20 May 2009

Metro Sunday Answers 5

I admit that lately I have been into very electronically influenced and rock-based festival bands; discovering Metro Sunday is one of those bands that has introduced an interesting twist into my listening experience lately. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, with transcontinental influences, Metro Sunday delivers poignant music that may go against the mainstream glamour and glitz, but are the thoughts that we all think about but are often too obvious for us to mention. The brainchild of Onedin Giraldo, Metro Sunday delivers minimally produced, but consciously crafted and arranged music that will get under your skin quickly. With the diversity of just being a man with his guitar singing or a full band, there is an obvious passion and integrity that seeps through the music. And though Onedin is obviously a busy man promoting his band and composing new music, he has taken the time to Answer 5.

Onedin Giraldo (photo by Brett Simms)

1. Who are your musical and nonmusical influences?

Well, my musical influences start with my parents and what I grew up listening to. My parents are born of different countries and therefore brought their own native music as well as everything in between! Everything from classical to rock. I had my dose of The Doors, The Rolling Stones to Bach and Mozart. Not saying that this is what you will hear in my music, but I am not a one trick pony when it comes to my taste in music. In the present I enjoy a lot of the 80's pop artists such as Adam Ant, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, etc. as well as Johnny Cash, David Gray, Material Issue, and The Pretenders. I could go on and on, but this lays the foundation for my musical influences. As for nonmusical influences, truthfully, situations, personal and those that I am witness to. It can be anything from my own relationships, good or bad, positive or negative. And the biggest one is a feeling. I can pull a song from how I feel at a given time and combined with a thought, I can set a mood.

2. Interesting name for a band, "Metro Sunday." How did the name of the band come about?

I do get this inquiry quite often and it came from a trip I had to Paris a few years back. I was lucky enough to spend some time there and I was riding the metro one Sunday morning and, again, the feeling, I thought what a perfect moment. On the metro on Sunday, peaceful, perfect. So, I put it together and I came up with Metro Sunday.

3. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, you are from an area rich with a counterculture history. How has this affected your views of the world and music?

Well, it has made me a very open minded and opinionated person about most any topics that concern human rights, etc. I cannot help but feel that we as people, of every walk of life, have the same basic rights, be it in alignment with the norm or not. It has impacted me personally and I have worked to be a person who is liberal and who does not judge. In my music, it has come out in songs with topics that are less than mainstream opinion, but truthfully, I don’t censor my art. I hope it falls on ears that can be receptive. I just want people to be open enough to appreciate things that are not mainstream, be it music, art, literature, etc. Life as a lemming is not a life.

4. You mention that you do your best to "tell a story with words and a guitar in hand." How do you go through the process of deciding what kinds of stories you want to say in your music?

It would be great if I could come up with some formulaic approach, but no sir, it is somewhat haphazard! I can be doing all that I can to work on a song, and nothing comes of it. Other moments, out of nowhere an entire song, from start to finish. The part that I put the most time into is the words. Yes, some of my songs are lighthearted, but they all mean something, a place in my life. I do my best so folks who listen to my music can pull a story from it, be it personal or not. Some of the greatest songs that I have been lucky to hear have had that beat of life, that snapshot story and I am doing my best to capture that.

Onedin Giraldo (photo by Brett Sims)

5. The music industry is being turned inside out, between broadband Internet and what seems to be a paradigm shift from selling albums to concert tickets. In your experience, how does this affect a new band/musician trying to become established?

Music is not what it should be, but we are getting close. I know, you are wondering what I am talking about! Well, with the advent of Internet, music is being created by folks who might not have access to an audience, but who have the skill and desire. This does change what one can expect out of the industry. Music is personal now and may not bring all the material riches, but the idea of connecting with people across the world has a lot more impact than playing to a room of 5 people, with 3 of them not caring who the hell you are! I tried the play, play, play mentality and unless you are going to tour for 10 out of the 12 months, it is not even worth it from a financial perspective. So, "big music" can push a band to the edge and have them tour nonstop, but I believe that with so much music available to listeners, that seems like pushing a bowling ball up a mountain. As for broadening your impact, look at websites like MySpace and Facebook, without them musicians would only be known in their immediate area. It has a huge impact on bands/musicians nowadays and they need to be very focused on how/where/who they want to have as an audience. They will need to create some plan, be it touring constantly or Internet based or a combination, but it does take a constant effort and with a plan you can be a big fish in a small pond or a fish swimming in the ocean!

Explore the band – they have three EPs available via iTunes.

“Rough Cuts” (2007) (iTunes link)

Why is it a must? In “Dream,” acoustic save the ambient, trippy sounding keyboard in the background, Onedin sings some of the thoughts we rarely admit to others; for instance, “I see the beauty of deception” or better yet “Your smile makes my world come alive.” Both “There Was a Time” and “Devils and Angels” incorporate more instruments, but just as “Dream,” there is a sense of deeply personal experiences underneath the surface of the songs, obvious is the passion in the playing and conviction of the vocals.

Track Listing:
1. Dream
2. There Was a Time
3. Devils and Angels

“Summer Sessions” (2008) (iTunes link)

Why is it a must? If the debut EP was about serenity and reflection, the sophomore effort is more confrontational. The first two tracks will wow you away with their punky influence, coupled with acoustic and pop sensibility. It demonstrates the ability of Metro Sunday to push themselves into a different realm of music, without losing their core sound. But it is “Cry for the City” that will leave you enraptured, not knowing whether to bounce around to the music or sit perplexed in profundity thinking of life. An anthem for humanity and unity, it casts Onedin into a political mindset that is hard to disagree with.

Track Listing:
1. Old Habits Die Young
2. At Dawn He Rides
3. Cry the City

“Leaving the World Behind” (2009) (iTunes link)

Why is it a must? This EP is getting extensive play on Internet radio. The first single, “Eyes,” is a quirky number; a narrative from meeting (“I see you standing there all alone”) to realization of internal, spiritual consumption (“Seems like the demons won once again”). The eyes are the window of the soul. “Perfect Imperfection” will bring you back to a more solid acoustic sound; while “She’s So Selfish” will keep expanding the bands exploration of more standard rock, while putting forth a sleek, dark sexy sound.

Track Listing:
1. She’s So Selfish
2. Perfect Imperfections
3. Eyes

Keep up with Metro Sunday at MySpace and Twitter.

Here is the video for “Dream” from the metrosunday Youtube Channel.

Also, take a look the photography of Brett Sims.

1 comment:

  1. I also do believe that the internet is hurting bands in some financial way, yet i can't help agreeing that the internet is letting bands that would never be heard outside of their hometowns be heard. I know that right now the music industry might be a bit hectic but change has to happen and a change that lets a band be able to connect to a wider audience can't be all bad. Honestly, first time listening to something be metro sunday and all i have to say is i like what i heard(gonna look up videos all night).