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Finneyerkes: Happy, grumpy young men

img  Tobias Fischer

Would it be correct to say that Finneyerkes works, because it allows both of your to excel at what you're best at: Randy to express in music what he couldn't put down in words and for you to find the words to the music you couldn't write?
That's absolutely correct. There's a lot of freedom in this band to try different things lyrically and musically and we're both really happy with that. It gives us a chance to bond as friends and we get to make music that we love together -  so nothing but good times for us both!

Why was there recently a break in your work together?
The "breakup" happened around last Christmas and I was going through a really rough point in my life. I was with this girl that I wasn't in love with anymore. She wanted to get married and I didn't but I didn't have the heart to break it off. I'm a coward, I know but the things she said she'd do if anything happened to "us" would really put me on edge. I dunno. It was just a bad time and I wanted to get out there on the road. I figured that if I was out there touring I would have an excuse to keep the marriage from happening. Randy's always been happy making music the way we do and I was too until all of this came down. I pushed that on him until it nearly tore us apart and we decided to "break up". It didn't last very long. I got my head on straight and I missed this band from the start. It's my heart and soul so walking away from it was a very difficult thing but I'm glad to be back and working with Randy. He's family to me and it's always great to be around people you love and care about. I can't say I've been this happy in a while, for the most part.

A lot of your lyrics sound as though they were written with a single brushstroke, as immediate expressions of a particular mood or sentiment. How much do you plan your words before you write them, how much do you question and edit them after you've put them to paper?
Thank you! You hit the nail on the head. I used to spend a lot of time agonizing over the lyrics and I would only get half of what I'm trying to say out on the paper. I tried a different technique on Without End and I think it helped set me up the way I am now. I sit down and I get the first couple of words down and then the rest falls into place. It's all off the top of the head but I do spend some time crafting lyrics in my head throughout the day and some songs are written around one line. It all works though. It's nice to have variety. I put a ton of thought into what I write because after it's out there, you can't take it back. I've gotten a lot better at getting to the point and getting that across to the listener. At least, I hope that's what I'm doing.

From some of the information on the site and the interviews you've given, I was under the impression that music and words are usually not directly related to each other ...

The songwriting process for us is probably the exact opposite for most bands. It starts off with me writing the whole album. Putting the themes together and seeing which one would make for an interesting journey to go down. After that, I'll record all of my vocals and send them to Randy. We'll talk about direction and what we want to do differently. We've made it a point to not make the same kinda records over and over again. He'll start writing music to where it fits with my vocals and they come out the way they do. He has a secret recipe for cooking up killer jams and making my voice tolerable.

That's one of the benefits of working with spoken word and music, isn't  it - you can freely decide what kind of music fits the words best.
Definitely. That's one of the advantages we have over singing. We can do whatever we want and nothing is expected of us. We formed this band because we wanted to make music we would want to listen to that was completely out of left field. We're inspired by so many different bands and we want to give everybody a taste of our influences and what we took from them. Spoken word leaves so much open to us and we try out a billion different things before we write the final versions. It's a blast.

What, do you feel, are your contributions adding to each other?

They definitely compliment each other very well. We've never played in the same room together and we haven't seen each other in person for a few years now but we have the same vision for the songs. What I do lyrically is brought to life by Randy and he takes the words to a completely different level. The first time I heard our song "Refrain" I was stunned. He took it from ambient to almost dance music. I was floored and he's been doing that to our music ever since. He even included a refrain in the song, the "an empire of ruin is all we ever wanted" part. I couldn't imagine working with anyone else. He's the greatest.

You did recently work with Ukrainian Sound Artist Heinali on „Town Line“, though ...

It's very different but a lot of fun. Heinali's been a friend of ours for a while and when the EP came up I was honored to be a part of the project. It's a lot poppier than Finneyerkes and I get to write about things in a different light. Heinali is all over the place musically. He's incredible. Like Trent Reznor meets Phillip Glass. Be sure to buy/download all of his stuff. Working with your buds is great and I have a few more collabs coming up with Sleepmakeswaves and A Death Cinematic but FY is my heart and we're never quitting until we're two old grumpy men that don't know what day it is.

Your next full-length, for one, is already on the way ...
Our 4th album is called Approaching and we're hoping to have it finished in a few weeks. We have three songs left right now but they're coming together very nicely. It will be available for free download like our others. It's our heaviest and our most personal. After our other albums started getting reviewed and featured on blogs we saw were a lot of people said we were slow and soft and we wanted to completely flip that idea of us upside down. It's definitely noisier but it has some of Randy's most beautiful instrumentals on there as well. A lot of great moments from him are on here. I'm really proud of this one lyric wise as well. For the first time I finally said what I wanted to say and I feel like I had a huge weight off of my shoulders. It's so different from everything else we've done and we're only gonna keep going down stranger paths with each record. We can't wait to start work on album number five!

Even though you're music is download-only, you're still working with the traditional album format. What's the reason for its ongoing relevance for you?
There's nothing like buying an album. Having something that's a work of art in your hands that was made with a lot of time and love. You can't make that go out of style. The decision to make our music for free download is because it seemed like the best way to get it out there to everybody. We understand that not everyone afford to buy our music but we still wanted them to hear it. That's the goal. To get it out there to the world and to have people enjoy it. We've released stuff digitally, on cassette, and now on 3 inch CDs. Physical will never die out. Keep supporting the smaller bands and labels! Keep downloading but buy the records if you have the money.

Homepage: Finneyerkes

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