FEATURED MUSIC: Soulsavers
On October 16th, 2007 Soulsavers released their new album It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land on Columbia Records. The band is made up of producers Rich Machlin and Ian Glover, and 5 of the songs on this album feature vocals from Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA, Twilight Singers). The reviews have been pretty impressive, including a 4 1/2 stars on All Music and 9 out of 10 stars from PrefixMag. They also enjoy the distinction of being one of the first bands signed and released under the new Rick Rubin regime at Columbia.
We loved the record the first time we heard it because of it’s dark, moody atmospheres and gospel vocals laid on top of grimy, laid back beats that sound like they’re ripped straight from Endtroducing (Soulsaver’s first album, Tough Guys Don’t Dance was often compared to Unkle’s first release). Lanegan sounds like a contemporary version of Johnny Cash reflecting on his darkest moments. The album is also beautifully cinematic. Each song sets a scene where a dark tunnel might lead to sorrow and pain or redemption and enlightenment. Please check out the excellent "Paper Money" on our SEEN Music player (to the right of this very blog post) and you can see for yourself why we are so drawn to this group as both musicians and just plain ’ol interesting individuals.
Recently we were able to ask co-producer Rich Machlin a few questions about his cinematic influences and what video games keep him and his mates up until morning.
SEEN: Your music is so cinematic, do you picture scenes while you are writing songs or does the music grow into that organically?
Rich Machlin: It usually just grows organically, but cinema is still a pretty big influence on the music we make for sure. There's no doubt that a couple of tracks like 'Ask The Dust' & 'Arizona Bay', the main influence on them pieces of film i'd seen.
S: Have you done any writing specifically for film, ads, games or other visual media?
R: Yes, a few different ones. I'd started out doing scores for a couple of feature length documentaries & I'm looking to cross into features.
S: What are your favourite films? Is there any director that you would especially like to work with?
R: Ah, that's a pretty long list of films. Off the top of my head.... I Am Cuba, Seventh Seal, Blade Runner & The Cranes Are Flying. The more current movies i loved were The Machinist & Memento(Still a few years old to be fair, but the only ones of recent time i think are gonna sit up there for me in yrs to come). I pretty much love the everything by the classic directors David Lynch, Leone & Hitchcock. I'd also be into working with someone like Michael Mann, his movies are always shot in a way that so suits a great score. I'd have to add 'The Insider' onto my list of favourite films now too, forgot about that.
S: Do you have any favourite film composers?
R: I usually check out everything that Badalamenti touches. I'm mainly a big fan of older Italian composers, Bruno Nicoli, Morricone etc.. but i also recently really liked the scores that Dustin O'Halloran has been doing, they are just beautiful. And as a contemporary piece, i thought the score for 'Friday Night Lights' by Explosions in the Sky was great too.
S: Do you get to play video games much? Do you have any favorites?
R: I have Xbox 360, but don't get to play it to often. I tend to have a group of my friends that head over every couple of weeks for an all-night FIFA tournament on that, we bump the stereo & hurl insults at each other while playing until about 7am then pass-out.
S: How do you feel about the current state of the industry where radio only plays a very limited playlist of music and bands are looking more and more to license their works for exposure and revenue?
R: The business is what it is, i try not to get involved the ratrace of all that. It'll just make you bitter & take away from the enjoyment i get from playing & making music. I love what i do, and still avoid trying to look at it like a job. That's not to sound naive, but i think it's important as an artist to have people around you that you trust to take care of business & let me get on with what i do best.