Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Dec 18th 2009 5:40AM by Charley Rogulewski
"I was doing this sort of scientist sleep, sleeping for only three to four hours, waking up for six and then being asleep again for four hours," Sharpe tells Spinner during a recent Interface taping in our L.A. studios. "I came up with this mathematics called Magnetic Zeroes where zero is an addition and magnetic like a pendulum. Depending on the magnitude of zero, one plus three could equal negative two or ... " We'll just stop there.
Ebert's best vision, perhaps, was for the band's debut, 'Up From Below,' an album that sounds like it could have been made in the late '60s. The album opens with '40 Day Dream,' which Ebert wrote about being in "a really beautiful dream state that you don't want to wake up from."
"I wrote most of it before we were a band," Ebert says of the debut's concept. "It was like this vision of a band, this vision of this caravanning family and community of music." After traveling what he calls the "intensely self-destructive road" of drugs and alcohol in his early 20s and making a name for himself in the electro-indie duo Ima Robot, Ebert says his instinct just disappeared. "I felt really, really lost and that was definitely the lowest point I think in a lot of ways I had experienced. Getting out of that was the real puzzle that took a lot of courage."
Along the way he met his girlfriend Jade Castrinos. "I had a victim complex and he had a savior complex," Castrinos says of their first encounter, which is recounted in the track 'Home.' After Jade fell out of a window, Ebert took her to the hospital and during the whole fiasco, he realized he was falling "in deep, deep love" with her, or so the song says.
These days, the band is touring the US on a converted white 1984 Greyhound bus. "I feel like while writing the songs I was just building a house for everyone to stay in," Ebert says, "and now it is what it is." With 10 people in the band, Castrinos admits things get spontaneous. "Shows are like rehearsal. Lyrics change."
"We rewrite everything while we're going sometimes. We threaten to leave Stewart once in a while," Ebert jokes of the band's trumpet player. "He's the guy that's the last on the bus."