Debut EP Taijitu Out Now.
In art the strong use of contrasts between light and dark is called chiaroscuro. It is an apt word to describe the music that Oregon electronic/post rock duo Death & Rebirth create. Their tracks are an exploration between the beautiful and the ugly, the gentle and the aggressive, essentially the light and the dark. Songs travel from ebbing waves of ambiance akin to Helios to epic passages of distorted guitars and thunderous drums like Cult of Luna. It is an engrossing and fascinating contrast that reflects the contrasts that are ever present in life.
The duo were recently kind enough to talk to us about the concepts behind the project and their debut EP Taijitu, their songwriting process, and how they plan to translate their vision to a live setting.
Overblown: You have just released your debut EP and it is called Taijitu. This might be more familiar to people as yin and yang. What appealed to you about this symbol and how does it apply to the music on the EP?
D&R: Well we both have very contrasting opinions on life & art at times. While we were working on the EP, we felt like those opposing outlooks were able to fill in the gaps of our music. It goes to show that opposing forces may actually be complementary. So we felt like the yin & yang theme was appropriate.
O: In your publicity pictures you wear masks. Are these extensions of the Taijitu symbol connection? Where did the concept come from? Also, who created the masks?
D&R: Yeah definitely! We wanted the contrast theme to be interconnected within our brand and sound. For example taijitu means yin & yang, our masks are opposite colors/emotions, and even our name has the classic theme of life and death. As for the masks, we found this guy online, anbuconnect, who makes custom anime cosplay masks made out of clay.
O: I’ve seen your music described as electronic. For me it has more of a post rock/metal vibe but with electronic elements. How would you describe it?
D&R: We try to just make what we feel at the time. The whole EP was produced at home on the computer so I guess that’s why we summed it up as electronic. There’s so many subgenres of music now a days we just wanted to simplify the description of our sound the best we could.
O: What influences the music? How does the songwriting process work?
D&R: Some of our favorite bands/musicians are the Receiving End of Sirens, Tides of Man, Seven Lions, and Emancipator. The list could go on for a long time but I would say we are inspired most by the music we actively listen to. Our writing process is quite spontaneous and disorganized. We’ll record random riffs and layers ontop of eachother until something miraculously works out, and then we try to create a structure based upon those ideas.
O: The music is very cinematic and evocative. It strikes me that it is music that would benefit live from some kind of visual accompaniment. Is that something you have considered?
D&R: Yes absolutely! We plan on taking tour plans very seriously soon. To be brief about it, our live show plans include a full on band accompanied by visuals that will aid the music in telling a story.
O: You are working with New Dawn Collective to release the EP. How did you come to work with them and what has that experience been like?
D&R: Our blue masked member of the group is actually one of the founding members of that collective. We decided to release with that platform mostly because it’s our own label built by friends. As far as the experience goes, it’s been great, everyone in the NDC are amazingly ambitious people.
O: What is your goal for Death & Rebirth? What is success?
Answer: Well for logical goals we’d like to generate a steady income off this project so we can spend more time doing what we love… music! But I think our main goal is just to share our art to as many people as possible, and hopefully change some lives. That is success to us.
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