The Regency House Project
Lanor Music Collaboraton
Last week Lanor got in the mood for music. Nihal Anand, of Deadstar fame, came by for a few days of intense jamming with our very own Greg. Putting these two multi instrumentalists together was always going to be an intriguing combination and so it’s proved; with their contrasting ambient and progressive rock styles coming together to make the 4 track, self titled EP; ‘The Regency House Project’.
I had a quick word with them about their new project.
What brought this collaboration together?
Nihal: Since I moved to Bournemouth, I’d been looking to make music with other people. I met Greg and we got talking about the kind of music we liked and found out we had a lot in common there. We had a few random jams and tried recording but never really finished anything because we didn’t have enough time. So when Greg asked me to come to Manchester and record an EP, it seemed like a really good opportunity to make some music with a like-minded musician. Greg is great on the bass, guitar and keys and though our styles are very different, they end up fitting together nicely.
Greg: Well we’re two very different musicians from different parts of the world, mixing styles and piecing together different ideas. We’ve finally got the time to do that now so we’re really excited about this EP. Nihal is a very unique musician who can create sounds unlike anything I’ve heard from any other musician I’ve worked with, and when we saw the opportunity, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.
Would you say a location is crucial for creativity?
N: Every Deadstar album I’ve done has been recorded in a different place that I was staying at the time, and each has it’s own sound. Some places, I can’t seem to write at all and some I can write 3-4 tracks a day. Writing All My Friends Are Dreamers was a bit of a struggle and took 2-3 months to finish and I think that shows in the music, where it’s quite dark and moody. When I moved to London, I recorded Congratulations On Your Happiness in a few weeks, and it’s more of a happier, lighter EP. Greg’s place and the room we were recording in definitely had a big influence. Lots of space, big windows, and really good acoustics made it probably the best place I’ve ever written anything, and I think that shows in the music as well.
G: I think it’s weird how places correlate so strongly with creation. It’s the same with art, poetry and film making for example, and it’s definitely a reason why bands go to different places to record. The best Red Hot Chili Peppers album (Blood Sugar Sex Magik) was recorded in a massive house they rented out in California, and the place allowed them to turn an intended 10-track album to an 18-track masterpiece that will always be one of my absolute favourite albums. Incubus did it with Morning View, too, which is their stand-out record.
I couldn’t write anything in Bournemouth when I was there last year, but I remember one day I went up north to my in-laws’ place doubting my own creativity, and within 10 minutes I’d made a breakthrough. I always find Norway a place that breeds mysterious sounds, too.
Back to TRHP, we’ve recorded an EP in 2 days and are delighted with the tracks, and there’s no doubt my place, with it’s fantastic acoustics, high ceilings and huge windows, has played a huge part in that.
Who, or what, would the pair of you say would be the biggest influences on the music you’re making together?
N: For me it’d be Tool, Russian Circles and Deafheaven. Apart from other music, just the place we recorded was a big influence on the songs and even some of the song titles.
G: On the musical influences front, Steven Wilson is the most proficient exponent of progressive rock, and when creating anything within that distorted boundary, his work is undoubtedly a massive influence. With our styles being so different, I’d like to think the sounds we produce will be difficult to pigeonhole. If my heavier influences are marrying Nihal’s mystic ones, it’s going to be a sound unlike anything I’ve heard before.
Do you follow a structure when creating a track, or a record for that matter, or do your mesmerizing arrangements just fall into place when you start writing?
N: I don’t think we ever sat down and said okay, let’s write a song. It was more like just messing around with a riff and then one of us adds something to it and then it just goes on from there. A lot of the songs start and end completely different and that’s something progressive rock allows you to do.
G: It’s all about soundscapes coming together, throwing our ideas into a cauldron and experimenting to see what potions are brewed. The beauty of prog is that a given record can change direction without any prior warning, and soundscapes can metamorphosize seamlessly into one evoking arrangement.
Finally, in a nutshell, what is the outlook for 2014?
N: Next month I’ll be moving back to India for a while and I’ll be getting my old post rock/progressive band back together. So hopefully that will all work out and I’ll be back playing live with a band again. I think a lot of our influences have changed over the past two years so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of music we end up making. I vote for math rock.
G: I’m going to give you a John Frusciante-style answer here, and be really artistic and say I don’t want to talk about the future or the past, I just want to talk about now. With Nihal heading back, it’ll be nice to have something we’re both proud of recorded before we get back together again.
The full interview can be seen at www.reviewcasteruk.com and you can listen to the EP below.
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