THE BREAKDOWN :
Who: Resounding Maybes is Patrick O’Connor ~ vocals, guitars & programming Savannah O’Connor ~ Keyboards, vocals Ed Cho~Guitars
What: Sine Qua Non, released Feburary 12, 2021
I had the pleasure of attending the Resounding Maybes album release show here at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis on February 12, 2021 after which I arranged a conversation with the band and the following is what was transcribed
Q1.You describe the Resounding Maybes sound as shoegaze/dream-pop. I feel like this is still a niche genre to some, so how would you describe the Resounding Maybes sound to the uninitiated? Who would you acknowledge as some of the influences on the Resounding Maybes debut album?
Patrick: To me, shoegaze/dream-pop is a style of rock with affected, often noisy guitars and soft vocals. There’s a particular aesthetic I found really unique when I was getting into alt rock of the 80’s and early 90’s. Quirky garage-y sounding bands like the Pixies were produced with this glossy sheen, and I found that juxtaposition really interesting. It was something I wanted to capture in my own music. The Cure and the Jesus and Mary Chain were early influences; they had a sense of abandon and lots of effects on their instruments, so that brought a bit of goth and some proto-alternative pop into the mix. The big shoegaze touchstones for the Resounding Maybes are Lush, Ride and Slowdive. I’ve been rediscovering that music over the past couple of years. I don’t know that experts in the genre would say we’re shoegaze or dream-pop, but it’s definitely an influence.
- The Resounding Maybes’ Facebook page was created in 2014, long before becoming an actual band in 2020. Was Resounding Maybes years in the making? If so, how did you decide 2020 would be the year to go all in? Did the quarantine life that the Age of Covid-19 brought on have something to do with it? I recall from the album release show that you described this as your “sad album,” and that you didn’t want to make a mopey acoustic singer-songwriter record.
Savannah: Late one night during a long car trip, we were amusing ourselves coming up with band names. We saved that one to use later. Then when the pandemic hit and we suddenly couldn’t get a full band of people together in a room, the Resounding Maybes idea came to us.
Patrick: Our list of imaginary band names numbers in the hundreds, and we would often joke about using them. For a few years, “Resounding Maybes” was our go-to name of choice… “We’re going to play some reggae cow-punk with backwards sound effects? That sounds like the Resounding Maybes.” Or “Let’s start a ukulele-theremin combo that only plays in the key of C#; seems like a job for the Resounding Maybes.” I had a batch of songs I wanted to record but hadn’t decided what form the arrangements should take… It could have been an acoustic singer-songwriter record, but that idea sounded really boring to me. The existential dread of COVID along with the necessity of doing something using a small number of people helped us shape the project. Quarantine gave us a lot of opportunity for reflection and got me thinking about music things I wanted to accomplish.
- One thing that struck me at the album release show was the use of a drum machine/digital programming in place of a physical drummer. Is it more or less challenging to play with an actual drummer or digital drummer? Do you have a preference going forward?
Savannah: We were quarantined together, a guitarist and keyboardist, so the sequenced drums started out as a necessity. The situation sort of shaped how the project would sound.
Patrick: Once we decided on a musical direction, I pulled out an old sequencer from the early 90’s that I hadn’t used much in the past couple of decades. It’s easier recording with a drum machine than with a live drummer, but more of a challenge to use a machine live. We considered bringing in a drummer for the shows, but it seemed like that might defeat the purpose of this simple concept and its portable nature. For now, I’m happy using the sequencer. Would we consider bringing in a live drummer for future material? Maybe.
- Patrick, you hang your hat in multiple bands. In addition to Resounding Maybes, you are also a member of power-pop band The Shake Ups, surf-rockers The Madeira and Star Trek tribute band Five Year Mission. So, with that in mind, where does the Resounding Maybes project fall in the grand scheme of your music endeavors? What can we expect next from Resounding Maybes?
Patrick: For me, Resounding Maybes is a bit more personal. The three of us have all known each other for quite some time; Ed and I formed The Shake Ups in 2005, and Savannah has been playing in that band since 2013. We knew the music on ‘Sine Qua Non’ wasn’t going to fit that style, so we made it its own thing. I don’t consider the Resounding Maybes a side project; it’s some of the most fun I’ve had with music in years. When inspiration hits, I try to go with it and not get in the way. As to what you should expect in the future, we have quite a few songs demo’d that weren’t finished in time for ‘Sine Qua Non.’ There’s about another album’s worth of original material in the making already, and I look forward to working on it more. Also, you should expect…the unexpected!
- Is there anything else you want readers/listeners to know or anything you want to discuss that we haven’t covered?
Patrick: I’d like people to give ‘Sine Qua Non’ a listen, keep an open mind and let it wash over them. That’s what I love about dream-pop music; it’s atmospheric and a little surreal, but with an edge. That balance is what we tried to achieve, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge.
Savannah: We had a lot of fun making the album, so we hope you enjoy it. Please check us out on Youtube, Spotify, or at resoundingmaybes.com!
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