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ETHER AURA- an interview by Jeff Howitt

ETHER AURA played Saturday 11/29 at Small's in Hamtramck. MCB's editors had succumb to a L-tryptophan coma and have finally got this posted. 

MCB: I saw some reviews of ETHER AURA on line describing it as where Caelum Bliss left off? Is that accurate for you?
T: No. Not at all. The whole idea behind ETHER AURA was to explore a creative outlet with Kate because I knew she could sing. The only common interest we had musically that I could put in direction was certain bands in the Shoegaze scene and Brit-Pop movement...
K: Curve. Garbage. Slowdive.

T: Echobelly. The Smiths. I liked that stuff too so I wrote in that vein to bring a commonality together, though Caelum did touch on some of those areas but, definitely not a continuation of that thread at all.

MCB: So you found it more collaborative to write in a style?
K: It's always been the same that he (Tony) has always written all the music. Back then in ETHER AURA I'd get a much more produced song. It'd be everything. All the drum tracks, the loops.
T: I had time to sit down and make the whole song in my bedroom and then give it to her to write to.
K: That was my first real song writing experience. Part of the challenge for me was competing with melodies that he'd written in the guitar part or the bass. I started to ask him to strip things down a little bit here and there but also in the beginning we had Brett who is playing bass with us on Saturday.
T: Brett was the lead guy in a band called Sweaty Suede Lips from the 90's. He was able to help her (Kate) with things she was facing in the writing process.
K: I think we actually talked about it at Dave Feeny's (owner of Tempermill Studios and Gangplank records) Wedding at the Zoo. Like ten years ago now, and he straight up wrote the melody and lyrics for two songs and we collaborated on, like three or four more on our first album, CRASH, and I wrote the rest. But Brett definitely help establish my song writing bones, I guess you could say. Although we are different composers. He writes all in metaphors and I write extremely literal and that was always kind of band joke because on the songs we co-wrote you could easily decipher who wrote what line by line. It was a cool way to write, and the only time I've collaborated writing vocals with anyone.

MCB: Did Ether Aura do three albums?
T: Two. We did an EP but it wasn't an official release. The writing style had become more twangy. Like half the second record is Shoegaze...
K: And the other half started getting into the Country and Western stuff. Not even Country really I guess but the Western feel.

MCB: Even in that process did you start to realize you were in the middle of a different band?
T: Oh yeah.
K: Brett comes from a very, not Metal but an electronic background.
T: More of a Modern Music guy. Also writing the second ETHER AURA album, those songs originated on acoustic guitar. No effects. No loops. We realized she was able to write more easily to those kinds of arrangements.

K: After SEMBLANCE, I think...
T: Which was an EP of covers. We did the Doors. Patsy Cline. Curve, but an acoustic version. It was a homemade CD and not even an official release. I don't really even count that any more. Our drummer moved away after the release of our second album, BEFORE WE COULD SING, so our bass player Brett said he didn't think he could do it anymore and left.
K: It had changed enough by then that it wasn't really his thing anymore creatively. Definitely no bad blood. Just changing directions. Al was already in the band at that point.
T: Yeah, we added a guitar player and had become a five piece after the second album was recorded and being mixed. After that we were a three piece for like six months as ETHER AURA
playing these songs in an acoustic fashion, then I don't know what happened...
K: You were recording with Erica (bassist for The Blueflowers) and she was a fan.
T: Yeah, we had this new material...
K: And new members.
T: All the songs were written for first The Blueflowers record as ETHER AURA. It really was a casual thing. I remember being at Marvin's Shaouni (first drummer for The Blueflowers and photographer) and asking him if he thought we should just change the name and collectively we were all like, Yes.
K: It felt like a new band. We had stopped playing the really electronic material live.

MCB: What brought you back to ETHER AURA?
T: After the whole process of writing, recording and releasing AT THE EDGE OF DISASTER (the newly released album by The Blueflowers on Gangplank Records) was done I felt personally I needed a palette cleanser before going back to The Blueflowers.
K: It was really the most intense recording session I have had with you and we've recorded five albums together between the two bands. I loved these songs. They were the first I ever wrote and I'm excited to come back to them. I miss those people too.

MCB: It doesn't sound like there was a final show or tight book end to the experience.
T: There was a sort of finale at the release of BEFORE WE COULD SING as it was William King's last show. Then Brett left then it was like me, Al and Kate doing the acoustic sets. Once we got Marvin and Erica involved it fast tracked us to realizing The Blueflowers.
K: That was the end of ETHER AURA. We just didn't know it at the time. As a side note too. William was the drummer in Caelum Bliss and Death Girl so they did have a huge history together.
T: And Fatal in the 80's. Our Death Metal band so...

MCB: You've got the remnants of FUR playing on the bill with VISITORS and siamese RESPECTIVEL Y...
K: There are a ton of bands we want to play with all the time but wouldn't really make sense with The Blueflowers. I did have a pretty long list of possible bands but those two bands confirmed right away.
T: In the mid two thousands there weren't any bands playing in that style. Not that were doing this reunion because of this but there is a lot of bands joining in a Joy Division type revival and ETHER AURA peripherally fits into that even though it's not an influence at all.

MCB: Any surprises for Saturday Night?
K: We will be doing more of the Shoe Gaze material and rocking material.
T: None of the crossover or Western sounding songs off the second record.
K: We will be doing one cover that is probably everyones favorite, and I'll just leave it at that.

MCB: Well all right. We'll see you