Interview: Pictures of Then
Author: CizzyAugust 3rd, 2009
Pictures of Then (left to right): Tim Greenwood, Joe Gamble, Casey Call, Joe
Call (Photo Copyright - Mike Minehart Photography)
(Editor’s Note: Minneapolis’ Pictures of Then will internationally release
their new album And the Wicked Sea tomorrow on Tuesday, August 4. We stole
a moment from the band and placed upon them some well-laid questions about
the new album, its inspiration, and where they most like to perform in the
Cizzy: Minnesota has a dynamic music scene with many bands spanning many
genres. Where (or how) does Pictures of Then fit within this milieu and how
does your band define itself within it?
Tim Greenwood: Everything came about in the recording studio. There was not
a whole lot of forethought about what we wanted to do. We didn’t even
really try to go with a certain niche. Everything just fit into place in
how we create together. We just thought that “this is good and this feels
Download right click and "Save Link As"
“When It Stings” by: Pictures of Then
Cizzy: How did the creative process progress during the making of And the
Wicked Sea? Did the process change as you moved along or was the process
Casey Call: In the studio, it was pretty streamlined. There were some songs
completely finished and some that were not. The dynamic of how we wrote the
songs changed a bit in the studio. Many of the songs were collaborative.
So it started with me coming up with a full song or a verse. Then Duane
Lundy helped the rest of us capture how we wanted to sound. We were able to
finish the songs that were not finished by bouncing a lot of ideas off of
him. Then he steered us in our creative process. Duane focused on the
holistic process. We could hear exactly how we sounded right away so we cut
the songs that did not feel right with the album. We started to realize
which songs were supposed to be on the album and which ones were not
(depending on the feeling). This way we were able to finish the CD a little
faster and try new things. What was really cool about the creative process
is that we recorded all of us playing in one room. This album is different
from the other album because we played live together.
Photo copyright: Mike Minehart Photography
Cizzy: What bands and recordings are a huge inspiration and influence in
your musical careers?
Joe Gamble: Everyone in the group has the Beatles in their story of
inspiration. One thing I really appreciate is the real, honest to God,
blues such as Zeppelin, the Black Keys and Dan Auerbach. It is such a
soulful experience for the person creating it. It is more of an honesty
issue. If the song is more honest, it is a lot easier to appreciate.
Cizzy: What things do you find inspiration in when you are writing your
CC: My imagination more than anything. Wanting to make an observation of
something that pisses me off. Or something in my life that I want to deal
with indirectly. I am a big fan of subtlety. And the Wicked Sea has a lot
of meaning behind it. And a lot of the lyrics have a lot of life experience
behind them. A lot of times I wake up, and a thought or word comes into my
head, then it becomes a song.
Cizzy: What Minnesota venues do you most enjoy playing live shows in? Why?
Joe Call: We recently made our home at the Uptown Bar. For many reasons,
one, being that it is in Uptown. There are many people checking out
something new. We tend to play to a wide variety of demographics. The
Uptown Bar frequents music heads and people in the music industry. It also
has great sound and great staff. A lot of the people that go there are not
jaded by music and are open to new bands.
Cizzy: Looking back, do you remember a point in your life where you first
realized and told yourself- ‘this is it! I am a musician. I will always
want to be a musician.’
JG: (At age eight) I got a guitar for Christmas. But my parents did not
know what to do with it. I did not know what I was doing but I liked making
noise with it. One by one though, the strings came out. I thought that it
was the coolest thing ever. But once the guitar strings were all out, I
smashed it. My parents were totally fine by it. It transitioned into
listening to music all the time and learning how to play. When I was
thirteen, I got the urge to play music and I got another electric guitar and
learned to play. I knew that it was me making those noises happen and that
was an exciting experience for me.
(Pictures of Then will play the Uptown Bar on September 11 w/ Van Gobots and
Guystorm. A review of Pictures of Then’s CD Release show can be found here
on Borangutan. And the Wicked Sea may be purchased via the band’s website.)
Pictures of Then – Website / Myspace