It’s funny how the Internet has changed the world of music production, consumption and distribution. “Five was created entirely through the magic of file sharing and the internet,” Eugene Suh says of Echodrone’s new album. “We’ve never even played in the same room together! But we did it and we’re all so proud to share our accomplishment.”
Indeed, they should be. San Francisco band Echodrone has been around for a decade now, constantly putting out great records. And their latest is no exception. Since “Five” caught us at first listen and it keeps growing, we thought this was a good time to (re)introduce you to Echodrone.
San Francisco, California, United States Saint Marie Records
Eugene Suh – Guitar/Vocals/Synths
Jim Hrabak – Electronics/Rhythms
Rachel Lopez – Vocals
Echodrone’s 2015 release, Five, heralds a sea change for the band in many ways. Musically, Five arrives at a destination first set by founding members Eugene Suh and Brandon Dudley, mixing reverb-drenched guitars with glitchy electronics and dreampop vocals to create a coherent mélange of tracks aimed to satisfy aficionados of shoegaze and IDM alike. Five also represents the next phase of Echodrone, realized fully only with the influences and songwriting input of new members Mike Funk, Jim Hrabak and Rachel Lopez.
Throughout Five, Echodrone explores the sounds of transitions. From arranging evocative melodies into unique pop song arrangements to applying standard rock band formats into 21st century workflows, Five takes everything Echodrone cares about musically and carries it into new territory.
Five is an auditory journey that mirrors the life of five individuals coming together virtually to create the fifth album of Echodrone. It is the cathartic soundtrack that maps the human experience through their eyes, as the quintet transitions from old jobs to new jobs, old friendships to new friendships, and old loves to new ones. To the band, Five is the perfect blend of shoegaze and electronic elements. They hope it is for you as well.
ECHODRONE IN PRESS
-Primal Music Blog
SHARED THE STAGE WITH
Fleeting Joys, Everything Gone Green, Halcyon High, Peloton, Sciflyer, Fake French, The Union Trade, Guitar vs. Gravity, A Pack of Wolves, Cupids, One Becomes One Hundred, Murder of Lilies, La Fin Du Monde, Ultraset, Hot Challenge, Vir, Paranoids, Good City Lie Still
Five, February 2015
Mixtape for Duckie, December 2012
Bon Voyage, June 2012
The Sun Rose in a Different Place, January 2010
Echodrone, January 2007
LINKSWebsite Bandcamp Soundcloud Facebook Twitter
First of all, congratulations on the new album, it sounds fantastic. Anything you’d like to share about the making of “Five”?
Eugene: Five was created entirely through the magic of file sharing and the internet (like Postal Service x 3)! It was a very complex process trying to get 5 musicians living all over the U.S. to successfully record a full-length album via file sharing. We’ve never even played in the same room together! But we did it and we’re all so proud to share our accomplishment..
How did you guys come up with the name Echodrone?
Eugene: I wish there was an interesting story behind the creation of our name! Brandon and I came up with the name Echodrone after a series of email exchanges with our former guitarist/vocalist, Mark Florey. We were trying to come up with a term that described our sound, and Echo + Drone just sounded great together! We didn’t realize until months later that the band Skywave had already put out an album called Echodrone. Paul Baker (Skywave, Ceremony, Static Daydream) actually contacted us via e-mail because of our name. Pretty cool! 🙂
What and who were your musical influences growing up? And how about today?
Eugene: I took a really windy path to get to where I am today! When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of noisy music – bands like Primus, Helmet, Bitch Magnet, Rapeman, Jesus Lizard, Hum, Failure…I really enjoyed bands that could combine technically complex music with the passion and energy of punk/post-punk/post-hardcore. Around my college days, I really got into ambient music, like Stars of the Lid, William Basinski, Windy & Carl, that sort of stuff. In my mind, it was almost like exploring the counter-argument to all the noise stuff I was listening to when I was younger. Nowadays, I’m into all kinds of random stuff. I recently got Oramics (Daphne Oram) and am really enjoying that album, as well as some old musique concrete stuff by Luc Ferrari. But my iPod will also shuffle-in bands like Grizzly Bear, Lower Dens, Godspeed You Black Emperor…
Brandon: I started with Talking Heads and the Smiths, then the Stone Roses right into shoegaze and Madchester in the early ‘90s (Lush, Slowdive, Charlatans UK, even Ned’s Atomic Dustbin). These days I listen to as much 80s post-punk and NewWave as shoegaze – particularly The Chameleons, Sad Lovers and Giants and the Opposition, as well as lesser-known Factory bands like the Wake.
Jim: My serious interest in music started with bands such as U2, The Cure, and Depeche Mode. Pretty standard stuff. By the time I got to college, I was all over the place, listening to more abrasive stuff like Helmet, Jesus Lizard, Big Black and Ministry; Shoegaze touchstones like My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and Curve; and a pretty generous dose of hip hop like Public Enemy, NWA, and Wu-Tang Clan. My current tastes are still pretty scattered! I’m really enjoying The War on Drugs, Deafheaven, Jon Hopkins, Haxan Cloak, and Run the Jewels.
Mike: Joy Division were my favorite band in high school and they still are now. My original vinyl pressing of Closer, which I bought in the mid-80s, is my most prized possession in the record collection. I was also really into The Smiths and Japan at the time. Those bands are timeless. My musical tastes pretty much blew up when I became a college radio DJ in the late 80s to early 90s. I totally remember when the Ride, Slowdive, Pale Saints and Lush debut EPs where added to the station’s new/current rotation. The staff couldn’t wait for the next My Bloody Valentine album which would eventually be Loveless. As the first wave of Shoegaze began to fade, I was already getting into American bands like Fugazi, Slint, The Jesus Lizard, Silkworm and Bedhead. Brandon and I have some serious overlap when it comes to our love for British indie music. I love bands like The Wedding Present, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, The Railway Children, Prefab Sprout, The House of Love, The Wild Swans…so many of them…I could keep on going.
Rachel: The guys have listed so many of my favorite bands already! Aside from 80s pop, I grew up in the 80s listening to a lot of 50s/60s/70s music that my mom liked. I got into 90s alternative/grunge bands on my own, & listened to a lot of that, like Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, & Rage Against the Machine (some of my favorites). I was first influenced by female alt-rock singers like Juliana Hatfield, Shirley Manson of Garbage, & Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries. At the same time, I was already into a lot of 80s bands that were still active in the 90s like The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, & Echo & the Bunnymen. I think a major turning point for me musically was when I saw Bauhaus in 1998, & I really started listening to music backwards. Ever since, I’ve been very passionate about 80s post-punk, goth-rock, new-wave, synthpop, & industrial bands, along with bands that have come out that sound like these earlier bands. I also have a darker leaning with bands like Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Project Pitchfork, & Ministry. These days I’m still happily stuck in the 80s & 90s, but I do love bands that have come out in the past decade like Friendly Fires, Kasabian, Cut Copy, Editors, & Doves.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any upcoming tour plans?
Eugene: Already started recording our next album, which is a fun little experiment we’re excited to share with everyone! Also, really excited to hang out with Brandon again and actually meet Rachel, Jim and Mike in person!
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Eugene: We are a small band with no funds and limited exposure in the music world. While it’s been hard trying to keep Echodrone going for 10 years under these conditions…in the end, it’s been totally worth it due to all the people we’ve met through the years, both in-person and virtually! Thank you everyone for all your support, we couldn’t have gone this far without you!