Underground Cities are everything instrumental rock needs. They are imaginative, captivating and are constantly pushing the limits of a musical experience to boldly delve into the realms of sound and emotion. Without vocals to force their audience in any particular direction, the band utilizes the pace and tempo of their songs to guide listeners along. This is coupled with layers of ambient guitar to paint an imaginative and stimulating experience for each individual.
It’s a different way of approaching song-writing. No hooks or choruses are available for crowds to sing along with. Instead, Underground Cities aims to create a deeper connection by sharing a piece of themselves with the listener. They create a relationship that is strong but unspoken. Their artistic epics will take you on your own journey–a path shared only with the band.
Somewhere between Black Canyon City and Prescott is a place called Arcosanti, which served as the inspiration for the band’s upcoming album. We had the chance to sit down with Underground Cities to discuss their music, upcoming album and more.
Enjoy music from Dalliance as you read our Q & A with the band.
Can you tell me about the direction of this new album?
“We introduced a choir on this album, so we experimented around a little with that. There will be very little vocals and we’ve decided to try some new things. We aren’t closed to always being an instrumental band.”
Instrumental music is really open to interpretation. There aren’t vocals to lead you in any particular direction, so it’s really up to the tempo and the instruments. In what way do you guide your audience?
“Exactly, there’s nobody expressing their idea of what the song should be about and that’s how we feel. When we’re composing the songs, we base everything off of feeling. Most of the time we talk about what we picture at parts. Like this song we’re writing right now in the studio; Brian had used the analogy of somebody being chased and then the song changes and suddenly there’s hope. We try to make it very visual. We want it to be like a story.”
What is the writing process like since everything is instrumental?
“All of us lack knowledge of music theory, but our songs still have a structure to them. Everything starts off really simple and we all begin to build on it. All of our songs end pretty epically, but a lot of our songs start in the middle. That’s where the feeling comes from.”
What kind of emotions are you trying to invoke with your songs?
“There’s a song that we’ve written that’s coming up on this new album called Talk Slow Move Slow. When we were writing about it we all just felt like really sexy about it. So we all just built off of that. You just want to grab a lady and kiss her; love her for the rest of your life.”
How do you go about structuring your live set?
“Well when we’re writing, we want the songs to all connect. We like the idea of the album telling a story. The same goes for live sets, even though it may not be the same pattern as on the album. Our live show is like a half hour of music and we do our best to connect old songs from the album with the new songs. We try to talk as little as possible on stage because none of us are really all that good at it. We really are trying to have a feeling for each set and that can change depending on where we’re playing and what the mood is like.”
How do you interact with the audience? That is usually designated to the lead singer, but you guys don’t have one.
“There’s a sense of intimacy with the shows. All of us truly love what we do, so we’re always smiling at each other on stage. I’ve heard that it’s very infectious to everyone watching. So the emotional contact is still there. No one is speaking, but we’re expressing a part of ourselves to them and most people say they still feel close to us when we’re playing.”
What are your plans for after the album release?
“We’re shooting for a release in April. There’s also an EP that we’re writing and we’re going for a really raw sound. It would probably be mostly acoustic and maybe some cellos or violins. Hopefully we’ll have that out sometime this year. We also plan to hit the road a couple months this summer and get all the way out as far as Massachusetts. We’re going to hit 25 states and probably do about two shows per state.”
Tell me a bit about your business plan as a band.
“We’re trying to be really diverse with our merchandise and hopefully most of this tour will be funded through sales of our new CD. We really just want to be self-sustaining and we’re learning a lot right now.”