FTY: Can you tell me about the members of I Hear Sirens and how the band name came about?
I Hear Sirens currently consists of guitarist Daved Harris, bassist Adrienne Robson, keyboardist Eric Olofson and drummer David Qualls. D. Harris and D. Qualls played together in a post-hardcore band called Gabrael. When that project was coming to an end they decided to start up something different.
I Hear Sirens refers to Greek mythology Sirens. A Siren’s song is supposed to be enchanting, and draw people in. Hopefully our music has that same effect.
FTY: Can you give a history of the band and talk about the first two releases?
We started out in 2005 with the intentions of being an indie rock band with aggressive moody vocals. It just naturally transitioned into more of an instrumental post-rock style band on its own. We’ve had a lot of member changes over the years so it’s been difficult to tour and put out new music regularly. We’ve had the same members for the past three and a half years though. We’re finally starting to build some consistency, and hopefully we can be more productive as a band.
With the first release we were still trying to figure out who we were as musicians and as a group. What we had with the I Hear Sirens EP carried over through member changes and helped shape what we are today.
Beyond The Sea, Beneath The Sky was a little different. There was frustration with the regular member changes, and we all had personal issues we were working through at the time. As a result the music being written had a darker mood to it. We wrote and released the album without a bass player. It was difficult, but we’re proud of the results.
FTY: Your music has been released on Lyre Records. I am guessing that is your own label. How difficult is it to do the whole package from writing the music to then having to sell it through your own label?
I wouldn’t exactly call Lyre Records USA a record label in the traditional sense. There are no intentions to sign bands and build a roster. It does, however, act as a legal entity for I Hear Sirens.
Daved has always enjoyed the business side of music, and handles the majority of those responsibilities through Lyre Records USA. There is no real pressure on anyone else in the band as far as those things go.
FTY: How would you describe your sound?
That’s a tough question. I’d say: Dramatic, Cinematic and Moody.
FTY: You have very recently released the EP Between Consciousness And Sleep. What can you tell me about it?
Between Consciousness And Sleep is the first album we’ve written with Adrienne. It captures elements of the I Hear Sirens EP and Beyond The Sea, Beneath The Sky, but introduces new progressions as well.
FTY: How do you go about the writing the music? Do you start at the beginning of the song? Is there one person who does the writing or is it a collective process? How do you then go about putting titles on the songs?
The songs are usually created around the guitar. We start with a guitar line, and then build from there. With D. Harris and D. Qualls being the only original members, the sound is primarily created with their vision.
The writing process has been very different from album to album. When writing Beyond The Sea, Beneath The Sky we didn’t have a bass player. On that album Daved wrote the guitar, bass, vocals and some of the keyboard parts. Between Consciousness And Sleep was more of a collective effort. Everyone wrote the majority of his or her own parts.
Most of our songs aren’t given names until after we’ve gone in the studio and recorded. That gives us a chance to sit back and really get a feel for the personality of the songs.
FTY: I see that you play live. Are there any plans on doing a full USA tour in 2013?
We’re doing a West Coast tour late August. That may be it for 2013. We’ve been kicking around the idea of East Coast and Europe for 2014 though.
FTY: Who or what influences you to do what you do?
I’d say our main influences are Sigur Ros and The Appleseed Cast. We pull a lot of inspiration from post-hardcore and indie rock bands as well.
FTY: How do you promote yourself? Are you using Social Media, and to what extent? How important is that media to the success of the band?
I’d say Last.fm and Facebook have been our biggest Social Media promotion tools. We’re more active on those sites leading up to and after a new release. Other than that, we don’t use them as much as we probably should. I’d say it’s very important to the success of the band. It’s definitely an area we could improve on.
FTY: If you could collaborate with any artist/band, who would it be and why?
This is probably a fairly common answer for bands in our genre, but I’d say Jonsi & Sigur Ros. They have a very unique and creative style. As I mentioned earlier, they’ve had a big influence on us.
FTY: What was the last piece of music that you guys listened to?
All of us listen to different music. A few of us have been into Daughter lately. We haven’t really listened to anything as a band recently though.
FTY: What does the future hold for I Hear Sirens?
We have some pretty exciting changes ahead. Adrienne just moved to Philadelphia, PA and Daved is moving to Austin, TX the first of the year. The band will keep going with its current members, but I Hear Sirens won’t be local to any specific city or state. That will eliminate “local” shows from our repertoire, and we will strictly be a touring act.