Houston Calling

Ten Questions for The Methods

September 27th, 2004 · No Comments

The Methods are a local band that recently released their debut album, Realized Amidst Sorrow (available here). The band’s sound is not unlike early Radiohead or Coldplay, yet is a bit more “dreamy” (if I may be so bold) than those bands.

After catching The Methods live a few times this year, I can honestly say that they’re a great live act and a band that seems to not have any air of pretension about them. The band is playing at Dallas’ famous Club Clearview on Friday as part of the North Texas New Music Festival, sponsored by Dallas Observer. Houston’s Drop Trio, among others, is also playing the festival.

For those of us unfamiliar with it, the North Texas New Music Festival “is North Texas’ premier emerging music showcase event, dedicated to uncovering and celebrating the region’s best new artists. From September 30 to October 2, 2004, thousands of screaming fans will flood the streets and clubs of Dallas’ Deep Ellum club district to watch more than 200 of their favorite new artists perform live on more than ten stages, all within a 2-3 block radius.” [festival website]

I recently asked The Methods to answer a few questions for Houston Calling. They graciously obliged.

Ten Questions for The Methods

HC: How did The Methods get started?

Methods: We felt like there was a vast amount of brilliant music the radio was not playing and decided ourselves to create the music we desired to hear. It was a crazy fluke chance we all met–one’s from Chicago, one was discovered off the internet, and the other was introduced to us via another band. We were guys yearning to create artsy and emotional music.

HC: What do you consider to be your musical influences?

Methods: Our influences combined hits a very wide spectrum of genres ranging from Classical (Stravinsky, Chopin), Ambient (Cocteau Twins, Ester Drang), British-Pop (Coldplay, Doves, Radiohead, Delirious), Electronic-Orchestra (Bjork), rock (Blindside, Smashing Pumpkins, Pedro The Lion, Fugazi), and many more.

HC: You guys just started playing gigs around town less than a year ago. You’ve played everything from churches to coffee houses to clubs and even at U of H. How has your music been received in Houston so far? How would you best describe the sound of The Methods?

Methods: From what we’ve experienced, there seems to be a consensus that our music tends to find a warmer reception with creative-type concert-goers; painters, poets, and other musicians and bands.

The Methods’ sound is designed to reflect a “dark but melodic” mood–designed upon sound texture while creating an ambience without losing musical intensity.

HC: Continuing that last question–what do you think about the music scene in Houston? What’s your take on the state of the music industry as a whole?

Methods: For starters, the music scene in Houston is so spread out, although the clubs in and around the underground districts seem to be a staple for bands like us. Houston in general seems to favor folk-rock and alternative bands. Anything ambient and experimental seems to find its home in the underground. However, it’s getting more attention with the advent of indie bands coming together creating events like Dreamfest.

As for our take on the music industry, there seems to be a feeling that every band signed on to a major is almost guaranteed to have their CD produced in cookie cutter fashion. We think this is great because people are getting bored with the superficial, canned sound and looking in more obscure directions. Being an unsigned band, we feel like we are blessed with a two main options: complete freedom to stay true to our musical selves and produce our music without having to conform, and not controlled by a corporation, forced to do things that may be against our artistic vision as a band/individuals.

HC: Your songs seem to have a really positive message. How does your spirituality play into The Methods’ music?

Methods: Our faith as Christians play an intricate part within our music. Faith has given us stability during all the shifting our emotions put us through. Injecting this reality into our songs is especially important since it is a reflection of our human nature. Like Hurricane Carter once said “…bitterness consumes the vessel that contains it” so the need to to replace “hopelessness” with “Hope” is a vital topic for us. We wouldn’t want anyone to “feel” things couldn’t get better.

HC: Are you for or against the MP3 “revolution”? How are you using the internet as a tool to market yourself?

Methods: It’s obvious we have to agree that downloading copyrighted material is theft of intellectual property–but at the same time, the “MP3-revolutionaries” ironically are providing an indirect platform for “underground marketing” of unknown/unsigned artists. For example, almost all results from an MP3 search end up inadvertently listing unknown artist(s); bringing attention to their existence. We think the internet is an extremely important platform for us to let people outside of Houston hear The Methods’ materials by downloading songs off the site and obtaining information about the band.

HC: What is the one description that you hate to hear about your music?

Methods: We can’t really think of a description that someone has said that we “hated…”

HC: If you could have any band cover one of your songs, what song would it be and what band?

Methods: Anthony – “Static” covered by U2; Marcus – “Save Me” covered by Squirrel Nut Zippers; Michael – “Unveiled” covered by Sigur Ros

HC: What’s in store for The Methods in 2004?

We just finished mastering our debut CD at Essential Sound and awaiting the return of our full-length album entitled “Realized Amidst Sorrow” (Ed. note: in stores now or at CDBaby). After that, we’re planning on starting our local tour in Houston with high hopes of capturing new audiences. Plus, new songs are in the works with some already on the operation table being readied for upcoming performances.

HC: What is in your CD player right now?

Methods: Anthony – Classical (Paganini, Chopin, Stravinsky, Debussy)
Marcus – “( )” by Sigur Ros
Marty – Burnt by the Sun / Eric Dolphy
Michael – “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff

Thanks to The Methods for taking the time to answer these questions. Be sure to check out The Methods at their next local show (Rhythm Room w/ Strangelight, 10.14.04). The band is also playing at Taft St. Coffee’s Venue 2115 on 10.23.04.

And go get their CD–it’s available at Cactus Music and Video. You can order the CD for only $10 at CDBaby.

Drop Trio‘s new album, Leap, will be released near the end of October, Look for details on a CD release show soon.

Don’t forget! Explosions in the Sky is playing at Fat Cat’s thia Wednesday night, 9.29.04. It is sure to be a packed house, so get tickets before you go or come early.

While I’m at it, today I discovered one of the best albums I have heard this year. I think it’ll make my top 10 list. It’s by an Austin band called What Made Milwaukee Famous (website). You really should check them out and buy their latest album, Trying To Never Catch Up. You won’t be disappointed.

Now Playing in My iPod: The Boxing LessonEP

Tags: Music