as we love and are proud of what we have accomplished already with Mono, we are already working on our next piece to present.

I’ve read your enigmatically abstract ‘About’ text at your official site, and from what I gather from your info, I think we humans are the “grey streaks” in the “eternal white”, and that it is only through our existence that we interpret the world/universe as it is… Am I grasping some facet of your meaning or am I grasping at straws?

That’s the beauty of it.  Everything is left up to interpretation, and interpretation is generally scoped and shaped by our experience.  In its essence, it is existential. Finding meaning for oneself. Many things can be an expression, or art, including a bio. And really that’s what it is, another avenue for somebody to find something ‘more’.   

Your music is similarly expansive, contemplative, amorphous… Where does music, in general, or specifically your sound, fit into your ‘About’ viewpoint or color scheme?

We approach the world and everything in it as art, as a form of expression.  Our music is self reflective of our experiences and how those experiences affect us. And when we say that, we mean both lyrically and sonically. The overall sound is just an extension of the triumphs and defeats and everything in between that we ourselves walked.

Speaking of color, you’ve done some really eye-catching band photos to promote your new EP.  Who snapped the pix and is there a concept behind the colorful shots?

Our friend J shot the pictures and Jeff Locke painted us.  We went into the shoot with the concept of being a canvas for Jeff firstly and then letting J capture it.  Both of them really dug into the initial idea we had and we just let them run with it.

To bring this a bit down to earth, where did you all grow up and are you still based there?

We are California born and bred and still based here.  We have traveled around and found other places we love but none that feel like home.

I, Us & We - Mono EP

I, Us & We – Mono EP

Mono was recorded in your home studio.  What were the some of the rewards and drawbacks – if any – of recording in your own studio?

The rewards were we were able to work at all hours when ideas arrived and felt no pressure to force a part.  But by nature we can be obsessive, so at times it felt claustrophobic.  The feeling of something not being right, just irking you and knowing that if you had the right idea, the studio is right there… The fact that there was little separation from the creative and the non-creative mindsets/space made it challenging at times.

Of the four tracks, “Free” is the heaviest with its inclusion of a sharply squawking electric guitar line and tolling bells at the start.  What do the bells signify and is the song’s outlook positive or ambivalent?  You sing “I’m free / You have no hold on me”, yet you also state “You’ll never be far from me.”

The idea behind the bells is that they represent nostalgia, but a warped sense of nostalgia.  We think a lot of longing for things of the past is really just ‘re-framing’ memories.  Forgetting all the bad and relishing all the good, maybe even modifying the good, making yourself ‘remember’ that it was great. The song is both positive and ambivalent.  It’s coming to a place of ultimate self-awareness if you will.  Realizing that something doesn’t have a hold over you, but not being naive to believe that your past isn’t always a part of you.  It’s realizing something has run its course and finally accepting it.

Lush layers of vocals envelop your tunes.  Do all of you contribute to the vocal lines or is just one person singing?

Evan and Jordan sing all the main parts.  We decide that by whichever voice sounds best.  All the harmonies are arranged by whoever sounds best singing each part or to create the effect we are looking for.

What artists inspire your sonic and vocal delivery?

To name a few: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Lana Del Rey, Peter Gabriel, The Beach Boys, Amy Winehouse, Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, and Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace from Blonde Redhead.

Sorry if I’m getting overly philosophical/mathematical, but in looking at your band logo, I’m reminded of some formula where maybe you’re implying that the “I” and the “Us” make up the collective, inclusive “We”.  Is that the meaning behind your name and logo?

You are correct.  We really have a long-term vision for societal and cultural shifts.  It begins with the notion of be change you want to see in the world and spreads from there.  Going from the single ‘I’ to the small collective ‘us’, to the greater ‘we’.

What has it been like to self-release your EP?  Does the business side of it all take away from the creative aspect or does it all flow easily for you?

It has been a lot of hard work.  We have connected with many great people and have received a lot of help from them.  Recently we signed with a PR company who has taken the lion’s share of the day to day off of our plate; however, that just makes more room to work on other things.  Regardless, we feel there is no substitute for hard work.

Are you planning on shooting any videos or touring behind this EP?  Is an album in the works or will you drop another EP soon?

We shoot a music video on March 7th and 8th with some great artist and, yes, there will be some touring happening.  We have some concepts for the live show that we are trying to hash out.  By hash out we mean, figure out how to pull it off.  As with everything we do, we are striving to give people something more when seeing us.  Not just sonically, but on other levels, too. Otherwise, we have started the production process with Chad Marshman again on new material.  Most of the songs are further along and will be ready for mixing reasonably soon.  What we will do with them, we aren’t quite sure yet; we’ll see what the future brings.

For more info on I, Us & We go to:

Official Site, Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, Instagram