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For Fans Of: Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, Mogwai


Broken Cities is a post rock band out of Oakland, California.  They have release their EP “Parable” in March of 2012 and features a full 5 member band consisting of:


Jason Cros – Guitar, Keyboards
Blake Parker – Percussion
Jon Abinante – Bass
Tony Lowe – Guitar, Bass, Noise
Nick Zomkowski – Guitar


Parable is defined as “a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.” The EP emits the most epic cinematic post-rock sounds “with stories of loss, longing, and sacrifice” says the band. Deep piano chords resonate through the darker, grittier moments of the tracks engulfing the emotion of the listener. Each track telling a story with no words, only feeling and sound. This is what post-rock is all about.


Lets get to know a little more about the band:


1. How did all the members of the band meet and start playing music together?


Three of our members met in high school. Blake (drums) and I (Tony, guitar/bass) used to play in a band together previously and we both knew Jon (bass) from all attending the same school in San Francisco. Blake and I had to break up our original band due to moving to different states. Jason (guitar/piano), Nick (guitar, producer/engineer), and I all worked together and started jamming on some evenings and days off. When Blake moved back to the Bay Area, he was immediately inducted into the band. Jon was our first choice for bassists (I do play some bass, but I don’t really play it much like a bass, more like a really deep and heavy guitar). He happened to be available and still had his gear from back when we knew him in high school.
2. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?


Our musical influences are pretty all over the map. Nick and I listen to a lot of Mono, Sigur Ros, and Explosions in the Sky (among many others). Blake and Jon have the widest taste in music by far. Ranging from Metal, hardcore, punk, ska, psychobilly, jam bands, folk, jazz, hip-hop, chiptunes, house, trance, trip-hop, and almost anything you can name. They’re not indiscriminate (as I am sure they’d tell you there are many styles and bands that they prefer over others, but they’re the most well rounded listeners I’ve ever met). Jason shares a lot of the same tastes that Blake, Jon, Nick and I share, but also more pop rock, indie and blues rock fundamentals.
3. What does the name of the band mean to you?
The band name means a few different things for each of us, but I suppose it has to do with the idea of decay. A lot of the music we write centers around expressing an emotion or complex story and these seem to evolve from our sensibilities about society and social structures. The peaks and valleys of our music distill down to the emotion in seeing a city destroyed (be it physically, or functionally). There’s so much hope, work, effort, life that goes into building a city and making it something great that to see it in ruins after all the efforts of man is a truly humbling and vast chasm of emotion. Ask me again in a week and you’ll get a slightly different answer. Ask my band-mates in a month and they’ll have different answers too, but only because it’s a fluid concept for us. The name doesn’t just capture destruction, but also hope. Just because something is broken, doesn’t mean it can’t be rebuilt.
4. What’s your favorite song on the album to play? What’s the meaning behind the song?


From our EP ‘Parable,’ I think by far we enjoy playing “Trail of Tears” the most. It really runs the gamut, allowing us to play slow lilting sections and crushingly heavy sections across just one song. The song is a fictional first person account of a young Indian man experiencing the forced removal of his tribe from his lands, the separation from his wife, her death and ultimately his revenge.
5. What was your first exposure into Post-Rock?
Each of us has a very different introduction to our genre. Nick heard some Tortoise in a skate video and immediately sought more of their stuff out. Jason pretty much only listened to music from the 60s & 70s when he was a kid and the seeds were planted with songs like the Beatle’s “I want you (she’s so heavy)” and Pink Floyd’s “Shine on you crazy diamond” because they sounded so much more epic to him than the other music out there. They had an ability to capture imagination and express uncommon emotions and complex themes. I had a couple good friends that gave me a Sigur Ros album and a Mogwai album within a few days of each other. Those are two very different bands, but very undeniably post-rock. It’s a genre that has almost no definition. Because I was doing a guided meditation to Mogwai’s EP+2, Jon got exposed that way. The song Stanley Kubrick is what clicked for Jon, and that was also probably Jason’s first introduction to recent post-rock as he found the song due to his love of the director. Blake’s first experience with post-rock was going to see Sigur Ros at the Warfield with me and our close friend and former band-mate, Conor, after not sleeping for 36 hours. Only made the experience better.



There’s plenty more in store for Broken Cities, so keep an eye on them!
Thanks guys!!
Their previous album ‘Flux‘  (2010) is available as a free download here



Broken Cities

Broken Cities

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