Interview with This way to the Egress

This time, musikgraph.de presents another great Steampunk band from the U.S.: This Way to the Egress. Enjoy the interview!

As introduction, please tell something about your band?

We are an Ole Tymey Gypsypunk Circus Band based out of the NYC area in United States. We are a 3 piece at our core, Taylor, Front man, on Accordion, Cello, Vocals and others. Sarah- Piano, vocals and other, and Mat on Drums and percussion. We have a rotating cast of musicians that play, perform and record with us, including Tuba, Mandolin, Trombone and more.

How did you meet and why did you decide to found a band?

We met through a musicians posting Ad Taylor had posted. We had all been searching for a project that was different with a great working relationship between the members and found that with each other.

What is the story behind your name?

PT Barnum was the ringmaster of The Ringling Bros Circus. In 1841, PT BARNUM bought Scudder’s American Museum in NYC. There he exhibited 500, 00 natural and artificial curiosities. He kept the traffic moving by hanging a sign that said “This Way to the Egress” Most people were unaware that Egress was another word for exit; people would follow the signs to an exit and have to pay for re-entry. We are very inspired by this part of American history and wanted to pay homage of sorts. To us it was a more magical time, people and families spent less time at home and the value of going out and seeing shows, circus’ and such were a big part of what we as a culture did back then.

How would you call your style of music?

We are self described as Ole Tymey- Gypsypunk- Cabaret. We draw on many different elements and styles for our music. From, ole tyme Gypsy progressions and rhythms, Ragtime, Classical, Blues, Punk, Folk, and scores from movies because we are very inspired by film. We think it’s important to remember that music has many different roots and comes in many styles.

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Would you call your band a Steampunk band and if yes, why?

Although we are VERY grateful for being accepted by the Steampunk community, we don’t consider ourselves a Steampunk band. Like we said above we incorporate many different styles and genres. And are definitely more carnie- gypsy- vagabond inspired in both our music and our attire. We are sure at times it may have “Steampunk” elements, but that isn’t how we describe ourselves. We like to leave it open ended, so that the listeners can decide what we are to them!!

What defines Steampunk for you? Is it the style, the music or even the costumes?

The concept of “Steampunk” is really a neat thing. The idea of a more simple time, of self running things, and steam powered things is very attractive in this insanely digital age.  It is, in its-self, a very old timey genre which we find wonderful. The attire and aesthetic is beautiful as well. One thing we really find awesome is that the Steampunk conventions and scene here in the states are very open minded as far as music goes. It’s kind of a schmorgusboard of Victorian dress, trinkets and contraptions, and ole tyme music of any sort.  Appreciators of another time and a bit of fantasy.

Is there a special way you write your songs? Is there a story first?

The song writing process takes many forms, from Taylor writing a song and bringing it to the table, Sarah contributing her songs from time to time or full on collaborations, where some one will write a riff or a part of a song and we’ll get into the studio and work it our together. Sometimes, they are inspired by events, history, or dreams. Sometimes they are metaphors for what we go through as people or experiences we have, Sometimes they take on the approach if being like a film, made to make the listener create strong visuals in their mind. Sometimes it’s as simple as wanting to try a new, time signature or key or venture off into something a bit different. Or sometimes we just want to create something that will be FUN for the listener!

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Your motto is “bring the show back”, what exactly do you mean and how does it influence your live performance?

We feel that some where in this digital age we’ve lost touch with what performance, music and the arts are and how IMPORTANT they are for the human experience. Especially in the states, music and arts are the first things cut from school programs and generally perceived as a hobby and not a way of life. When rock stars took over the music scene there was a sort of separation between the musicians and the audience. We strive to make the audience and fans apart of the show and not just spectators.  An all around, musical, sideshow and visual experience. Something different that inspires you to move your body and get out there and create or support the arts.

How would you describe your show? Is it Cabaret, Burlesque, Circus or Comedy – or even something in between?

It is definitely all of the above and something in-between.

Do you have other projects? On your website you write about music for films?

Through Egress we have created a community with many other outlets. Although we don’t have any other websites up, we are currently scoring music for independent films and REALLY hope to more of that.

The songs on your debut album “Delicious Cabaret” are all very catchy and make you want to move and dance! Is this the spirit behind the album?

Certainly. We really wanted to create something that was fun and different for the listeners.

I also like the lyrics, there’s plenty much room for interpretation. Is there a routine how you write your texts?

Not really. Its very much like described above. Sometimes they are stories we want to tell, sometimes they are based on experiences, sometimes we just want to create a feeling of another world for the listeners. Sometimes they just come from out of nowhere.

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Which song of your own is your favorite?

Well the 3 of us are influenced by different things and come from different backgrounds. So we all have different favorites. Mat’s is Gypsy Shoe. Sarah’s is a tie between Pockets Full of Posies and a new release Clarence, and Taylor’s is Delicious Cabaret.

Are you inspired by some musicians and other artists?

VERY MUCH, and not just by their music but by their drive and dedication to create something they are passionate about.

As you are pilgrims of the road, are you planning to come to Europe or even Germany some day?

Yes. We really hope to get to the UK sometime in 2012 and do a tour from there hopefully hitting Germany!!!

When you are not performing, writing or recording – what do you do in your spare time?

Well, as lame as it may sound, our hobbies really include the Band. When we aren’t performing, recording etc we are creating props, new antic’s, promoting, and researching. We will enjoy watching films or swimming in the ocean, But Egress takes up majority of our time.

I heard you are currently recording your 2nd album? Do you know when you will release it yet?

We don’t have a release date set but it will arrive in 2012!!

Did I forget something import? Feel free to mention it!

Think that pretty much covers it!

Your last advice to our readers is:

Get out to shows! It’s very difficult pursuing a creative way of life. The best thing you can do is, get out and support your artists and musicians for their craft and if you feel so inspired, CREATE yourself!!

Thank you very much for the interview!

This Way to the Egress bei Amazon

Kategorie Interview

Ich bin Janina und komme aus Norddeutschland. Daher stammt wohl auch der Faible für düstere Musik (schlechtes Wetter und viel Wind ;)), die nicht ganz der Norm entspricht. Mit einem schrägen und rauen Sinn für Humor und einer großen Begeisterung für Steampunk und Mittelalter bin ich in diesem Blog für die Seitenblicke auf etwas ausgefallenere Projekte zuständig. (Janina bei Google+)

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