'Overblown? Not Even Close!'
Los Angeles-based alt-rock band, Madrepore ready the release of their new album, Overblown out on May 23, 2006. An alternate version of the album was also just released in Japan on JVC/Imperial Records in January 2006.
“It is always a pleasure to spread our music and energy outside of Los Angeles,” said vocalist Kinski Gallo. “With this album, we will be able to do that not only nationally, but internationally as well.”
Produced by Gavin MacKillop (Sugarcult, Goo Goo Dolls), Overblown contains 14 rockin’ tracks. From lead track “Overblown” to first single, “Pictures” to the melodic “The Part of Me You’ve Thrown Away,” there’s a little something for everyone.
Madrepore can easily be categorized as alternative rock; however, their music has an International/Latin twist. With three members of the band of Latin decent, there are a few 'rock en espanol tracks', giving listeners a bit of international flare and a fresh sound.
“With listening to Spanish music growing up and playing in a Spanish rock band years ago, it is inevitable that some of the sounds and nuances of that style are reflected in our music,” said Kinski. “However, we’re looking to bring both English and Spanish music together as well as unite different listeners to bring yet another layer to the development of rock music.”
Marepore is Kinski Gallo (vocals), Jason Wee (guitars/vocals), Rodax (bass) and Javier Lopez (drums).
Chatting recently with Kinski Gallo (vocals) and Jason Wee (guitars/vocals), I first noted that it had been claimed that their music is one that was hard to categorize. But, for the Average Joe who may not have heard of them and was thinking of buying their new CD, how would they themselves try and describe their sound? Jason - "Madrepore is a sound that evokes a desolate beach with overcast skies, cool crisp air, and punctuated by a strong breeze. It is serene, yet the quiet power lurking underneath the waters ultimately release the tumultuous waves that grind and lash against the rocks. Soon the refreshing colors of dawn permeate through the clouds, imposing on the listener a glimpse of paradise. Please buy our album!"
How long and how in-depth were your discussions back in the day when you were trying to come up with your bands name...? Jason - "I remember that we really wanted an unusual name that the casual listener would not be able to accept with indifference. We wanted people to pause, think, and be stimulated when they first heard our name and hopefully, our music. In addition, we thought that it would be a great challenge for us to claim an obscure or even stupid title and make it ubiquitous. For example, Korn, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins, and Linkin Park are such household names today … why not Madrepore?"
... and why finally choose the one that, in basic broke down terms, means 'Mother Stone'? Jason - "One evening, Kinski happened to come across this beautiful word in his biology textbook and we used the anatomy of this exotic coral to conjure up an appropriate metaphor for our music: rough exterior with fragile insides. Madrepore was also one of the very few domain names available, and we realized what an asset that would be for planting our seeds."
Your album title 'Overblown' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Jason - "Prior to recording this album, we all discussed how we felt about the production quality of our various past recordings. We thought that they did not sound very sincere. In the past, we constantly experimented in the studio in an attempt to discover and achieve our own voice, we got rather carried away with technology; this actually took away our essence as a simple four-piece rock band. On our new album, we were able to find out what we were capable of on our own. We created textures, tones, and moods through a pure sound that was intrinsically raw and vulnerable."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Madrepore at their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? Jason - "I think that 'Overblown (Thank You)' is a gem. It features sophisticated riffs, aggressive beats, deep melodic undertones, and extremely catchy vocals. The lyrics are sweet and hopeful, and they allude to one’s gratitude for life despite infinite disappointments. Kinski’s bittersweet falsetto over churning guitars is what kills me the most. It is also the way these elements interact with each other within a three minute pop song that makes this track extremely well-crafted."
Tell us more about the reasoning behind releasing an alternative version of the album in Japan ... and how different to the one soon-to-be released here it actually is? Kinski - "We were told that the Japanese listeners were craving Californian rock music, and so we delivered an extremely straightforward rock album. The one that we will release here will bring out more of our ethnic roots, with tracks in Spanish and traditional instrumentals like the koto."
For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'Someone Else' - If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be and why?! Kinski - "Noam Chomsky, because he is eloquent and constantly challenges the political staus quo."
'The Part Of Me You've Thrown Away' - If there were indeed a part of you that could get thrown away without causing you pain, what part would you choose... and why?! Kinski - "My nose, because I am a constant sinus sufferer."
'Crushing Bones' - Have you ever broken any bones and if not, have any of your friends?! Kinski - "I broke my rib after smashing against Javier's drum set."
Noting that your first single 'Pictures' harbors a most disturbing meaning, I'm wondering if these real-life stories of such violence are an occasional passion in your life to cull from for lyrical depth? Kinski - "No."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! Kinski - "Down Under” by Men at Work, because of their quirky lyrics and that flute."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! Jason - "Yes, some species can bounce up to 5 feet! And man, I wish I could too!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Madrepore's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Kinski sings a couple songs in Spanish and Jason even tracked koto parts on recent recording sessions ... but just what exactly is a koto?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'MADREPORE SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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