The one subject I never got a good grasp on, other than P.E., was math. I took algebra a few times in my life and I’m still not sure why letters were ever introduced to numbers. This is probably why I never took to music when I signed up for band in third grade. Two weeks was all I could take but, unlike me, bands like Confluence not only latched onto music, but the math that goes behind it. I could’ve gone a different route here and talked to one of those bands who dabble in the video game music realm, but I wanted a more scholarly approach and so keep on reading on about Confluence, the self-professed math band.
Kendra: First off, let’s have you break “math-y” down in simplest terms for us who may not get it?
Confluence: “Math rock is a common way to describe music with odd time signatures, tempo shifts and wild accents. We’ve been called “Math-y” because, while we focus more on song structure and grooves, we also incorporate math rock elements, especially on these new singles.” – Tom Hanks, on the set of Captain Phillips.
Kendra: Does this mean we can assume you were all math wizzes in school?
Confluence: When we applied ourselves, we could get real math done… but we didn’t. Truthfully though, music is math and we consider ourselves good at it.
Kendra: Were there any other subjects you excelled in?
Confluence: “Brett killed it on his lunch break. Alan was great at ceramics. Spenser was mighty fine at theater tech. And, I graduated with a 0.5 GPA.” – Mr. Kelly, high school math teacher, Denver, CO.
Kendra: Is the type of music you do a niche thing? Are there other artists out there who make things as angular as you all do?
Confluence: Collectively, we’re influenced by Frank Lloyd Right, Isaac Newton and isosceles.
Kendra: Do you tackle songwriting the same way you would a math problem?
Confluence: Whereas a math problem can be solved in a definitive way, songwriting must be an organic and natural process.
Kendra: Other than the obvious, what other elements can we hear in your sound?
Confluence: “Earth, wind and fire.” – Earth, Wind and Fire, the band. But mostly contrast, enigmatic lyrics and strong baselines.
Kendra: Lastly, what’s up for you guys and the rest of the year? You have singles coming out every so often… Any touring, a full record?
Confluence: The year’s just getting started. We just got confirmed for Treefort music Fest in Boise. We’re hitting the northwest after. Then more recordings and potentially a full album by fall 2014.
Next week I get personal with some of my favorite songs.