This week we meet up with Jason Milton and Callan Saunders of The Demos, an indie band that has been playing in Rochester since 2003 and has gained a national following.
We met at Boulder Coffee to discuss their newest album, Lovely, the oddities of gaining popularity, and the current music scene.
RI: So you guy’s released “Lovely” a few months back, what went into making the album?
Demos: It took us a little over a year to track the whole album. It wasn’t like we just went into a studio and spat out an album; we recorded anywhere we could from our apartment to friends basements. Once we had all of the rough tracks we drove to Memphis Tennessee and co-produced the final album with Mike James. Working with a producer with that much background was incredible.
RI: What kind of influences went into the album?
Demos: Some people create an album with a plan for it to have an overall theme, when it all started we didn’t. We wanted to create an album that sounded good, something that was as much art as it was music (hence the title Lovely). It turns out that we ended up putting a lot of our feelings of day to day live and just the current situation we are in anyway. We kind of created a theme to the album without actually meaning to.
RI: So what do you think of the current music scene? Is it all art or is it just music?
Demos: Good music seems to come in waves. Back in the late 80’s and 90’s you had really influential bands like Nirvana, The White Stripes, and The Strokes, that not only revived rock but put a new twist on it. Nowadays it seems we are back on a pop kick, back to Beiber music.
The Internet seems to be a blessing and a curse when it comes to music. We wouldn’t have the following we have if it wasn’t for the Internet, and we wouldn’t be doing this interview if it wasn’t for the Internet. On the other hand it seems like anyone who has a microphone and some free time can make shit music and put it on Facebook. It also kills album artwork, no one seems to think that album artwork is necessary if they are just gonna put it online anyway.
RI: Speaking of album artwork, the cover of Lovely has a real retro unique look to it, how did you come up with it?
Demos: We were inspired by a Willaim Eggleston photo originally. We wanted to use one of his photos for the album cover, but the cost to obtain the rights to use his work was insane. So instead we took bunch of photos of our girlfriends in the Eggleston style.
Every band has different inspiration for album artwork. For The Strokes it was splitting an album, for Nirvana it was a message against the music industry, for us it was playing with a really expensive camera until we found something we liked.
RI: Do you guys have a plan to tour in the future?
Demos: We don’t have a big tour planned, just a few shows locally and one in Massachusetts. We don’t plan shows in other cities unless the following is there. Others are just out of reach. It’s funny, we hit Top 5 on a college radio station in Texas, turns out we have a big following down there. Problem is we have no way to get to Texas, it’s not like we have the resources to jump in a van and drive down there.
The Demos are planning to play a show at the Bug Jar on September 23rd. Anyone who wants to see some good indie music and support the local scene should go and check them out.