Acres Even for The Meadow
interviewer: Sara Sharif (@sarangelic)
interviewee: Acres Even (@acres.even)
A band of audio engineers, tonal sweethearts, and moody dreamboats, Acres Even was formed in 2018 over a shared passion for The Strokes, Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, and Sufjan Stevens.
Their sound is full of raw energy, shimmering lyricism, driving drums and guitars, and elegantly textured noise-scapes, all while communicating powerfully honest emotion through-and-through. You can catch them performing frequently around Los Angeles with
occasional trips along the West Coast, the Midwest, and the East Coast.
Acres Even's ideal 2021 Summer
Hugging all of my friends into eternity and playing live as much as possible - Ben
Play shows/travel to see friends and family! - Sonia
Play shows and go to shows and travel! Eat/make good food with friends!! -Mirza
Kind of the same beats as the others, but I would be playing shows and/or trying to book a tour. I also want to produce a backyard live recording session series! -Brayden
* in relevance to our issue #3
t h e i n t e r v i e w
1. Please start with a little introduction about yourselves and what each member contributes!
Ben (He/Him) Brayden (He/Him) Sonia (She/Her) Mirza (He/Him)
- Acres Even is a sick band of some tonal sweethearts with some angst and groove! Sup, I’m Ben and I’m the main songwriter, guitarist, and frontman. I also generally organize everyone and do booking!
- I’m Sonia! I play bass and sing harmonies. I also do a good amount of production work for the band, arranging parts and looking at stuff from a macro level.
- Hullo! I’m Mirza. I play guitar, make noise, and mix & master!
-SUP. I’m Brayden. I drum the drams, sing, and have been editing a lot of the video content for the band!
2. What is the story behind your musical journey and how did y’all come together?
-Music has been the main focal point of my life since I was 14. I’ve been pursuing it for as long as I can remember. We kinda fell together through happenstance. Mirza and I began writing together to prepare for a last minute party, and Brayden and Sonia hopped on as the songs developed and people kept asking us to play more gigs. - Ben
- I’ve been a music kid forever too. Played flute growing up and eventually
learned ukulele/guitar/bass, and sang in choirs throughout school. Acres Even met in college, since we were all music majors in the same program. -Sonia
-My mom taught me piano from an early age and eventually got me guitar lessons when I was 10 or so. And I’ve been playing since then. I really got into pedals and guitar effects at the end of highschool and have been looking for ways to make my guitar sound weird! As Ben and Sonia have been saying, we all met in the music program in college. -Mirza
-I was inspired by my uncle who was a drummer himself! I started taking drum lessons at age 7, and eventually went on to lead the drumline at my highschool. Over the years I picked up other instruments, and can now play just about anything in the rhythm section. According to the others, we met in college so I guess that’s probably how it went down. -Brayden
3. And how has your journey been so far?
-Really fun! Playing live and writing together has been one of the most thrilling and life-giving experiences I’ve ever felt. The band definitely started as a kinda goofy loose project for fun and has developed into something that we are constantly trying to innovate and put serious time into. - Ben
4. I am LIVING for your fun and retro vibe and absolutely loved your latest, “Earl Greyson”! Is there a general, and maybe, a more personal theme to your music?
-Yea! We recently released our first EP “Rose Gold” back in September and that project has a whole lot of personal themes in it. A lot of teenage to early adulthood formational experiences with some spicy lil angst thrown in. - Ben
5. What inspired you to create this song and what did you want to portray through it?
-This song was inspired by Frankie Cosmos. I just wanted to write a dinky lil song about the tea Earl Grey. It depicts a person personifying their love for this tea in the form of a person named Earl Greyson. - Ben
6. Your MV for “Earl Greyson” makes me want to just catch a flight and simply hangout with y’all! Tell us more about the making and BTS of this MV.
-My düd! Let’s totally hang! I’m glad it felt that inviting. We had such a blast hanging out and making it. In short, we basically had a loose plan of costume changes and lil motifs for each scene that we just leaned into pretty hard while someone was recording. Our friend group loves having themed parties/hangs so we definitely felt like we were all in our natural habitat. - Ben
7. What is each one’s creative process?
-I like to write in a vertical sense for better or worse. I’m pretty good at writing really dope layered 15 second sections of songs and bringing it to the band. For instance, I can very quickly have a plethora of ideas for what the bass line, guitar riffs, vocals, and drums patterns can sound like meshed together for only a verse. Weeding out the bad ideas and helping me come up with the other sections of the song based on themes from this one section is what I feel the band is very good at helping me do. I want to grow more into writing songs in a horizontal sense. Intro, Verse, Chorus… that sort of thing. - Ben
- In my own songwriting, I almost always start with words. I’ll jot down lines, phrases, or ideas as I’m going through my life, and come back to them later to flesh them out or join them together. Then I’ll add melodies/harmonies and bass/chords. In Acres Even, I just write my own bass lines and harmonies for the songs brought to the band. -Sonia
- Recently I’ve been enjoying looking for ways that pedals can interact to make an instrument sound gritty and glitchy. I love having multiple delays and seeing how they play with each other to create an almost loop. In that same vein I love parts that interact with other aspects of a song. I love when a guitar can play with a vocal melody or when a drum part will add creativity to a song rather than just keep a beat. -Mirza
- For my own music, I personally have tried and rotated through a few different methods for creating. Sometimes I’ll dig a chord progression enough to want to write lyrics and a melody over it. Sometimes I will sit down and just write words that I will later try to force into a song (this actually produces some really interesting results). Other times, I’ll just start recording with no idea where it might be going. When it comes to Acres Even though most of the songs have come from Ben, and it really is a group effort to make them take on a life that we all feel really proud of. -Brayden
8. Who is your musical inspiration?
- The Strokes, Kanye West, Jens Lekman, Tom Misch, Vampire Weekend Daft Punk, The Antlers, JPEGMAFIA - Ben
- Sufjan Stevens, Imogen Heap, Regina Spektor, The Staves, Paramore, The Shins -Sonia
- Hop Along, Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, The Notwist, Big Thief, Bloc Party -Mirza
-The Police, Jay Som, Dr. Dog, Said The Whale, Sublime, Soccer Mommy, The Modern Lovers, The Hives -Brayden
9. Any musical tips from your experience for our musicians out here?
- Collaboration is your biggest gift. Work with people who will hold you and your art well. Hold theirs well too! - Ben
- Get weird with it! -Mirza
- I’ve been trying to convert my friends to doing choral music and vocal musicianship exercises lately. Sounds nerdy as hell, but it really helps with being a musician, even if you’re not a singer. Learn solfege! Do re mi baby!! -Sonia
- Like what you make, and don’t take yourself too seriously or you’ll have a bad
10. So, what should we expect next, in the near future?
- We’re now in the writing process. Collaborating during COVID is gonna have its challenges, but we’ve somehow been able to manage this far. - Ben
11. How do we gain access to your music?
- Earl Greyson Music Video out now on YouTube! We’re on ALL streaming platforms but hit us up on Spotify for them sweet sweet algorithms - Ben