The Surrender of Stop Motion Radio
Photo Credit: Melissa Pedersen
Who can save us now? Is this how it ends? These are some questions asked by the band Stop Motion Radio in the song “This is Our Surrender” from their debut album by the same name.
Stop Motion Radio began as a creative outlet for producer Andy Walker, but when he released his EP “Songs About Love, Death, and the End of the World” in early 2012 he started writing with guitarist Tim Pedersen. Later, Courney Dixon (bassist) and Travis Clem (drummer) joined the band.
Their debut album was released on March 25th, after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
In a conversation with The Outsider Argentina, Andy Walker spoke about the beginning of Stop Motion Radio, the process of creating the album and the experience of being a Nashville band.
How did the band start?
I’ve been producing and writing with other artists for years and originally the band started as a solo outlet for my own songs that I had been writing, but after I released my first EP, I wanted to start playing shows so I got together with the guys in the band now. When Tim, Courtney, and Travis joined the band, the sound evolved very quickly and they really helped take the band to the next level of creativity.
What’s the origin of the band’s name?
I was just randomly stringing words together in my head to think of a band name and that name came together and seemed to fit the sound the best. I wish there was a better story to it.
How can you define your music?
Our music is when a rock band writes a synth pop record. Since we draw from such a wide range of influences, our songs can go from a big poppy chorus, to a breakdown with a guitar solo into a giant 80s synth pad.
Do you have any influences?
We love all kinds of music but our biggest musical influences on Stop Motion Radio are U2, Anberlin, Imagine Dragons, Muse, M83, and VNV Nation.
Is there anything that inspires you to write your music?
I am heavily influenced by scifi and post-apocalyptic novels, particularly The Martian Chronicles, The Road, and the Forge of God. I am a huge sci-fi geek so various shows, movies, and video games inspired as well, such as Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and Walking Dead. As a consumer and a creator, anything we spend any time with influences us in some ways, and I try to let every experience inspire me. I am fascinated with space and the idea of the end of the world and what comes after to everyone that is left, so those thoughts influenced several songs. My Christian faith and daily struggles with life, love, loneliness, and doubt also influenced the writing as well so a lot of that intertwined together in interesting ways.
What can you tell us about your debut album “This is Our Surrender”?
It is an album with a lot of variety, lyrically and musically. I don’t think people will get bored listening to it. We will go from a huge rock song to a piano ballad to a pop song about the end of the world. We tried to write and produce each song in a very unique way so that each track stands out.
How was the process of creating the album?
After a successful Kickstarter, we started back in August tracking drums & piano at a great studio (http://fortyonefifteen.com/) here in Nashville. We recorded everything else at my home studio. Since we had already written the songs and parts prior to going into the studio, it was a pretty smooth process, though time consuming. When 3 out of the 4 band members have a wife and kids, it does always make things take a little longer. I played most of the keyboards on the album and most of the synthesizers were software synthesizers, which are a lot of fun because you can have unprecedented control over so many aspects of the sounds that you would only get out of huge rack analog synthesizers. We are really happy with how the finished product turned out though and everyone brought their best playing to the table when it was time to record.
What do you expect from this album?
We are really hoping we can get it to a lot of people. We are really excited about it and we feel like a lot of people will love it once they hear it. We are hoping to tour more this year and get to some new cities outside of the southeast.
Are you going to perform a show to present your album? When and where?
We don’t have a show scheduled yet but we will announce one in Nashville as soon as we finalize the details.
What do you enjoy most about being on stage?
Playing shows are just fun! I love just rocking out on stage to our heavier and faster songs and I love seeing people sing along to our songs because then I know they are really connecting with them.
How is it like playing music in Nashville, the home of music?
It’s actually not the best city for playing shows. For recording, it’s fantastic because there are a ton of great studios and musicians. But we played a show in Atlanta last year and there was this energy there that wasn’t in Nashville. I’ve been to a lot of other shows in Nashville, and people love crossing their arms and starting at the stage. I think because there is so much good music in Nashville, people become jaded towards local bands.
The iTunes link to the album: https://itunes.apple.com/album/this-is-our-surrender/id828614959