Here’s a brief interview with George Michael Brower and Jonathan Baken, where they discuss how exactly the album was made, what they think of the Cave Story soundtrack, and where you can look forward to seeing them live soon. Get excited!
According to your website, you have been working on The Best Music in some form since 2005. Can you talk a little about that process?
George: A lot of these songs were written to in high school to entertain ourselves and a few of our friends while driving to a local restaurant famed for its buffalo wings. Jonathan and I went to college far away from one another, but we continued to trade songs back and forth over the Internet. We never really had any serious plans for the songs we’d been writing — releasing an album, calling ourselves a band — these were all afterthoughts. So in that sense, these are really inward facing songs, catering to our own tastes/senses of humor/musical fetishes etc. The audience we had in mind when writing them was never really larger than a handful of friends. So we’re surprised and delighted with the way people have been taking to it thus far.
The whole album was written in pixel’s Piston Collage. What was that software like to work with?
George: Hard, but not nearly as hard as trackers. PxTone is essentially a series of piano rolls. What more could you need?
George: The Cave Story soundtrack is pretty great, especially the opening theme. We’re not really using that many ptvoices (pxTone’s native instrument format) on the album. PxTone also lets you feed in WAV files as samples, and it just bends the sample rate depending on what you have in the piano roll. So that accounts for a lot of George & Jonathan’s production style, which is really Jonathan’s creation.
Jonathan: My production style is pretty standard; I try to make sure our songs are as loud and big sounding as possible (granted, we’re using pxtone with no plugins or effects except delay and distortion and panning). I usually blend/double a lot of our homemade samples (captured from a Nord) together to make fatter leads/stabs, and we have about 10,000 different drum samples. There’s almost always arpeggios in the background, too, adding to the texture. There have always been a few staple PtVoices in our sound, though (triangles WAVs, some squares, and saws) which I’m sure pixel used as well.
The Best Music contains some of the most inventive, hilarious song titles I’ve seen in a minute. They’re accurate, too – “Sludge Mansion” sounds exactly like what it sounds like it’d sound like. Who’s responsible for that?
George: Here at George & Jonathan we’re all about accuracy. We don’t play games with our band names or album titles. What you see is what you get.
The show at Sprinkle Kingdom was life altering.
We have 2 shows scheduled right now:
september 25 - pulsewave at the tank
october 9th - 8static 2 year anniversary in philly at studio 34
Thanks so much for talking to us, guys!
George & Jonathan