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Show The Forest, Zoom out from the Trees: To Eleven Interview with Keith Freund of Trouble Books by jason
February 18, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Interview, Local Music | Tags: , ,

Followers of this blog (and my other one, The Most High and Holy Church of jaynova) have probably heard me talk about one of my favorite bands, Akron’s own Trouble Books. Trouble Books are Keith Freund and Linda Lejsovka, along with Michael Tolan (of another Akron Band, Talons’), and whoever else happens to be around at the time. They have a unique sound, often both distant and personal, if such a thing is possible.

Trouble Books

Keith was nice enough to grant To Eleven an e-mail interview (on a day Trouble Books was playing a show, no less!). Here’s how that went:

To Eleven: Where does the name “Trouble Books” come from?

Keith: It’s a term some of the old ladies used at a library I worked at when the project started. I didn’t know we’d be asked to do more than one show or that I’d be working at libraries 5 years later, otherwise…

To Eleven: A lot of the Bark and Hiss bands are made up of members of other Bark and Hiss bands, kind of like the Elephant 6 collective. Was this always the intention: to have a family of musicians sharing projects, or did it just evolve out of shared interest?

Keith: The idea behind linking the bands was really to show the forest, and zoom out from the trees a bit. As friends and neighbors, we not only share band members, but also a lot of ideas and approaches, so I think fully understanding or appreciating one of the projects includes framing it with others. I’ve also always loved finding a label that I think is great and exploring all of the corners of what they have to offer.

To Eleven: In Fall of 2008, you and Linda were married. Did your relationship grow out of the band, or did the band grow out of the relationship?

Keith: Well, I don’t think she would have put up with some of this shit if she was just a pal or roommate.

To Eleven: Who are your influences? What is your favorite music today? Any recommendations?

Keith: I really like music and albums that seem to be packed with new ideas. Brian Eno is someone who I think is bursting with ideas, and I really love his stuff because of it. Linda actually got me into him when we first met a long time ago. Mike introduced me to a lot of ambient artists like Stars of the Lid and so forth. The focus on texture that those groups do is awesome. I love a lot of new music and end up spending all of my extra money on music and books. Emeralds is a band from Cleveland who are really fantastic, and I really dug the Peaking Lights album and the Ducktails stuff that came out this past year.

To Eleven: Your previous album and EP (The United Colors of Trouble Books and Endless Pool, respectively), had a very cold, distant sound to them. How would you describe the sound of your upcoming album, Gathered Tones (due out March 2nd)?

Keith: Maybe the previous recordings had a bit of a “colder” feel because we recorded them in the wintertime. That’s always tended to be when we get the most done music-wise. But a lot of “Gathered Tones” was written and recorded this past summer, so maybe it’ll sound a bit different. We ran a lot of sounds back and forth through different effects pedals to make them sound totally new, and used a lot of synthesizers on this album, so I think it sounds even more unique and foreign. It’s also somehow probably the strongest melody-wise, so who knows.

To Eleven: Being such a part of the Akron scene, you see that crowd a lot. How is playing in a different city different? Or is an audience an audience

Keith: If we’re playing a show in Akron, I’d usually rather be hanging out with my friends than be singing at them. So I’m more excited about seeing my friends’ bands play than playing in Trouble Books. When we play out-of-town there’s a bit more focus on our sound rather than goofing off. haha

To Eleven: If you could perform with any other band on the bill, what band would you chose?

Keith: Hm. I don’t know. Maybe Low? I think they’re great and maybe the sets would compliment each other. Tough to say. I’d almost rather not play in front of a stranger whose work I admire a lot.

To Eleven: Any parting thoughts for us?

Keith: Hope to see you soon Jason.

Trouble Books new album, Gathered Tones is available at the Bark and Hiss Store, and will be released on March 2nd.

Trouble Books MySpace page


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[…] the show. You may have read me talking up Trouble Books HERE, HERE, and more recently, HERE. If you haven’t heard these guys, check them out. Trouble Books: Sommer Tolan, Linda […]

Pingback by Trouble Books show at the Low Life Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio. « to eleven

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