When and where did the band originate? What is each band members role in the creation process? We (Brian and Jane) met at Albion College - Jane studied Music & French while Brian studied Mass Media Marketing. The creation process takes different turns every time that we create, but generally one will come up with a song start and the other will jump in and help finish off the song. We've also worked with MSORD (Kalamazoo, MI), Matthew Milowe (Kalamazoo, MI) and Anna Schmidt (Kalamazoo, MI) to create a couple tracks that will be on the album in 2019. The creative process knows no bounds!
How did FINKEL get its name? It's a family name. We started as Less Is More and toured that name for 3 years. After we changed direction, sonically and creatively, we needed something that was more representative of our current head space. Jane and I got married in September of 2017 and she decided she wanted to take my last name. By going as FINKEL we can continue to be Spencer's and FINKEL's. It works great! Band names are hard.
Who or what influences your style, and how do you categorize yourself as a band? Sonically, we categorize ourselves as soul/pop. Visually, we categorize ourselves as Futuristic Urban Milan. When filling out a press release, we describe our sound further as LCD Soundsystem shakes hands with an r&b version of Alt-J. We're both very big into art and fashion. Creating the bands aesthetic, we wanted the fashion element to have value, just like our music and visual art, as it's an extension of ourselves.
How has your music evolved from the beginning of the band to where it is now? Rollercoaster ride, man. Buckle up. We started as a cover band on Mackinac Island, playing 3 hour cover gigs 4 times a week on top of 50 hrs spent in the food-service industry. After saving up enough money, we recorded our first EP and toured the country as an indie/folk duo - but it was really weird and more like a folk/opera. Take a standard song structure, ball it up in your hand, put it in your mouth, chew it up, and spit it out - that's what we played all over the country. After that, we moved to Kalamazoo to rebrand and redevelop our sound. With help from our friends mentioned above and our producer Bill Skibbe (Key Club Recording), we pivoted into the soul/pop sound that you hear now.
Can you elaborate on how you approach the writing and creation process? What's it typically like? We became big fans of writing workshops over the last 2 years. We've done several different iterations of these workshops. All of them involve collaboration and isolation within the creative process. Sometimes we give ourselves limitations (keys, tempos, instrumentation, etc.) and then we'll pass it along to another member of the band. Sometimes we write songs together. Right now, we're doing something involving how we see the world every day. I don't want to give away too much because it's influencing our album in 2019, but it's weird and fun.
Where is the best place to find and stream your music? Our first single will be released on May 11th and will be paired with an animated music video by Turku, Finland's finest, Sanni Lahtinen. You can catch it literally everywhere. The song is called, w / o.
What is something most people don't know about the band that they should? We really love food. We want to open up a food truck that serves biscuit pizza when we're in our 60's (at least right now - that could change). On the road, we usually ask people from their respective areas what the best food to try in their city is. If you tell us, we will go.
What is in store in the near or long-term future for FINKEL?
We moved to Los Angeles, California in early 2018. We're releasing 3 singles over the course of this year, all with animated music videos. We'll be involved in creating music & art tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. Also, that food truck thing mentioned above.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share? It takes a village to pursue art (obviously not always the most lucrative endeavor). We want to thank our village for being so strong, recruiting other people to be a part of this crazy village, and for continuing to follow the fun, wherever the fun may go. Come say hi at a show sometime this year.
w/o || FINKEL