The Buddha Den

Everything you wanted to know about the Dayton music scene and more but were afraid to ask

Monday, March 02, 2009

PROFILE: Southeast Engine case you haven't noticed, we're pretty sweet on the new Southeast Engine album, From the Forest to the Sea. We're not the only ones. Already the disc is getting called out as one of the best new albums of 2009 by some people. This weekend, Southeast Engine is set to stop in Dayton to celebrate the album's release before heading out to SXSW and other tour destinations. We were fortunate enough to talk with Adam Remnant about the new album and his band's plans for 2009...

The Buddha Den: It's been a little over a year since your last album, A Wheel Within a Wheel, came out on Misra. What's been going on in the Southeast Engine camp? How do you guys spend your downtime? How do you ramp back up into recording/touring mode?

Adam Remnant: Well, we all work day jobs when the band is not on tour or in the studio, but we’re always working on band stuff around our work schedules too. We write, demo, practice, play shows on weekends, and also put a lot of energy into promotion and basic management of the band – hanging flyers, planning for tours, creating a street team, etc, the list goes on and on. When we do have downtime we are usually relaxing at home or around town with our friends and loved ones – we like to eat at Casa Nueva here in Athens.

TBD: In listening to From the Forest to the Sea, it feels like a continuation in many ways from A Wheel Within a Wheel as far as the themes of struggle and redemption. To what degree to you draw from your personal experiences in these songs? How much do you fictionalize?

AR: The characters in the last two albums are simultaneously fictional and personal. At times, I wrote from the perspective of someone I feel is very corrupt, someone who runs in the mainstream upper-middle echelons of our culture and society. I feel much of our culture is spiritually bankrupt – whether it’s secular or religious. In my own life, my songwriting has reintroduced spirituality to me. Songwriting is very premonitory for me – the songs reveal something I don’t know yet – they’re a learning process. So I’ve sort of fused my own spiritual awakenings with criticisms of our contemporary society. The characters in the albums are able to escape the traps of their surroundings through spiritual transformation.

TBD: We've heard that From the Forest to the Sea was recorded in an old schoolhouse. What more can you tell us about the location? Why did you decide to record there? Did you bring in outside technical assistance or did you handle all the recording yourself?

AR: The old schoolhouse is in Stewart, Ohio, a small farming town in Athens County. The schoolhouse now serves as a community resource center, and they rent out the old classrooms to artists and musicians for studio and rehearsal space. We were renting a room there to rehearse for the album, and we rented the auditorium to record the album. The auditorium was great because it had a stage with an old upright piano and big curtain. We could close the curtain if we needed to get a tighter sound or open the curtain up when we wanted the echo and reverb of the auditorium. The environment of the space was enticing as well. We holed up there for a week. We would often stay overnight, and the place could have a sort of spooky feel. They use the building for a haunted house at Halloween. Bats got in one night as well, which a filmmaker friend of ours actually captured on video.

We had the great fortune to have the album recorded by our good friend Josh Antonuccio of 3 Elliott Studios. Josh and 3 Elliott also recorded A Wheel Within a Wheel and Coming to Terms with Gravity. Josh also acts as our producer in the studio. He plays a huge part in the making of our albums.

TBD: Southeast Engine retains strong ties to Dayton, as you've made a point to celebrate album releases here. However, you're always referred to as hailing from Athens. How do you reconcile these two locales in your story? Do you feel any need to do so?

AR: We have a lot of family in Dayton, and that’s where three of us grew up so we definitely feel an affinity to the town. Dayton gets a bad rap, but if I lived anywhere besides Athens, I’d hope it would be back in Dayton. My earliest memories are of growing up in Belmont. I went to High School in Oakwood, which I don’t remember too fondly; but the city of Dayton is dear to me and my band mates. Athens and Dayton both have an economically depressed vibe, but both towns have such a unique underdog character. Southeast Engine feels like an underdog band to me. We live in the middle of nowhere, and we’re just trying to get out there and get people to hear us. The people in towns like Athens and Dayton are rooting for us.

TBD: With the release of the new album, what does 2009 look like for Southeast Engine? Lots of touring? Festivals? Late night appearances?

AR: There is certainly a lot of touring – we are consolidating most of it into late winter and spring. We’re doing a slew of long weekends at the album’s release, then SXSW in March followed by a national tour in April and May. No late night appearances scheduled, but it would be cool to see that happen. We’re also going to get to work on our next album in the summer.

TBD: Is there anything else you would like readers of The Buddha Den to know about Southeast Engine???

AR: We all celebrate our own spirit animal. sure to head down to Canal Street Tavern this Friday, March 6 to catch the CD release part for From the Forest to the Sea. If you're outside of Dayton, here's where you can catch Southeast Engine this Spring:

Mar 6 Canal St. Tavern w/ Jesse Remnant & The Trainwrecks Dayton, OH
Mar 7 The Hideout Chicago, IL
Mar 14 Bread + Bagel w/ Frontier Ruckus + Theodore Bowling Green, KY
Mar 15 TBA w/ Frontier Ruckus + Theodore Russellville, AR
Mar 16 Quonset Huts Studio H w/ Frontier Ruckus + Theodore Fayetteville, r
Mar 17 TBA w/ Frontier Ruckus + Theodore Denton, TX
Mar 18 SXSW Waterloo Ice House [NPR Leonard Cohen Party 5PM] Austin, TX
Mar 19 SXSW Habana Calle 6 "Of Great & Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies" Austin, TX
Mar 20 SXSW Moon Jaw Day Party Brave New Books [2 PM] w/ Theodore + Emily Rodgers + Frontier Ruckus + More Austin, TX
Mar 20 SXSW Tap Room at Six Misra Showcase w/ Timothy Bracy (Mendoza Line) + Palomar + More Austin, TX
Mar 21 2009 SXSW Austin, TX
Mar 22 2009 Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival Low Key Arts w/ Theodore + More Hot Springs, AR
Apr 4 Casa Nueva Athens, OH
Apr 9 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
Apr 10 Union Hall Brooklyn, NY
Apr 11 PA’s Lounge Somerville, MA
Apr 12 Sundazed @ Bar New Haven, CT
Apr 14 As 220 Providence, RI
Apr 16 M Room w/ Appleseed Cast Philadelphia, PA
Apr 17 TBA Baltimore, MD
Apr 18 The Red & The Black Washington, DC
Apr 19 The Triple Richmond, VA
Apr 20 Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC

MP3: Southeast Engine "Black Gold"
MP3: Southeast Engine "Law-Abiding Citizen"
MP3: Southeast Engine "Preparing for the Flood"



Blogger Juliet said...

Because I'm digging "From the Forest to the Sea" so much, it's going to be my gift for folks who pledge support to WYSO during Kaleidoscope for our Spring Pledge Drive next week.

10:22 AM  

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