Slow Motion Picture are a New York based 5 piece band who’s immense atmospheric sound spans many genre’s, from Shoegaze & Indie through into Space Rock & the realm of the epic Film Score. Their debut album – ‘In Memory Of…‘ is covered in layers of hidden meanings and buried references to characters its listeners will never actually meet, yet still takes its audience on a journey of pure empathy. Each of the album’s ten songs are based upon a ghost story that multi-instrumentalist/guitarist Brian Caesar (As Tall As Lions) wrote in his early twenties as a way to cope with the passing of his father. Filling each song with haunting vocal melodies, luscious orchestral accompaniment and endless layers of fuzz driven guitars, Caesar, along with former vocalist Lauren Edman (Sleepthief), developed a sound that blended the depth of modern film scores with an airy timbre reminiscent of the shoegaze bands of the early 90’s. Bringing in drummer Aaron Kelly, bassist Dan Timmons and keyboard/synth player Marco Talamo enabled Edman and Caesar to finally bring these songs to the stage in 2013. The band recently added the heart-stopping voice of Scottish singer/multi-instrumentalist Anna Popplestone to its lineup and are looking forward to playing several dates in support of their new LP.
With their recent inclusion in the epic duel label release, 30 band shoegaze compilation – ‘Revolution -The Shoegaze Revival’, we caught up with the band to ask them about their influences, shoegaze tendencies & what the future holds for them musically. We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the band for taking the time to answer our questions. Check it out:
My name is Brian Caesar and I am in a band called Slow Motion Picture. We started originally as a duo writing songs under a different name. I had some musical accompaniments to these ghost stories that I had written after my father passed on a few years prior and started working with Lauren Edman (our former singer) to try to make these ideas work as songs.
We would email music, lyrics and top line melody ideas to each other back and forth and they quickly just turned into the songs that I always wanted them to be. We ended up recording a demo EP with some of the songs that would later end up on our debut album that came out this past year. When we wanted to start playing some shows we brought in Aaron Kelly our drummer and after a few different other players were able to finally settle on Dan Timmons as our bassist and Marco Talamo as our keyboard player.
Sigur Ros, Verve, Florence + The Machine, Fleetwood Mac, Smashing Pumpkins, Elbow, Doves, Mew, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Catherine Wheel, Swervedriver.. to name a few. Otherwise, I am highly influenced by a lot of film scores. All of those intricate parts and textures that awaken your senses and help you empathize more with the characters are what I strive to do in my writing.
Describe your sound?
I’m glad that you worded it that way and not “What is your genre?” .. we cross over a lot of different genres and sub genres within our sound. I like to think of it as cinematic indie space rock.
I feel that shoegaze really encompasses a lot of the same emotional qualities that film scores have. The driving guitars, the clashing melodies all of it just creates this amazing tonality that takes you somewhere else. I can honestly say that it is my favorite genre because to me it is the only genre to truly capture emotion and surround you with it.
Is it a Shoegaze revival or a rebirth? What do you think about reunions of such bands like Ride, Swervedriver, Medicine and Slowdive?
I actually don’t think that shoegaze ever really left, but these days it’s getting turned on to more and more people. The Grunge era, and Brit-pop eras came in and took over for a bit on the surface, but a lot of those bands had that ‘shoegaze’ undertone to them. I can’t listen to Smashing Pumpkin’s Siamese Dream and not think that there is a lot of the same fuzzed out shoegaze that there is on Swervedriver’s Duel or MBV’s Loveless. Some people say that shoegaze kind of tapered off, but on the contrary since the first appearance of the genre, more and more films, television shows and even commercials started incorporating its influence into their background scores. It was always there directing our feelings in one direction or another. I feel that more recently with bands like M83 & Sigur Ros bringing together these grandiose symphonic ideas and being able to break them up into song structure, that it almost is the evolution of classical film score. Swervedriver and Slowdive were two of my favorite bands ever. Getting the chance to see them again will be magical. And the fact that they’re all selling out much larger venues than they used to play is just further proof that shoegaze has never left.
Can you tell us about your involvement in the Revolution shoegaze compilation?
I am a huge fan of Ummagma and Sounds of Sputnik. When ‘Ear to Ear Records‘ asked if we would be on this amazing compilation, I jumped for joy. I didn’t even know what it was going to be, but hearing that we’d get to be on a compilation with two of my favorite bands got me so excited. Then upon seeing the list of artists featured on it., my mind was blown.. I feel like I am part of something historic. Like I’m on one of my favorite soundtracks.