Interview with Morning…: Sucking You In

Morning… has had one hell of a year. Their debut album, Breakfast Forever was released at a stupendous show and only pushed the band to work harder in the remaining months of 2011. Now that it’s 2012, the band is taking some time to write new music and playing the occasional show. During my little chat with the quintet we spoke of how the band has changed since their emergence into the music scene as Morning… three years ago and how the Tiny Giants Artist Collective has helped them grow as a band.

How has the band evolved since becoming Morning… roughly three years ago?

Darryl Norrell: Our inside jokes have come along way. We’re starting to incorporate politics now.

George Serr: I think we’ve grown as musicians.

Ben Oliveira: I think our general level of professionalism and musicianship has gone way up. Just the way we write our music in general.

DN: Yeah, we used to not practice three times a week. That’s been a big deal. Our music is different. I mean we have three guitar players and our impulse was like NOTES!!!! all over every song. A few listeners came up to us and said, ‘Well, I like the new album, but certain moments of the songs I don’t know what to listen to and I’m getting distracted.’ We tried to fix that. It’s less stacking parts and more figuring out one good idea and stretching it out.

You said that your sound has changed, how so?

GS: We’re trying to make hot music.

Albert Chua: Hip, maybe? Jive.

DN: We’re starting with themes pretty much, that’s been our last 10 songs I guess. We’re starting with drumbeats and we’re taking it from there. Rhythm is important.

BO: Our general attitude has been that anything can be an awesome song pretty much. If one of us an idea, we play with it.

Your first full-length album, Breakfast Forever, came out a couple of months back. How has it been received?

GS: I’ve been hearing good things.

DN: You don’t get an immediate reception, because there isn’t a giant audience specifically for local bands waiting with open arms to accept you and your music. We just feel encouraged to write more.

AC: Spoiler alert.

What are you personal favorite tracks off of Breakfast Forever?

GS: “Nosebleed.”

AC: “Bad Ocean Poems” or “Just Us.” No reasons why.

Kieran Wardle: “Bad Ocean Poems.”

BO: I’m partial to “The Eastern Lean.” It has good energy; it has fun parts to listen to and [it] just sucks you in.

DN: I’m going to have to go with “The Eastern Lean” too because that’s what everyone else is saying.

AC: “The Red Room” is a track that people have liked for a really long time. It’s evolved in so many forms.

For those who haven’t seen you live, how would you describe the energy of your sets?

AC: By screaming real loud.

Some of the bands you’ve been compared to are Modest Mouse, Braid, Death Cab For Cutie and other bands that fit within those genres. How do these comparisons make you feel?

DN: Well that’s most of my so it makes me feel good.

BO: Well they’re good bands, and if people think we sound like them, that must mean we sound good!

Your first show as Morning… was in a basement. Do you prefer shows that have that DIY feel or do you prefer shows at more structured venues?

DN: [Laughs]. More structured.

AC: There’s nothing like a nice jiving little party in a basement.

BO: I like sloppy basement parties, but I also like not burning to death in a building.

GS: I like both.

DN: I smelt gas at that place. I miss those shows because the people were there for music and that was cool. People were also there to do lines of coke off our gear.

BO: Was that before they stole it?

Darryl, where do you draw the inspiration for the lyrics to the songs?

DN: You made me feel real guilty with this question. I’m a writing major. I learned how to write. I’d say literature, my life and the lives of others.

What are some of your favorite venues to play in the area?

GS: 10th Street Live.

DN: I think we’ve realized our fans enjoy a low cover, food and booze.

All: Maxwell’s.

DN: Maxwell’s is the only all ages place other than Mexicali [Live] that I can think of. Venues that are going to offer a lot for not much money are what will attract fans to shows right now.

BO: Especially places like Maxwell’s where they have real musicians and underground bands. It’s a place where people go to have a “real” music scene.

You guys are part of The Tiny Giants Collective, as well as The Nico Blues, how are you doing your part in the Collective?

DN: Talking. A lot of talking and trying to catch events and shows to weave our bands together in this tiny scene fabric.

BO: One super band, if you will.

DN: I’ve always thought we should get together and put out a record. Drop all of our talent into a bucket and see what comes out. Basically the name of the game is get together with bands in the Collective that we relate to both musically and otherwise and do as many shows as you can. It makes you feel like you’re participating in the music scene, which I haven’t felt this way in a long time—until Tiny Giants showed up.

BO: The more we talk about each other the better.

You guys are based pretty far out in North Jersey, away from the city. How has the Tiny Giants Collective helped you all out personally as a band?

BO: It’s helped us reach a larger audience.

DN: Definitely. I’m not sure we’d have the opportunities we do [now] if we didn’t share our connections. When we tell a booker that we’re all part of the same Collective, they might be more inclined to book bands that they haven’t heard of or seen before from the Collective just because we’re connected and they know to expect a higher standard. So that’s one way it’s helped. It’s also the meaning of it. Being involved with bands of that caliber is flattering.

On the subject of shows, when it comes to booking and promoting your own, have you found more negative or positive experiences?

BO: It’s probably been about half and half. We have had some that go wonderfully smooth and with nice people

DN: There are people who really don’t get it. They want money. I know it sounds so ‘fuck the man, bro’ but they don’t care about the music, they don’t care about the experience that the people who pay to get in through the doors are going to have. That sucks and makes us look bad.

BO: We’re more or less tools for promoters to pay some third party, which doesn’t do anything for us or any band.

DN: There are some promoters who work day and night to get the word out about their shows and for the bands who they book and love. You can’t generalize. We just hope we come across people that we like and are nice.

Do you feel that a bad show promoter, booker or venue affects your performance? Or are you able to push past that?

DN: It has in the past but I’ve moved past that.

BO: I think it depends on how badly they piss me off.

DN: Once it happens you realize that you shouldn’t let insignificant bullshit affect the way you’re performing.