Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Interview with Kym Register of Loamlands

The last time I talked to Kym was at the Subterranean in Chicago. I remember staggering in there after going to Emporium Bar and Grill and having one too many Union Jacks. Midtown Dickens had put out their swan song album "Home" by Trekky Records out recently in April. I don't know how many times I've seen Midtown Dickens, but I do remember both the first and the last times that I saw them. The first time was at the short-lived Troika music festival in Durham, which should continue by the way (in case anyone is reading who would like to start that back up). It was my first time in Fullsteam Brewery my junior year, at a time when my mental state didn't allow for me to drink. But Troika changed my life. It made me believe in community for beginners - it gave me a sort of geographical loyalty to my music, (one that I still hold dear [as anyone can probably see judging from the amount of North Carolina bands featured on the blog]).

Midtown Dickens released three incredible folk records that incrementally grew. They featured something home-centric by way of both lyric and music. Their music came across as sincere and precise, which was (and still is) a winning combination if I've ever seen one.

So yeah, I was sad when that band broke up, but just reading their statement on Facebook gave me a sort of pause by making me think that they were people who had places to go, things to do, and sometimes we can't all take the same path to paradise. So when I saw that Loamlands was coming into existence, I jumped. They have yet to record, but that doesn't even matter. A lot of people listen to music for enjoyment. Some people listen to be told how to live. Some people listen to critique. For me, it's a little different. I listen to music to get to know people and to believe in people. That's something that I got from Midtown Dickens and folk music in general. I can't wait to hear what Loamlands have in store.

You can check them out on their Facebook page HERE

This is what Kym said

Jordan: What is Loamlands? Where did the name come from? Who is in Loamlands?

Kym: Loamlands is a band formed out of the mutual love and respect that Will and I have for each other as people and musicians.  Playing with Will for the past, what like 20 years (so it seems) has been really fun.  I've been supported and challenged musically, and am really excited to keep that going.  It's an extension of what I was writing in Midtown, but there's a lot more energy put to both the music and how I'm singing... I'm really trying to focus here. It's also got a bit of a more rocking feel.  I'm playing electric guitar about half the time so far (my grandads, and his amp!) and banjo and acoustic the other 50% of the time.  Will is writing with me, harmonizing and playing guitar / mandolin so far.  We're still feeling this one out.  So far it's Will and I, and filling in for the first few shows are Kyle Kegan from Lost in the Trees (and a million other bands) on drums and Brad Cook for Megafaun on bass.  

J: Why did Midtown Dickens break up and how did this project stem out of that?

K: Midtown was doing really well, and I think through that each of us felt empowered to really search out our own interests.  We toured a lot last year, and had been a band for around 8 years.  I think we each needed to hold that project near to our hearts, embrace the love of our community and move on to other projects that inspired us.  Catherine is traveling a lot and still playing music, Jonathan has been touring and recording with Kairaba, and Will and I are really excited to get this new / old sound out in the world.  

J: What kind of music does Loamlands make? Where do you get your inspiration for this project?

K: It's still folk music, without a doubt.  It still tells a story, but I feel more honed in.  I'm playing with strings now, and really focussing on song structure and singing.  I feel grounded and focussed in what Will and I are putting together.  It seems almost effortless and natural, in the way that it embrasses what I learned in MTD but takes that to another plane. 

J: Have you guys written any songs? How does your music get made?

K: We've almost got a record written!  I'm so excited!  I'd been toying around with songs for the next MTD record, so there were a few riffs and what not that I took from those ideas into Loamlands, but not really.  This is a new sound and a natural progression, but it's all mostly new material.  Basically what's happening now is that I'm writing basic song outlines with melody / lyrics etc, and bringing that to will. Then we collaborate.  He's amazing at fine tuning the folk songs I bring in and figuring out melodies and structure.  He's dreamy. 

J: Do you guys plan on recording some songs or possibly an album? What are some of the first things that you guys are working on?

K: We're definitely planning on recording, and almost have enough material for a full length.  What are we working on... hm.  Music mostly.  Getting our gear the way we want it.  Pairing down.  Having fun.  Eating good food.  Making sure we don't get electrocuted on stage.  My Grandpa's amp wasn't grounded, so ... that was an issue.  But thanks to Russ @ Bull City Sound, I have a styling power cable and no new near death experiences. 

J: You guys have a few shows coming up. Can you talk a little bit about those?

K: VERY excited about the shows we have coming up.  One is on 4.11 w/ William Tyler @ The Pinhook.  He's such an inspirational musician.  One of those that you watch and then immediately want to go home and start writing music.  It is an honor to play with him.  

K: Also Shakori!  It's going to feel like going home, playing there.  Such a sweet festival full of supportive folks and talented musicians.  

K: A few more are in the worls, but the are yet to be announced :) 

J: Anything else you'd like to say?

K: I'm just really excited for this project.  It feels like such a natural extension of what I was / am doing musically, and feels good to grow into.  I'm glad to get a chance to do this.  

J: Thanks!

K: Thanks Jordan!  

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