Sun Gods to Gamma Rays: We wanted to see what our friends would do with our tracks
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Remixing a song is a way to breathe new life into a track and reimagine it as if it lived in a parallel world. When Minneapolis band Sun Gods to Gamma Rays approached some friends to help retrace their steps, the results came back in pieces that are sometimes haunting, sometimes intense, but always alluring. The remix treatment to The Water The Wave has resulted in a wholly new album, with only scant echoes of the original remain.
Gimme Noise caught up with the band before their album release this weekend at the Kitty Cat Klub to talk about who helped remake their songs and their intentions on redoing their entire album.
Band Members: Peter Bregman, Paul Flynn, Brian Gollnick, Brianna Kocka and Mitch Miller
Gimme Noise: Where did the idea to do a remix come from?
Peter Bregman: A few of our friends have put out remix records in the past, and it was always fun to see how they turned out. We thought it would be cool to hear what some of our friends and fellow musicians would do with our tracks.
Brianna Kocka: I'll be the first to admit that I have recently really gotten into EDM and new wave R & B. I thought doing a remix would be a really cool way to experiment with that sound, that's really what drew me to having our EP remixed.
Can you name the artists you decided you wanted to work with?
PB: Grant Cutler - Brian and I lived with Grant for years and he's still one of my closest friends, so he was an obvious choice. Even if I didn't know him so well, I'd still be a huge fan of him and his sound. The guy is a genius.
Plosives - This is Brian's alterego. Brian is my favorite DJ in the Twin Cities and I've always loved his remixes. He's done remixes for Fort Wilson Riot, Lookbook, Zoo Animal, and more -- go check them out!
Graham O'Brien - I've always had a lot of respect for Graham. After playing a show with Moon & Pollution in Duluth and really digging their vibe, it seemed natural to ask him to join on the fun.
Paper Tiger - Paper Tiger has produced so many cool things with Doomtree and has such an awesome ear for sounds, we knew he would be a great person to pull into the project. Our friend and studio owner of the Hideaway, Joe Mabbott was the first person to encourage us to email him about the project.
Makr - I've been a fan of Mark's stuff from the days of To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie, and his more recent stuff with Deathsquads and Votel is incredible. He brings an amazing sense of energy and intrigue to everything he works on.
How do you feel they shaped the sounds?
PB: Perfectly. Seriously, each and every one of them brought so much to their track. The songs are all so different from what they were originally, and yet they all captured a sense of what they were about. They even flow together surprisingly well -- like it was all planned out.
Did you give them free reign, or did you give them direction on how you wanted it to sound?
PB: Total free reign, that's the only way to do it.
Why did you decide to only remix these songs?
PB: These are the only songs we have.
Brian Gollnick: Because the recording of our original EP really captured how we perform the songs live, it seemed like a great group of songs to take to the edge and re-imagine as something beyond what our instruments alone could never create.
Which piece surprised you in how it changed?
PB: Honestly, they all did. I think it's cool that The Water The Wave (our slow-burn epic) became dance-able and that "Burn Me Through" (our pop single) became mellower and more introspective. All of the tracks took on new life and became something entirely new.
BK: I am obviously very excited about all the tracks, but the two that stuck out to me the most that have surprised me (in a really killer way) would be "Not Worth Anything" and "You Thought You Had It All." Paper Tiger and Makr worked on these two tracks. PT's track ended up turning into this cool quasi-trap song. Makr's song just turned out super dark and creepy, which I think it why I love it so much.
What's the goal with doing a remix album?
PB: To involve more people in the music making process and to let the songs take on a life of their own.
BG: Allowing other people to bring their influences from different genres to our songs gives us an opportunity to reach out to listeners who might not otherwise ever come across our music. I've got a ton of amazing remixes in my music library that I've never even heard the original for -- to me they are the original songs. I really appreciate that moment when I finally come across an original track and because it's so different than what I am used to, it actually sounds like a remix.
How are these going to be reinterpreted live at the release show?
PB: We're going to play the songs as they were originally composed so that listeners who may not have heard us before will understand just how different the remixes are.
BK: And then in between sets our friend Aaron Rice of Aaron & The Sea will be DJing the remixes, intermingled with other great songs to dance to.
Sun Gods to Gamma Rays will release The Water, The Wave Remixed Album at the Kitty Cat Klub on Saturday, July 5, 2014 with ACTN, Beasthead, and DJ by Aaron & The Sea.
21+, $5, 9 pm
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