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Eight Bells (band)
It’s been a little more than a month since The Captain’s Daughter was released through Seventh Rule Records. I was given the chance to shoot some questions over to the group’s founding member, Melynda Jackson, to dig a little deeper into the band and the album. Here is what she had to say…


Thanks for taking the time to anwwer some questions. How’s everything going on your end?

Melynda:
Doing well.

Good to hear. When it comes to the music Eight Bells plays, how would you describe it to someone new to your material? Genre tags entirely optional.

Melynda:
We work very naturally. Usually there is a big picture type feeling/s that we try to capture with sound- and I would say that is somewhat premeditated, but the music also seems to grow on it’s own. We do what the song wants.

How did it come to be that you wound up wanting to write this sort of experimental and atmospheric music? Was there some kind of interest or event in your life that helped make the determination? Please explain if possible.

Melynda:
I can’t speak for the others, although I find great understanding and empathy within the group. I would say the music comes from a culmination of experiences . I think a lot about the concept of desolate landscapes, beauty and aggression. It really is an emotional world that I live in. The music is simply a transmission or communication fo wordless energy I suppose.

Eight Bells basically came from the ashes of SubArachnoid Space. Why exactly did that band break up and Eight Bells emerge?

Melynda:
I had been working on SubArachnoid Space for over 10 years. I felt limited by it’s legacy, and was interested in the concept of the three piece. I had played with Chris on drums for years, and it just wasn’t the same without him. When he turned up again, we were both ready to do something different without forgetting some of the tradition of SubArachnoid Space.

Eight Bells also relocated to Portland, Oregon according to the press release. Why the change in location?

Melynda:
Well Eight Bells actually came about in Portland. SubArachnoid Space moved fromSF to Portland. SAS was active for 3 years or so in Portland…Until we called it quits and created Eight Bells.

Your debut album is called The Captain’s Daughter. Does this have any specific meaning for you, the band, the music being played, etc.?

Melynda:
I am a bit obsessed with the ocean and it’s power, its diffuse sense of loneliness, beauty and perfection. I toy with the idea of human’s trying to control what can’t be controlled. I like it’s magnitude and vastness. I feel that it is feminine and masculine at once. I think also that the name signifies feeling bound to an authority – the see being the daughter. By chance I also found that it is another name for the cat o’ nine tails-.

The Captain’s Daughter starts out a bit upbeat, but then eventually becomes grim and isolated. Is there some kind of concet at work to the album, or is this just the natural progression from how you wrote the songs?

Melynda:
If you think of early ocean goin explorers, the journey that might start with excitement can end in struggle often comes to a grim ending. I think of a person looking for something new and greed leading them only to themselves- the prize is the self that they abandoned.

You worked with Billy Anderson on the production end of The Captain’s Daughter. What was it like working with him?

Melynda:
Billy is inspiring and fun- and honest. He is very accepting of ‘weird’. I love the man.

Billy has worked with plenty of atmospheric groups in the past, did that legacy lead to him suggesting new ideas to the music to help better the songs or the overall sound of The Captain’s Daughter?

Melynda:
Billy made many great suggestions for doubling parts – in general he did not re write our songs, but helped to fill them out and translate them to the recording. This type of music is always difficult to capture because it really is a live project- volume, and energy can get lost on recordings- I feel like Billy was the perfect translator- I look forward to working with him again, possibly with more production time.

Was thete anyone else involved with the technical aspects of the album, such as mastering or any post-production work? If so, who, and why did you choose to work with this person in that respect?

Melynda:
We chose Justin Weiss for the mastering, as he was suggested by a Aesop Dekker (Agalloch,Worm Ouroboros, Vhol, Ludicra) all bands with great sounding records, and who I trust. Billy did all the rest from track to mix.

What’s next for Eight Bells? Will the band be going out on tour soon? If so, with who?

Melynda:
We will be doing a west coast tour in April with our friends SubRosa as far north as Vancouver BC, and Southward to the Bay Area. Tour dates to be announced in the next week or so.

Thank you for your time, and I hope all goes well for you and The Captain’s Daughter!

Melynda:
Thanks!

Eight Bells: The Captain's Daughter
Eight Bells
Interview conducted thanks to Seventh Rule Records via Earsplit PR.