Lymbyc Systym

Lymbyc Systym - November 2012

Lymbyc Systym Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: October 4, 2012
Posting Date: November 5, 2012
Artist Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Links:, Facebook, Tumblr, Western Vinyl
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Falling Together
ONE: A few weeks ago, you released your new album, Symbolyst. What are you most excited about with the new record?
Michael Bell: We worked on it a really long time, so…having it be released?
DJ: Your last record came out in 2009, right?
Jared Bell: Yeah. Pretty much all three years were spent working on it, so…it’s exciting. I think we just tried to change the sound a little bit, make it a little more upbeat, a little bit poppier, but still maintaining the characteristics of our sound. So, I think we’re just kind of…you know, whenever you’re trying something a little bit new, it’s kind of exciting to just get it out. Whether people hate it or not, just get it out there, you know?
Michael: We also were playing the songs from Symbolyst since the summer of 2011, playing them live, so, I guess it’s cool that this is the first tour where people could actually know them beforehand or something, you know? So, I don’t know. That’s kind of nice.
DJ: What about it took so long to make?
Michael: It just always takes us a long time to make albums.
Jared: Yeah, we’ve just been busy. Yeah, really…we don’t have any particular method we ever use for making an album, or an exact timeframe, so…they just sort of happen organically. This one just took a little longer.
DJ: I know that you were living in different cities during that time. Did you continue working on the album despite the distance?
Michael: Yeah.
Jared: Yeah. For about half of the making of the album, we were both in New York, but otherwise, we were apart. But even when we were in New York, we almost still write separately, so, since we’re just brothers and two people, it almost doesn’t make— obviously, it’s a little easier when we’re in the same room, but it doesn’t make that much difference, I think, to us. We’re so used to writing separately, and we just trust what each other is going to do, so…I guess in a way, we do. That’s maybe…if there’s any system we have, it’s that. Just trust, and almost in a separate, sort of separating the two sides. Basically, we write everything separately, and then when it’s time to record the final stuff, we like to be in the same room.
DJ: What do you want people to get out of the album?
Michael: I don’t know…Just their own interpretation, really. Like, there’s no vocals, obviously, and like…I mean, to me, the album has a pretty upbeat feel to it, so I hear a joyous kind of thing in it, but I could see how somebody else could listen to it and get more of a melancholy thing out of it. I don’t know, it’s just kind of a mood, you know, that’s totally open to interpretation.
DJ: Do you ever try to shape your music to evoke a certain feeling?
Jared: I don’t know if you can ever fully shape it. If you try to shape it too much, I guess there’s a risk in that. You try to shape it too much, and people can’t relate, and then I guess it’s just unsuccessful. Whereas, maybe we have too much ambiguity in our tracks. I guess we don’t necessarily approach it from that perspective. We just more approach it…We just take something personal, probably in the same way most singers or singer-songwriters would approach it. We just take something personal or in our lives, and we write melodies and things that make sense to us, but in just the nature of our music, it’s not so indicative of one type of style, or even within instrumental music, I think it’s not really like…you know, if I think something’s super heavy, it might be a little darker, or something’s super poppy, it might just have the inclination to be a little too peppy, or something. I feel like we try to live a little bit in each world, so that that final outcome, that for us might have a specific meaning, it ideally shouldn’t be that specific for the listener.
TWO: What’s going through your mind when you’re performing?
Michael: Well, you know, fortunately these days, we’ve played music together so much, we’ve played these songs together so much, that, for me, it’s like…it’s like a sweet meditation, kind of, where I’m like…there’s an element of knowing the songs that’s on autopilot. Not in a bad way, just in a super ingrained way, so more and more I think I’m able to, I don’t know, from my perspective or whatever, focus on a little more subtlety in the music and actually really enjoy it, almost as though I’m listening to myself play. Not like in an ego way, like, ‘Oh, wow!’ or something, but just actually enjoying it from an outer-body perspective or something, based on that it’s so comfortable and second nature to play the songs. Especially tonight, man. Tonight…Our show tonight in Denton, it was like a money feeling. Everything was locked in, and it was that perfect balance of playing the songs second nature, but being really aware of every aspect of what I was playing and he was playing, while not intentionally thinking about anything we were playing. It’s hard to describe, but, I guess being ‘in the zone’ is the most cliché, but vague and…I don’t know, way to say it.
Jared: Yeah, for me…I’m just not a very good musician, I feel like, so…I always kind of have to pay attention to make sure I’m just playing it right. So, for me, I’m just trying to maintain, which is fun for me. It makes it. I think if I were better, I think I could be more autopilot, which would be nice, but I have to just pay attention more. But, I think for me, the largest factor is just the crowd, when I just sort of feel that there’s a reciprocative feel, it’s much easier to play. When I’m not getting that, I still try to give it everything, but I definitely retreat into my own shell. So, I think tonight was an instance of the crowd being more relaxed and into the music, so, it was easier tonight.
THREE: What will the next year look like for Lymbyc Systym?
Michael: You know, do some more touring in support of our album, and then sometime next year or maybe even this year, start working on some new recorded stuff.
Jared: We’ve just been taking it easy lately. Well, not taking it easy, but just…I think, with music in our lives now, we just want to enjoy everything we’re doing, so we just try to think of it less like a job, lately, and more just like, ‘Let’s just do shows with good bands, or when it’s fun, or when we’re enjoying it.’ I mean, we want to promote the album and we’re really excited about it. We kind of just want to take the right opportunities when they come, so I don’t know if we have anything specific…I know we’re going to do some shows in Asia and Europe for the album, but…
Michael: I think, in general, at this point we’ve completely, utterly accepted what our band is, in all respects. Like, to say ‘for better or for worse’ isn’t really a good way to say it, because it’s all for the better, but I think since these days we’re really just comfortable with what our band is, it makes touring more fun. There’s very little pressure to…I don’t know. It just kind of is what it is, and it’s really fun to do things when we can, and I think we’ll always just keep making music, because at the end of the day, it’s just fun to make music, make records, get to tour sometimes, especially at a casual pace, you know? Without any sort of goal of, like, ‘This could go here! This could go there!’ Really, these days I think we just make music because it’s fun, and…you know, with the idea of completing something, completing an album, doing a tour, finishing the tour, but, it’s really just…I don’t know, more and more, especially with this tour, it’s just really fun to play music when everything’s cool. We get along really well these days.
– Interview and transcription by Dale Jones