Friday, August 22, 2008

interview: (((Eagle Winged Palace)))

"To Replace The Powers That Be"
A few weeks back I chatted with Los Angeles psych folk purveyors (((Eagle Winged Palace))) about their infancy, Dio, omnipotent doom and the Manson Family sing-a-longs. It's not everyday that psych folkies mention "Rainbow in the Dark" as an influence, but hey, that's why we love (((Eagle Winged Palace))). Oh, and so you don't get confused, Cashew and Michelle are the principle songwriters for (((Eagle Winged Palace))), and CB is the interviewer.

Chocolate Bobka: From the songs I've heard, (((Eagle Winged Palace))) has a very mystical, dark and folky sound.

Cash: Ghost, spirits, legends, and the like. We're trying to keep ourselves artistically narrowed into two things. Instrumentally we try to keep everything acoustic, pre-electronic.

Michelle: Keeping it Organic.

Cash: All the songs have to do with California theme, folklore, legend, so its kind of conceptual but at the same time were trying to make it universal.

CB: Keeping with the organic vibe, how do you guys record? Do you try to stay away from digital recording equipment?

Cash: We'd love to be able to keep it all analog, and go down into Capital's reverb chamber downstairs and use all their reverb plates and analog tape machines and pipe organs. But...Well, it costs alot. Ha.

Michelle: I personally would like to record at the bottom of the ocean like the guys from METALOCALYPSE did.

CB: Cash, when you were getting the band together was it a conscious decision to enlist all women?

Cash: Ha, no.

Michelle: I disagree. I think that secretly Cash has this plan that he will eventually have thousands of women in the band, following him and chanting his name... "Cashew! Cashew!"
(laughs) Whats funny about you being the only guy is that it reminds me of the whole Manson Family sing-along.

CB: Yeah I was thinking the same thing. So how did it start?

Cash: Well, Michelle was really the first one I asked that was totally into it. She was the first one I met that was into Pentangle and classical folk and...

Michelle: Fairport Convention! Manson Family Sing-A-Long.

Cash: I tried finding dudes, but the first people I ran into that were interested were my girl friends.

CB: How long has EWP been together?

Cash: Hmmm, we officially started around November of last year (2007). Very much a baby thing. We've already taken all our baby missteps, now were picking up the diapers, we've made our mistakes on stage and now were making good... Things are coming together.

Mich: Now we're beginning to grow, we've got our songs down and our live show is coming together to the point where were ready to add more aspects to the live show.

Cash: Visual elements.

Mich: Projection, lights, that kind of stuff.

Cash: This weird prop pinwheel spinny-type thing I keep seeing at Paramount. Ha. Megan and I were talking the other day, and its probably way to early to be talking about this, especially with the venues we play here in LA, but she does some trapeze work and we'd be really interested in adding to our show.

Michelle: Oh yeah, that'd be awesome. Shes an aerialist and she does this incredible stuff, her teachers are Cirque de Soleil alums and she's just amazing and we'd really like to figure out a way to incorporate aerialism into our live show in some way, shape or form. Like aerialists and trapeze artists above the stage.

Cash: Visualizations and projections and mini-movies are more focused, just because the venues we play couldn't really handle the aerial stuff.

Mich: Haha, yeah and it'd be pretty hard for her to play and be above the stage doing aerials at the same time.

CB: Your press release highlights "spirits, ghost, Spanish ship wrecks", which all seems to come together in "Hands of Doom."

Cash: Oh, the Ying and Yang. The irony. Its a really pessimistic view of life love and death and all that and, you know, the waves swell and its beautiful and then they crash.

Michelle: Especially being in Southern California where everything is just picture perfect and sometimes there are just those days, like in California, its perfect 82 degree day and the waves and crashing and every ones happy but inside there is all this turmoil going on.

Cash: Elements of danger at all times.

Mich: within this peaceful, perfect California setting.

Cash: At the same time, it's also a little bit of love, ya know, not wanting to die alone, not wanting to go out alone, you know..Just being in Love...I think.... It's one of those things that...You just....I was actually more inspired by Dio more than anything. I don't know why. (MICHELLE LAUGHING) But Dio was calling my name. His lyrics are kind of like that.

Mich: Wait, are you serious?

Cash: Yeah.
CB: Like Dio DIO?

Cash: Like "It's A Rainbow in the Dark."

Mich: Yeah, well we talked about that song and I know our musics more mellow and folky, but we all have really diverse musical backgrounds and we just talked alot about music and we were talking about Dio's "Rainbow in the DarK" and if you read the lyrics there sort of fantastical. So your saying that song inspired you?

Cash: Yeah, by taking a look at the beauty of what we see around here...I've been to the east coast and New York, the east coast cities like Philly and Boston..and over seas in Europe... London, Paris... Things are so ornate and have been set in their ways for centuries. But where we are (Los Angeles), the cities are built on all this nature and at anytime..wildfires, earthquakes, flood, its just so precipitous, so insane. So there is just an element of doom, whether its drowning in the waves or looking over a cliff and falling off.

Mich: Landslides.

Cash: anything could take you down here if you in the wrong spot. i just hope im not the guy whose in the wrong spot and just gets "poop" (bomb drops on head sound).

Mich: Can i ask something?

CB: Go for it.

Mich: I've actually never talked to {Cashew} about "Hands of Doom" and I think we all have our own interpretations but now it just makes so much more sense when you think about where we live and all those different elements.

Cash: Yeah, yeah...I think..Ya know, you don't really know when your writing it but when you look back its like, "Duh, that's what "Hands of Doom" is about.

CB: In going with the whole sense of omnipotent doom, the California sliding into the ocean philosophy, how do you think that affects everyday life for most people? Do most people just put it on the back burner and forget it?

Cash: Yeah, totally. It really is "La la land." Same as Pompei or New Orleans, these cities built around places where they just shouldn't build. I mean, people build places in the middle of tornado alley and stuff.

Mich: Its not to say that everyone disrespects nature, but there is a large majority that are like.."Why did half of my house in Malibu burn down? Well, gee, its because you built it on a Chaparall in Southern California, so geographically landslides occur and landslides really happen there. There's so much natural variance in the California landscape, so when people first moved in and set up cities like Los Angeles, people tend to forget what the environment was initially, so when you have a huge earthquake or when homes burn on the chaparral, they wonder why. At the same time there are alot of people who are ultra aware of their environment.

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