Issue 10 Cover

partial - lead-in missing...

to take our music and get it into the clubs. The big thing now seems to be techno dance, rave. It's a matter of getting your music into the hands of dj's, so they can get it into their mix.

ACM: So, once in a while you have the chance to do something live, but usually its just a matter of getting your music in the hands of someone who can play it at a live club.

SOS: Right.

ACM: So you are working in a studio now?

Kevin: That's my "real job."

ACM: Laurel, what are you doing now?

Laurel: I graduated last May, but I'd like to go back and get my Masters degree in High School. Basically, during the summers I just get jobs to make money. And, I've been working in schools.

ACM: Music is just something on the side and fun for you?

Laurel: I've been singing for ten years in choirs. So, it's something that is fun for me. I never thought of it as more than a hobby, but since Kevin and I got together it's become more serious.

ACM: How does working in a studio affect what you're doing now? Does it give you hours and hours to be creative or just a chance to see what others are doing?

SOS: Yes. All of the above. How does it affect the music? Well, first, it gives us the chance to do demos without having to foot as much of the bill. I can track the stuff and engineer it myself. As far as seeing what other people are doing, yeah I guess. As much as any person listening to any type of music, you say, "well that's something cool, I'd like to try that." Or, "man, this is definitely something to stay away from!" But that's no advantage over the person who listens to the radio or buys a lot of cd's and music. A lot of times in the studio, where I have one project for two weeks, I listen to the same 4 songs for over and over. But, as far as a lot of time to create, sometimes I put in 60-70 hours per week using my ideas with other people. With loops or drum programming, I'm never at a loss for ideas. But it is nice... I feel like I know what I want to do when I get in the studio - so I can work quickly from an engineering standpoint. Basically, working in a studio allows me to be more creative.

Laurel: One thing I've learned in working with Kevin, he knows exactly how to bring ideas to fruition. If he's writing, he can finish in a day. He worked on one today that he finished in 24 hours.

ACM: Where do you see Christian alternative music going in the next couple years?

Laurel: I think there really is a market for it. I see some music that has reached its limit, i.e. popular music. People are going to be looking for something different. I hope they turn to Christian alternative music as a possibility.

ACM: What part do you see your-selves playing in that?

Kevin: Hopefully, we'll be another group in the heap, have something out there that people want to listen to. Not that we're anything especially original, ...or the best thing since sliced bread.

ACM: How do you see music used most effectively? Do you see it as a tool for outreach, or should it be something that just provides a chance to express yourself - as a form of art?

Kevin: I think the best way for Laurel and I is to approach it as art. I don't consider Christianity and art - whether it be literature or dance or music, ...whatever - have to be mutually exclusive. More that we can do music like any other job or hobby, and our Christianity will show through. The best way is to just offer the music and the lyrics, and they'll see our life-style. They say, "hey, hold on a second, I notice like in techno music there's a lot of reference to religion and God, in yours it seems kind of like a pro-God stance." That seems the best way for us. Don't approach it from a blatant Christian viewpoint. We do it because we like music and we happen to be two Christians, and when people want to know, they ask us. Then we're not shoving it down anyone's throat. Especially in this subculture, people are definitely sensitive to that type of thing...

ACM: Do you find many oppor-tunities to talk to people about what you're doing?

SOS: They'll start wondering, "wait a minute, these people seem to be coming from a pro-God... they're really into this stuff - not a slam on God. What's up with that...?" pretty frequently. Seems like every couple of weeks someone comes up to us...

ACM: What things influence you musically and artistically, as well as personally?

Laurel: It's just a mixture of a lot of things. I've been singing in school choirs for years, so I've been able to sing a lot of different types of music, everything from American Folk to Classical. So I just enjoy music in whatever form it comes in. I try to find the best in whatever I hear, and I try to apply that to life, you know, whatever happens.

Kevin: Laurel influences me the most with her singing. That's the ultimate influence with everything I do.

ACM: As far as any other musical influences, just a collection of things from the past.

Kevin: Again, I think with any musician, anything that you listen to (or anything that you've done in the past) and from past mistakes in bands. We like Front 242, some of their old stuff ...real noisy. And then on the other end, we like pop dance like Information Society, etc.

ACM: Do you find your family and friends are supportive?

Laurel: Oh, definitely. At least as far as I'm concerned. My family and friends have known that I love to sing and play piano. Music is just really important. They all want copies to listen to.

Kevin: Actually, my family doesn't really know what I'm doing. They know I have a lot of electronics and like that, and that somehow it's all hooked into my computer. But, that's really about it. One of the main things for me is equipment, being in college, ...the broken college student financially... any person who plays in a band knows that there's a financial cost. That's a big form of their support. They're all really supportive of what we do.

ACM: You mentioned that you're working on some new songs right now. Is there any possibility of an inde-pendent release any time in the near future? Or are you hoping for some label will try to woo you with money up front?

Kevin: Yes, the almighty dollar. Laurel and I just ;finished a batch of work tapes. This past one was 3 songs, I Can Murder, Words, etc. I'm still trying to hammer out the ideas as far as concrete titles. I guess if somebody came along and offered us money to record that'd be great. But we'll just have to wait and see what happens. We're just going to keep doing what we are, writing songs and recording songs, whether any label shows interest or not... even if nobody is listening.

ACM: Would you be interested primarily in distribution to clubs and college radio shows, or distribution in the Christian market as well?

Kevin: Hopefully both. But if I had to pick from the two, I'd definitely pick secular. If you sign with a small secular label, then you can always pursue distribution in a Christian bookstore... like The Innocence Mission, Sam Phillips, etc. I think I'd want to do both. But perhaps it's more complicated in reality.

ACM: Laurel, is there anything you'd like to add where you'd like to head?

Laurel: Kevin basically covered where we want to go with this, or don't want to go. This, for me, is just a whole lot of fun. I'm glad that Kevin and I are friends, because it's not just a job, it's a lot of fun too. If nothing happens with it, that's fine - it's a good experience. But if it does go somewhere, that will make me happy too.

ACM: Kevin? Anything you might want to add to that?

Kevin: We are the George Gershwin's of techno music ...I don't know why that always comes to mind. He sold life insurance and wasn't a slave to his music. I've seen bands with these rock star attitudes, like they want to make it big and live off their music. But, that's not how we feel - we just want to have fun. I know we've said that 40 or 50 times each now and you can edit some of those out. But that's really true. We've both got our priorities, college first. I'm working on my bachelors and Laurel's working on her masters. But that's what we do first. We're not rock stars, but we are Christians and musicians.

Tom D. Stephenson