Twenty Questions with Andrew from Eidola

     Hey everybody, happy Friday! It's been a while since the last Loud Noises interview, and it's time once again to rectify this unfortunate situation. As always, I try to keep things interesting around here, and to that end I've gone with a band that's somewhat less "metal" this time out, but no less awesome for it.
     So: who, or what, is Eidola? Why don't you read on to find out?

- LN: Why don’t we start by getting your name, what you play, and who you play it for.
     Andrew: My name is Andrew Wells, I sing and play guitar for a band called Eidola from Salt Lake City, Utah.

- LN: Band nomenclature is a constant fascination to me, so I’m going to subject you to the same question I ask everybody: where did your name come from? You’ve got some stuff on your Facebook relating to the Greek word “eidolon”, but I’m wondering how you came to this as the source of your name?
     Andrew: We went through hundreds of names when we started. We wanted something short and simple, but with some contextual weight to what we wanted to do as a project. Originally I wanted to name the band Jagannatha after a Hindu deity. One of the first songs we wrote together was entitled Eidola from the core semblance of multiple ideals being grouped together as an amalgamate. After a week of playing together and writing lyrics to that song we decided to swap the names. It just felt better that way and the lyrics ended up fitting much better under Jagannatha.

- LN: How did Eidola first come together?
     Andrew: Eidola first started after my previous band Follow The Earth broke up, of which Brandon and James were both a part of. After a few weeks of writing by myself I met up with my old high school nemesis Matt Dommer and it was magic. Eventually we recruited James Johnson and Harold Riding to start mapping out songs and developing live show aesthetics. We recruited Zac Bryant (My Fair Fiend) and recorded a home demo 4-song EP. When Zac bounced to play in Sea Swallowed Us Whole we recruited Matt Hansen and fell in love. I had known that dude for years from multiple local bands and always admired his playing, so I asked him if he wanted to join up with us. Brandon and I are brothers, so we kept in contact for about a year after FTE broke up. When we signed to Blue Swan and started writing Degeneraterra I wanted to take the band to new heights and recruited him on guitar. The guy is insanely talented and we could not be more stoked to spend sweaty nights in the van with him.

- LN: Your music isn’t exactly overly technical, but it isn’t exactly simple either. Do any of you have any musical training, or are you all essentially self-taught?
     Andrew: The definition of technicality is always funny to me because it's incredibly subjective! I think the reason we didn't do a lot of crazy shredding on The Great Glass Elephant was because we were really focused on creating a conceptual atmosphere and concentrated more on the dynamic elements than the mixed meter structures and polyrhythms. The new album's concept certainly called for much more technically inclined parts matching the dynamic elements and we're really excited to release it. A few of us are self-taught, and a couple of us have some formal training, so it creates an interesting balance.

- LN: You guys are from Utah, which is not necessarily somewhere those of us out here on the internet might think of as a hotbed of interesting music, heavy or otherwise. Prove us ignorant and narrow-minded and tell me about anybody cool I should know about from your neck of the woods.
     Andrew: Hahaha that is the best way I've ever heard that phrased! Utah is surprisingly rich with talent. Whether you're looking for metal, indie-folk, pop, electro-hippie-jam-stank band music; Utah has got you covered. Cool bands I would recommend checking out? Visitors, Wearing Thin, Captives, Grass, I Am Designer and My Fair Fiend are all incredible bands that I would highly recommend looking into.

- LN: Like I said, I dig names, so I’m curious about the name of your latest record, Degeneterra. The meaning, so to speak, of that title might seem somewhat obvious, in an etymological sort of way, but I’m curious about what it means to you guys.
     Andrew: So DegeneRAterra was a title we came up with when observing the scope of the album. We wanted to offer up something that really captured a conceptual piece that James and I had been refining for like six years. The original idea for the name came from the physics term for the third stage of the entropic cycle of the universe, The Degenerate Era. After a few weeks of kicking that name around I think it was Matt that suggested we bring the words together and add the extra "r" to add real world relevance to the term in an attempt to create something we hadn't really seen or heard before. Degeneraterra was the result, and we could not be more satisfied with that decision.

- LN: From what I can tell online, it looks like Degenterra is your second full-length album. How has the writing and recording of Degeneterra differed from that of The Great Glass Elephant?
     Andrew: It was completely different! Without going into too many details the differences were stark. Writing for TGGE was pretty scattered and laid back, over the course of many months. Degeneraterra was a much more consolidated writing process with a very detailed conceptual basis in mind. I quit my job for six months and locked myself in my house to write, refine, re-write and demo out Degeneraterra. The Great Glass Elephant was recorded over the span of like seven months in various shady locations. It was done pretty much DIY with the help of a guy named Randy in Provo, UT. Degeneraterra was recorded at the incredible Pus Cavern in Sacramento with Josh and Will, so the experience was completely different. Will and Josh were hands on producers too, which we really liked, and the outcome is vastly different than anything we've done to this point.

- LN: How did you guys get hooked up with Will and Blue Swan Records?
     Andrew: We got hooked up with Will through Sergio Medina of Stolas. We opened for Stolas on the "Living Creatures" tour and we just hit it off. I ended up giving them a copy of TGGE, word got back to Will and we had some lengthy talks. After a while of pre-pro demos being sent back and forth we worked out a deal, drove to Sac, and made an album.

- LN: You’re about to release Degeneterra this fall – what’s next? Maybe some touring?
     Andrew: We are indeed! The wait has been arduous for a lot of people that have been with us from the start, but all good things come with time. We are working with Josh and Will to ensure this is the best release it can possibly be before we put it out. Once it's out there we want to tour as much as humanly possible. 400 shows a year? Yes please!

- LN: Speaking of touring, any plans to come north of the 49th? Canada – specifically eastern Ontario – would love to have you...
     Andrew: I would absolutely love to come to Canada! If we can swing it, we'll be there in 2015 ;)

- LN: How about a few quick ones, like: Dance Gavin Dance or Secret Band?
     Andrew: DGD fasho. Love me some Tilian and Tim. And now Aric from HTS has been killing it with them, so yeah. DGD.

- LN: Favourite Blue Swan labelmate?
     Andrew: Stolas. We wouldn't be where we are without them. Plus, Sergio and I are pretty damn close. I would do anything for that guy.

- LN: Band you wish were a Blue Swan labelmate? (Hint hint, Will...)
     Andrew: That's a tough one! If we're offering hints to Will, I would probably have to say my boys Visitors from SLC.

- LN: Favourite city or venue to play?
     Andrew: SACRAMENTO! Hands down. We opened for Birds and HTS on a tour last summer and it was amazing. The crowd was insanely receptive and we loved every minute of it. Eidola has never played there, but Houston slays pretty hard. We would love to get out there and show Crimson Arrow and Mosaic Dream some love.

- LN: Worst tour or show story?
     Andrew: Oh Jesus. . . There are a few. The worst tour story I have is way too long. Basically, we got stranded in Los Banos, CA on our way to Los Angeles. We took our van into the shop and the mechanics gave us some bull shit story and said it would be a week to get it fixed. We ended up renting a u-haul and towing the van, trailer, and gear to Vegas only to find out the fucking mechanics cut our breaks and fried our engine computer.

- LN: Now for a few of my standards: If you could make everyone stop what they’re doing and listen to one song right this minute, what song would it be?
     Andrew: "Something" by Snarky Puppy. Lalah is one of the most talented singers I have ever heard. Her voice is mind blowing.

- LN: Dream Tour: who would you guys open for, or who would open for you?
     Andrew: Dream tour for me would be: Deftones, Circa Survive, From Indian Lakes, Eidola. Hands down.

- LN: Almost done. What have you been listening to lately?
     Andrew: Personally, I've been listening to a lot of Snarky Puppy, but I've always got a slew of artists on repeat. The new From Indian Lakes jams are incredible, Hail The Sun's new album "Wake" is one of the best records I've ever heard, and I'm extremely excited for the new Stolas jams.

- LN: Last one! What’s your favourite metal album of all time?
     Andrew: Favorite metal album?! Too many to choose from! Probably Panopticon by ISIS or Paranoid by Black Sabbath. Both of those albums were what got me into heavy music in the first place and will always remain sacred in my heart.

     As usual, my Jerry Springer-esque Final Thoughts before I wrap this one up:
- I know Eidola isn't a heavy-as-shit metal band, but Hindu deities = heavy-as-shit, metal band name-wise. Just saying.
- I don't know what I was expecting when I asked about Eidola's worst tour story, but somehow I'm not at all surprised to find that it involves the band's van. If I ever win a shitload of money in the lottery or something, I'm going to buy some bands some better vans.
- I'd see that tour, Andrew. Make it happen. ;-)
- Hail the Sun's new album Wake *is* pretty awesome. Methinks those guys have some more Songs of the Day in their future...
- Excellent choice of metal albums. Panopticon's where it's at in terms of Isis, and obviously Paranoid is a piece of heavy metal history.

     And there you have it. Another day, another round of questions. Got a suggestion for who I should grill next? Leave a comment, and then stay tuned!

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