Recording Under the Influence is a recurring self-titled feature where we ask artists to ignore their musical inspirations for a minute and share what really went into the making of a particular record. In the following post, Rob Garcia and Sarah Everton of Reading Rainbow decode the clanging chords and partly cloudy call-and-response choruses of their Prism Eyes LP (out now on HoZac).
Sarah’s Art Projects
Sarah: I’ve always approached being in a band similarly to the way I approach making art. The line is pretty blurred, and often times the ideas and themes I work with visually carry over to our music. (And vice versa now as well.) Even the title of our new record was the name of an installation I made in grad school last fall. This is what directly inspired Rob to write the title track of the album.
Working For the Man
Rob: I’ve worked a full-time job ever since we moved to Philadelphia four years ago. It starts to get pretty stifling being in a cubicle all day, especially when you completely fry your brain from staring at the computer screen. So in order to feel like a human again, I use the job as motivation to be as creative and prolific as possible when I am at home. At night I keep my dreams alive.
When we need to lock ourselves away from the world to either (A) write new songs/practice/work on art projects or (B) relax, eat snacks, watch DVDs and chill with the cats, we don’t want to be stifled by an uninspiring shit shack. Our house is filled with various collections of specimens, artifacts, books, antiques, and other assorted junk to keep us sane. It is a living and breathing organism and we must feed it knickknacks to keep it alive!
Lazy Sunny Days
Usually we are working on overdrive all the time, but recently we have been using weekends for quiet alone time. We don’t really have the time or money for big vacations or other trips. It’s great being able to set aside a day for brainstorming ideas, working on projects, listening to music, and looking at things really intensely.
Philadelphia Museum of Art/ICA Philadelphia
The PMA here in Philly is famous for having the steps Rocky runs up. But holy sweet goddamn, it is such an amazing art museum. We don’t go there enough, which is a real shame because it’s better the more you go. The Cy Twombly room houses his 10-part painting Fifty Days at Iliam which is both our favorite part. (You either love or hate Twombly, and we both loooooove his paintings.) The Institute of Contemporary Art is also a constant source of inspiration. It’s free to the public and has incredible shows including one with one of our current favorite artists Trenton Doyle Hancock (back in 2008).
We don’t own a T.V. Not because we are pretentious anti-T.V. zealots, but because we’d enjoy it too much and it would melt our brains and we’d never get anything done. To compensate, we have a projector hooked up to a DVD player and VCR. Netflix allows us to be totally reclusive and lazy. While we do enjoy some dumb and funny shit, (Strangers with Candy, what what!) we are very much into really beautiful, color-saturated Criterion Collection style shit, like the following clips…