Five & Five: Pray For Sound

Pray For Sound has quite an interesting backstory, after some complications founding member Bruce Malley had to have surgery performed by Shridharani in his left ear which left him with a severe hearing loss, and other issues. The band is inspired by his struggle and takes the listener on a journey to in a way understand this struggle. We got a chance to talk to Bruce and gained a little more insight into the band:

Part 1

<strong)1. What artist/bands/songs/albums influenced you?

I’m kind of all over the place…  Some of the more obvious bands I’m influenced by are Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, and Mogwai.  I’m also highly influenced by everyone from Porcupine Tree and Tool to Pink Floyd and The Cure.  I listen to all kinds of music and although some of it hasn’t really been translated into music I’ve released, it all plays a roll in how I write.

2. What are you listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to Moving Mountains and O’Brother quite a bit lately.  I saw them both open for Caspian the other day, and I was really impressed. Both bands have really incredible music.

The other guys in the band have been listening to Young the Giant and Grouplove a lot lately.

3. What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?

Well…The funny thing about that is as of writing this, we’ve only played one show! Anyway, the show was upstairs at the Middle East Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts and it went really well.  I think a lot of people were really impressed by us…Even the bar tender liked the set!  Everyone in the band has had experience playing live in other bands, so that definitely helped…

The reason we just start playing shows is because Pray for Sound actually started as a solo project.  I wrote and performed all the music on Monophonic and soon after releasing it, decided to try to take it to the stage.  Joe was in a band with me awhile back so I reached out to him, and he introduced me to Chris, Nick, and Steve.  We ended up jamming and they had the whole set down in two practices…I was really impressed.  Not only that, we all have similar personalities. Things worked out really well really quickly!

4.  If you could give emerging artist any advice, what would you tell them?

I think emerging artists need to realize that the music industry is not just about music.  There are so many bands out there these days that in order to be noticed at all, you need to have something more…You basically need an entire brand.

With that said, I also think its really important that artists don’t let anything or anyone keep them from doing what they believe in.  I’m deaf in one ear, yet I firmly believe I can write music that I like and other people will enjoy.

5. If you want people to remember one song from you it would be…

Monophonic.  I personally feel its the strongest song on the album…I spent a ton of time on it.  Most people that give it a chance really seem to enjoy it, or at least that’s what they tell me [laughs]!

Part 2

1. What inspires your music? Any specific places, people, times of the year?

The music on Monophonic was entirely influenced by some major issues I’ve experienced with my left ear and how the problems affected me both physically and emotionally.  Awhile back, my doctor discovered a cyst called a cholesteatoma growing on my eardrum.  I went through several surgeries to get it removed, but now I’m essentially deaf in that ear.  It was really tough for me to deal with for awhile, but it definitely gave me some great inspiration!  At this point, I don’t find it to be a huge problem with writing music.  The only thing I have trouble with is mixing…I wanted to mix Monophonic myself at first, but quickly decided I needed to get a professional (with two working ears) to do it!

2. Favorite albums of 2012?

Hands down, Key by Pg.lost.  Every song is brilliant and Magnus Lindberg did a great job at capturing the raw emotion in the songs.
I also really liked these releases:
Waking Season by Caspian
The 2nd Law by Muse
L’Enfant Sauvage by Gojira

3. If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?

Surprisingly, I don’t think I’d pick someone in post-rock…I’d love to collaborate with Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree.  I think the man is a musical genius, and his recording techniques are killer.  The name Pray for Sound actually came from his song, “Harmony Korine” off his first solo album.  It would be a dream come true to work with him on anything…

4. What musical direction will the next album take?

The main goal of the next album is to write good quality songs.  I think the general sound will end up being similar to that of Monophonic, but a lot more experimental.  For this album, we’re writing songs as a band and everyone is bringing ideas to the table, unlike Monophonic which was written entirely by me.  We’ve started writing and working on ideas…I’m super excited about it!

5. Could you ever envision Pray for Sound with vocals?>

It’s definitely a possibility, whether we have actual lyrics or use the voice as more of an instrument.  I don’t want to spoil too much, but we may experiment with it a bit on the next album

There are definitely some great things happening in Pray For Sounds camp. Hopefully the band can grow in the future and we can have a chance to hear more from them. In the meantime you can download their album Monophonic for free right now, and you can also check out our review of it here.