April 01, 2007

The Procession: Interview

THEProcessionINT3Sticky sweet power pop, like opening a 35 year old glass bottle of Coke and finding you can still drink the stuff, that's what hearing The Procession is like for me. Now when you listen to this great music you could be inspired to discover the past greats who inspired them. Past greats like The Raspberries whose classic "Go All The Way" was perfect power pop. And if you've been missing those kind of hooks then you've likely be pining for what The Procession can give, or pining for the fjords... and if it's the latter, then you're one dead parrot. But if it's the former, then you're one lucky dog.

Classic pop hooks hang from the lovingly observed sities styled harmonies. No one is currently plying the sixties pop trade as well as The Procession do on this album. Although it might just be my age coming into play when I hear the sixties... my memory may be going a touch. There are some seventies moments here as well, but don't get the impression this band sounds like the sixties, they have a very distinctive sound that is influenced by the past, not mimicking it.

From Musique Magnifique
major and minor (what she wants) [mp3]
sandra [mp3]
BUY Musique Magnifique

The Procession: +Sixeyes Interview with Paul Zawacki
+SIXEYES: When will your album, Musique Magnifique, be released and have you got a label lined up?

PAUL ZAWACKI: Musique Magnifique will be released in the U.K. in early April Ied: Monday, April 9th) on Nude Records (the label that put out Suede in the 90's). We will be releasing a U.S. version in early May on Retone Records, in Los Angeles.

+S: How do you feel if someone refers to your music as retro?

PZ: I don't mind at all. Both John and I are definitely very fond of 60's and 70's productions. I'd be lying if I said that they weren't a large influence on the writing and production of our record.

+S:I hear a lot of the sixties when I listen to your music, how did you develop a love for music created years before you were born?

PZ: Personally speaking, I had a father with a passion for two things: good rock records and a loud stereo. Some of my earliest memories involve air-guitaring in the family room to records like "Who's Next", "The Cars", and "Sgt. Pepper's...". John's upbringing was very similar. I guess we never really stopped.

From left : J. Paul Zawacki, John F. Schreffler Jr. & Greg Jong Esq.

+S:Your vocals carry a faint whiff of Britain, would you agree to that? Do you hear the influence upon your inflection?

PZ: Well...yeah. A faint whiff. For most of the songs, I'd have to disagree, but we really can't deny the inflection on "Don't Hesitate". I had jokingly recorded the vocals on my four-track, after I first wrote the song, in a sort of half-baked, deary, Thom Yorke accent--not thinking that I would sing it that way on the record. However, when John and I went to cut the vocals, we just didn't think it sounded right when we sung it using our American inflection. Maybe we were just used to hearing the demo. I don't know.

+S: What does this exchange bring to mind?

"Who is Number One?" "You are Number Six" "I am not a number... I'm a free man!"

PZ: Ah, The Prisoner. This is the sound of Greg, our bass player, influencing the band. I'm acutally on the phone with him right now and he says to mention "the legend himself, Patrick McGoohan."

+S: Which do you concentrate more upon when writing, the melody or the lyric?

PZ: Though I spend an obessively lengthy amount of time on lyrics, I'm going to have to say the melody. It's the first thing that pops into my head when I get an idea for a song. Melody is always the thing that "hooks" me in pop music. On the other hand, I only know the lyrics, in full, to a handful of songs.

+S: When producing the record were you going for a specific sound, one that wouldn't tie you to classic pop, but would separate you from most of what is being produced today?

PZ: Precisely. We really wanted to capture the sound of an older production, so we recorded the record ourselves, in my parents' basement, on John's 16 track tape machine. Just by doing this I think we pretty much avoided sounding like most of what's being produced today. We also, as you expressed, didn't want to tie ourselves too much to classic pop, so we tried to keep the dorky retro-homages and allusions to a tasteful minimum (e.g. Brian May solo in "Major and Minor"). Though we like older productions, there is a danger in going too vintage. Take it too far and pretty soon you lose the relevance--you have a record that Dads are listening to, not kids.

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