We’ve recently cornered Your Imaginary Friends about these recent developments: concept behind the sophomore EP Silence Is A Villain, the arduous process that took place in the recording and some sad stuff that motivated them in writing bulk of the record.
1. Based from what we’ve been hearing, your sophomore EP Silence Is A Villain sounds like a departure from the sweet guitar-pop of One Dreamy Indeterminate Hum and more of a stab at the noisier and perkier side of indie. In terms of scope and theme, how is it any different from the material you’ve released in the past few years?
Ahmad: Growth is an overused term when it comes to sophomore album queries. We are using that term too in this release, but we applied its definition literally. The 1st EP was an unintentional concept album about a coming-of-age tale. We tackled first kiss, first love, first hurt --- all the firsts you can expect from puberty. The next one is an intentional concept album of the same character from the 1st EP going through the hells of an adult heartbreak: Escape, Lust, Regression. So yes, there’s grit. And there’s dirt.
Khalid: You can say that it’s a bit darker compared to our first EP, and this is a DIY album.
Emerald: And more aggressive? And you could totally relate to the lyrics. (I could. Haha)
Eric: I guess we laced it with more hurt hormones to equalize the saccharine tinge of the first EP. Basically, we put all our personal hurts on the table and made little trinkets with them.
2. Given that most of you have side projects and day jobs, how do you guys juggle your time doing gigs and recording songs in the studio?
Khalid: We just have a plan ahead of our schedules in order for this to materialize. It’s really hard because we need to sacrifice (time, sleep and vacation leaves) something in return.
Eric: Mind you, given all the real world things we all have to live with, like work, love, and life and what not, everyone manages to be in the studio to support each other. And with that, we have become more hands-on with this album.
Ahmad: We do make it to the point to have weekly meetings, or an email/FB thread to keep each other updated of anything we are thinking or going through.
Emerald: It's cliche, but nothing really beats doing what you love. Ayeee!
3. First single “Your Silence Is A Villain” echoes the ‘90s revivalist trend that’s been happening in some indie releases lately, from Yuck to Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Is it a conscious effort to somehow relive that great era in music?
Ahmad: A natural progression, that’s what it is. It just came out from nowhere. Do note that almost all the songs included in this new EP were written years ago. The single Your Silence is the Villain was written just before we record our 1st EP (2010). We decided not to include it then because we want to exhaust all arrangements so that we can find the right feel to complement the words.
Khalid: Besides, the sound we are projecting right now is what we grew up listening to. It’s where we came from.
Emerald: Listening to those bands mentioned somehow influenced how we create our parts.
Eric: But like what Ahmad said, I guess everyone else matures, but some grow in one direction. Oh, not One Direction.
4. Why EP and not a full-length album?
Khalid: Budget and time constraints.
Ahmad: There are a lot of distractions meddling with the brain’s activities, so a short but exceptional output will be enough to catch their wandering attention.
Emerald: We don't want to release an album just for the sake of releasing one. We consider quality recording as well. Although we're dying to have a full-length, it's quite expensive given that we're an indie band.
Eric: And isn’t the EP the new LP these days?
5. So both Ahmad and Khalid spent their younger years in Bicol. How do you guys describe the music scene in Naga and Legaspi?
Khalid: Eric is also from Bicol by the way. The music scene there is slowly growing and opening up to home grown band that plays originals.
Eric: I can’t speak for Legazpi, but Naga is a haven for really good original talent. There are lots of artists like local punk band Pennies For Jane who deserves to be heard everywhere. Way before Your Imaginary Friends and without any idea that we will be bandmates in the future, Ahmad and I both agreed that good original music should find its way out of our small town and get heard everywhere.
Ahmad: The Bicol Scene is a late bloomer. Our fellow musicians there are just learning to record and share their music. You have to go to Legazpi too. There are good bands like The Doldrums and Stolenshots who knows what they are doing. We have the talents, but not the media support so it is a struggle to play and organize gigs. I do hope our fellow Bicolano musicians will be inspired to find their original sound and not rely on trends.
6. What are the things that we should expect on the date of your EP launch?
Khalid: Feel-good kind of noise.
Ahmad: A celebration of good music. And group hugs!
Eric: Your Imaginary Friends.
Emerald:We'll be performing alongside 4 awesome bands too. What more could you ask for?
7. If there’s one OPM album you’d be playing for the rest of the year, what would it be and why?
Khalid: Besides our newest EP, I can’t think of just one. There’s a lot of great OPM album right now, like Capacities, Tama na ang Drama, The Oktaves etc. and I like to have diversity in my playlist to suit my mood.
Eric: Silence Is A Villain. It will never grow old.
Emerald: Yeah, not to be vain or anything, I would play this EP all year long. It's my soundtrack of the year (as per Kuya Ahmad)! Haha
Ahmad: Choosing just one OPM album is hard, but I always go back to those lost CandyAudioline/SoftPillowKisses demos. And Rivermaya’s Free. Plus, Ciudad’s Is That Ciudad? Yes, Son, It's Me album. Yes I am cheating but what do you expect? So many good Pinoy music and so little time.
Join Your Imaginary Friends as they launch their highly anticipated sophomore EP, Silence Is A Villain this January 19 at B-Side, The Collective. EPs and band merchandise will be sold at the gate.