These days, it’s impressive if a band stays together for sixteen months, so when you happen upon one that has been around for sixteen years, it’s almost unbelievable. Oregon’s psychedelic pop trio Floater has combined raw talent, passionate drive, and an ever-changing sound to assure their sixteen year stay on the music scene. Known for its progressive concept albums and incredible live show, the band has been touring in support of their 8th studio album Wake, which they released on their own Typhon Records and financed by playing gigs. Floater, comprised of Rob Wynia (vocals/bass), Dave Amador (guitar), and Pete Cornett (drums), recently played the Lion’s Lair in Denver. I caught up with Wynia, who filled me in on recording, touring, and Oprah.
What makes “Wake” different from the rest of your albums?
Well, at such an indie level as ours every recording session is a totally new animal. It’s really never even remotely the same. On this one I’d say the biggest difference for the band was that we really made almost the entire thing at my house in my own studio. We recorded some drums and such at Opal Studios in Portland, Oregon, but then really moved production over to my place and it meant being able to spend all the time we wanted and create our own atmosphere. It’s where we have always rehearsed for shows, and where the material is written as well, so there’s a comfort level that’s impossible to achieve anywhere else.
How was recording in more of a do-it-yourself fashion better or worse than previously recorded albums?
It’s better in that you’re under no time pressure and you can really go at your own pace and experiment. It’s worse in that you very often have nobody to handle the technical stuff and so you have to be an engineer as well. But then I’ve always been a fan of getting my hands dirty.
What’s one thing you can’t do without while you’re on the road?
What inspires you to get on the stage night after night?
The songs. They’re never the same and it’s almost embarrassing how much I get out of playing them.
Explain the songwriting process to me.
Somewhere between three different kinds of sex, making a six course meal, surfing, and a sensory deprivation tank. But with a guitar.
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever inspired a song?
Love. Who really gets that strangeness? It’s a walk in the park to write about things that are strictly confusing, or that make you angry, but that’s the tough and weird one. I did once write about an acid trip on a bus in Mexico that was deeply strange, but even so …
We live in an internet era, which is good (exposure to all kinds of music) and bad (no privacy, too accessible). Give me your take on the internet.
You nailed it. It’s simultaneously the best and worst thing that has ever happened. I came about before it and I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to how much it has suffused our daily lives.
If there was one person in the world that you would want to be a gigantic fan of Floater, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. Probably Oprah, because she seems to be able to convince the whole damned world to check out whatever she’s into. Or Osama bin Laden, because that guy needs a better way to blow off some steam and get his ya-yas out.
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