Demander

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/demanderinterview.jpg" alt=" " />If you want to read an interview bursting with personality, an interview with musicians who are still deeply connected to the original excitement and enthusiasm...

Demander

If you want to read an interview bursting with personality, an interview with musicians who are still deeply connected to the original excitement and enthusiasm that drew them to making music – then this is the (quite epic) interview for you.  It just so happens to be a jubilant conversation with the two talented gals at the heart of the splendiferously genre-defying little firecracker of a three-piece known simply as Demander.  The band’s principal songwriters – singer/bassist Karen Kanan Corrêa and drummer Sivan Harlap – sat down with QRO at the end of ‘09 and then followed up via email in early 2010 for all the lowdown on life in wonderland, including but certainly not limited to: dishing on their history, their recent lineup change, the road to their spankin’ new Technicolor flight of fancy (a.k.a. second album), Future Brite (QRO review), and, of course, staying positive through it all.  Just take a hit off their joy and you’ll feel it, too: the future is bright, and Demander knows it.

 

QRO: All right, take me back, guys…  What has life been like since your first full-length, [2007’s] The Unkindness of Ravens?  First of all, you have a new member in your band.  What happened?  If you are at liberty to say…

Karen Kanan Corrêa: Oh, yeah!  Do you want to tell the story?

Sivan Harlap: Yeah, we’ll make it short.  In 2007 we toured a lot supporting the record, and the last two tours that we did were October/November time – it was a week in the U.S., East Coast with The Hold Steady (QRO live review) and Art Brut (QRO spotlight on), and then about five or six weeks in Europe and the U.K. with New Model Army.  It was a pretty whirlwind year – especially toward the end we did a lot of stuff that was new to us and exciting.  And then we got back and Jared [P.  Scott], our guitarist, kind of wanted to explore his own music, and films – he’s a documentarian.  I don’t know-

Demander, with JaredKKC: I think it’s a pretty standard kind of a change that happens, since we’re the main songwriters in the band – I think it’s more of an issue for the other person, like if you’re the main songwriters and the other person wants to explore their own songwriting, they’re going to want to do that at some point, and Demander took a lot of time – it was pretty much all-consuming, so for him to do his own project it just ended up that it was going to take all of his time.  And then we sort of realized – we had our own path and he has his path, and we’re all still super-good friends.  You know, he’s doing his band and he’s making films and doing his stuff, so it’s totally fine, it’s a change – that’s what happens, you know…

SH: But we were sad to see him go, it was a great unit.  But then we started new writing songs for the new record, and we got Dave [Kurutz] who’s our new guitarist that I’ve known since high school – that was great, he recorded the new record with us. 

KKC: Yeah, it was very serendipitous, it just happened – very, you know…

SH: Organically!

KKC: Organically, right.

SH: Which is how we roll. [Karen bursts into laughter]

QRO: [laughs] You roll organically!

SH: We roll organic.

KKC: So yeah, that’s basically the story with the guitarist change.

QRO: Did you start writing the new album [Future Brite] immediately, or did you kind of change gears?…

KKC: [starts laughing]

SH: Well –

QRO: What happened?

KKC: You know what, I want to try to make it sound nice but I can’t – like we were really depressed for a while.  Even though it was a normal change, we had kind of created this little great unit that we loved and we had just done all this great touring, so it was kind of a major hit, you know, so we spent a lot of 2008 – like a big chunk of 2008 – just sort of doing our own things.  Taking a lot of time writing-

SH: Taking turns being depressed… [laughs]

KKC: Yeah, like, you know – I’d go and spend a lot of time just trying to write new stuff, so there was a lot of searching and trying to figure out what we were doing.  I’d say it took six months in there somewhere – it wasn’t as long as I think but probably all of 2008 was that whole transition going on of losing somebody, writing new stuff, getting somebody, deciding to make a record – I think it probably takes other bands longer but for me, at least, a year is a fucking long time. [laughs]

SH: It was really hard; it was a hard time…  But I think the cool thing about the record is that it came out of that time, and where Karen and I were at that point.  It’s like – I would think, anyway – that the record would be really depressing and down and dark, but it’s totally the opposite – the songs are really positive, and they’re more about being passionate about something and knowing that the future’s going to be better, and it holds wonderful things, and just working towards that, and going towards that.  So I think it’s cool that those songs came out of that time.

KKC: Yeah, I kind of saw Ravens as a much darker record, just like – finding how we were writing, getting out aggression, and learning how to write songs, and then it was sort of more like – this was just much simpler. 

It was just basically like, ‘What do you want to write about?  What kind of songs do you want to write?  What kind of music do you want to make?’

  I don’t know, we just sort of move towards being positive and uplifting people and so I think this album – I feel much more that it’s a product of us, really.

QRO: Totally – that’s awesome.  You two were in another band from moons ago, right?  How is that different?

SH: Well, we weren’t the songwriters in that band-

QRO: Oh okay, you were just playing together?

SH: Yeah, and that’s how we met, actually.  Two bands – The Hissyfits and The Beauty Supply.  Well, we met in The Hissyfits and then we started The Beauty Supply with this guy Josh Taggart, but we were kind of more like the rhythm section, and we had this super-tight bond of being this awesome rhythm section, coming in and like – making songs sound better…? [both laugh] That was like – kind of what we did… 

And then we were like, ‘Fuck thattt, let’s just write our own awesome songs!’

[laughs]

QRO: [laughs] How did Demander come out of that, was Jared in it from the beginning, or…?

KKC: No, no, he came in about a year into it or something…

SH: [to Karen] It started just me and you.

KKC: Yeah, we just started as a duo for a while [laughs].  I don’t know, it was just really easy because we had been playing together for so long.  I mean it’s so easy to play together, like we just sit down and I don’t even have to think about it.  It just makes it so much easier to do anything, fulfill anything, you just sit down and it’s like – the music part’s taken care of, the technical part’s taken care of, so it’s like, what do you want to do with this?  So yeah, I mean we toured a lot with Hissyfits so we got a lot of experience playing great shows, playing with amazing bands like the Killers (QRO album review) and Gary Go, some of whom we’re still in touch with, but that kind of experience early on, I think – it makes you more aware of what’s possible.

SH: It was really good education, very good education.  And then we did what Karen was saying, what anybody in that position of not being the primary songwriter does – you love playing other people’s songs for a certain amount of time, but then eventually you have your own thing you want to express, so we just went and did that.

QRO: Demander has been described in a lot of ways, I’m sure you guys have noticed…

KKC: I’m sure this record will make it even more confusing for everybody!

QRO: [laughs] Totally!  How would you guys describe yourselves?

KKC: I love that review, actually [from The Deli] because it is as scattered – but like kind of funny and uplifting – as I feel about it, you know?  I don’t really know how to describe what we do, but I love that guy’s description just because it touches on so many different things, and that’s kind of what we do – it’s a product of all these things we’ve done, and things that we like, and I don’t know –

SH: It’s funny because I always think of ‘controlled chaos’, but I don’t think we sound like that anymore-

KKC: I don’t think so either.

SH: Yeah, I think maybe our first CD sounded like that?  But I think us personallyyy – are controlled chaos. [they both burst into laughter] So even though our music doesn’t sound that way anymore – because I think we’ve gotten better, like we’re just better musicians and we know what we’re doing – I still feel that way [Karen laughs] about it –

KKC: You’re that kind of drummer, though!  Very specifically to you, ‘controlled chaos’ is a good description.

SH: Yeah.  But I know that’s not what we sound like now, now we sound totally different…  But I think the way that I hear the band, too – because I hear it from behind the drum set – I hear it very differently than it sounds, so I have a hard time describing it because I don’t know what it sounds like

QRO: Sivan has NO idea what the band sounds like! [laughs]

KKC: She’s in her own little world!

SH: -because it sounds really different when you’re sitting behind the drums!

KKC: This is what the band sounds like to Sivan: "What’s in my monitor?"  This is the drums.  Monitor, drums – [Sivan starts laughing] that’s like the band to Sivan, seriously – like if it’s not in the monitor it’s not in the album, like it doesn’t make sense.

SH: It just sounds like a lot of banging and crashing! [Karen laughs] No but I think – like when people ask me, "Tell me about your band!" – I always start off super-simple, like ground up: well, we’re a three-piece, we’re a rock band, and then right after I say rock band I go, "BUT!  We’re not like a regular rock band, you know…  we’re like…"

KKC: We’re an irregular rock band!

SH: We’re kind of irregular – yeah, like it’s not as predictable, it’s more original…

KKC:

We get really bored songwriting when we’re just writing something like verse, chorus, verse, chorus

– we just get bored, so I think all of it is what we find interesting, and what’s fun to play!  I also think it’s very melodic…  I don’t know, I like to think of it as – we create a space, like a world.  They’re not song-by-song-by-song…  I want to create a sound, a space, a world – that when you’re with us you’re in our world, and people say that about us as people, too – you know, we create this space.  And when you’re in that space, when you’re with the band, you’re-

SH: You’re under our umbrella!

KKC: Yeah!  And I feel like the music is that way too, it’s like we create this world, this sound that’s very unique to us, so it’s hard for me to describe because – I’m in it, I don’t know…

QRO: [laughs] I think it’s also good because it’s such a direct product of you two – you, your personalities, what you feel, translated exactly as-is.  You’re not trying to fit into a certain style; you’re not trying to write in a certain way, it’s just you guys coming out…

SH: Yeah, I’ve always felt that way about us –

KKC: I think that only we could make the music that we make, which is cool, you know-

SH: But I’ve always felt like Demander was always just what it was, and it was that simple.  Like our first record sounds completely schizophrenic, but that’s because-

KKC: We were trying to figure things out!

SH: We were just putting out whatever came out – we weren’t trying to form it to some formula, or mold it to some sound, it’s always just been…  Like bands always try to talk about that – picking a style or a direction, or packaging or an image, you know…  And I kind of like that we just are what we are, and our package is that.

KKC: Well I think we’re actually trying to figure out-

SH: Yeah, we are trying to figure it out a bit more-

KKC: -because I think it helps other people.

Future BriteSH: But I think it’ll come easy, because I think it does have its own kind of style…

KKC: Like we knew exactly what we wanted for the [Future Brite] record art, the album artwork – like the colors and the look.  For the last record it was like, "here, artists, we need somebody to make something for this…"  But this record it was like, we know we want this feeling and these colors and this kind of bright – everything sort of came together, we definitely know what this is-

SH: It’s a party!

QRO: Now that’s more like it!  I think there is such a joy about you guys – the music, your personalities, just the way it all is – I think it’s so apparent.  It’s absent in a lot of bands in general, and I think that joy is so much a part of Demander, especially with Future Brite coming out…  How do you feel about that?

SH: It’s because we’re BFFs!  I think it’s true-

KKC: [laughs] A lot of people say that, they’ve always said that –

SH:

I also don’t think a lot of bands are as close as Karen and I are

– I think it’s because we really are playing music with our best friend, so I think if any band – if they were all playing music with their best friends, they would look psyched!

KKC: And it’s really fun!  It’s fun to play – we’ve played together so long, it’s easy to get onstage and play or just write songs – it’s fun, it’s supposed to be fun.  And I think about when Jared was playing with us, too – after two, three years he’s also just a really positive, uplifting, spirited person, and so it totally fit – he was in that whole world…  Everyone [in Demander] sends out the same vibe, and I think that’s something we want to give out – that’s it, that’s totally part of it.  Whatever evolution happens with our new guitarist – and we’re going to be playing shows with an electronics person [Brad Kemp], and he’s also just so funny.  Like he came into practice last week wearing this shirt that just said "Pooper" on the front, and everybody was just like, "That’s amazing!"  That’s just fucking funny; he’s hilarious.  Yeah, I don’t know, it’s that kind of feeling…

QRO: Okay, so now Future Brite – you’ve been playing the songs for a while, right?  I think I heard "Books" way back, which is one of my favorite songs ever…

SH: Yeah, we were playing "Books" and "Coulee" during that time-

KKC: In 2007, even on that tour – but the songs were in different form.  We played "Books" – but it was totally different and then we rewrote it.

SH: Yup.  Yeah, we definitely played those songs live.

QRO: How has the response been?  And actually, have you been playing more than just those two, or…?

SH: No, we’ve been playing the whole record-

KKC: [laughs] We’ve been playing the whole record!  We still play "GMT" pretty regularly, "Hollis" is probably going to come back in the set as well, but yeah, most of the new stuff.  And the funny thing is we put out "Books" and "Coulee" – in February we released them just kind of loosely [as a limited edition vinyl 7"], and we didn’t play that many shows last year.  But we’d go out and people would be singing along to "Coulee" and I’d be like, "That’s so cool!" 

It’s like that show in New Jersey we played and somebody’s out there doing the backups and I was like, ‘How do you even know this song?!’

  I was totally shocked!  I really was!  It was really cool, but I was like, where did you even –

SH: It was the internet!  Amazing.

QRO: Right?!

KKC: But cool, yeah.

Demander’s video for "Hollis":

We have been playing the new stuff and for the next couple of months we’re going to be playing them out.  People seem to really like them – I mean, they don’t know them, but I think they’re going to go over well.

SH: Yeah, I think so too.

QRO: Everyone’s being invited to your happy-sparkly-birthday-party-Future Brite!

SH: [Karen starts laughing] Totally.

QRO: Would you guys want to mention a couple standout songs from Future Brite?

SH: Yeah, we can mention ‘em.

KKC: [to Sivan] What are your standout songs?  I bet ours aren’t the same!

SH: Well, my fave has always been "Math".  I love that song – from the beginning, always.  It’s just so much fun, and every time we play it I feel like I’m in a basement and the ceiling’s really low and the room’s packed with kids and they’re all like, bangin’ on the ceiling – like that’s how I feel every time we play that song!  And I love that one.  Then there’s songs I enjoy listening to and there’s songs I enjoy playing, which is different.  I love listening to "Heart" ["My Heart Has Changed, Yes Many Times"], I think "Heart"’s a really, really great song.  I love playing "Future Brite" and I love playing "Conversations" because those are super fun to play.

KKC: Yeah, I don’t know, it always changes, but my favorite song was probably always "Song 7".  I thought it was the best written song – I was just like, "this song’s great…" And I love "Future Brite"; "Future Brite"’s amazing.  I feel like they’re really like evolutions for us in terms of just writing good songs.  But I guess – I mean, playing…  I love playing "Books"; I love songs where I don’t have to play at the beginning! [bursts out laughing] But it’s cool because I like being able to do just one thing, like I’m just playing or I’m just singing – it’s really fun because I sort of get a break…  But I still love "Books," I still love playing "Books"-

SH: "Books" sounds great –

KKC: It’s just cool, you know?  Whenever I play it I’m like, "I feel really cool…" [laughs] But they’re all really different, I like things about all of them, you know.  Those are my favorites, probably.

QRO: How has your experience been playing and making music in New York City?  Are you both from here, by the way?

SH: No, but we’ve been here for ten years – each, right?

KKC: Yeah.  I’ve been here like nine years, yeah.

SH: At this point the majority of our music career has probably been in New York. 

KKC: New York City…  I mean, the deal with being in New York is that you’re going to have so many more opportunities, but it’s so much harder.  Like I’m from Denver, and we could be the best band in Denver – I don’t think that would be really hard if we relocated there and played for even a year, we’d be the best band…  Would we go anywhere from there?  Probably not.  That’s the trade-off, so you have to be okay with it…

SH: It’s funny, I don’t ever think about playing in New York because I feel like we just live here and play here, so that’s just how it is.  Maybe I don’t think about it because we’ve never really been in any kind of really hardcore scene, like a very tight-knit kind of "New York" part of anything like that, so it just feels like-

KKC:

We’re not very scene-y, we’ve never been scene-y, so we don’t feel very New York-y…

  Like I feel like we could be in any city because I don’t feel like we write anything that’s dependent on the city.  So we could be anywhere – we could be in Quebec, we could be in London, we could be anywhere and we’d still write the same music.  I guess that’s why I don’t think of New York as – it’s not a character for me in what we’re doing.  It’s just – it’s expensive, that’s all.  But it’s a cool place to live.

SH: It is cool, yeah.  If you’re going to live in the United States, you’re going to live in New York.  That’s what I think.

KKC: Says the Californian!  I mean, California’s pretty awesome.

SH: California’s pretty nice, but I don’t live there.

KKC: The biggest band in California.  Orange County, uh oh!

SH: I like that song "California"… [laughs] The O.C. (QRO Music of The O.C.)…

KKC: Really?!

SH: [sings] Californiaaaaa… [Karen bursts out laughing] Cal – I actually really don’t like that song!  I just like that show…

QRO: [laughs] Okay – what are some things that stand out to you along your Demander journey?

SH: I just thought of Brighton, that’s always the first thing I think of – our show in Brighton and Thanksgiving dinner.

KKC: Yeah, we were in Brighton in 2007; we were on tour with New Model Army…  It was Thanksgiving and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so we were like, "We’re gonna go out to dinner!"  So me, Sivan, and Jared – where did we go?

SH: I saw on the Food Network… [Karen bursts out laughing] No, it wasn’t the Food Network-

KKC: It was some TV show…

SH: Yeah, some English chef that goes and rejuvenates businesses that are dying –

QRO: That’s awesome!  I’ve never even heard of that show…

SH: It’s the guy who does Nightmare Kitchen?  What is his name?!

[editor’s note: they are talking about Kitchen Nightmares – American version on FOX, original U.K. version on BBC America – with Gordon Ramsey, also of Hell’s Kitchen]

Anyway, he goes to restaurants in the U.K. that are going to basically shut down and helps them get back on track.  They did one episode on this soul food restaurant called Momma Cherri’s in Brighton, and I was like, "Oh, if we’re ever in Brighton we have to go to this place!" And then we end up in Brighton on Thanksgiving and there’s an American soul food restaurant – so we went and we had corn and collard greens-

KKC: We had all this food and we got fucking drunk, so trashed, and we never drink before a show, we learned that a long time ago – so we drank and we were like, "It’s cool we’re gonna just drink and play the show!"  And I’m sure it was terrible but we had the best time.

SH: And this is the first and only time I’ve ever done this, I haven’t done it since – probably because I was drunk – but in the beginning of "Lovelife" I got up from behind my drum kit, I walked to the front of the stage, and I sang the beginning with Karen –

KKC: I was singing and I was like, "Who is that?!"  I was totally confused – I was like, "Oh my god, what are you doing here?!"  And that was the first night that Justin [Sullivan] from New Model Army acknowledged us on stage, and that was a big deal because they’re one of my favorite bands, they were kind of heroes for me…  And it was the same night that their following – New Model Army has this crazy following, they call them ‘The Army’…  Like if they announce a tour they buy a ticket for the entire tour and they go to every single show, like 100 people – so that’s like half your audience…  And they got to know us, too.  We became friends with a lot of them, we knew them, we saw them every single night, and they do this thing where they’d pick up people and put them on their shoulders and do these dances, these complicated dances – so they surprised us…  We were all watching New Model Army and they suddenly came and lifted us up onto their shoulders!  We were like, "Oh my god…!"  All these things happened that night, it was really fun.

SH: It was super fun that night.

KKC: I don’t know, there’s been so many good things, so many challenging things, really low points, really high points…  I don’t know-

SH: The first time Tad [Kubler] called me on the phone to ask if we wanted to tour with The Hold Steady – I was like THE biggest Hold Steady fan…  And my phone rings and I pick it up and he’s like, "Hey Sivan, this is Tad from The Hold Steady," and I was like [faux spazzes out] trying not to freak out on the phone and like somehow have a conversation, so that was pretty crazy!  Now I’m like, "Tad, what do you want?!" [laughs]

QRO: [laughs] Isn’t it funny how life turns out sometimes?

SH: It’s pretty cool.

KKC: I don’t know, there’s so many, there’s just so many…  There’s also things that were personal things that were really nice – like writing certain songs, I just remember playing and being like, "Oh my god we totally did it, this song’s amazing!" – those things are really cool but they’re not like shows and stuff… 

SH: Oh god…  When we got snowed in…  We were supposed to go to South-by-Southwest (QRO festival recap) a couple years ago, this is a bad one –

KKC: That was fun, remember we went to the diner and we got drunk [laughs]

SH: Yeah we sat at the airport for like nine hours waiting for our flight –

KKC: But our friend was also snowed in so she came with us and we all went to the diner and drank ‘cause we were all snowed out of SXSW…

SH: Oh man, it was like a massive snowstorm here in New York one year – it sucked, we were so bummed.  We had to cancel three shows…

KKC: I don’t know, but even the bad things are still good…  Like we were on tour in California and we were in LA and we were recording – my cousin’s an engineer and we were trying out some demos – and my grandma died…  And so I had to go home…  But it was still like – I was really happy I was in LA, and it was really warm, and I was with Sivan and Jared and my cousin, so it was his grandma, too…  I feel like…  I don’t know, even when things are bad it’s still good because of that space we give ourselves, and being positive.  Even bad things are okay, you know?  There’s a lot more good than bad.

QRO: Have you guys always had that kind of mindset?

SH: Yeah, I think so.

QRO: I thought so! [laughs]

KKC: Yeah, I mean – I think we would have blown up a long time ago if we didn’t, for sure.  Yeah.

SH: [starts laughing] I just had the funniest thought – I just remembered being onstage at Lit [Lounge in NYC – QRO venue review] and you telling me you just shocked yourself with Christmas lights!  And I was like – [bursts into laughter] What did I even say to you?!  I was just like, [faux angry voice] "I’m doing something here, Karen, I can’t deal with it right now!"

KKC: Yeah!  She’s like, [faux angry voice] "I’m busy doing something back here!"  And I was just like, "I just shocked myself!" [starts laughing]

It was the worst shock I ever had in my whole life, but it was so funny.

SH: I was setting up my own mike and I was really upset and I was like, "Why the fuck am I setting up my own microphone?!" [everyone starts laughing] Because I didn’t know what I was doing!  And they kept falling over onto my drums…  And so I think the sound guy heard because it picked up on the microphone – he came up and he’s like, [faux brutish voice] "Sorry."  He set them up and then Karen was like, "Hey everybody, Sivan’s really mad can we all cheer to get her in a good mood?!" and the whole audience started cheering!

KKC: That’s the thing!  The bad things for us are still – okay.

SH: I know – we were still laughing and then we had a great show, and it was one of the best shows.

KKC: So that was a bad to good!

SH: Yeah, there’s been a lot – I think every time we play has a memory attached to it.

QRO: That’s awesome.  I want to know…  What bands you guys were into growing up? 

KKC: I loved ‘80s music.  I mean, I had an older sister so – yeah.  My sister was eight years older than me so I was listening to, you know, Yaz and The Cure and…  I can’t even pretend like that isn’t a big part of me – but I just love pop and melody.

SH: I listen to a lot of really bad music. [Karen bursts out laughing] I loved it, though, I loved it!  I listen to – well it depends when, but-

KKC: Just go!  Go!

SH: Okay, I’ll start with the cool ones so I don’t look that bad…  I listen to a lot of Nirvana (QRO DVD review) and Pearl Jam (QRO live review), and that started my whole Dave Grohl thing – as far as drumming goes I was really influenced by Dave Grohl. 

But then I also really loved Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band

QRO: Cool!

SH: – and Counting Crows…

KKC: Don’t say cool, you don’t mean it!  No, I’m just kidding! [bursts out laughing]

QRO: I’m just like – ?! [starts laughing]

SH: They’re killer bands live, I think they’re great bands.

KKC: I had a really big Hall & Oates renaissance not too long ago!  And Tears for Fears, I love Tears for Fears.  I’m kinda stuck in the ‘80s, and The Police –

SH: Police are great, and when I was listening to The Police a lot I also listened to The Clash a lot.  I love The Clash.  I’m kind of all over the place, I think, but also a lot of local stuff.  I started playing drums when I was 14 and playing shows at 16, so I knew all the bands in the scene in Orange County – which had a pretty big scene at that time.  So a lot of the bands I liked were friends of mine, good local bands, so I think that was kind of cool to have when I was growing up, too.

KKC: … Yeah, we didn’t have that so much in Denver.

SH: Denver.

KKC: No… [starts laughing]

QRO: Yeah, I was going to ask you that!

KKC: Don’t bother.  There’s really nothing to say there – I want to say, but there’s nothing.

QRO: [laughs] When did you start singing and playing bass?

KKC: I played viola since I was in middle school, so I played viola forever…  But I bought a bass when I was in college and didn’t start singing until seven years ago or something.  It’s kind of like – viola, bass, singing, songwriting, in that order.  And Sivan’s played drums FOREVER, that’s why she’s amazing!

QRO: Totally!  At the end of the day what are you guys most proud of?  What makes you smile?

SH: I think…  Karen.

QRO: Aww!

KKC: You said the same thing I’m going to say!

SH: Yeah, I mean – I am pretty certain that I wouldn’t play music if it wasn’t with Karen.  So it’s kind of like all or nothing for me, I’m not interested in doing this with anyone else. 

KKC: Yeah, I mean – basically I feel lucky that we found each other to play together because I think it doesn’t happen for everyone.  I think a lot of people make bands and find people to play with, and somebody writes some songs and the other people write their parts – but I think to have that thing is really special. 

SH: We’re like Hall & Oates.

KKC:

Yeah, oh my god!  We’re like Hall & Oates!

SH: Or like Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins!  I used to always love watching them in interviews together because like, no one else in the band was there, it was just Dave and Taylor [Karen starts laughing] just hangin’ out, havin’ a good time!  Laughing and making jokes through the interview…  I was like, "Aww, that’s me and Karen!" [starts laughing]

QRO: You know what else I love about them?  Dave and Taylor actually played with my favorite band of all time, Queen, when they got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

KKC: Really?!

SH: They’re so cool.

KKC: Speaking of Queen – that reminds of me of one of my favorite bands: Muse (QRO album review).  I am in love with Muse and I’m going to play with them someday…  And when it happens, it’s going to be – yeah.  They’re such a good band, they’re amazing.

QRO: Absolutely!  So what’s immediately coming up for Demander?

SH: We’ve got a bunch of shows coming up –

KKC: Yeah we haven’t played in like two years [laughs] so we’re trying to play as much as we can.

SH: We’re going to put out the new record –

KKC: Yeah, this record we might remix and remaster, so that’s kind of still in the works.  We’re going to shoot a video next month, a proper video, so –

QRO: Oh, cool!  Do you know which one?

SH: I think we’re going to do "Math"!

QRO: Cool!  Are you going to have all the kids banging on the ceiling?!

SH: Noo…

QRO: Aww!

SH: We could if we do it in the attic-

KKC: And then we’re going to launch a new website-

SH: Ooh… [gets an idea and then keeps excitedly staring at Karen to get her attention]

KKC: -with a bunch of the little video blogs we took during recording, just little funny video skits – so we’re just going to try to be really busy-

Future Brite Studio Vlog: Song Seven in Seventy Seconds:

[looks at Sivan] WHAT?! [starts laughing] You look like a maniac!

SH: … The video for "Math," in the attic – party scene…  It’s all GHOSTS.

KKC: How would we do that?!

SH: Ghosts, like ghost kids!  Like kids!

KKC: [starts laughing] That’s great!  That’s great – we’re having a party, and they’re DEAD.

SH: No, but it’s like – who’s ever made a music video that’s like a horror film, like a horror music video?!

QRO: "Thriller"?

SH: Oh. [everyone bursts out laughing, super loud] [faux dejectedly] Thanks, Audrey.

Demander’s video for "Math":

 

DEMANDER LATE JAN ‘10 UPDATE via email with Karen Kanan Corrêa:

QRO: Last time we talked in late ‘09, Future Brite hadn’t been mastered yet, and now it’s almost ready for release!  How did you end up taking the plunge, and how has the process been?

KKC: Future Brite took forever!  Well, it took most of 2009, which isn’t forever but it’s a good deal longer than anything we’d done before.  We’ve always been about making quick and intuitive recordings, so this was like ‘Weekend Jogger Demander’ suddenly having to become ‘Marathon Demander’.  It was a very different process but Future came out much wiser and brighter because of it.  It is hands down the best thing we’ve ever done and I think that’s reflected in how quickly people are picking up on it.

QRO: How does it feel having an album that means so much to you right on the threshold, almost ready to pop?  (!!!) Does this feel different from The Unkindness of Ravens release?

KKC: It feels pretty damn good.  Future Brite is a very different animal than Unkindness and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.

QRO: Since we last spoke you also made a video for "Math"!  How was that experience, where did you guys film it, and when can we expect to see it?

KKC: We shot "Math" in New Jersey – home to fantastic basement shows, no sidewalks and Jack Terricloth.  It was f*&$ing cold and someone (not naming names) dropped all the cupcakes in the fire swamp.  But we’re pretty sure that despite the chaos we got a great video!  It will be out around the time of the Future Brite release.

QRO: You also recently got picked up in a Levi’s ad campaign before Future Brite was even released!  Congrats!  How did that happen and does it feel surreal?

KKC: Levi’s happened the way everything does for us – totally organically.  A fan wrote us and said he’d given our music to a friend at Levi EU and then….  Voilá!  We’re on their Spring/Summer preview!  We actually just got picked up for another exciting placement: "Song 7" will be featured on an episode of next season’s Dinner with the Band – an IFC show (QRO Indie on Late Night TV).  Yay!

QRO: January is whizzing by already – what is your plan for 2010 and what are you looking forward to?  New tours, shows, videos, life in general?

KKC: Our plan for 2010 is to do what makes us happy.  Follow our intuition, find inspiration, write more music.  I’m pretty sure Muse is going to ask us to go on tour with them.  Why wouldn’t they?

 

Demander’s sophomore release, Future Brite, was released January 26th, 2010.  You can buy the CD/Download on CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/Demander1, download it on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/future-brite/id350715040 or snatch up the 7" vinyl record on TANR: http://thesearenotrecords.com/releases.html.  Keep a lookout for a bunch of new shows coming up in the Spring!

Categories
Interviews
No Comment

Leave a Reply