PASSPORT: Sean Kelly (A Fragile Tomorrow)
What was the biggest fun during the making of Make Me Over?
SK: The most fun moments were certainly in the beginning of the recording process, when all we had was a concept and a general idea of where we wanted to go. How we got there and what we did to accomplish the goals we had were virtually unknown, so a lot of it was spontaneous and experimental. We only had a few songs at that point, so once we realized we were on to something it really informed the writing process for me and gave me an idea of what the songs should sound like. It was a really exciting part of the production process.
If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?
SK: I would argue that “One Of Two, Two Of Three” would be the best song to listen to as an overall introduction to what this band is and what the record is all about. It’s got everything we we aim for musically — complex layered harmonies, unconventional song structure, weaving between keys, odd chord changes, dense, retro-futuristic production, subtle nuances, a combination of big and jangly guitars, and dynamic arrangement.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
SK: I think the ever-changing industry has actually benefited us in most ways. It’s allowed us to become more engaged on a personal level and reach a wider audience by being more closely connected. There’s no question that the rise of the Internet and the digital age has allowed just about anyone to release music — which means it can be difficult to really break through — but if you work hard enough to separate yourself and stand out you can really use technology to your advantage and break out. I think we’ve got a ways to go until monetization from streaming and the like is 100 percent figured out on a business level, though.
Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?
SK: Good question! Right now I’m really enjoying Skylar Gudasz, who’s based in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve never met her but we’ve got a whole bunch of mutual friends and acquaintances, which is how I first heard her. She’s heavily involved in the Big Star Third series of shows as well. I think she’s about to make a huge impact and I’m really excited about it. She’s brilliant.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
SK: Oh man, that’s difficult. This literally would probably change every single day, but here’s what I’m feeling in this particular moment:
1) Big Star – Thirteen
2) Roxy Music – She Sells
3) Beach Boys – Surf’s Up
4) R.E.M. – Nightswimming
5) XTC – King For A Day
What’s up for the next couple of months?
SK: We’re touring with Indigo Girls in November, which is always a wonderful experience. After that, we’ll come home and have some projects before the holidays. Then we’ll be back out on the road, likely on our own and supporting some bands as well. We’re planning to return to The Netherlands and Belgium early next year, and will hopefully go back to Israel in the spring. 2016 will be all about this new record and getting it out there.
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