PhilAnthem

As Opposed to Dead is alive and kicking | July 6, 2009

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Drummer Adam Cohen and guitarist Matt Cannon don’t make up your typical band. Adam and Matt form As Opposed to Dead, which was formerly known as Try Angles.  Fusing different types of music, As Opposed to Dead will surprise you with their originality and experimental music.  The band has been playing gigs around the area in venues as small as hookah lounges and as large as the Crocodile Rock in Allentown.  Recently I sat down with Adam and Matt to talk about the band and what lies ahead for them.

Philanthem: How did you guys meet each other?

Adam Cohen: Matt played in a band called Cataclysmic Collision and a friend of mine took me to see them. My friend actually joined that band, and Matt became a different kind of Matt.

Matt Cannon: Yeah, I was doppelganger Matt. When I first met Adam, I didn’t know him, aside from a few parties I had went to.  I remember Adam was at one of the shows we played and I didn’t know him. I didn’t talk to him.

Adam: It was one of the first times I had ever been to a local show, and I found it incredible.

Matt: We had first met musically when Adam was at an open mic show I was playing with a band called Red and Orange.

Adam: Basically, Matt dropped out of Cataclysmic Collision for film school and then dropped that and was in Red and Orange. I talked to him and went to see them and told them “If you ever need someone on drums, I’m your guy.” He said “Oh no, not really.”

Matt: Yeah, we tried it out but it didn’t work.

Adam: What we ended up doing was really creating a new sort of energy, which at the time was a very immediate inflection.

Matt: We started things a little quick and were just trying to do something different. I wanted Adam to do something with Red and Orange and it didn’t work out, so I was like “Let’s do something completely different than this and do a natural band.”

Philanthem: Are you guys going in to do any recordings any time soon?

Adam: Right now we just have a basement recording. One microphone, live drums, guitar and vocals.  We’re going to do some real recording once we find somebody we feel can capture what we want at the time. We’ve got a lot of foundations and structures for things and in some distinct places where we don’t want to stop, maybe ever.

Philanthem: What do you mean by not stopping?

Adam: As far as writing, we want to continue to grow as musicians, like trying stuff we’ve never really tried, such as playing with a stripped down drum set.  You know, when you’re eight months into a band with one other guy and you’re trying to grow as musicians, doing different things is something worthwhile.

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Philanthem: Are you guys looking to expand, or are you planning to remain a two piece? Or are you considering bringing in musicians when you decide to record?

Matt: We’ve talked to a few people.  People are always asking “Can we join your band?”

Adam: Right now we’re planning on staying a two piece but we’ve been talking to some people who we believe share some ideals with us.

Matt: It’s a real risk being a two piece

Adam: It is, but it’s interesting to kind of have that risk. There are some people we might work with in the future, and we hope that what comes from that would be quite interesting.

Matt: We worked with a keyboardist not too long ago and it sounded great, but their schedule didn’t really work out. It was fun, and we’d love to do something like that in the near future.

Philanthem: Do you find it hard as a two piece band to make the music sound full?

Adam: Sometimes. We’re kind of used to it though. Certain things so far, just with guitars, drums and vocals still have a lot of energy. We’re not looking to have any preconceived ideas about anything, so we’re just trying to accomplish something with what we have.

Matt: We both really try to fill in every single piece or space in the song. We’ve sat here and discussed the feelings of a song together.

Adam: A few of our songs, we kind of have set as a cinematic piece. There’s a loose story going on with the music that we’re still shaping.

Matt: I’ve come through different ideas about writing a story. [The song “Sea Shapes” is] about a woman who’s a manager of a factory that loses her little girl when they’re on a vacation at the beach.  It’s pretty much about what happened and the identity of the mother. It’s weirdly sinister.

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Philanthem: What genre of music would you guys consider yourselves in?

Matt: We like a lot of things. I used to play in a hardcore band a long time ago, and at one point we played a basement party with Between the Buried and me, and that totally blew me away. I was too nervous to talk to them because they blew me away. Now look at them.

Adam: I try to give everything fair chance as a musician. We kind of evolved from the stuff Matt did in Red and Orange. We started off sort of like a dark folk group, but we’ve been playing things that are inspired by jazz and hardcore.

Matt: We’re like folkcore. [laughs]

Adam: Is that what we’re going to be called? [laughs]

Philanthem: Who would you guys say are your biggest influences?

Matt: Pink Floyd was one. One of the first songs I ever learned to play was “Mother.” It wasn’t even the right way to play it, but it sounded right.  One band I really like a lot that inspired me to do stuff like this is Refused. The Dillinger Escape plan is great too. My biggest influence would probably be Refused and this band called Headphones.

Adam: There’s one band I’m new to, called the Pax Sicilia, they’re pretty cool.  I’m really into Dave King from The Bad Plus.  I have to throw Bill Bruford [of King Crimson and Yes] in there too.  I saw him give a drum clinic and he improvised the whole thing. That was pretty cool. There’s times when I’m really into The Mars Volta as well. Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree is really cool too.

Philanthem: Well guys, that should do it for me. Good luck with everything you do in the future and keep in touch.

As Opposed to Dead can be reached at their new myspace, and will be playing their next show on August 15 at the Wounded Healer in Pitman, New Jersey.

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