From The Horse's Mouth: Morgan Gies (SIIINES) on Fukushimarama! EP



LA-based electro rockers SIIINES released their new EP Fukushimarama! on February 11.  Formed by Travis Nesbitt and Morgan Gies (both formerly of Social Code) in 2012, SIIINES wanted brings life and excitement back to the ailing sound. Experimenting with electronic production in the context of rock sentiment, SIIINES found a fresh sound by challenging their own preconceptions about the genre, pushing the boundaries in the marriage of electronic dance and rock.  
In 2012, SIIINES released the Disk0sno EP winning them an Edmonton Music Award for ‘Best Electronic Release’ and Fukushimarama! shows the band growing leaps and bounds with a formula that is all their own.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Gies to discuss the EP.  This is what he said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for the EP?  
Writing for Fukushimarama! specifically began six months ago though we’re always tinkering and sketching. We gave ourselves a hard end date which is new for us. It was a relief knowing that in not having all the time in the world, decisions were required.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?
‘Whelps’ was probably the most difficult track to take to completion. I loved the melody, but it repeats itself so often that it got to feeling a little played out as the song progressed. Musically, we were working on two wildly different songs but after smashing them together the stark contrast felt like a breath of fresh air while utilizing a nice sort of musical metaphor to accompany the lyrical idea. I don’t think we’ve ever taken so many different versions of a vocal on a track we just could not find a way to keep the line feeling fresh. Finally, once we got comfortable with the idea of a duet, we laid down Carol-Lynne’s response and the entire idea seemed to work together complement itself.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
‘Kanye West’ was the one song where we planned, produced and recorded the entire song, sent it off to Ari (co-producer/mixer) and he sent back something totally different! It felt like a remix which was jarring at first but that sort of chop and screw ended up feeling more exciting ultimately!
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
On the track ‘Whelps’ we have Carol-Lynne Quinn from a band called Rend doing vocals.
Who engineered, mixed, mastered and/or produced the record?  What input did those people have that changed the face of the record?
Travis and I engineered and produced the record while Ari Rhodes co-produced and mixed/mastered. He’s an electronic wizard, so any input he had was always received with open ears. Many times he would take existing arrangements or parts and alter sections, flip lines, add synths and give the entire production process an additional coat of paint. It’s always interesting to see where his unique perspective will take a track.
Is there an overarching concept behind the record that ties it all together?
Lyrically, we worked from a perspective of fascination for the sort of escapist western culture that’s happening right now… the self-imposed blind-eyes to the world around us.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
‘Breathe’ is the sort of slower or less aggressive track on the release, but live people seem to be connecting to it on a different level. I think it comes down to the emotions at the core of the song.
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