Easter is the project of a really really nice dude called Kyle from Champaign-Urbana in Illinois. I sort of just stumbled upon his EP Demonstration a couple of months back and have listened to it regularly since. If you’ve never heard Easter go here. I think this is a great interview with a guy who’s definitely got the right attitude to music, so please read:
So, why did you decide to write, record and self release an EP?
I’ve been involved in music for a while, playing in bands with my friends here and there all throughout high school. The EP that I recorded was just a couple of songs I had been working on and thinking about for a while and I wanted to record them and release them. The only possible way to do it was by myself, as I don’t have any money or desire to depend on anyone else.
Do you have particular DIY ethics or was it a needs-must decision?
Certainly part of it was just working with what I had. I recorded the music on a digital 16-track machine that I had had for a few months and released it on CD-Rs which was relatively cheap. I’m also very thankful for how easy and cheap it is in the 21st century to spread music digitally - it opens up a big opportunity for music to be spread really quickly.
That being said, I do have a very strong belief in some sort of “DIY” ethic, and I just believe that the purest way for one to convey one’s work is by doing it (whatever “it” may be) him or her self. Essentially, I think that in all mediums of art, even if you don’t really know what you’re doing or how it should be done, so long as you’re honest with yourself and your audience, there will be some undeniable worth in what you produce.
Where did the name come from?
It was basically a spur-of-the-moment decision, and there’s nothing really significant to be said (for better or for worse). I really like this band called “Thanksgiving” and I think I wanted to imitate that.
What is the most formative memory you have in terms of directing you towards being a musician?
Gosh, I really don’t know. I suppose I started playing guitar and writing songs because I really loved the Beatles when I was about 12 years old, and from there I felt that the only reason to play music was to start bands and create. I’m really not sure why, though. The place that I grew up (a southern suburb of Chicago) we completely devoid of a music scene, so I can’t say that sort of thing was really pushing me. I have no idea! There is no one instance of inspiration that I can recall.
The EP really has got a 90’s indie kind of vibe, what bands would you consider an inspiration for Easter?
That is awesome to hear, because in many ways, that’s exactly what I was going for. At the time I was writing and recording “Demonstration,” I was really heavily influenced by the Microphones (still my favorite), the Beach Boys (albums “Today!” and “Pet Sounds”), Beat Happening (the entire K Records catalogue), and just a slew of 90’s indie pop stuff. Lately I’ve been trying to imitate Dear Nora and the first two or three Dirty Projectors albums.
Where do you draw inspiration from lyrically?
There is this…urban legend in the form of a band called “The Umpteens” who were from Boston in the mid 1990’s. They only have one 6 song release, but it is probably my favorite recording of all time. The songs from that release are my main lyrical influence, and I would go as far to say that if those songs did not exist, my lyrics would be COMPLETELY different. They’re 100% worth looking up, by the way.
What kind of scene is there over in Champaign-Urbana? and Illinois generally?
Champaign-Urbana has a very long history of music that, admittedly, I don’t know very much about. There are quite a few “indie” labels located here like Polyvinyl and Parasol that have been around for a while. There are lots and lots of venues, and we’ve had the Pygmalion Music Festival for the past few years which brings a lot of people and bands together. Aside from the indie scene, there’s also a really friendly punk/DIY scene that I’ve been somewhat in touch with in the past 2 years or so that I’ve lived here. It’s made up of some really cool and dedicated kids and adults.
Outside of C-U, I don’t really know what’s going on in Illinois. I guess I’ve never really payed attention. There are some interesting things going on around the suburb that I’m from originally, some really cool bands (Freudian Slip, the Para-Medics, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Thrash Kitten, Portland).
Demonstration is a great EP, do you have any plans to release anything else soon?
Thank you! I plan to release a tape (it will be free online, too) in the middle of the winter which will have somewhere around 6 new songs. It’s going to have a little booklet with it including the lyrics and information and stuff. Quite a bit after that, I plan to do a 7” and a full length release, although I’m not sure which medium I’ll use to release it. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and put it out on vinyl.