Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview with The Acre

The Acre is an indie/folk rock band from Worcester, Massachusetts. Tonight, they will open for Drew Danbury at BU Central. Their manager and WTBU DJ, Zach Kohn, caught up with frontman Nick Murphey to tell us about the bands origins, sound, and influences.

How did the band form originally?
I met Sebastian in high school and we occasionally played music together with one of our other friends, freshmen and sophomore year. We lost touch when we both went to college, and there I started another band called Sidelined Season. I sang in Sidelined Season and was still working on my voice when I met Courtney who helped sing some high parts. Sidelined Season disbanded, but Courtney and I remained good friends. When I started writing music again, she was there to add a little more color. At the time I was very much into Damien Rice and the Frames, so I wanted to add a bowed string instrument. I remembered that Sebastian not only played bass, but also cello, so I asked him to sit in, and he was willing. Once we met Chris Anthony, who filled out our sound beautifully with the drums, we knew we were ready.

How did you decide on the cello sound, rather than going with a normal bass player?

Well I think it had a lot to do with the music I was listening to. Damien Rice is one of my favorite artists, and what people don’t realize about him is his live show is so much more intense than his album. I think I just liked how he did things; it adds color and texture that a bass just cannot. We still use bass on most songs, but it’s nice to have the option of using cello. I think at some point, well probably be doing both live.

You cite a really eclectic group of musicians and bands as your influences, from Wilco to the Arctic Monkeys. How do you think having such a large variety of influences helps with your sound?

I think being incredibly diverse as musicians as well as music lovers really enables us to do whatever we want. That may sound jocular, but it’s true. A lot of bands get pigeon holed into one sound, or they feel as if they can’t really stray from their original sound. With me at least, my taste is really always changing. We like to compare ourselves as the Joker, we have no rules, so we’re completely free to make any music we want with no boundaries. I was really hooked on Bon Iver a few months ago and now it’s changed over to Ryan Adams “Jacksonville City Nights.” One is very ambient and ghostly sounding; the other is pretty much a country album. I think the same can be said about everyone else in the band. I’ve been giving Chris a lot more “experimental” and ambient sounding music to listen to Radiohead’s Kid A and Sigur Ros as well as Explosions in the Sky. Bass has been turning me onto bands like Brand New and Kevin Devine.

You’re playing a show at BU Central on October 3 with Drew Danbury, do you think its going to be different from the shows The Acre usually plays?

It’s going to be bigger, that’s for sure. And Bass won’t be there for it so we’re having our good friend and wonderfully talented producer, Steve Rice, fill in the bass and cello parts on bass. But we’re going to approach it in the same manner as we do if we’re playing to 3 or 300. We’re going to have fun and leave our blood sweat and tears up there. We love to play out; personally speaking, its one of my favorite things in the entire world. Bur we’re really excited to put on a good show.

The Acre on myspace

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