On the eve of its debut EP, indie rock trio Echoes’ outlook is bright. Having acquired the management services of Science vs Defense (Los Angeles), connections have been made, doors opened, and most importantly, the group’s sole focus is now on its music. Prolific writers, Echoes already anticipates a full-length recording effort to begin before year’s end and is developing an action-packed live presentation to supplement an overflowing catalog.
With management in place, Echoes is doing things on a grander scale. In addition to having its EP mixed by Capitol Records, the band will be putting out its first official release “We Give You Escape” on vinyl 7-inch. To recoup the costly expense of vinyl production, the act thanks all who contributed to its Indiegogo fundraising campaign. In exchange for donations, the band offered perks ranging from preorders and show passes to handwritten lyric sheets, recorded cover tunes and even personalized songs, all promises that have left the band reeling.
“Those got the biggest responses, the covers and personalized songs,” says drummer Gene Priest of the offered benefits. “I think people either want to punish us by requesting something ridiculous or they really want to hear certain things. I’m crossing my fingers for certain (cover requests) to come through, because if we have to do a lot of Britney Spears or something, it’s gonna be rough. We’ll have fun with it though. ... Our friends and fans who contributed through Indiegogo made it possible for us to put this record out when we wanted to get it out.”
The sacrifices of Echoes and their following have paid off in a beautiful, opaque, Coke-bottle green record containing what the band describes as its two most representative tracks, along with a digital download code for the two tracks, plus two bonus tracks. Selecting songs for the EP was difficult for the band given its extensive playlist. Gibson and Priest agree that it was really only recently that the band identified a sound to adhere to, parting ways with the slower rises popularized by its previous band Wolf at the Door in favor of upbeat, dancier tunes conducive to good times.
“After recording our second group of songs, we found ourselves,” recalls Priest. “We found where our sound was. We started with more slow, building songs. We were still in that (Wolf at the Door) mindset. It was then that we realized we’re a dancey, fun band, and that’s what we need to be putting out. I think that’s when we found what we were looking for and what we wanted to do.”
“We were just trying to catalog everything up until that point,” Gibson agrees. “So, when we heard they wanted us to put it out as an EP, we were cool with that, but were are only two songs that we felt best represented us going forward. And those two are on the 7-inch.”
After embarking on touring excursions in support of the new record, Echoes will begin a follow-up full-length recording effort in late 2013. Though the band has previously done all preliminary recording at Priest’s home studio, the band looks to rent out a separate house to devote to the task.
In keeping with the familiar term “release party,” Echoes will put on just that, a party, for the unveiling of “We Give You Escape.” Renowned performer Henry Gibson is still remembered for such on-stage antics as climbing walls and balconies but has been slightly tamed by the wired confines of his bass duties. To compensate, Echoes has stocked its live show with an assortment of visual treats, such as decorations, projections and heavy crowd interaction. In the world of indie rock, performance has become an afterthought for many but has not been forgotten by Echoes or its fans.
“For the release show, we’re really going to make as inviting of a party atmosphere as possible,” Gibson explains. “When I say party atmosphere, I mean we want people to have fun. We’re going to have balloons and a strong visual presentation. It will be an eye experience as well as an ear experience. We’ve got some projectors and some surprises. We really want to people to be entertained.”
Adds Priest: “Being a release, we want people to come and listen, but we really want the focus to be on having fun. I want people to leave our shows with memories. I want them to walk away with something to talk about.”
Echoes celebrate their debut vinyl release Saturday night with a performance at The Pilot Light. See Monsters open the show at 10 p.m. Admission is $5.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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