Q&A with Sweet Interference
Take a classically trained vocalist, a handful of talented musicians, and a songbook filled with entertaining lyrics and there you will have Sweet Interference. “What most characterizes [their] sound is the classical and rock fusion,” explained the band’s singer, Moira. “We are a band that likes to play around with traditional music theory and use chord progressions and harmonies that are not the standard format you hear on the radio.”
Fusing a lead singer who is classically trained in opera, with a mutli-piece rock band and another vocalist is certainly not the standard arrangement one sees on stage. However, after hearing your musical style and reading your bio I take it that you would rather be slightly left of center on purpose! How do you take advantage of your special arrangement and what impact does it have on your compositions? What are some of the characteristics that are hallmarks of Sweet Interference's music?
Chris – In the previous incarnation of the band, we featured two female vocalists: soprano Moira Annelin and alto Nicole DeMambro. At the beginning of the writing process we only focused on their different singing ranges, but once we started practicing and performing the songs we started focusing on how the two voices can bring different feelings to the music. Though Moira’s voice sounds high and beautiful, it can also add a lot of power and grit when the band gets loud and lyrics get mean. For example on the bridge “You Proved It” you can hear her sing so loudly that she’s over blowing the microphone, which really goes with lyrics, “I want you to die lonely in the dark.” Other times she just blows you away with her ability to sing amazing range of notes. On the song, “Hope, Control, Soap, and Soul” Moira starts low, soft, and slow, and the outro features her sky high, loud, and fast. To contrast that we had Nicole’s raspy alto, which she can use to create a very intimate feeling or to sound really angry. When we were able to get both of those voices on tracks together, like in “All The King’s Men,” “You Proved It,” and “Laugh So Hard” we able to create some truly great musical moments.
Unfortunately after our grueling recording process, both Nicole and guitarist Mick Sexton left the band to focus on their careers. It was a great loss to us, but we have been more than fortunate to find some amazing new members. We found multi-instrumentalists Josh Klein and Zach Mast, who both play Keyboards, Guitar, Drums, and Sing. Josh is an incredible performer and Zach has proved to be a great songwriter. We have also added two part-time musicians: Aaron Lowenberger has been lending his virtuosic guitar playing abilities and Becky Sach has been adding her smoky alto voice to balance Moira’s Soprano. Moving forward we should be able to do even more with multiple voices and instruments.
What are the band's plans and goals for 2010? Recording? More performances? Festival circuit?
Alex – We will definitely be writing new material and playing around the DMV area. We may play some festivals as well. I don’t believe we have discussed recording in 2010, but it will probably happen.
Chris – We plan to play out more in 2010 then we did in 2009. With our new members, we have a new ability to put on a great live show with more soloing, and even some three-part harmony. We’re currently applying to festivals and though we may start some recording this year. It will be more then a year before we release anything else, since we just released The Depths of Loneliness.
Josh – Our main plans right now (or so I’ve been told) are to really get out there and perform. We want to reach as many people as possible, get some new fans, and generally just rock out. Festivals are definitely in the future for us.
Moira – As our main booker, any suggestions of new venues and festivals we can play would be great…. email@example.com.
Tell DoS readers a little about your composition process? Who writes, who composes, and who adds in the random commentary during your song-writing sessions?
Chris – During the past few years, I have written or at least begun the majority of the songs. While most have originated with me, songs often get changed and corrected during the learning and writing process. I take every comment I get from the members very seriously. All of our members have taken some amount of music theory, so they all can analyze the music I write from a theory base.
Josh – Chris writes most of the songs, but hopefully more of us will start with the song writing in the future. I’ve got some stuff that I’ve been working on that I hope we can play in the future. I’m pretty sure that I add in the random commentary in the songwriting. Although my commentary is more along the lines of “what random song have I heard recently that I will play incessantly during practice?” These can range from Lady Gaga to Justin Timberlake, and last rehearsal I was playing some Journey. We play written parts, but those are fluid and can change drastically over the course of a practice.
What do you have planned for your March 18th show at The Velvet Lounge? Any fun surprises, additional musical guest artists, new songs that you can share with DoS readers in advance?
Alex – I believe Becky, and Aaron will be joining us on the 18th again. Two new songs, and two reworked songs will have their debut. Pants optional.
Chris – New members, guest musicians, free CDs, new songs, it will all be there, so you should be there too.
Moira – I’m excited to play my first song in front of people not in my band. I really enjoy any time we get to play our music, especially in front of a crowd.
Josh – We are going to get up there and rock out at the Velvet Lounge. We’ve got some cool new songs to debut, and there should be a good crowd. Come out and join us!
Check out Sweet Interference for yourself!