Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Real Estate

FREE MP3: Real Estate - Suburban Beverage

Nothing ever happens in New Jersey, wrote author Henry Miller. A sprawling suburban tumour sprouting from New York’s rectum, it exists on the cusp of everything and yet it is nothing. From behind white picket fences the frustration of youth’s creativity burns eagerly with a passion to break free. These are the typical circumstances that force young people together and lay the foundations for musical innovation. With the exception of drummer, Etienne Dugay who lives in a hotel in Brooklyn, Real Estate are very much a product of this environment. Guitarist Martin Courtney and bassist Alex Bleeker have played in bands together since they were 13 years old. “A lot of the chemistry of our band comes from the fact we’ve known each other for a long time,” Martin explains.

The band cut their teeth playing at home grown shows which Martin describes as, “Not so much DIY as just playing in your parents’ living room with all your friends, having a good time.” They’ve been involved in music for a decade in some form or other. Martin is a former member of Titus Andronicus, Etienne is in Predator vision and guitarist Matt Mondanile’s side project, Ducktails, produces quality psychedelic pop to rival the warm fuzzy suburban drone of Real Estate.

It’s no secret that lo-fi production is somewhat in vogue on both sides of the pond at present, but what is it that attracts these Jersey boys to Stone Age recording techniques? “It sounds better,” Bleeker explains. “There’s a lot of digital music, and it’s like, where does it go? It’s not real. You can’t feel it the same way you do with tape.” Perhaps the analogue sound is the logical and most financially viable choice for the band, given their intimate approach to the recording process. “We record most of our stuff ourselves,” Martin reveals. “We work with our friends but we don’t go to studios, it’s all about home recording.”

The ‘Fake Blues ep’ was released in the UK, 20th July on half machine records. Real Estate hope it will be followed by a UK tour. These Grateful Dead obsessed stoners live for the road and Britain is their dream destination. “Why else would you play music except to spend your time on the road?” Etienne asks. He stresses his vision of changing the global perception of psychedelic rock. “We’re trying to make it so jam-band is no longer a dirty word.” May the power of Jerry Garcia guide them to us.

Published: The Stool Pigeon, Autumn 2009

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