TV Erased | Interview | New Album, ‘If you get, I want’

Uncategorized February 9, 2024

TV Erased | Interview | New Album, ‘If you get, I want’

Montreal’s TV Erased is a project formed by Suuns’ Joseph Yarmush and fellow Montrealers, their debut album, ‘If you get, I want’ is their recently released debut album.

Formed in 2019, the band consists of Joseph Yarmush (vocals, guitar), Trevor Barnes (guitar, vocals), Alexander Ortiz (bass), and Alex Hackett (drums), quickly producing a series of blown-out DIY recordings in their cramped Avenue Du Parc jam space. These embryonic documents, initially released as singles on Bandcamp, later compiled on a limited cassette via Montreal’s Stress Test Records, are noisy, jagged, visceral blasts that sit uncomfortably at the intersections of post-punk, no wave and experimental art-rock. As the pandemic era engulfed the band’s aspirations of playing live, TV Erased focused on recording their debut album. The resulting ‘If you get, I want’ was conceived at various studios in Montreal over the course of three years. On ‘If you get, I want,’ walls of tape noise and manipulated samples hiss and crash as strange, intertwining guitar lines vandalize repetitive, hypnotic drum and bass grooves; rhythmically-hooky vocals steeped in dreamy, modulating delays, punch holes through the clatter, grounding the jams within the “song” paradigm, but always teetering on the edge of the precipice. This primitive, kinetic chaos is balanced by the band’s ability to carve out obliquely exciting hooks. TV Erased are Montreal scene veterans who variously play in art-rock band Suuns, synth rock band We Are Wolves, experimental pop project Rip Pop Mutant, baroque psych rock combo Pang Attack, brand new Stress Test Records signees Physical Congas and noise punk band FRVITS. ‘If you get I want’ was recorded in Montreal by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at Hotel2Tango, Adrian Popovich at Mountain City and TV Erased at their studio. Mastered by Mikey Young. Amber Webber of Black Mountain provides guest vocals on ‘Hello Sunshine’.

“This project was really created by happenstance”

You recently started a new project that I really enjoy. What led you to TV Erased? What is the overall vision with the project?

Joseph Yarmush: This project was really created by happenstance. Trevor, the guitar player put together a fun jam session with all these musicians. We all knew each other but hadn’t worked together or played music at all with each other. So we got together to just have fun and experiment. I met my friend Alex Hackett on my way to the jam space and asked if he’d come to have some beers and play some drums. Among other songs, we essentially wrote ‘Silent and Two Funerals’ that are on our record. The music has come a long way since then. This band is really a band. All the songs are written when we’re in the same room. We jam them out, finesse them, come back and keep playing them until we have something. The lyrics come later. But the vision is to have strong grooves with some heaviness on top. And be self produced. I wanted to mix everything myself. Which sort of happened. I did about half the album.

How much time and effort went into the creation of ‘If you get, I want’?

Quite a bit actually. It felt like not only was the pandemic in our way like everyone, but just being a bit older than “usual” to start a band. Time is precious. But we recorded in two different studios plus doing overdubs at my personal studio. Two of the songs were recorded in 2019 and most were started in 2020. Then finally a few more in 2021. These were lightning round recording sessions in proper studios. Needed to get good drum sounds. Most of the guitars, vocals and production elements came later and we’re done in my basement studio. A very talented engineer and producer in Montreal helped us get to the finish line with mixing and production, Adrian Popovich. In the end he was a big influence on making the album sound cohesive.

Can you share some further words about the recording and producing process?

Yes. Definitely. I’m a big fan of dub and reggae music. I love tape delays and organic production elements. I used some older gear to track a lot of this stuff. Like running everything through a Tascam 8 channel mixer. I also used an old plastic Sony microphone for the vocals on most of the songs. We spent our limited time tracking guitars and vocals trying different sounds. Often, the guitars were recorded directly to the Tascam and fuzzed out that way. Like in ‘Silent,’ everything is through that board. Gives the music an instant energy.

The album was recorded during the three year period in a few different places, do you think that affects how it sounds?

After getting base tracks like drums finished in the studio, we went to my personal space. Often it was Trevor, the guitarist and myself working out parts together there. But at the time there was a curfew of 8pm (!) in Quebec. Meaning we had to rush from finishing work, to the studio, record and mix trying to get something going in two hours because we had to drive home for 8 pm. It was honestly kind of fucked up. So as soon as we were getting into a vibe, we had to bail on it and go home. Those were the days I wished I had a home studio. And a different government.

“I wanted to try having a label to be free to release music”

You are very busy lately as you also started your own label, Stress Test Records. What’s the idea behind it? What are some short term plans for it? 

It’s super freeing to have a label and stressful because we’re new at it. We’ve released the TV Erased LP, and another limited 7inch lathe cut by Physical Congas. I wanted to try having a label to be free to release music on my own and see if we could do it economically. But the aesthetic of the label is still coming together in a sense. Seems like we’re going to release guitar based music. We haven’t announced our next release yet but it’ll be good. We’re going a little slow in order to figure out how not to repeat mistakes!

I would love it if you could discuss what it was like working on the latest album by Suuns?

The last album by Suuns was a welcomed pivot for the band. I find it more beautiful musically in a way than some of the previous work. We were working as a three piece because long time synth player Max Henry had departed the band at that point. Suuns is a band that has worked together so well for so long that when we’re in the studio, it tends to make something new and interesting to our ears. I remember that record being made in two sessions right before the pandemic and just after it had started. To me it sounds more mature in a way than previous albums but possibly less manic.

What’s currently cooking when it comes to Suuns?

Adrian Popovich is mixing our newest record right now. We have miraculously finished a new record. It’s taken two years and a lot of time in between. But we’re going to release it next fall and go back on tour. That’s basically all I know at this point.

Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?

I’ve been enjoying the newest albums by Activity (‘Spirit in the Room’), Tirzah (‘Trip9 love…???’) Poison Ruin are an awesome band from Philadelphia. I’m also really into the newest album by Armand Hammer. So fucked up. Love it.

Thank you for taking your time. Last word is yours.

Peace and Love. Thank you

Klemen Breznikar

TV Erased Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp
Stress Test Records Instagram / Bandcamp

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