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Music thats commonly referred to as post-rock, in this case meaning slow-building atmospheric compositions mostly played with rock instruments, is not uncommon in many parts of the world. In some its even seen as over-saturrated, but its something that we don’t have an abundance of here in the Upstate. Thats why its a welcome change to see an up and coming band like Summer of 39 proving that genres like post-rock and shoe-gaze are finding a younger audience. You may know them as Sea and Sound, but they recently took a new moniker and are preparing some other changes as well as I found out during my conversation with Jdian Bennet below:
CM: First off how did you guys meet?
JB: Me and the former guitarist met in the lunchroom at school. Our conversation started by me asking him did he play guitar. We started hanging out and just loved music, and then he brought his brother Benn, who also played guitar in Sea and Sound, and we just started jamming around in my barn. The current members are Preston Ruffling, Nick Thatson, Matthew Pennell, and myself.
CM: I get the impression that you’re a younger band, whats the age range in your band?
JB: We range from 16-18.
CM: When did you guys decide that you wanted to play this style of music?
JB: It was the first form of music we could play, we didn’t have a vocalist at the time, and then we were satisfied with what we had at the time.
CM: Did you know that you wanted to be instrumental from the start or have you tried incorporating vocals at any point?
JB: We are currently adding vocals to our music, because the post rock scence is so small, we had to do something to attract more people. “Mona Lisa’s Smile” is the first song we added vocals to, its not that hard of a song, a mixture of Bon Iver and Explosions in The Sky. The most catchy line is “How he took your breath away…”.
CM: It seems to me that people seem to be becoming more open to cinematic, instrumental music played by rock bands. Do you think that music usually referred to as post-rock or shoegaze is becoming more popular?
JB: It is indeed becoming very popular, but at a very slow rate…
CM: Post-rock bands are known to explore beautiful and unique sounds and tones. Have you found that you’ve had to spend alot of money on new gear in order to play this style of music or do you guys believe in making do with what you have?
JB: We are a very poor band, we only recorded one song as Sea and Sound and it was free at Upstate Recordings, very great kind guys. We are very thankful for them, but we are just working with what we have, which is not that much, and not very expensive.
CM: In the short time I’ve known about your band it seems that you’ve done quite a few shows around here. Now that you are Summer of 39 are there any specific plans to begin playing out in other cities?
JB: We want to to go out of town, none of the shows we played ever paid us, so we really don’t have the money to go out of town. We would love to go on tour with some indie bands this summer, but we need to get some first!
CM: Are you looking to record an EP or full-length soon?
JB: We would like to record an EP first, just to get our name out there a little better, but for a time range, we have no idea.
CM: Do you find that you have a hard time finding bands to play with doing this style of music?
JB: Yes, very hard! Alot of the bands in the upstate are hardcore, or some form of metal, which makes it hard to get on shows. Its also very hard to book a show with other indie, ambient bands because they mostly are out of town.
Summer of 39 will be playing with East From West June 17th at the WPBR Radio Room on N. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville.
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