2008.04.14 – DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS (interview)

After we published review of DBS’ debut album, and did a contest regarding the band, we had a hundreds of replies… So I thouth, some people should be interested to read an interview with the band…
Check out the interview with Oscar and Sepand from Days Between Stations…

Why did you decide to play instrumental music?

Oscar: I don’t think we ever really decided, to be honest. This material just sort of developed instrumentally without much forethought. But we haven’t closed the door on having vocals on upcoming albums.

Sepand: If I recall correctly, in 2003 we figured while we are looking for other permanent band members (bass, vocals, drums), we could work on an instrumental album and release in by April 2004. Well I think we finished mixing the album in April but it was April of 2007.

According to your bio, band was born five years ago. Why did you wait so long to release your debut album?

Oscar: We weren’t really waiting. It’s just that things kept happening, both on a personal as well as professional level. I think it could fairly be said that, at some point during the process, everything that could go wrong did.

Sepand: There were many times the project almost sank, and we would go months without recording. But we always came together at the end and pulled through it all.

Band’s name „Days Between Stations” came from the novel by Steve Erickson. What is the novel about? And why did you decide to call the band like that?

Oscar: I’m a big fan of Erickson’s, partly for his non-linear approach to the novel, and also for the way he borrows from different genres and integrates this into his own style. In a way, this is what we are trying to do, as well. On another level though, the name just seemed to fit the mood and, in a way, the “theme” of what we were doing.

Sepand: The novel is very very hard to explain, it’s very disjointed, and I would fail to explain it. The name, however, has many interpretations, and it leaves it flexible to the state of mind you are in; it is similar with this album, since there are no words your brain is free to roam.

What is the meaning of your debut’s cover artwork?

Sepand: Visually, the album cover is strange. In my opinion, there are some very vibrant colors that are attractive, but it leaves me with curiosity and a slight discomfort. I find the music similar. Sonically, there are many connections between the album cover and the music. One simple refrence, would be when Intermission #1 is transitioning into How to Seduce a Ghost.

What is your musician past? Did you play any bands before?

Oscar: I’ve played keyboards in a number of bands out here in California, none of which would probably ring a bell overseas: Shannon’s Closet, One Hand Clapping, The Women. I guess I’ve done my time in the trenches.

Sepand: I was so terrified of failing in university, I did nothing but study. I was in some bands in high school, but they were punk rock.

Do you guys playing a lot of concerts? To tell you the truth I wouldn’t be surprise if DBS was only studio project… but I heard you’re playing gigs…

Oscar: Well, we haven’t played live yet, but it’s something that I personally hope will happen in the not too distant future. There’s some logistical problems, of course, starting with getting everybody in the same room, for example!

Sepand: You are right! There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I personally work about 60 hours a week, and with all the demands for new material, and Oscar and I living an hour and half apart (you only have to listen to Laudanum 3 times to get there :-), it makes it very difficult to rehearse. We have agreed to do festivals, and we are making things happen so that we can play live.

Your music isn’t simple. Are you autodidact or do you have musical education?

Oscar: I had a fair amount of formal training in college although, perversely enough, I graduated with a degree in Literature, my second love.

Sepand: I taught myself for many years, then I hit a plateau and only then did I start my musical education. The autodidact wants to be free and experiment, and the formal music personality wants structure and aptitude. It’s a constant fight between the two

What are your inspirations?

Oscar: Music, books, films, paintings, people, life…though not necessarily in that order.

Sepand: I just want to learn as much as possible, that is my inspiration. But the topics that attract me are music, literature, philosophy, poetry, visual arts, history, traveling and meeting people, sometimes even annoying them.

What are your future plans? I heard you gonna compose some film music??? Can you tell me any details?

Sepand: Radio Song already made it into a movie called “Young Single and Angry”, and the soundtrack is out. We then just focused on putting an album out, and now promoting it. We are meeting some producers next week, to potentially work on some film music

Oscar: Actually, I’m studying film scoring at UCLA, so it’s definitely a direction I’d like to see the band go in. There’s nothing currently in the works, but we’ll definitely let you know

When can we expect your second album? Do you have such plans. Or maybe it’s much too early to tell about it?

Oscar: We’ve just started writing material and getting our feet wet again, so I do think it’s too early to tell. I do think we’d like to be a prolific band, like The Flower Kings or Marillion. You can’t force these things, though.

Sepand: We just didn’t think what would happen, happened. We had no intention of releasing a CD, as a result, we spent a lot of time trying to catch up to everything, and the great advices given to us.
We are debating whether to do a full album, or just do an EP for now. We are talking about doing other concepts, and have been practicing our instruments furiously. We still need to find out what we are about. There is a great deal of exploration, which leaves us with excitement, wonder and fear.

Can you tell something more about your EP. Didn’t these tracks fit to the album?

Oscar: Well, there were some tracks that we’re thinking of including on the upcoming EP that, you’re right, didn’t fit the album as far as it disrupted the overall flow or cohesiveness. There’s another track that we didn’t feel we’d done justice to – it didn’t feel finished. It’s still early in the process, though, and I don’t think we’ve decided on just what will be included in the EP.

Sepand: The most important for us, is to do better than we did on a project we did before. If we feel that the leftovers aren’t good enough for release we will put out a full album of new material.

Who are your favorite musicians/ bands?

Oscar: Ok, you asked for it: The Beatles, Genesis, Marillion, Yes, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Pink Floyd, The Who, Stravinsky, Bartok, Beethoven, Bach, Prokofiev, Steve Reich, Mozart, Debussy, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock, Poncho Sanchez , Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk. And that’s just scratching the surface.

Sepand: Radiohead, The Doors, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Jesus Lizard, Depeche Mode, She Wants Revenge, The Melvins, Gorecki, Avro Part, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy

Is it possible to see you on tour in Europe? Do you have such plans?

Oscar: There are no immediate plans, but it would definitely be a dream come true to tour Europe. Who knows? Maybe for the next album.

Sepand: It would be the first place we would be honored to say yes to, nothing official yet. But we are hungry for Poland. On this side of the pond, we know about the amazing caliber of fans of progressive music you have so we’d be honored to play on your soil.

I wish you all the best.

Sepand: We wish you all the best too. We know the horrendous volume of music that is available, so we really appreciate your time, both listening and writing about our cd and especially for this interview.

What would you say as an outro to Rock Area readers?

Oscar: Thanks for keeping the music alive and kicking!

Sepand: We know about the integrity your site has, and of course being a popular website, it tells about the integrity of your readers. We want to thank them for reading about us, and getting to know us…. And if you feel like writing we would love to get to know you too. All the best and with the warmest affection from Los Angeles

Interviewer: Piotr Spyra

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