Indie rock trip Filmspeed have released their debut song made single titled "I Feel Alright", with input on their upcoming full-length album "Hexadecimal", a release of sorts taking on the elements of various genres of infusion. Frontman vocalist/guitarist Craig Broomba discusses the single, accompanying album, and what plans they want to do!
1. What role do you play in the band?
I am the singer and guitarist. Currently the interviewee of the group, ha!
2. Filmspeed is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Oh! Not just a name... "Filmspeed" refers to how we recall our own lives. So much happens that all you really get are fleeting memories chopped up like scenes from a movie. So basically, living at film-speed.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
It's hard to pinpoint just one or two things, this band is an ever-evolving project. Since all 3 members have such different tastes in music, it's unavoidable that we influence each other. We're huge music fans before anything else so inspiration can luckily come from just about anywhere. From Woody Gutherie to Gucci Mane it really just depends on the moment. Since we're naturally a 'power-trio' it only makes sense to use that style in our arrangements.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Every song has a story to it, so we'd really have to break it down haha!
If we're talking frequent themes with this band, I'd have to say perseverance, anti-authority, and grabbing life by the throat.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
We sure do. Although every song has its own unique origin, they all eventually go through the same process. Typically, an idea won't be presented to the full band unless it is fairly solid. The three of us will learn the pieces, rearrange, noodle around, and figure out what feels right. Once the arrangement is together, we start looking at dynamics and individual parts. A big rule we follow when writing new songs is that we individually must enjoy the parts we're playing. I mean, nobody wants to be playing a song for the next 5 to 10 years that they hate, LOL!
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Not easily, haha! I will start by explaining that it is a power trio, and that it is for the most part rock 'n' roll music. In terms of genre, we never have a definite answer. It is somewhere in between rock, soul, grunge, indie, blues, alternative. Maybe it's what happens when you mix Detroit with Los Angeles, maybe we just don't know how to conform to one type of sound. But, I will always leave it up to the listener to come up with comparisons or any type of loose fitting label.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
Imagery? I think all three of us would probably have a different answer to this one. We are audio freaks at our core, so the visual end of things is always an afterthought. Also, it really depends on the song in particular. There are quite a few songs on this new record that have strong mental imagery attached to them because of the story that supports the lyrics. As a whole, we hope it conveys more of an attitude than an image. In that light, we've got a few for you.
Pre-Gaming a pub crawl.
Brushing off your shoulders in the middle of a sand storm.
Lighting a smoke with a flame from your car while it's on fire.
8. What's your take on "Hexadecimal" as a whole?
My take is brutally unique. From cradle to grave, this record was in my hands. We'll production a little bit later though. What this unfortunately means is that I have heard this album wayyy too many times now haha!
From track to track, there's a lot of different grounds covered. For all the old-school "purists" out there, it gets the job done in your four main food groups; Sex, Drugs, Rock and yes, even Roll. For all of the intimate, storytelling folk, you can dig into some pretty heavy topics like addiction, depression and anxiety, bitter break ups, deceit, and the loss that comes with passing loved ones.
9. What is the concept behind "Hexadecimal" and how did the idea come about?
This record was over three years in the making. Countless times we thought we had a "plan" for the material we were working on at that time. And then, as always, we had some course-changing events collide aka 'life happens.' It's a collection of songs that feature two separate drummers, yup, we got a new guy. We also had two parents pass away in that time, Nick's Dad, then my Mom. It was recorded in multiple sessions taking place a year apart. When it came time to compile a full album, we carefully considered the options.
The name of the record is fun to think about. We were doing some research on the concept of time and stumbled upon alternate measuring systems. In a hexadecimal system, everything works in 10's, as opposed to our standard 60. Kind of begs the question, "Who decided this?" So we would like to spread the word that it may OR may NOT be 6:30 right now.
10. What is your favourite track off "Hexadecimal" and why?
That's like asking about a favorite kid. It changes depending on the mood. Today I'm feeling frisky, so it's in between "I Feel Alright" and "Everything Is Better In The Dark".
11. What can fans expect from the new album?
They can expect that we will not make another one of these for a while LOL! It's a streaming business these days, so we will focus on getting out songs pretty quickly from here on out. At least until we can spread the infection a little further and really build up an audience of 'album lovers'. We really needed to get things off our chest, shoulders, heads, wherever the weight the heaviest, so having this full album finally out, it's well, very liberating. Making full albums is a lot of fun, so we would hope the listener passes it along to others that really like to put on records as they're meant to be heard. As soon as you hit 'play', it's a 57 minute movie.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for "Hexadecimal"?
I will hope to make this as short as I can. As I was kind of mentioning before the material and production of this came about over the course of about three years. We had a collection of songs, about 7 solid and 2 alternate tracks, that we had just finished recording with our former drummer. We started looking around at potential producers to turn one or two of these into smash singles. A few attempts didn't yield the results everyone was looking for. We knew then we'd probably be making this one ourselves, just like the last one.
So we brushed all the dust off the current catalog and shined to taste. In looking around for possible ways to release it, we hit a fork in the road. What started as a few songs to put out as a split with other artists, became a possible EP.
After an amicable split, and a few months of battle plan and auditioning, we were lucky enough to join forces with Oliver. From there, we had a few months of foundational work to do like local gigging, jams on covers, hanging out and drinking completely separate from band stuff, etc. We hit the studio with Oliver and were able to write and record 10 songs.
Now with a full list of 19 possible tracks, we finalized a cool relationship with an emerging label. They have been nothing but supportive and encouraging to have creative control, we're stoked. Using a democratic system through our circle of years, we narrow down the final tracks that make up the record.
We've got a small handful of people that played a huge part in helping the production end go so well. We are grateful for their unreal skills and willingness to allow our stupid faces to run amuck thru their beautiful spaces. All of the parts that don't sound like a million bucks are the bits that were recorded in my living room, Nick's closet, or taken straight from my 'voice memo' folder, haha!
13. Why do you think people should check out "Hexadecimal"?
Because they have an hour to kill. Because the commute to work is completely awful. Because they'd like to just throw on some headphones and tune out for a while. Because they just need some good noises on while they finish their thesis paper. Because they want to see 'how loud this system can go'.
It could be any combination or none at all. For us, the album is just half of it. We're a band to play live. So I guess really... Because they and all their friends need to yell it loudly in the car on the way to the show. And because when I see you at the show, we can yell the same things back at each other.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
This is not a hobby. This is not a job. It is a purpose. An outsider just recently popped the question to me, "Music doesn't make much money. Why would you guys be doing this?" My gut response was "All of the reasons you've ever heard someone try to explain why THEY are, and then I've got a few more for you."
If there is too much time in between live performances, I become strange. I don't have quite the description to explain that, but strange is the word I would use. Music is, at least in this brain, freedom. Without the expression of music, you're basically taking sunlight from a plant. It's my main task to funnel that energy into this band.
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Grammys, Rock Hall, the usual. Most people think I'm kidding, and that's OK. We will just give them time.
16. What does next year hold for you guys?
Tour, tour, tour. We're also starting to stare overseas, and find out who we gotta have drinks with to make it happen.
17. Describe Filmspeed in three words.
Life. Love. Jams.