mobile menu
facebook icon
twitter icon
spotify icon
AA BandPage Logo
Search AA:

divider

AA Interview: 2a.m. Orchestra

Image

Alternative Addiction recently talked with 2 a.m. Orchestra's David Kelley about the band's new album, "Trading Graves"

February 28, 2020


Alternative Addiction recently talked with 2 a.m. Orchestra's David Kelley about the band's new album Trading Graves, how the project has evolved over the years, and lots more. Read the interview below.

AA: 2 a.m. Orchestra has changed forms over the years - it's basically whatever you want it to be. Can you talk about the evolution of the project over the years?

2AMO: Someone pointed out to me recently that I’ve often referred to 2 a.m. Orchestra as a “project.” And I guess that’s right. Sure it’s a band. Sometimes. And sure it’s a solo thing. Sometimes. I’ve played live with different line-ups over the years, often with varied style and instrumentation. And yet, the recording process is more solitary. I like to write, arrange, and track things myself. I like the control of shaping the entire sound. It’s personal. Intimate. It would almost seem perverse to open up that process of creation to others.

AA: This is the first album that you've done in a while, when did you start work on it?

2AMO: Going back years. An embarrassingly long time ago!

AA: Where was the album recorded? How long did it take to put together?

2AMO: Like the last record, this was a mix of home-recording and studio recording. Much of the album was actually recorded immediately after the release of the previous record. In the years since, I re-recorded some things and filled in bits and pieces along the way. But what took the longest was mixing. Joel (mixing engineer, Joel Halford) and I just kept going back to the drawing board on some of these songs. But we learned quite a lot from the experience. Dare I say I think things will go much quicker next time around.

AA: What was your favorite moment during recording?

2AMO: Maybe when “Home” was coming together. Laying down the tracks one by one, you could really tell everything was slotting into the right place. And especially when Nick (violinist, Nick Jones) came along to lay down the string parts, it all just locked in. And of course, Joel’s mix is brilliant. Very pleased with how that all came out.

AA: "Loveless" is one of my favorite songs on the record - l really love the opening of the song. Can you tell me how the song started?

2AMO:Thanks. Yeah, the song starts (and ends) with a bright, melodic bass line. Rather than bring in the other instruments all at once, I chose to gradually fade in the acoustic guitars and mandolin. In early mixes this was more subtle, but eventually Joel opted to exaggerate this effect and I’m glad he did. You’ll also hear a swelling suspended cymbal (played with soft mallets as one might in an orchestral setting) ramping up into the drums and vocals.

AA: How does the start of that song compare to others that you've written?

2AMO: I hadn’t thought too much about it, but I suppose it is rather unique. The vibe of the fade-in seems like an invitation. The great thing about finally being done with a record is that you can just relax and experience the music like any other listener, and when I listen to the intro of Loveless I hear it like … I don’t know, like a call. Then I’m vacuumed up into some mood there’s no word for.

AA: What was the most challenging part of recording the record?

2AMO: Mixing the damn thing. Joel and I took forever to finish this record. Part of the problem was that he was living in Napier and I was in Auckland. Trying to do it long distance was cumbersome. I think the real work happens when you’re in the same room. Also, the more time you take, the more fussy you get. You have to be careful not to kill the thing you’re trying to get right. But Joel’s a very gifted mixing engineer and in the end all those extra hours paid off.

AA: What are you most proud of with this record?

2AMO: I guess I’m proud of the songs. You can always say, well we could have recorded this song differently, or arranged this song with different instruments. There’s always options for how to present the songs, and so maybe there’s no right answer for that. But all that has to begin with the songs themselves and so I’m proud of the songwriting. I think you could orchestrate the songs differently, record them differently, but the songs themselves would stand out.

AA: Where does the artwork come from for the single and then for the album?

2AMO: Paul Carlson did the design for both Trading Graves and the Loveless single. The phrase “Trading Graves” is an excerpt from the track “Seeds and Skulls.” The album image was inspired by snapdragon seed pods, which resemble tiny skulls. Paul’s work is amazing - he just nailed it. The painting used in the design for Loveless was created by my very talented niece, Madison Kelley. Her work was conceived independently of the song, but when something fits, it fits - I just had to use it.

AA: Do you have any plans to play this music live?


Not really. I’ve often said that recorded music and live music are as different as film and theater. A commitment to or interest in one isn’t necessarily a commitment to or interest in the other. Having said that, I would like to perform live more in the future - I miss it. And the guys I’ve been playing with in recent years are fantastic musicians (Tim Gittins, Chris Dawson, and Andy Smith) - I’m always down to make noise with them! But alas, the boys and I have a lot of other things on our plates at the moment. We do, however, from time to time get together and film live performances in a casual setting. We recently got together and hammered out an arrangement of “Feeling of Home” that’s quite different from the arrangement on the record.




  Recent Posts

  Small News Pic

AA Interview: 2a.m. Orchestra

February 28, 2020

Image

Alternative Addiction recently talked with 2 a.m. Orchestra's David Kelley about the band's new album, "Trading Graves"

Alternative Addiction recently talked with 2 a.m. Orchestra's David Kelley about the band's new album Trading Graves, how the project has evolved over the years, and lots more. Read the interview below.

AA: 2 a.m. Orchestra has changed forms over the years - it's basically whatever you want it to be. Can you talk about the evolution of the project over the years?

2AMO: Someone pointed out to me recently that I’ve often referred to 2 a.m. Orchestra as a “project.” And I guess that’s right. Sure it’s a band. Sometimes. And sure it’s a solo thing. Sometimes. I’ve played live with different line-ups over the years, often with varied style and instrumentation. And yet, the recording process is more solitary. I like to write, arrange, and track things myself. I like the control of shaping the entire sound. It’s personal. Intimate. It would almost seem perverse to open up that process of creation to others.

AA: This is the first album that you've done in a while, when did you start work on it?

2AMO: Going back years. An embarrassingly long time ago!

AA: Where was the album recorded? How long did it take to put together?

2AMO: Like the last record, this was a mix of home-recording and studio recording. Much of the album was actually recorded immediately after the release of the previous record. In the years since, I re-recorded some things and filled in bits and pieces along the way. But what took the longest was mixing. Joel (mixing engineer, Joel Halford) and I just kept going back to the drawing board on some of these songs. But we learned quite a lot from the experience. Dare I say I think things will go much quicker next time around.

AA: What was your favorite moment during recording?

2AMO: Maybe when “Home” was coming together. Laying down the tracks one by one, you could really tell everything was slotting into the right place. And especially when Nick (violinist, Nick Jones) came along to lay down the string parts, it all just locked in. And of course, Joel’s mix is brilliant. Very pleased with how that all came out.

AA: "Loveless" is one of my favorite songs on the record - l really love the opening of the song. Can you tell me how the song started?

2AMO:Thanks. Yeah, the song starts (and ends) with a bright, melodic bass line. Rather than bring in the other instruments all at once, I chose to gradually fade in the acoustic guitars and mandolin. In early mixes this was more subtle, but eventually Joel opted to exaggerate this effect and I’m glad he did. You’ll also hear a swelling suspended cymbal (played with soft mallets as one might in an orchestral setting) ramping up into the drums and vocals.

AA: How does the start of that song compare to others that you've written?

2AMO: I hadn’t thought too much about it, but I suppose it is rather unique. The vibe of the fade-in seems like an invitation. The great thing about finally being done with a record is that you can just relax and experience the music like any other listener, and when I listen to the intro of Loveless I hear it like … I don’t know, like a call. Then I’m vacuumed up into some mood there’s no word for.

AA: What was the most challenging part of recording the record?

2AMO: Mixing the damn thing. Joel and I took forever to finish this record. Part of the problem was that he was living in Napier and I was in Auckland. Trying to do it long distance was cumbersome. I think the real work happens when you’re in the same room. Also, the more time you take, the more fussy you get. You have to be careful not to kill the thing you’re trying to get right. But Joel’s a very gifted mixing engineer and in the end all those extra hours paid off.

AA: What are you most proud of with this record?

2AMO: I guess I’m proud of the songs. You can always say, well we could have recorded this song differently, or arranged this song with different instruments. There’s always options for how to present the songs, and so maybe there’s no right answer for that. But all that has to begin with the songs themselves and so I’m proud of the songwriting. I think you could orchestrate the songs differently, record them differently, but the songs themselves would stand out.

AA: Where does the artwork come from for the single and then for the album?

2AMO: Paul Carlson did the design for both Trading Graves and the Loveless single. The phrase “Trading Graves” is an excerpt from the track “Seeds and Skulls.” The album image was inspired by snapdragon seed pods, which resemble tiny skulls. Paul’s work is amazing - he just nailed it. The painting used in the design for Loveless was created by my very talented niece, Madison Kelley. Her work was conceived independently of the song, but when something fits, it fits - I just had to use it.

AA: Do you have any plans to play this music live?


Not really. I’ve often said that recorded music and live music are as different as film and theater. A commitment to or interest in one isn’t necessarily a commitment to or interest in the other. Having said that, I would like to perform live more in the future - I miss it. And the guys I’ve been playing with in recent years are fantastic musicians (Tim Gittins, Chris Dawson, and Andy Smith) - I’m always down to make noise with them! But alas, the boys and I have a lot of other things on our plates at the moment. We do, however, from time to time get together and film live performances in a casual setting. We recently got together and hammered out an arrangement of “Feeling of Home” that’s quite different from the arrangement on the record.

minmaxplayer
arrowdown
Now Playing:
© 2020 Alternative Addiction - All Rights Reserved