Ilad will be playing at Ipanema Cafe on Sunday, Feb. 24th. The show starts around 10 pm and there is no cover. This show is in support of their latest release, National Flags, which was recorded and mixed by John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea & Cake, etc). We had a chance to ask the band a […]
Ilad will be playing at Ipanema Cafe on Sunday, Feb. 24th. The show starts around 10 pm and there is no cover.
This show is in support of their latest release, National Flags, which was recorded and mixed by John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea & Cake, etc).
We had a chance to ask the band a couple of questions:
In what niche, if any, do you feel Ilad falls into in music society today?
This is probably the single toughest question we get asked. If you are speaking of genres then it is quite difficult to pin Ilad down to a single one. It’s also tough to get a unified answer from us regarding the question. Critics and fans have described our music anywhere from space rock to ambient…and mostly everything in between.
We want the music to speak for itself and the listeners, if they choose to, can work it out for themselves.
How is improvisation (in any facet) utilized, if at all, in your live performances?
We rely heavily on improvisation for almost everything we do – recorded and live performances. We are all accomplished improvisers in our own right and it’s something we definitely work on constantly in rehearsals and on the stage as well. A large majority of our songs included some sort of improvisational aspect. The improvisation might just be a section of a song or it may be the whole song itself. We usually have a basic framework to work with and depending on the performance the music might stay within that framework or it might be stretched or even shortened depending on where the music is taking us at the moment. Sometimes it just takes over, and you just have to go with it.
Scott Clark and Cameron Ralston take part in Richmond groups more-typically considered jazz, Clark in Glows in the Dark, Ralston in Fight the Big Bull and many others. Do you feel any of your or your bandmates’ experiences/vocabulary affect the music of Ilad?
Most definitely. I think all of our experiences combined are the foundation of the band. We all come from unique places and the combination of our thoughts and perspectives are what really bring us together. We listen to a lot of music and it gets passed around a lot between us. Just being around the other guys has opened up all sorts of sounds that I might not have come to on my own…or this soon anyway. All the sounds we are into make their way into our own music at some point; even if it’s just a blip of sound, it’s in there.
How do your live performances differ from your recorded albums?
The live performances are still coming into their own….they’re constantly developing. Sometimes we do a straight set of songs or sometimes it might be a set of pure improvisation…or a mix of both. We are actually planning on doing a “drone” set in Charlottesville this weekend. We won’t have our usual electronic instrumentation but instead it will include didgeridoo, flutes, acoustic bass, and assorted percussion. I don’t know if someone coming to our show ever knows exactly what they are going to hear – sometimes we don’t know until it’s happening. It’s that “unknown” that really keeps you on your toes and makes it exciting to play everytime.
I think the albums thus far are about the writing and the forms – how the whole thing works together. Each of the albums “The Spoon” and “National Flags” can put you into a certain headspace and I really enjoy when albums do that.
We are scheduled to record our third album in May here in Richmond. We are working out the material now and some of it will be showing up in our live sets between now and then.
The band added,
I think a lot of what we do stems from the same root that jazz comes from. It’s four musicians coming together to serve the greater thing: the music. We each have our own very strong ideas about performance and creation; but when it really comes down to it, we work to serve the final composition. It’s about the sound of the group more so than the individual players. I sort of think of it like Ellington’s band. There were a lot of unique characters in there with very different sounds. But when they played together, the sound is unmistakable as Ellington.
As far as composition, we tend to do it collectively. One of us might have a good idea or framework to work with for a song and then the rest of us will fill it out with our own ideas. Sometimes it has to be reworked and played quite a bit before it settles into something we are happy with. I think there’s where the “Ilad Sound” comes from. It’s sort of like working with “Standards”. The base of the tune is there melodically and harmonically but when you put in the hands of a creative musician(s), he/she might alter those melodic and harmonic ideas to their own aesthetic. It’s what gives musicians their unique sound.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
[where: 917 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220]