Astronomy Club, a Bowling Green, Ky. four-piece, teenage indie psych rock outfit, released their self-titled debut EP May 25. Over the course of the six tracks, Astronomy Club cements their place as yet another band to keep your eyes peeled out for in the lively Bowling Green music scene.
Below is an interview with Astronomy Club front man Dylan Graves.
What are some of the band’s major influences? “The World Disappears” feels reminiscent of The Strokes to me.. that incidental, or are they a pretty big influence?
DG: We actually pull influences from a ton of places. I actually grew up playing a lot of classical music and classic rock (Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd, etc.) and it eventually turned into playing a lot of jazz chords and that’s when I first started to write tunes. Justin was a heavy Rush fan growing up so his bass style is definitely influenced a lot by them. Titus really likes the drummer from Mutemath, and I don’t think anyone else in the band could name a Mutemath song, but that’s one of Titus’s favorites. Anthony didn’t play keys on the tracks, but he loves Black Sabbath, The Doors, and doom metal stuff. We really pull influences from all over and it’s always a good time to put our minds together.
Is this your first professional release?
DG: Yep. It’s really the first release for anyone in the band so we’re stoked about it.
How does the songwriting process typically work for you? I’m sure it’s a pretty convoluted process, but do lyrics or melodies typically come first?
DG: Our songwriting process is weird, man. We’ve written every song on the record in 2 hours or under. We usually make a cool instrumental and then I’ll go into a corner and write lyrics and come back and spend the rest of practice working on structure.
How long have you been playing with everyone in Astronomy Club? When did the band officially form? Have house shows been the extent of your performances thus far? Are you all teenagers? Can you tell me who all Astronomy Club is comprised of?
DG: Astronomy Club has been a band for about 10 months. The original lineup of Titus, Justin, and I came together in the early fall of 2014. We played for a couple of months and decided we wanted keys, so Kane Martin joined and played a couple of shows with us. He is the one who recorded with us as well. The current lineup is Justin Hull on bass, Titus Smith hits drums, Anthony Joiner plays keys, and I play the git-fiddle and sing. The other 3 members are 18 years old and I am 17 years old. So far, yes, all we have played are house shows.
Where was the EP recorded? How long did the process of making it take?
DG: The EP was recorded in Scott Gardner’s (keys for Sleeper/Agent) home studio. This EP took 3 weekends of recording and a couple weeks of mixing and mastering. All in all it was over the course of about 3 months due to us all being busy so often. It felt like we were making the EP for a really long time and we are all glad to finally share our tracks with everyone.
How influenced/inspired are you by Bowling Green bands (Cage The Elephant, Sleeper/Agent, Morning Teleportation, Buffalo Rodeo, etc.) How important is it for you to forge our own identity outside of the Bowling Green music scene?
DG: We totally love and will always support BG bands. I enjoy both Sleeper and Cage, but Morning Teleportation really connects the most with us collectively. We love to put on shows and entertain locals a whole lot. With that being said, Astronomy Club is also interested in playing out all over.
What are your goals/aspirations for Astronomy Club in 2015? Long-term?
DG: In 2015, our goal was to put out the EP. Now that it happened, we want to play more shows and share our music around the world.
Do you feel like the BG music scene is pretty active right now, in terms of new bands/younger bands?
DG: Definitely. You got Spirit Week, Heron and Crane, The States, Maelle… all of them kick ass. They are all great people and we love to play with and just be around other young musicians.
How important is it for you to continue the musical success the Bowling Green music scene has experienced recently? Or does that even cross your mind?
DG: We definitely would like to further the success of our amazing local scene. Popularity is not something we strive for. Reaction from listeners is what we strive for. There is nothing cooler than nice compliments from listeners. Everyone in Astronomy Club gets genuinely overjoyed when people feel the need to tell us that they loved our sets and stuff. Music is cool.
Is there a song you are most proud of from the EP?
DG: My favorite song to play on the EP is “Young Again.” We are all super proud of how that turned out.
Would you say there is a cohesive theme for the EP lyrically or sonically?
DG: There isn’t really a set theme for the EP. I do notice that throughout the course of the EP it goes from a light euphoric feel to a dark euphoric feel. We didn’t set out for that to happen but it’s pretty cool how it turned out that way.