Throwback Thursday to an interview with Changingnames! We took a look through the archives of San Diego Punk to bring you throwback interviews and reviews from our history. Today we picked an interview with Todd of Chaningnames from April 2006! Yes, the same Todd that does the San Diego Punk reviews!
Original interview by San Diego Punk
We caught up with Todd from Changingnames for a quick follow-up to their recent CD review.
San Diego Punk: Any response/rebuttal to the review?
Todd: Overall, I think the review could be described as fair, and a typical Changingnames review. Throughout all of our releases, we have had several reviews, most of which stated outright or implied in some way that the band is mediocre. It stings a little every time we hear it, but that is part of being in a band. It doesn’t matter how much time or effort is put into writing and recording a song, it still stands a good chance of being regarded by listeners as less than great. It’s hard to write a catchy song, and I know that anybody in a band can relate. So, after spending a couple of years laboring on a CD just to be told it is all mediocre certainly strikes a nerve. The positive side for us is that making music is a blast! I have yet to find a better pastime then getting together with my family and closest friends to blow off steam and just play some rock. CN has had an amazing journey with everything we have done together, and that is what has kept us going as a band.
As far as the recording quality goes, this CD is a home recording. It is the best we could do with what we have. I’m not entirely sure what the reviewer meant when he said that the “timing seems unintentionally odd”. We do play odd time signatures (7/8) in a few songs. Admittedly, there was no metronome used, so there may be some slurs/drags in and out of some of the changes.
I should also address the cover art. The CD that was sent in to sandiegopunk.com for review did not have a finished cover. The only part that was accurate is the front picture designed by our bassist. We all agree that it’s an interesting work and I want to be sure and give Ryan his due respect. All the rest of that crap cannot be blamed on Ryan though. It was just a quick dirty back layout that I slapped together just to get the songs listed so that the reviewer could associate titles to each track. It is likely that there never will really be a “finished” cover due to budget limitations and goals of the band which will be further discussed in the response to the next question.
San Diego Punk: Changingnames has made all the songs to Choking On Apathy (as well as your previous releases). Why have you decided to do this? Are you selling hard copies of your albums as well?
Todd: Honestly, we did sell hard copies of our first two albums. There are probably still some available at a few local record stores as well as Interpunk.com and other sites of the like. However, we have realized that Changingnames is not in high demand at least not enough to warrant going out and spending lots of cash to do DIY pressings that will sit in my closet and collect dust. Still, we want to have our music available for those who might be interested, and the internet is a perfect vehicle. If CN ever caught on and people were willing to buy up our music like crazy, we still really wouldn’t care at all about giving it away for free provided that the means to create the music is the same as what we are doing now. We all have good paying day jobs and record on our own equipment with no real expenses other than our time (which we enjoy anyway). I guess the line would be drawn if we were to ever be in a position that required us to abandon our day jobs, record, and tour like mad, then of course we would have to sell our products to have money for basic needs.
San Diego Punk: Choking on Apathy is your third full-length. What’s new with this release and how has the band evolved over time?
Todd: I’d say this CD is far more experimental that our previous works. We tried a lot of different guitar effects and layering that we have not used before. We also messed around with extras such as sound clips, chimes, thunder tubes and other noise makers to add texture to songs. We actually wanted to do a lot more, but the project was already running too long, so we stifled a lot of our ideas for the sake of speeding things along. As previously mentioned, we dabbled in odd time signatures, mostly 7/8. The tempos should also be noticeably slower than we used to play. In the past we used a lot of the classic up tempo double time snare beat. I think we only used it for a brief moment in one song on Choking On Apathy. Perhaps the most work was put into background vocals and harmonies. There are quite a bit on all of the songs. Lastly, we focused more this time around on the song structures and trying to make sensible transitions between verses, choruses, bridges etc. All in all there was a great deal more work put into the writing process compared to any of our previous albums.
San Diego Punk: Anything exciting on the horizon for Changingnames?
Todd: Sure! We are saying goodbye to our long time bassist Ryan Shaw as he will be moving to LA to attend CalArts. He is an amazing friend and we are all going to miss him like crazy! Our good friend Larry West has stepped in on bass and he is coming along very quickly. Having already learned most of our songs, we are now working on a few special cover songs for our live set and there should be some shows coming up this summer hopefully. The dynamic is very different with Larry, and there is a ton of positive energy brewing with all of us right now! What else. Oh, we have 6 unreleased songs that were recorded during the Choking On Apathy sessions that will be released as an EP titled The Alcohol EP for free download on our website later this year. The songs will definitely be worth checking out. The EP features some lead vocals from Todd and Geoff as well as Shannon. There is also a rev’d up version of Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper. Shit, there’s even a rap song!
More info on changing names: facebook.com/Changingnames-278190002350101