Interview with Easter
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:09
Local one man indie rock band Easter is quickly gaining attention in Champaign-Urbana. Recently winning "Best New Band" in a poll conducted by online CU magazine, Smile Politely, this musical project of Kyle Lang is rapidly gaining attention. Easter just performed at the Canopy Club with band such as Youth Lagoon and Toro y Moi as part of the 2011 Pygmalion Music Festival last Thursday, WPCD spoke with Lang about the origins of Easter, songwriting, his EP Demonstration, and what the future has in store for the fans.
WPCD: First off, how did Easter begin?
KL: I just recorded a couple of songs that I had been working on for a while and decided to put it out as sort of an EP demo earlier this year. That's basically all it was.
WPCD: So when writing a song, do the lyrics or the music come first?
KL: It really depends on the song. Sometimes I have a melody in my head or the way I want a song to flow or I come up with some lyrics and I turn them into a melody. Although usually when I make lyrics first there is a melody along with them and then I sort of flesh that out to a bigger part of the song and then attach it on other parts of the song.
WPCD: What made you want to make music yourself, rather than with a band?
KL: It just gives me a greater feel of accomplishment to do things myself. And I take a really long time to get things how I want them to be. I feel like the only way to work that way comfortably is to just do it myself and take my time with it.
WPCD: Since you're the only member of Easter, multi-tracking yourself into full band in your recordings, how do go about enlisting other musicians for live performances?
KL: So far it's basically just been close friends of mine or just really good musicians that I know from friends of friends. I don't hire anyone or hold auditions or anything. It's just kids that I know, so it's really cool. I've played only two shows with the same lineup. I keep trying to change the lineup every time just to keep it more exciting, and it always works out. It's never like crazy making everyone learn the songs. It keeps things new and fresh for me and I think everyone.
WPCD: How much do you practice beforehand with the musicians who will be playing live?
KL: Really, not that much. It's more like them learning the songs on their own. We'll come together once or twice before a show and then put everything together. Usually everyone's able to learn their parts pretty well.
WPCD: I noticed that your EP Demonstration is available online for free. Why did you decide to give away your music, rather than sell it?
KL: Because… I really hate paying for things, and I would hate to make someone pay for something. It's something that I worked hard on, which I know is an argument for why people believe that you should pay for music. It's sort of a hard question… But I'm happy to give it out for free. I feel like the easier it is to get the music, the more people are going to hear it and the happier I will become through more and more people hearing. I just want it to be as accessible as possible. And it feels nice to give things away for free. I made a few hundred CDs of the release and those were all given away for free as well.
WPCD: When did you first become interested in music?
KL: I guess when I was 8 or 9 or so I started messing around with keyboards and stuff like that I had at my house just trying to figure out songs that I knew, and maybe occasionally making my own little melodies or jingles or whatever you want to call them. Right before I got to high school I started learning guitar, and by the time I got into high school I was starting bands and things and making my own songs and recording.
WPCD: Was there music in your household growing up?
KL: Not really, I don't think more than any other household. My mom would listen to a lot of music, but she mostly listens to radio, R&B, like TLC and Destiny's Child and stuff like that. I think they would actually be influential on me, I still love a lot of those late 90's radio songs. I like those a lot. Even though I'm sure it doesn't come through in the music that I make, that was influential in me.
WPCD: Who would you list as a few of your primary influences?
KL: Probably… The one that I always think of is The Microphones. That has been my favorite band in the time that I've been making these newer batch of songs, I suppose, for this band Easter. Also, everything on K Records, which also The Microphones are on, but all those bands in the entire catalogue have been a giant influence on me. Early of Montreal, early Dirty Projectors… The Beach Boys. Their earlier stuff to about Pet Sounds.
WPCD: When not making music, what do you enjoy to do?
KL: Mostly… I mostly just sit around [laughs]. I don't really do that much. I like hanging out with my friends, riding my bike, I like to take walks with my friends. Listening to music.
WPCD: Any plans for a future release?
KL: Yeah, definitely. Hopefully by the end of this year I'm going to do a cassette tape release, because I'm going to be recording to cassette tapes from now on. It's probably going to be maybe a six-song release. Maybe more even, depending on how inspired I feel in these next few weeks with all of this school work I've had to do. It's definitely going to be much more low key than the Demonstration EP I did. It's some things that I've been working on for a while. They're just sort of slower. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but it's definitely more down-key than Demonstration, but I'm excited to put it out.
Easter is quickly developing into a huge name in the Champaign-Urbana music scene. Check out the Demonstration EP at easter.bandcamp.com or request their music on WPCD Champaign, 88.7 by calling 217-373-3790.