Geographer are a 3 piece based out of San Francisco. The band consists of Nathan Blaz on cello/electronics, Brian Ostreicher on drums/vocals, and Mike Deni on vocals/guitar,keys. Recently having wrapped up a tour with Ladytron, Geographer brought their blend of indie-synth-pop sound. Here, Mike gives a bit of insight into the band called Geographer.
1. Who or what are some influences for the band?
Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Arthur Russell, Prince, Kate Bush, and Terry Riley are heroes of ours.
2. How do you think being San Francisco based benefits or maybe hinders being in a band?
Touring on the west coast is kind of rough. We've gotten used to 8 to 10 hours between shows being a routine drive. But as far as the scene itself, it's been very good to us. The blogs are very genuine out here. They seem to just want to bring people good music, rather than try to find something no one else likes so they can remain cutting edge. And the community is very tiny. It feels like a small town, in that everyone eventually winds up meeting each other. It feels good to know that you can go to a show alone and you'll bump into 5 people you know.
3. What is the songwriting process like for you guys?
I write the songs at home or at our practice space, and flesh them out the best I can. I bring it to the rest of the band and they give a sort of yay or nay on the song as a whole, and tell me which parts they like or don't like. Then I go back home and try to improve it while we all play it together to generate more ideas. It's sort of a war on two fronts like this until the song gets to a place we're all happy with. The lyrics are usually the last to fall into place. A kernel starts with the song, usually, but then it takes me a long time to finish them. Just jamming together and making weird sounds has also helped us expand our pallet. I'm looking forward to doing more of that now that we've finished the album.
4. Who would you like to work with if given the chance?
Nigel Godrich and Dave Fridmann. We have as much respect and admiration for them as we do for the bands they produce.
5. What is the best/worst part of being in a band?
Best: people screaming and clapping and dancing because of something that you made and that you love. Worst: not being able to listen to music the way I did before I stepped behind the curtain. Now I try to imagine the shape of the gears that make the engine work, rather than marvelling at its power and magic. If I hear a strange sound I have to hunt it like an animal, and I only feel better once I know how it's done. That's why I listen to so much old music, I think, because you can't touch Paul Simon. And that's no fault of your own. He's Paul Simon.
6. What would you be doing if you weren't involved with music?
I can't even think about that.
7. What are some bands you are currently listening to?
Prince, Here We Go Magic, Shabazz Palaces, Braids
Some old favourites/favourite records?
I love records from my youth, that my parents listened to. So Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life," James Taylor's "Mudslide Slim and the Blue Horizon, Cat Stevens' "Tea for the Tillerman."
Anything you're looking forward to being released?
I'm looking forward to another Grizzly Bear record.
Last cd/vinyl/digital purchased?
Billy Joel's "Glass Houses"
Last movie you saw & show you went to?
Drive. It was so good. Made me wonder what makes movies good, but whatever it is, that movie had it. When I heard about that movie, before it came out, I watched all of Winding-Refn's movies, and they are very interesting but usually quite sickening. This one walked a nice balance of not making me feel like a freak for watching it while still exploring the violent fringes of being human.