Back to New York we go, this band has been causing quite the stir since SXSW and it is much deserved buzz!! Their music is fresh, innovative, and each EP/single they have released is entirely different, as in you wouldn’t even guess it was the same band if you didn’t click on it yourself. Badass Band 33 is Conveyor.
I heard of Conveyor around the time their EP ‘Sun Ray’ came out. A friend of mine sent me a link on Facebook and said I should check them out, and clearly it was a successful suggestion because here I am writing about them. The first track I checked out was the title track from ‘Sun Ray’ and what first drew me in were the tribal-like rhythms and the hauntingly, booming quality of the vocals. I have no other way to describe this song but that it’s something that I would expect to hear on a grand scale, it makes you feel part of something large even when you are just listening by yourself at home. Also, the hook, “You are what you know…” forces you ponder the truth to that statement. From here the obvious choice was to download everything Conveyor made available to me, which in total is somewhere around seven songs. I like them all, but I would suggest right off the bat listening to, aside from ‘Sun Ray’, ‘This Building is for Everyone’ and ‘Mukraker’. As stated earlier, the diversity borderlines ridiculous, in the best way possible. Their songs are like a mad scientists experiment that though expertly executed, produces something surprising. The only way to recognize this is the same band from song to song is purely by the vocals.
Conveyor is made up for four artistically blessed dudes: Timothy John Masters, Evan Michael Garfield, G Alan Busch Jr. and Michael Ryan Pedron. They claim to be ‘Experimental Pop’ and I would say that definitely fits the tunage these guys crank out, the focus being on ‘experimental’. All of Conveyor’s EP’s/Singles are on their website for free, and I suggest you get them all!
The gentlemen of Conveyor were kind enough to lend some time to BBB to answer some questions, so read on for a reminder that they have records for sale in the back, what kind of involvement Ambien has in their shows, and what we can expect from them this year!
When and why did each of you start playing?
Michael: I started playing saxophone at age 9. At age 11 I switched to cello, then shortly after to upright bass. I knew I wanted to play in a band, and it made more sense to move to an instrument that was suited for rock and roll. As for my reasons for starting- I have no idea. I know I’ve always enjoyed the logic and the math behind music. The relationships between notes, the “rules” you have to follow, and the thrill you experience when you test just how flexible those rules are. Or better yet, what it sounds like when they’re broken.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
Alan: I think everybody goes through phases listening to music. I had a pretty distinct progression from punk to hardcore to folk all the while absorbing more foundational music like Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
Evan: Obviously, too many to name here, many of whom are my best friends. So, I’ll just go ahead and name the first well-known musician who comes to mind, which is Paul Simon. Paul Simon is responsible for many of my favorite pieces of music ever composed; namely, the entire Graceland album, which influenced me profoundly as a musician and as a human.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Alan: There is definitely a nervous energy that is present before a show, but I don’t think it is ‘nervous’ in the typical sense. It is more of an excitement and after performing a number of times it is very powerful to use that excitement to your benefit on stage.
Any rituals before a show?
Michael: Tune my instrument. Pee. Get a beer.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
T.J.: Our show is one part dance party, one part ambient Ambien™ ambiance drone, and two parts psychedelic Epcot™ Spaceship Earth simulator.
How does your creative process typically work?
T.J.: We run everything by our creative director, Hank.
What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?
Alan: I think our biggest breaks are yet to come, but we had a nice opportunity recently to perform at Le Poisson Rouge, a lovely venue in downtown Manhattan.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
T.J.: My biggest challenge has been remembering to tell people that we have records for sale in the back. We have records for sale in the back.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?
Alan: We are in the midst of recording a full-length album that we expect to release early summer this year. Following that we will be heading out on tour to support the album.
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan, what would it be?
Michael: People should listen to our band to determine whether or not they like us. If they like us, they should keep listening. We’re unique in that there has NEVER before been a band composed of these members. We do have a slogan, actually. It’s: Conveyor. A band.
How do you define “success”?
Evan: I don’t really attempt to define success, honestly. “Success” is not something that I am actively trying to attain in my life. Rather, I just try and do what makes sense to me, what makes me happy, and what doesn’t hurt other people in the process.
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Evan: That’s a pretty tough question to answer. On some level, I feel that the Internet is changing music for the worse, so I am inclined to say that I wish the music industry was less reliant on the Internet. However, that would be totally hypocritical of me, as I am just as guilty as anyone else for being overdependent on the Internet in regard to both the music I consume and create. I just wish that we were all able to discover and experience music in a deeply personal and meaningful way on a more regular basis.
One song you never get tired of.
Evan: “I’ll Come Running Back to You” by Sam Cooke
What is the best live show you have ever gone to?
Michael: Conveyor at (le) Poisson Rouge, January 28, 2012.
Last book you read?
Michael: “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Last movie you saw?
T.J.: True Grit
Favorite things to do NOT musically related.
T.J.: I like to ride my bike to the park and lie on my back in the grass under a tree and look at the blue sections between the leaves and the tree branches.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
Evan: I’d like to be Max from Where The Wild Things Are. His experience seemed to be awesomely surreal and life-altering. I’m always down for that sort of thing.
What is something no one knows about you but you wish more people did know?
Michael: I can make a weird bubbly squeaking noise with my left eyeball.
T.J.: Slow turners. You know, when you’re cruising along and the person in front of you decides that they have to make the most calculated and deliberate turn of their life, causing you to all but stop entirely.
Alan: I have a first edition copy of Sigur Ros’ “Takk…” on vinyl that is absolutely beautiful.
If you had only 5 minutes on Earth to perform one song that would leave an impact on the world today, what would it be and why?
T.J.: “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson. Firstly because no song can change the world; it’s just too ambitious. You have to start with yourself and be the change that you want to see in the world. And secondly because just thinking about this question led me to do an overly elaborate impersonation of MJ performing this song. And that’s gotta count for something.
What kind of jobs did you have before you were in the music industry?
Alan: I have worked in retail, at a bookstore, and my first job was concessions at a movie theater.
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