Photo Credit: Tom Farr
Well, Silas Durocher of The Get Right Band has convinced me that before I move back west, I must head down to Asheville, NC for the food. That’s because when it comes to the new album, ‘iTopia,’ it compares to one specific eatery their frontman thought long and hard about. To find out where and why, continue reading on. You’ll also uncover thoughts – good and bad – on social media, tour plans, and more about the new album that drops on April 7th.
Kendra: So you’re out in Asheville, NC – a place I’ve yet to visit that’s on my list. Is that where y’all are originally from or did you feel the creative spirit there was reason enough to move there?
Silas Durocher: None of us are from Asheville originally, but we all love calling it home. The music scene and creative spirit of the city were a big pull for all of us. Also the natural beauty. We all love hiking, exploring waterfalls, and taking boats out on the lakes. Asheville is the perfect place for that.
Kendra: I know your April 7th release, ‘iTopia,’ dives a lot into various aspects of social media – which we’ll get to – but I wanted to know if you had to compare the overall vibe of ‘iTopia’ to a local eatery in Asheville, what place would that be and why?
Silas Durocher: Ok, I’ve been thinking about this question for days. As a lot of people know, Asheville is an incredible restaurant town; it’s amazing for the taste buds, and trouble for the bank account. I’m going to compare the vibe of ‘iTopia’ to one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville, Nine Mile.
They fuse several different cuisines into something totally unique, and despite some of the cuisines seeming kind of disparate, it all blends together cohesively. My hope is that we do a similar thing with genres, blending psychedelia, indie rock, synth-pop, funk, punk, and a few other things into a sound that can only be described as “The Get Right Band.”
One place Nine Mile really shines is its sauces. Nobody makes better sauces, and every dish is drenched in them. To stretch this metaphor as far as it can possibly go, I’m comparing the finishing touches of a sauce to the finishing touches of production, ear candy, and soundscapes. We worked so hard to make iTopia sound incredible.. inviting, dreamy, and fresh.
Kendra: Now way back when in 2009 I did my senior thesis on social media, so you can imagine how dated that paper would be today as we’ve gotten so many more platforms since. I mainly focused on MySpace and YouTube (which was still very young at the time). For this record, was there any one platform that stood out to you as being the most impactful; for better or worse?
Silas Durocher: I don’t use TikTok myself, but I know that’s obviously incredibly big with the younger generation. For me personally, YouTube and Instagram probably have the biggest impact on my life, and I think that’s true for a lot of people. I don’t know about “better or worse.” I think it’s all about how you use them and how much you’re using an app with intentionality versus letting the app’s algorithm lead you around.
YouTube is so amazing for learning how to do literally anything and for endless entertainment, but it’s also one of the most dangerous algorithms for radicalizing people. The algorithm gradually recommends more and more extreme perspectives to viewers to keep them hooked and it’s had some disastrous results.
Kendra: You also mention the “anti-social” side of social media which I had never thought of but it’s true. We get sort of too sucked up in the constant scroll that we start to lose how to interact once we look up. How do you think the world would react if we woke up tomorrow and suddenly the internet was gone?
Silas Durocher: You use the phrase “look up” and I wrote a poem called “Look Up” that we decided not to put on the regular album, but it’s on the double vinyl release we’re putting out. It gets into some of the issues you’re talking about.
If the internet just disappeared, I think we’d all be really lost and confused. We wouldn’t know how to do a lot of basic things like get places, find out when things are happening, and keep in touch with friends. And most of us would, to varying degrees, be like junkies without our fix. Over time, I think we would find a lot of healthier places to put our energy…time with friends (in person), connecting with nature, reading books, playing games, being alone with your thoughts (that’s something a lot of people don’t do anymore).
But I don’t believe — and our album doesn’t suggest — that the internet is all bad, by any means. It’s done truly incredible things for us. As we say on the record, it’s a miracle and a mess. We have to work individually and collectively on our relationship with it to try to mitigate the dangerous parts.
Kendra: On the flip side though, in “Hell Yes Refresh” there’s a line about “finding my tribe.” This is something I think is good about the internet and social media, especially in the past few years when we were in the thick of yet another historical moment. People really found solace in online communities and whatnot. Do you think that’s one of the few silver linings about being connected on this grand scale?
Silas Durocher: Absolutely. There are a lot of silver linings. One of the big ones that always comes to mind for me is social movements. There’s no question that progressive social movements have blossomed over the last decade because of our ability to communicate on a grand scale. And it’s wonderful that people can find love, friendship, people to play games with, etc. through the internet. I love seeing other parts of the world that I might not get a chance to travel to. And videos of unlikely animal friendships! Who doesn’t love those?
Kendra: Time for a side note – So Easter is my favorite holiday. Don’t ask me what the holiday is actually about because it’s only my favorite. After all, I love Spring and the candy is top-notch. With that, if you were to receive an Easter basket, what sweet treat and album on vinyl would you hope was in said basket?
Silas Durocher: What a great question, and happy Easter to you. My favorite thing about the Easter season is Cadbury mini eggs. So my Easter basket definitely needs to come with piles of those. And I’d love to pair those mini eggs with a vinyl copy of the album ‘Zaba’ by Glass Animals. That record has a groovy, psychedelic jungle vibe that feels like a good companion with all the plant life blooming this time of year.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘iTopia’ out April 7th, what else can people expect as we continue on into Spring and soon into Summer?
Silas Durocher: On April 7th, we’re playing an album release show in our hometown of Asheville, and then we hit the road through the spring and summer for the ‘iTopia’ Album Release Tour. We’ve been working on these songs for so long. It’s so exciting to be putting the album out into the world, but we’re also really looking forward to playing these songs live. It’s been fun and challenging and creatively engaging to translate these lush, psychedelic, layered tunes into something we can pull off live. I think people are going to really dig the experience of the live shows this Spring and Summer.