Here’s our conversation with Devon and Aleksa from Brooklyn duo Exit Music. We were really tempted to ask about a certain television show, but being the consummate pros we are, we stuck to the important issues.
NT: You have been probably asked this a thousand times, how do husband and wife play in
the same band and keep it all together?
EM: We couldn’t have done this project with out the other so every good thing that comes
from it makes you even more thankful for the other’s hard work and commitment. These songs are a bond for us… we have been writing together since we were 22 years old. We have grown into ourselves with the other one present. I wouldn’t do this any other way.It would be so much harder to be in two separate bands and both be on the road touring and rarely get to see each other. I don’t think distance makes the heart grow fonder.
NT: You guys both come from different music backgrounds musically, how does the song
writing process work.
EM: We don’t have one way we do things. Some songs I write before and we then arrange
and produce them together. Sometimes Devon will have amazing beats or loops that we then write a song with, but most of the time we both start with nothing. That’s almost my favorite way to begin a song… with out any ideas… you wind up listening differently to the first sounds you put down… the sounds themselves guide the song writing. That’s the magic really– it’s listening as you write…
NT: I wanted to ask Devon if he had the chance to see Guy Maddin’s ‘My Winnipeg’ and what he thought of it.
EM: Yes, I saw it. It was one of his best films I thought. So subjective that I couldn’t really relate to it as being about my experience of Winnipeg – but it was his Winnipeg, and it was really interesting. The shot of the horses frozen into the river is amazing. He has a knack for iconic imagery. I first saw his work in a film class in 12th grade, a silent movie called Archangel, and it made a real impression on me at the time, but all I remember now is that at one point it was raining live rabbits.
NT: The ‘From Silence’ EP dealt with a issues of loss on a personal and universal issues, are you guys in a different space these days?
EM: There’s no way to know since right now… These themes of life loss death really get
revealed in “Passage”… and I do feel satisfied… like maybe I don’t have to try to make sense out of this anymore, but I won’t really know till I start to write the next album. I take big spans of time off from writing, like a hibernation process, i need to let that part of me disappear until it floods it’s way back and demands something be revealed.
NT: On your the album ‘Passage’ you worked with Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty projectors,
Deerhunter). How did the recording process go.
EM: We didn’t record that much with Nicolas. “Passage” i would say is still 90 percent home recordings, but what we did do with Nicolas was really mix it to perfection. He’s got ears you can trust. He made sure the songs had tonal body and that everything sat right in the mix.Also, he is a great guy to work with.
NT: Is Radiohead still relevant?
EM: I didn’t realize that was up for debate.
NT: Your music has been described as “two sweet kids strolling hand in hand into
EM: yes, I’ve read that too. Pretty accurate, except we’re adults now and a little less sweet.
NT: Can you tell me five albums which really influenced you.
EM: Radiohead – Kid A
The Velvet Underground – the first album
Bob Dylan – Hear the Document (Bootleg – live at Manchester Free Trade Hall – 1965 – or 66,
Sigur Ros – Ágætis byrjun
Leonard Cohen – songs from a room