• Jun : 16 : 2017 - SPOTLIGHT: FAR AWAY STABLES – New Album ‘Between Rage and Serenity’
  • May : 31 : 2017 - Eclipses for Eyes – POLARIS Album Review / Video
  • Feb : 4 : 2017 - STARSET – Live Photo Gallery
  • Aug : 19 : 2016 - SILVERSUN PICKUPS – Live Photo Gallery
  • Aug : 12 : 2016 - Spotlight: COLD SUMMER Release ‘Fight To Survive’ EP (Listen & Watch) [Post-Hardcore, Punk Rock]


In this entry we continue our conversation with Phoenix sextet Eclipses for Eyes. Part one of the interview can be viewed here. We hope you enjoy!

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Eclipses for Eyes is:
 
Lexi Salazar Vocals
Cameron Dartt Guitar
Allen ZettelGuitar
Sam MitchellViolin
Dustin Yoes Drums
Alex CardwellBass



AmpKicker: I’m sure you open yourselves up to comparisons just based on the fact that you have a female lead-singer and the element of a violin incorporated— so I imagine it’s easy for folks to draw parallels. What is the comparison that you feel is the most inaccurate?

 Cameron: Paramore.

 

Lexi: Well, here’s the thing: I don’t like when people com-Paramore me, okay? I mean, she’s a phenomenal vocalist, she definitely has her shit together…

 

Sam: I like Paramore, by the way.

 

Allen: It’s just a different style, though.

 

Lexi: Yeah, it’s just a completely different style of music.

 

Alex: I like Paramore too— for the record.

 

I’ll cite you. I’m definitely a fan as well. They’re excellent.
 

Sam: Well, Lexi sings in the same range…

 

Lexi: I sing in the same range, but the things we write about and the things that we stand for are all very different. She writes a lot about boys, the same thing as a lot of artists, but I try and gear my writing more towards following your dreams and actually worrying about things that matter like your work and your self-worth.
 

I’ll edge a toe out onto the plank here and admit I’m a big Flyleaf fan— and that’s really the first parallel I drew when I heard your music. Flyleaf, in point of fact, is what induced me to get involved as a pseudo-journalist rather than just being a musician who spoke to other musicians – and I think they illustrate your point that content is tricky.


One of the catalysts for Scott creating this site was that we were the guys chasing the opening acts… we wouldn’t care about the headliners, we were always chasing the small, unknown supporting bands. One of our first major interactions after a show was with Flyleaf when they toured with Cold and Smile Empty Soul here at Martini Ranch.
 
I found it funny that when Flyleaf broke big many listeners slandered them saying, “They’re Jesus freaks…” I always felt that the content of the music is simply one aspect, and the sound of a group is an entirely separate spectrum. However, if one turns you off, many listeners castigate the rest of the music based on that. Even someone simply saying the word, “Jesus,” in a song…

 

Lexi: That’s really what separates our music from other genres is that lyrically I don’t tend to write literally about boys a lot, I tend to talk about things metaphorically. I write about something and dress it up as something else. However, we don’t talk about religion because all of us believe something different, and I personally think we can reach a lot more people by not addressing it because, as you said, a lot of people write it off if they hear something they don’t like so it’s much easier to spread universal things like doing what you want to do with your life rather than saying, “You need to be this or else.”

 

 

Back to our comparisons— are we saying just Paramore is the comparison?

 

Sam: Or Yellowcard. If you mention to anybody that you play violin in a rock band they instantly say, “Like Yellowcard?” or they give you Charlie Daniels references. And it’s the same thing, I am into Yellowcard, I’d go see Yellowcard in high school… but I don’t play the same style as Yellowcard does.”

 

And it’s only one aspect of the sound—

 

Allen: It’s probably why you liked them was because they had a violin in the band.

 

Sam: Yeah, it is why I liked them because it was the first band I ever saw playing the instrument that I was playing at school… but I’d had the idea before Yellowcard had come out that, “Yeah, I’m going to join a rock-band and add a violin to it,” and then they came out and I was like, “They beat me to it!” because I’m 14 and I can’t do it yet.

 
 

 

Dustin, did you feel the same way when Romeo Void first came out with the saxophone? The first time you saw, “Never Say Never,” as a video did you think, “Damnit, my saxophone gig is up…”

 

Dustin: No, because I used the drumset as the rock/pop outlet, and the saxophone was its own thing…

 

Did you start with the drums, or did you start with the saxophone?

 

Dustin: I started with the saxophone. Actually, one of the first bands I played in in high-school the guitarist and I wrote a song where I would play the sax during the intro and then move over to the drumset— which was kinda cool, but it was a really cheesy song…

 

And you had to scramble over to the kit, I imagine.

 

Dustin: Yeah, I did… but I separate the two— and honestly, in a negative way, but it’s just that I don’t – a lot of the rock-sax or pop-sax I hate. I just can’t stand it. I’d rather play more in the classical realm or jazz. I’ve been playing strictly jazz since I graduated.
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There are very few bands that use horns tastefully— I can understand why you feel that way. Most bands with wind instruments are so ska that it makes you want to hurt somebody…

 

Allen: I actually played sax in my first band too—

 

Sam: So, a lot of us are band and orchestra geeks.

 

So, who do you think would be the most apt comparison for your band stylistically?

 

Allen: Foo?

 

Cameron: I’d say the Foo Fighters.

 

Allen: We are leaning towards trying to keep things simple and heavy.

 

Cameron: Simple and stylized with layers, but the kind of rock and roll that everyone can listen to and people can attach themselves to rather than saying, “This is Edge-Core or this is Light Rock…”

 

Sam: We also have some complicated material… a band I really like and try to sound like is The Dear Hunter, just trying to add in vocal harmonies and different parts that elevate the music to another level…”

 

You just made my brain spasm, by the way. I love Dear Hunter…

 

Lexi: I don’t know about finding a few bands to relate us to because most of us listen to various genres of music. The majority of my influences come from super-indie bands like Lydia and Copeland, but I also listen to heavier bands. I’m a huge Day to Remember fan, and I’m greatly influenced by their music and August Burns Red. So we’re a weird clash of all these bands.

 

Sam: We’re influenced by a lot, but it’s hard to say we sound like something.

 

All bands are essentially an amalgam of their influences— so it stands to reason that it’s a melting pot of sounds. You are going to be a different animal, but most folks will try and quantify who you are by who you relate yourselves to…

 

Lexi: Our soul animal is Dave Grohl.

 

That works— he is a multi-faceted multi-instrumentalist. That’s a great foundation for a group mentality.

 

 

Far and away, my favorite track on the EP is, “Across the Dreamscape.” The metaphysical and self-analytical lyrical content is intense and verbose- yet the hooks are still melodic and catchy. What can you tell me about writing that track?

 

Lexi: I refuse to write if I’m not really inspired by something. I wrote this out, and even though it sounds like I’m trying to punch someone in the face, it’s more like, “I’m really disappointed in you.” I want it to sound pretty… and it’s like when your parents say, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” It hurts more because it’s not so punchy and in your face— I feel like someone who is on the other end and has let someone down that badly… you just feel bad.

 

It’s a study in contrast. Was it difficult to manage getting some of those phrases out?

 

Lexi: I’ll rewrite— I tend to write out all that I need to get out of my system when I’m upset, and then I go back and edit it when I calm down. I’ll then re-edit it a million times, and once Cameron and I get together I’ll work it down even further— and it’s easier to pull it together when we’re sitting down, and making small changes of words.

 

 
 

So tell me, Cameron, what lead you to those string-snapping tunings you utilize?

 

Cameron: I played in a lot of punk-rock bands, and it got me doing power chords over and over again. I was also writing mostly by myself, so it was hard to think about every instrument doing something that would keep my attention. So, I had to add in a couple extra octaves, or an extra 5th or 8th into my chords— I found a lot of John Mayer’s tunings he tunes up to an E chord, but that was just too high for anyone to sing in, so I ended up going down to a weird version of DADGAD where I tune my G differently, which is what City and Colour does a lot— and Jimmy Page on, “Kashmir,” used it too.

 

I thought about it after we’d written a bunch of songs in that tuning, and thought if anyone’s trying to figure out what I’m doing they won’t really get it… which is cool in that aspect, but I’ll probably have to get another guitar or keep mine in another tuning pretty soon.

 

Sam: Also, it worked out really well because all the keys he plays in are automatically awesome for the violin. I don’t know why, but he tends to write songs in keys that are friendly to me and her voice as well.

 

It’s definitely serendipitous.
 
 

Cameron: I’d say the one person who doesn’t enjoy the tuning is Allen, because he doesn’t play in that tuning.

 

Allen: I bought another guitar recently, and I was going to drop the tuning on one of the guitars to his tuning because I started picking up his guitar to write songs for the new album and everything I wrote was pretty fun.

 

Do you play in standard then?

 

Allen: I do, or drop D.

 

Would you consider yourself a technician or a tactician? (By that I mean a technician is someone who molds the guitar to suit his needs or expectation <examples: Tony Iommi, Steve Vai or Keith Richards>, a tactician is one who augments around the guitar <examples: Tom Morello, The Edge or Hendrix>)

 

Cameron: We are “tacticians,” mostly, because when Lexi describes her moods that she wants to use I’ll think of a movie that does the same thing— I try and play that motif with the same chords I usually do. I love “montage,” sounding songs— musically. I try and make things sound like I can hear action happening over them…

 

Somewhere Claudio Sanchez is triumphantly raising his hand with you.

 

Allen: I would say I change… I mean, I can sit and play the same thing he’s playing and think, “I don’t like the way these mash together,” or on some of our cover songs we’re playing two different chords and they sound good together.

 

Cameron: I think he does a bit of both because we’re in different tunings, sometimes he has to de-tune certain things.

 

Allen: Right, because sometimes I have to decide if I want it in drop-d in certain songs. I know the scales pretty well, though, so I’m pretty much set.  (laughs)
Eclipses

What can we expect from you in 2013? What are your aspirations?

 

Sam: Well, the world’s ending, so nothing.

 

(laughter abounds)

 

Lexi: I plan on taking a katana and living in a tree…

 

I guess that concludes the interview then…

 

Lexi: Seriously, though, we’re releasing our EP in January, so that’s the kick-off to the year. Then we’re just going to write a lot— record some demos, experiment with a lot of things and get our sound together…

 

Sam: And we’re essentially getting ourselves together for a full-length.

 

Lexi: Right, recording a full-length and hopefully have that out by recording in May or June.

 

Dustin: I think we’re also planning on getting out of Phoenix.

 

Lexi: Yeah, definitely playing some shows.

 

Dustin: Playing in Flag, Tucson, somewhere in California…

 

Allen: L.A. would be nice…

 

Dustin: Alex has some connections in Utah, maybe Colorado…

 

Allen: Michigan— if we go to Michigan we’d be booked.

 

Lexi: I used to live in Florida, so if we booked any shows in Florida they’d be packed.

 

I’m just alarmed that we mentioned three states with renegade militias…

 

Dustin: I mean, we’re becoming very decisive and picky about local shows to play— I think the whole pre-sale thing gets a little old… especially when you get calls like, “Hey, you guys wanna play with these same three bands you played with a month ago at the same venue and you have to sell 50 tickets all over again…

 

For a show on a Tuesday— at 11 P.M.

 

Dustin: Yeah, we’re being pretty tactical, selective… every show we play there’s a purpose, and it’s not necessarily money— but who can we reach, who will be there, what other bands can we network with, what other people can we meet…

 

Alex: I think the one thing I took away that we did the best at our house show was just learning the new song— I mean we played a new song that we haven’t all played together before and we just said, “Well, let just see if we can do it,” because the show wasn’t a huge deal…

 

So you just allowed yourselves to congeal onstage—

 

Lexi: We treated it like a practice, and it went well.

 

Sam: Everything we’re choosing to do, we make sure we have a goal for that event, and a reason for doing it and we’re using our time wisely. We decide where we want to put our effort this month so that we aren’t just hurling crap all over town…

 

 

That concludes part TWO of our three part discussion with the band. In case you MISSED part one of the interview, it can be viewed here. Also, the thrilling conclusion of the interview can be viewed HERE! Read on, friends and kickers! It’s sure to blow your minds!
 
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