September 9, 2009

Interview: Caleb Moore of Lands and Peoples


As I was surfing the interweb a few days ago I stumbled upon a project titled Lands & Peoples over at IGIF. Within moments I was blown away. It was like being transported to some sort of sonic world with fields of reverb-drenched guitars, swirling synthesizers, and a voice often floating around on waves of harmony. Forget Marty McFly and the DeLorean; put on your headphones and Baltimore's Lands & Peoples will take you to the future themselves. Yes, it's that good. There isn't much coverage on the group, so I sent over a few questions to frontman Caleb Moore. He discusses the trio's origins, touring experience, and his plan to release a cassette tape "split."

Basically all I know about the band is that you reside in Baltimore. How long have the three of you been playing together? How did Lands & Peoples come about?
We've been playing as a 3 piece for about 6 months now-- this project started as a myspace page for me to put up random sound textures and collages that I was recording in my bedroom. The name is from a series of old history/travel books; I really admire the overall aesthetic of the artwork and photos in the books, and the tone of the writing is really brash and not PC-- which makes it funny to read too.

Do each of you have assigned roles in the band (percussion, singing, guitar, etc.) or is it more of an instrument-trading free for all?
We all trade instruments and work from as many angles as possible.

What's the songwriting and recording process like? The songs on your EP are incredibly lush and texturized. Is everything built from a particular instrument?
As most bands will tell you, the songwriting/recording process is different every single time-- but basically we have 2 good mics and Logic Pro. The ideas and songwriting come into play in completely random ways, and there is not one central instrument. I would say however, that we have definitely been favoring reverby guitars and droney looping lately.

Did you record the EP yourself? I only ask because some of the sounds, especially what I think is a guitar around 2:11 in "Bad Habits", have such a uniquely engaging and distinctive tone and timbre.
Thanks! Yes, we recorded and mixed the entire album our selves. It has not been mastered.

What's the touring been like? How's the response been from crowds?
Responses were pretty varied, but in general I think people dig it.

Is it difficult to produce any of your songs on stage? "Isabella" is such a quiet and sparse song, especially near the end. It must require the audience to keep near silent to hear those great harmonies.
I'm personally much more comfortable on stage when the audience is quiet, because I feel like they're actually paying attention and if they're doing that, then we must be doing something right. Also, it's really fun to improvise. We've been playing louder stuff lately, and I think that's where we're headed-- louder and more assured.

Who did the video for "Cars Like Waves"? There's some pretty incredible imagery in there, especially of the man facing the lone tree on opposite ends of the screen. Where did all that footage come from?
Thanks again, I did that while I was on unemployment and had nothing else going on. The footage is all from the "Peringer Archive" on a great, free resource for video art!

I watched a few of your live performances on An Hour of Kindness. A few of those songs are unreleased. Is there a plan to release a full-length down the line?
Yes, absolutely. We're also planning on releasing a cassette tape "split"-- the twist is, we're buying up old mix tapes and re-using them, and so the B-side of these tapes are going to be completely random, weird stuff: such as "Stress Free Forever: Subliminal Therapy for Women", Frank Sinatra, bible tapes, etc, etc..

Favorite band/record at the moment that's not your own?
Atlas Sound - Logos
This album has completely entranced me to the nth degree. It's sublime, and already in my top 3 for this year.

My last question is something that I ask at the end of every interview. If your band, Lands & Peoples, were an animal, what would it be?
A sexy, super friendly siamese cat.

Lands & Peoples - "Bad Habits" (from Lands & Peoples EP)

Buy the EP here for just $5.

1 comment:

  1. interesting music and a good Q&A. I especially like the inclusion of cool links to other resources!