How did Tarentel form?
Danny: Well Jef and I met back in 1996, connected on much of the music we were listening to at the time, and both of us had been wanting to make quieter instrumental/ambient music. So naturally, the next step was to begin playing together. One thing led to another, ideas began to take form, and eventually a band crystallized. Complete with guitars and keyboards, we played our first show at a house party doing an ambient set. We called ourselves ‘desifanado’. The next step was the addition of a drummer and Tarentel was born.
How do you go about coming up with an executing the music that you record?
Danny: The approach of recording our music has taken on many different forms. There’s always factors of who the engineer is, your time line, the nature of the material, and the instrumentation/players. When we did ‘bone to satellite’ we had done most of the songwriting and arrangement well before we entered the studio. Everything was practiced beforehand and the songs you hear on the recording stay fairly true to their original conception. Overdubs remained minimal, whereas on ‘the order of things’ record, we did most of the work in the studio. There was only a few solid ideas beforehand. The bulk of it largely came from experimentation and the collaboration with our engineer at the time scott solter, who helped in much of the arranging. We just recently went back into the studio and the experience was entirely new in many ways. We basically took everything we new- finished songs, short fragments, and tons of improvising. It all combined to become a super rewarding and fun experience. Very different from past recording in the sense that we created this constant momentum from one mode to another, never stopping to obsess on this or that. That’s what mixing will be for.
Jim: That’s an ever-changing thing. Lately, it’s meant a lot of improvising, and working simultaneously on parallel trajectories – full band, acoustic, composing on the computer, etc.
What inspires you to write and record music?
Danny: inspiration comes from many places for us. There’s our shared interest in moving and growing as a band, trying new approaches. But then there’s also our surroundings and current events in the world which absolutely play a part in the overall tone of what’s created.
Jefre: My band mates
Jim: The current state of things, collaborating with our friend and filmmaker, Paul Clipson.
Tarentel has released a ton of music in a relatively short amount of time. Which release do you like the most, and why?
Danny: I find it difficult to favor any one recording over another because each is an incarnation of what were about at the time. I suppose the ephemera release does a good job at describing the span of our work to date. It’s got a good flow and the material is variant enough to provide a rounded sense of what we do. Although, at this point it feels like a time capsule of the past and there’s been so much movement since then that I might favor our immediate work, but that you’ll have to wait for. It won’t be long…I promise!
How has Tarentel been received in live settings?
Danny: Overall I feel we’ve been very well-received. Shows will of course vary one from the next, some stronger than others, but I have faith that people understand that and seem faithful to the live experience.
Overall, what do you think of the ambient/soundscape/instrumental music scene? Do fans treat your music different than a band with lyrics and more traditional song structures? Does your music fit in with the general music scene?
Danny: There’s definitely a number of ambient/soundscape bands out there that appeal to me, but I certainly don’t define what we are through one definitive scene or another. I definitely get the sense that it’s proliferated as a genre over the last decade or so though, which is great and important. As far as how fans might treat us any differently I really couldn’t say. I personally see and listen to a variety of music and get something distinct from each. I would like to think that people listen to us with that perspective – where everything has its place. I feel we have a niche in the musical community, but that community shifts just as we do. I just hope that the two can continue to exist together.
Is there a specific message you are trying to convey in your music? What is it?
Danny: We really just try and remain true to ourselves and the connection to what we create. If we can remain stimulated and challenged in what we do, then that’s all I could ever ask for. From that process, I also feel deeply connected to the idea of sharing what develops with whomever’s willing to listen and wish that it makes a connection with them in some way.
Who are some bands that you admire?
Danny: Can, Mark Hollis, Yo la Tengo, This Heat, The Necks
Jim: Fugazi, Sonic Youth
Jefre: This Heat, Talk Talk, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra
What are some cd’s you’re listening to now?
Danny: Rhythm and Sound – ‘w/ the artist’, Don Cherry / Ed Blackwell – ecm, Thelonious Monk – himself, lot’s of Neil Young, Mortan Feldman – everything all the time!
Jim: John Coltrane – Meditations, Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II, Flaming Lips – Soft Bulletin
Jefre: Jackie O Motherfucker, Songs:Ohia, OutKast, Organ Works – Past, Present And Future, Sly and Robbie
What’s in the future for Tarentel?
Danny: Well we just finished a bunch of recording which will be due for release later this year. We have an ep for the acuarela label out of Spain and a new full- length for release on the beloved temporary residence with singles that will likely accompany its release in some form. I would imagine we’ll also be doing some touring in support of said releases both here and abroad. Hope to see you out there!
Jefre: Everything we’ve done in the past X3.
Could you tell us a little bit about Colophon? (Spring and the contributions to Blue are beautiful)
Jefre: I started doing solo stuff about 2 years ago, when Tarentel was taking a break. Colophon is the result. Me and my laptop on early morning adventures.
Any other comments?