"Say someone was to get both a LEGO™ pirate ship and LEGO™ castle for their birthday,” says frontman Chris Heckman of Colorado-based dance/rock band THE EPILOGUES analogously describing their music. “Typically, most people would build each set according to the schematics and set it on display for a given period of time. What we’d do is build something completely different using the best pieces from both sets.” This idea of selective creation is perfectly evident on their new album CINEMATICS which comes out on November 6, 2012 via Greater Than Collective. “Our sound takes a lot of influence from the music and media around us and because of this, our influences are constantly changing, and our sound continues to evolve.”
Appropriately titled Cinematics, the album is chock full of textured guitars, rhythmically-attuned beats, and lingering vocals that build a neatly constructed structure of layered indie rock whose insidious dance beat sneaks in without warning. “When I’m writing, I record EVERYTHING! Most of the time I end up with a lot of useless gibberish, however, sometimes I’ll come up with a great hook or idea and file it away on my computer,” he explains. “When I began writing Cinematics, I used a lot of synths to write and as a result, most of the hooks sounded like something from a film score. I think the idea for [the title] Cinematics came from that.”
From the distorted guitar hook and the building drum rolls of the intro to “The Shadow King”, the album opens to a pastoral and spacious atmosphere that sets the stage. Surging and haunting, the track is reminiscent of early ‘90s shoegaze without being anchored in time. “Hunting Season”swells with Heckman’s vocals soaring over Jason Hoke’s precise machine-gun drumming, while keyboardist Nate Hammond and bassist Jeff Swodoba keeps things anchored. It’s a sound that has become their trademark.
“This album represents a very trying period in our lives,” Chris explains. After given false hope by a major label who promised the world, their hopes were dashed when the label shuttered before the ink dried on their recording contract. “To be honest, it was hard to stay focused.”But instead of getting discouraged, the band began writing the songs that would become Cinematics and they never looked back. “I am very proud of this album, and while getting here was a bit trying, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Based in Denver, Colorado where they have been voted Best Modern Rock Band each year from 2009 to 2012 by Westword, First Place 2009 for KTCL-FM’s Hometown for the Holidays (past winners include The Fray, Flobots, Meese), The Epilogues are proud of their music-heavy hometown. “While Colorado’s sound is very diverse, we’re all part of the same scene,” he beams. “It’s actually quite unique. I feel very fortunate to be able to be part of a music scene with such a tight community of artists.”
The band has been breaking out into the national scene through supporting Phoenix, The Sounds, AWOLNATION, Portugal The Man, Ra Ra Riot, etc., showcases at CMJ and SXSW and a stint on Warped Tour.
“We’ve been doing this for almost eight years, and we’ve been DIY for all of it,” says Chris about their touring history. “I can remember playing shows where there was literally NO ONE in the audience. And to be able to watch that grow into thousands of people is just absolutely incredible!”
It’s pretty evident that not only have The Epilogues taken all the best LEGO™ pieces, but they’re building something pretty damn impressive with it. With Cinematics ready for unveiling, their latest impressive creation is about to be revealed. But like all great builders, they already have their eyes on the next construction. “I can’t think of a better time in my life,” Chris concludes. “I can’t wait to do it all again.”
The Epilogues are Chris Heckman (vocals/guitar), Nate Hammond (keys), Jason Hoke (drums), and Jeff Swoboda (bass). Portions ofCinematics were recorded at Colorado Sound Studios with JP Manza (TV on the Radio, Mumford & Sons, Tennis) behind the mixing boards, and The Blasting Room Studios with mixing by Jason Livermore (Hot Water Music, Rise Against, Bouncing Souls). It will be released on November 6, 2012 via Greater Than Collective.