Collide are back this year with a special project, a covers album which they have spent the past year completing. Although their last studio album was a year ago, they seem to like to keep busy creating art and making more music.
This time they are taking inspiration through the sense of other artists. It is therefore all the more meaningful that the title of this album is named after lyrics from one of the songs the have covered “These Eyes Before”.
The run up to the release has been eventful as they have been promoting away on their site, slightly teasing their fans by withholding the track listing for a while. They also ran a competition for fans to guess what songs and artists they were covering – which of course Glasswerk took part in and did rather well by (Smug Alert!!!).
Here now is the track listing for those who are interested in one of today’s most thoughtful and interesting bands of the trip-hop, ethereal, darkwave world.
• 1. Breathe (Pink Floyd)
• 2. Nights In White Satin (The Moody Blues)
• 3. Come Together (The Beatles)
• 4. Creep (Radiohead)
• 5. Rock On (David Essex)
• 6. I Feel You (Depeche Mode)
• 7. Space Oddity (David Bowie)
• 8. Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing (Chris Isaak)
• 9. Tusk (Fleetwood Mac)
• 10. Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
Catching up with the both kaRIN (Vocals) and Statik (Noise) we got a little bit more incite into what they have been up to and where this idea came from:
So a covers album… This idea has been brewing for a while. Was this something that grew out of the popularity of your previous cover songs, or just something you knew you always wanted to do?
kaRIN: Just something we always wanted to do. It is our own personal tribute to music and how important it is in our lives. Music becomes such a part of us… could you even imagine what life would be like without music?
Statik: For me, there are always a couple of different stages when I'm working on music…there's the creating, song writing stage, and then there's the whole arranging, editing, mixing stage. They both take a long time for me, and I like doing both, it's just that sometimes it’s rewarding in a different way to take a song that already exists, and make it your own. The album still took a year, so it wasn't exactly quick, but it was nice to be able to jump over the first song writing step.
You ran a competition for the fans to try to guess the track listing. Have you had a good response?
kaRIN: Yes it was a decent response. There are so many amazing songs out there and we considered so many that we loved. We thought it would be fun to see what other people would suggest for us. It was interesting to hear all the suggestions. We wanted to ask people though only after we were done as we did not want it to affect our picks. When you are picking songs…it is like picking names for a baby…everyone has their different opinion depending on how that particular song affected them.
Statik: It was funny though, that some of the songs that people guessed were songs that were right there in our genre. I don't know…when we were picking out songs, you don't want to pick an artist that sounds so much like yourself, that you have no where to go.
You are always running competitions on your site. Usually most of them are art related. Do you enjoy inspiring creation?
kaRIN: I enjoy art period and yes anything that stimulates more creativity is always a positive thing to me. I have said this before but if I had a religion it would be art religion.
Statik: I think that a lot of people think that they aren't creative, People just need to get out there and create. Even though it's difficult sometimes, it's the most rewarding thing that I do.
Getting back to this new album… How did you decide what songs to include? (Did you both bring five ideas each, or didn’t you have a long list that you beat each other up over until kaRIN got her way?)
kaRIN: We both had to go through a lot of songs until we could find ones that we could both agree on…which was sometimes easy and sometimes not easy. There was no point on this not to do songs that we could both totally agree on. For me, the song had to be one I connected to and it also came down to words. I feel that when I sing the words really mean something… so some songs got knocked out because the words were not right. It's funny when you get down to it and analise songs what the words say. I don't really get my way though…Statik is particularly stubborn, we really both have to agree.
Statik: There was a fine line between picking a song that I liked, and didn't like too much. If I like a song too much, or I'm too familiar with, it's hard to get away from the original enough. I have to like it, but hear somewhere else for it to go. It wasn't easy to pick songs that worked for both of us though, that's for sure. Some I'd want to do kaRIN would veto right away, and some that she'd like, I just couldn't hear myself doing anything to.
Did the choices you made have to make sense as a unifying whole? Either for sound, or thematically?
kaRIN: No…the theme was do songs that we both loved.
Statik: Definitely not. That would have been really hard to pick the songs that we both like AND fit into a theme. Maybe in another 10 years, I think it would be interesting to pick some album, and do a cover version of the entire thing…but that's a long way off.
What special permissions did you have to seek?
kaRIN: Theoretically you can cover any song that you want, but you have to pay for the rights to use it. There is a company called Harry Fox that handles a majority of the songs out there, so you can go directly to them and pay them. You are able to search on their site to see if an artist is covered by them. Some songs or artists however aren't handled by them, in which case you have to contact the publisher directly to work out the license.
Statik: You also have to pay for digital downloads. All in all it's an extra cost, and more paperwork, but it's just something that you legally have to do, if you want to sell a song that someone else wrote.
Were there any songs that you couldn’t get the rights to that you would have loved to have done?
kaRIN: Yes, there were several that seemed more complicated and so therefore they did not go on the top of our choice list.
Statik: Some songs took about 5 minutes to clear, and others would require us writing to the publishers of a particular song, and some songs have multiple publishers, so in some of those cases, we decided against them, just to not have to deal with the additional time and paperwork.
Is there any excised material (Additional covers) that you did that is not appearing on the album?
kaRIN: No, they were all keepers. We usually work too hard on things to let go. We originally planned on doing at least one extra to drop one…but really we loved them all. I asked Statik the other day what he thought the weak song was for him he said he loved them all. I feel the same way. Each one holds a special place in our heart.
Statik: We also thought about including an original Collide song as kind of a bonus, but instead decided to keep it a “pure” cover album. Besides, sticking one of our songs right next to some of the best songs ever written was too scary.
So come on, when is the next “COLLIDE” album in the works? Are you at least toying with material?
kaRIN: We have to do one thing at a time as Statik is a completionist which is fortunate for us. If it was just left up to me we would have a billion starts to things that would never see the light of day.
Statik: It's funny how much time it takes to do an album…for us. There's a period of time, where you really can't rush things, and you just have to let the creative process happen. You can do that in the studio, or where ever, but you still have to just let it happen. After we get done making an album, stuff really gets busy for us, in terms of what it takes to release it, and that's where we are now…it's like there's this giant list of things to do, and you just try as hard as you can to get all of them done, as soon as possible. I do have some ideas on what I want to try for the next album. kaRIN knows, but we'll just have to see if it works, as soon as we get a chance to catch our breath. We are also open to doing another Secret Meeting album, but Dean [Garcia] has to be ready for that too.
Is this a collaboration that is being continued at any point?
kaRIN: I hope so, we loved working with Dean and would love to do more. I know that he wants to do more as well. I will leave it to the universe to see if the pieces will fall into place. If it is meant to be it will happen.
Statik: I put a Secret Meeting album on the time scale somewhere between doing a cover album and doing a totally new Collide album. It's just a little easier, when we're working with another songwriter.
Do you think at any point in the future you will jump on a plane and tour abroad?
kaRIN: You never know if the right situation were to happen. Basically what it comes down to is time. Really we wish we had more time in the day…and someone who would take care of all the details that it takes to tour.
Are there any other collaborations in the works?
kaRIN: Not currently. I would really like to do guest vocals for Massive Attack. I wrote them awhile ago…but I am not really sure how to get a hold of them. Other than that I am already excited to get back in the studio with Collide…however I think I have to give Statik a second to recover.
Statik: Yes, I need a few minutes. Hand me a margarita.
THESE EYES BEFORE is Realsed for Halloween and is already onsale through their online store.