Based in North Carolina, the two-piece electronic outfit Celadon Candy is not what one might expect to herald from the rowdy South. Yet there they are.
Born out of the electro-pop band Wedlock, the duo of Paul Allgood and Jason Bowden have set out to challenge the conventional notions of pop and electronica and have recently released a three-song EP that exudes a kaleidoscope of sounds and styles that you would be discouraged from attempting to classify it into one specific genre.
Read on as we explore the world of electronic resonance with Paul and Jason of Celadon Candy!
MM: What spawned the transition to Celadon Candy instead of continuing on
Paul: Jason and I had been working together since 2008, and we both were members of Wedlock. And before I took the band in a different direction on the CONTINUITY album, Jason had remixed a couple of singles from the EXOGAMY album. Later on, when Wedlock went on hiatus at the beginning of the year, that's when I reconnected with Jason and we formed Celadon Candy and released our first EP on October 5. Wedlock is not over; it's just on an extended hiatus.
MM: Even though, stylistically, the two bands are similar, I noticed there is a
very different energy and attitude about Celadon Candy that distances it from Wedlock.
Paul: Oh, there definitely is. Jason is a breath of fresh air to work with, and there really is a new energy involved in it. I feel like we're a lot more adventurous. At some point with Wedlock, I felt like it was frustrating and I was starting to burn out a little bit. Working with Jason, the chemistry in the studio is very relaxed, maybe more so than it was with Wedlock.
MM: Since it is just the two of you, how are the writing and producing
Paul: For this EP, Jason handled the bulk of the production, and I handled the lyrics and vocals. That's a little bit deceptive, though, because both of our inputs flow within each track, and it's the same way with the new album. When we go out live in 2011, we'll be a three or four-piece. But in the meantime, we wanted to put something out, because the material is there and we work together really well.
MM: When you are preparing to play these songs live, how do you plan to retain
the intimate energy that they exude in their current recorded state?
Jason: That's something that has been brought up a lot during the last few months, and it is very hard to incorporate theatrics with those kinds of sounds. So what we are toying with right now is the idea of synchronizing video behind our set and subtle lighting that address the topics of the songs.
MM: I think you are brave souls for writing the music that you do. It has a strong
pop sensibility to it, but it defies the modern trappings of pop music.
Paul: Yeah [laughs], I've been told that about most of the material. The structure is the same, but I guess because neither of us listens to the radio to find things to copy, our broad influences come out more. It's not something simple or formulaic. I've always attracted people who want to do stuff that come straight from them. From what I know, Jason detests covers just like I do. I guess we feel like we are marching to the beat of our own drum. People always speak about that, but what is deemed original can sometimes become popular just because it is that way.
MM: I think the one thing that I struggle with when listening to Celadon Candy is
who exactly your target audience is, because the music is so eclectic.
Jason: That's a great question. And you know, I don't actually know. That's the beauty of the relationship that Paul and I have - Paul has a talent to deal with everything that goes along with the music: especially the marketing, to get the buzz rolling. What I guess I'm hoping for is that we draw in an extremely diverse audience. It's upbeat, fresh, happy, sad and I think it fits with a lot of people, so I don't necessarily think we are targeting one specific audience.
MM: And I think that one of the primary elements that lends Celadon Candy to an
older generational appeal is Paul's voice. Whenever I hear him sing, I hear something
that sounds like a cross between Peter Gabriel and Seal.
Jason: [Laughs] yeah, I've heard Peter Gabriel, and I've heard Phil Collins, which are definitely not bad things. We've been lucky to have such a wide range of sounds, both musically and vocally that have allowed us to bridge gaps in the music scene. I actually like that you can't really pinpoint one flavor to what we do.
MM: Tell me about the way your individual influences manifest themselves within
Celadon Candy. It's very difficult to pigeonhole the band, and when one tries to review
it, rather than stuff it into a neat little box, he/she ends up making comparisons to
a massive string of bands.
Jason: I couldn't agree with you more. It's funny that we get that reaction from the 3-song EP, because if we had released a 10-song LP, it would have reinforced that even more. My background is actually NY Hardcore, with the 3-4 piece guitar-bass-drum heavy music. And then I moved into dance, trance, rave, and drum-and-bass. And when I got too old for that, I moved into production and doing my own thing and eventually decided to experiment with a wide variety of things, displaying my influences from The Crystal Method to Rabbit in the Moon and a lot of my hip hop influences. And because I don't specifically listen to pop music, I think it keeps things very fresh.