Someone said that “The first rule of post-rock is that you definitely don’t call it post-rock.” Portuguese post-rock four piece Before And After Science are a perfect example of that diversitywith their powerful debut album, Relics & Cycles. So, with that in mind we caught with the band to get know more about Before And After Science’s debut full-length.
Your debut album is out now, how’s been the feedback so far?
Pretty good! Usually we try not to put too many expectations over our work to be honest. We prefer to keep our feet on the ground and let things happen naturally instead of creating high hopes about a new record. Personally, we’re glad with what we’ve accomplished in Relics & Cycles and, from what we know, everyone seems to be enjoying it. So we’re really happy with the feedback so far.
Between your debut EP back in 2013 and this new effort, what has changed for you guys? Do you feel you have grown as artists and songwriters since the debut?
Absolutely! Musically speaking, if we didn’t have felt a change and an improvement between our debut EP and this new album then the whole point was missing. We believe the album reflects a bit more maturity as a band since we focused on details and how the songs evolved and were structured. Apart from that, the band has also changed in terms of line-up and in the way we think and compose, but we believe that some aspects we consider part of our identity are still present in our new tunes.
How was the recording process for Relics & Cycles?
Neat. One of the best things about being involved in a band is the recording process but that could be a nightmare sometimes. Fortunately, besides we’ve explored some different recording and mixing processes, everything went really well and smooth with Relics & Cycles, in big part cause we’ve worked with the same producer of our debut EP and the song structures were already set.
Where did the title Relics & Cycles come from?
Well, we’ve been through several challenges because of our different periods and line-ups and the title is related with our history as a band in that way. All the things we achieved can be seen as a relic that was left from all those different cycles we’ve been through.
What was the whole idea behind this new effort? I know it’s open to multiple interpretations, but that’s always quite random, any specific subject that you guys would like to convey?
As mentioned previously, there’s the band history related part and everything good that came up with, but we can say that the most important message to take from this record is that everything is made of ups and downs. Nothing is easy, life ain’t easy. Sometimes we have to fight and overcome any issue and sometimes we have to let it go for our own sake. Life is tough and no matter what, all you’re going to end up with is a bunch of relics and cycles.
You’ve just signed to Shunu Records. How did that happen?
When we left the studio, after recording Relics & Cycles, we were struggling with the release and we knew we needed a label to bet on us. We made a lot of contacts in that way and among the interested ones Shunu Records was the one that gave us more guarantees and was more genuinely captivated by our sound. It’s great to meet people who have never come across you in life, and with whom you will hardly ever be face-to-face, willing to help simply because they recognize value in what you do. We are truly grateful to count with them.
The artwork for Relics & Cycles was made by spanish artist Andi “StillaKid” Rensen Aguion, what’s the meaning behind the whole design?
Andi had the liberty to interpret the whole concept that we’ve just mentioned and used a stag life-cycle running backwards so in a way a new cycle was born from the relics that the previous one had left.
What’s next for Before And After Science?
For now, we’re looking for more opportunities to perform Relics & Cycles live and working on new stuff.
Russian Circles or Caspian?
Difficult choice. Both!
Any thoughts about the current music scene in Portugal? Do you think there’s really a scene that support young artists and bands or is everything just full of the classic bullshit?
We have to go with the “classic bullshit” in this one cause we can’t say that there’s a truly support for new bands, even when they are really good. We think the “support scene” come mostly from the people who listen you and attend your shows, but since we’re in a small country some genres have just a few fans and the press doesn’t help to spread those. If we’re talking about structures that can support bands and that have capability and financial means to do it, there’s practically none interested in the so-called underground scenario. It’s a vicious cycle cause the music social medias are mostly controlled by major labels and promoters and that reflects on the venues choices for shows. For instance, it’s sad to see a lot of municipal theatres with small auditoriums spread all over the country, with financial support from their counties and without a full agenda, that don’t give a shot to local bands.
It’s more usual to cross up with someone individually willing to do a lot of efforts to put up a show in a local bar than the opportunity to book a show in a small venue or a municipal spot that is supposed to be opened to local culture and art.
Overall, how would you describe 2017 for Before And After Science?
We came from a complicated phase and line-up change but we ended up signing with a label and finally putting out a new record, so despite not being a year with a lot of shows for us it’s a very rich and meaningful one.