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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NEW YORK BAND OCCURRENCE

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

We all come from musical backgrounds. Ken learned piano and played in bands in high school. His dad played drums. Johnny was raised with music for as long as he can remember. His dad is a jazz trombonist. Cat grew up with this passion to make music that, as a kid, far outweighed her skills at the time. All three of us, I think, knew what good music was but didn’t know how to make it. But we all had this desire from the beginning.

Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.

Ken started the band. He’s a playwright and when his plays were first being produced in New York back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, theaters couldn’t afford a sound designer so he taught himself. Around 2014, he contacted Cat (an old friend from college whom he hadn’t seen in years) and asked her to sing on one track, which turned into a whole album.

Johnny joined the band officially after our first album. We were playing live and needed some extra vocal power which Johnny brings in droves. 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

We’ve made slow and steady progress over the years. We tend to measure success differently in that we would keep doing this if no one else listened—we just really love the act of making music together and the end result that we achieve. (Of course, people listening and enjoying it is also nice.)

We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?

Sounds great to us!

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

No. We believe in facts. 

Let’s share the love, what bands do you love?

We collectively love Radiohead and The Smile, and anything with Thom Yorke. Death Cab for Cutie. The 1975 for their boldness, an eclectic embrace of different styles, and super extra interviews. Johnny can’t get enough Sufjan Stevens. Ken can’t get enough Autechre. Cat is obsessed with Tyler the Creator and Little Simz.

What advice would you give other artists starting out?

Probably a version of the Ira Glass quote about how your taste level won’t match your output for a while, and to be patient with that.



Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Ken bought a lot of gear but we need that for our studio in Washington Heights. It is all necessary.

What was the worst experience on stage?

We played at a bar in Lawrence, Kansas and as luck would have it, we bumped the weekly gay karaoke night. One dude was really pissed about that and played pinball loudly during our set. We all thought he was gonna punch Ken. 

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about. 

Johnny was a bartender at a gay bar in the mid-2000s. Ken has been a vegetarian since he was 16. Cat once auditioned for the Broadway show “Rent” in the 90’s and got a callback but didn’t make the final cut. Sigh.

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it? 

Nostalgic electronic indie pop. Or I guess squeaks and beeps that make you sad.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Our diverse interests really feed our sound, which we think is pretty special. What other bands channel Barbra Streisand and Boards of Canada?

I hear you have some new music, what can you tell us about it?

We have a double album with a whopping 22 songs coming out on April 7, 2023 called Slow Violence

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

We were also really taken with the idea of repurposing, of taking old sounds from previous recordings and finding new ways to use them. Or abandoned songs and taking elements from them and reimagining them from the ground up. Making lemonade from lemons so to speak. 

What was the recording process like?

After a two-year separation, the three of us were finally back together last fall in our studio in NYC. We released an album in August 2021 called I Have So Much Love To Give. And rather than play shows, we decided to throw ourselves into recording new work, and there was such a buildup of excitement about being creative together again that we found ourselves with all of these new songs. It happened really quickly. The recording process is always rather similar in a great way—Ken will write demos and Johnny and Cat will decide which ones they want to write lyrics and melodies for, then we have at it. Because Cat lives in Kansas (a three-hour flight from Ken and Johnny), we set aside about a week to write and record in person. Our marathon work sessions are always punctuated by delicious meals which seems to motivate us to get things done.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

You always want to innovate and push yourself into new territory, but also honor the style you’ve developed. So finding that balance and not overthinking things. 

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

Nope. Onto the next thing. As soon as we mastered the new album, we started writing the next record. We might be workaholics.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

We have lots of interesting collaborations taking shape with this album, including an accompanying book and a performance involving dance. Follow us on Instagram at @occurrencemusic where all will be revealed.

Thanks for doing us today folks, send this back on a word document and ill get it all ready for you.

VISIT THE BAND HERE

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