An Interview with Buoyant Spirit
Buoyant Spirit. Photo: Courtesy of the band
Consisting of Brett Taylor, formerly of sIngs, and Chase Harris and Zach Alderman of Deep Cuts, Houston’s Buoyant Spirit skillfully integrates electronic elements with a live band, providing a level of intensity and atmosphere that many bands struggle to attain. Free Press Houston was able to catch up with Taylor and Harris prior to the release of the band’s latest album on cassette, taking place this Saturday at Fitzgerald’s.
Free Press Houston: How would you describe your music?
Brett Taylor: I think it’s very emotional music. I think for other people, it might not come across that way. I feel like it might come across that way to me more than anyone else. It’s heavy, tonally, and lyrically or thematically, it’s heavy and emotional.
FPH: How did the band come about?
Taylor: I wrote some songs and I learned how to play those songs live. I thought this would be a lot cooler with full band. So I asked two people who I thought that would work well with and that’s pretty much it. It started off as fully electronic with vocals and it’s turned into that plus drum set and guitar.
FPH: How do you work to unite the different musical elements?
Taylor: It happened in the same way that the band started. I write what I write, but then Chase comes in with stuff that I would never think to play and that’s what I would hoping that he would do. It changes it from being just that strictly drum machine and synth to being more like a rock band, but that still has those elements. I just try to write interesting rhythms and electronic beats that could be complemented with a drum set. They wouldn’t be doing the same thing, they’d be working together.
FPH: Brett, you’re formerly of sIngs, and Chase, you’re in Deep Cuts. How do you find that influences the band?
Taylor: For me, sIngs was starting to go in that direction, it started off more like indie pop, and it started getting darker and noisier. It started turning into what was the beginning of a stripped down version of Buoyant Spirit, that didn’t have drums and guitar.
Chase Harris: Zach and I have always been fans of metal music and this was an opportunity to play something that’s totally different from Deep Cuts, which is fun. Personally, the equipment I use is not really music equipment used for a guitar. Small combo guitar amps, nine different effects pedals, just trying to be creative with those things. It might be different for someone who’s just a pure metal guitar player.
FPH: Brett, what was the development like between Sings and Buoyant Spirit?
Taylor: I played a few, maybe three, shows by myself. I was going by Brett Taylor at the time because I thought it could be the beginning of a new band. I didn’t want to jump the gun on anything, but I wanted to play live. At some point, I thought it needed to be way heavier, I’d like to write for it to be heavier and I want a real drummer, a guitar, to make it fuller.
Harris: Me and Zach were always fans of sIngs, we love Brett’s stuff, and I guess it just worked out. We tried playing together one time a while ago and that actually didn’t work out.
Taylor: Yeah, I had written some songs that were vaguely similar, less electronic and more no-wave-y, and it just wasn’t working. It was cool for what it was, but it never would have turned into a real thing. But yeah, Zach and Chase have been playing together since they were really young so they really know how to play together. All they had to do was to learn how to play with me, but they were also learning as a team.
FPH: Tell me about the upcoming self-titled release.
Taylor: It’s a ten-song cassette, just for now. That’s coming out on the 13th. We put it all together in a fairly short amount of time. Some of the songs were from when I was doing it alone, but once it turned into a full band, we picked up a quicker pace and it turned into a full-length album. The lyrics are in the liner notes. They might be self-explanatory, but they’re there to read and interpret.
FPH: How do you see the band’s sound evolving?
Taylor: Well, we have three new songs that aren’t on the release. I think our sound has changed. The three new songs are a little bit more dynamic, some of the music is a little softer and holding back a lot more, but the vocals are more intense. I think I feel less afraid to just yell my brains out over quieter music that isn’t just chugging, heavy stuff. It’ll just be more atmospheric and tribal and I’ll just be screaming over it. It’s fun and I’m feeling more confident doing it.
Buoyant Spirit is releasing their self-titled album on cassette on Saturday, August 13 at Fitzgerald’s (2706 White Oak). Doors are at 8 pm and Buoyant Spirit will play alongside Troller, Mnymns, Gerritt Wittmer and Funeral Parlor.