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Interviewing the Neighbors: Transient

Post by Kathleen Kosiec on 4/2/2010 3:20pm

Transient may be an unfamiliar name to the Madison music realm, but you have an opportunity to check out this new band at the Rock the Sound Benefit on Saturday, April 3 at Scatz in Middleton. Lead singer Mike Jones recently answered a few questions about Transient for Dane101. For more information about the band, visit their Myspace page or, for you Facebook users, their page here.
Dane101: When I  heard your band's name was Transient the first thing that popped in my mind was the homeless population in Madison. What's the story behind choosing transient as a name for a hard rock band?
Mike Jones: Actually, the name Transient comes from the first song we wrote collectively. It can certainly be applicable on multiple levels. But for the purpose of the song, I was referring to the temporary nature of us, as beings, in this existence. We are just passing through this planet for a brief time. I think we chose it as a band name for much the same reason (not that I speak exclusively for the band). It was pretty much the only band name we would all agree on, although I do still have a soft spot for'Alien Tea Party.
D101: Since you are still relatively new to the Madison music scene, how would you describe your music?
MJ: I generally consider us a 'melodic hard rock' band. Some of our songs are more melodic, and some harder. We actually have desires to be multi-faceted as a band. We write some songs that stay lighter and melodic, and some that transition from light to heavy. Some will just rock all the way through. I know it is cliché that no band wants to be 'pigeon holed', but I think with the range in sound that we desire to produce as a band, it would be difficult for us to actually be so. The thing I love about music is that it is personal, and different people take things from music differently, and it impacts people differently. We just want to plant seeds and let people formulate the thoughts and feelings, themselves.
D101: How did you guys start making music?
MJ: Collaboratively as a band we solidified in the basement of my home in July of '09. It all started with a Facebook message from Will (guitar) to myself in March of '09. He added me as a friend through mutuality of friendship with Paul Schluter (of Muzzy Luctin). He noticed I was holding a guitar in my profile picture and asked if I was interested in collaborating on a project. The previous band (Frozen Echo) I sang in had just recently dissolved so I expressed an interest in a project. I got in touch with Paul (drums) who was previously in Frozen Echo with me, and he climbed on board. I was put in touch with John (bass) through a mutual friend, Erin Kaether owner of Academy of Sound, and the lineup was set. Collectively, we have probably 50 years of experience in bands, though. Wow, now I feel old.
D101: How is the music you create as Transient different than what you did with Frozen Echo?

MJ: There are a few similarities with Frozen Echo and Transient, in that both bands were of the melodic hard rock genre. However, Transient is more guitar centric and less spacey. Frozen Echo did have two guitars, but Will does solo guitar here. Will also does some tasty lead solo work, so that is an element Frozen Echo never had.
D101: What are some of your musical influences?
MJ: Personally, my influences run the gamut. Vocally, I have been most influenced by soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and the like. But I started singing because of melodic metal bands like Faith No More, Living Color, etc. As a band we all have multiple influences also (not unlike any other band). Some bands we all really enjoy are Nonpoint, Tool, Dream Theater and Karnivool from Perth, Australia. In fact, we are all going as a band to see Karnivool and Fair To Midland on April 11 at the Annex.
D101: Transient is playing at Scatz this Saturday as part of the Rock the Sound benefit. How did you get involved with this event?
MJ: Our guitarist, Will, had been in contact with Greg Martin of Next Level Productions. He is the man behind the Rock The Sound show at Scatz on Saturday. Greg said he liked what we are doing, and would love to put us on the bill. Will also knows members from every other one of the bands on the bill, so that helps, too. Greg was also instrumental in getting us the live acoustic spot after his interview on the NBC 15 Morning Show, this Saturday at 6:50 a.m. (shameless self promotion). He has worked his tail off for the Rock The Sound Benefit and it is for a great cause. So we are all excited to be part of this great event.
D101: Any plans for an upcoming album?
MJ: Yes. But they are very loose plans right now. We are still in the process of writing and evolving as musicians and as a cohesive unit. We recently recorded a track for the Rock The Sound compilation CD, at Megatone Studios with Paul Schluter, and would love to record there again. Recording a full length album may very well be a long, drawn out process done so in installments, if you will. Hopefully we can do it sooner rather than later. I think we need to establish a root system in the Madison music scene, though, before we record a full length album and expect it to be well received. We don't want to 'put the cart before the horse', as you may say.
D101: Which local artist or artists would you most like to work with, and why?

MJ: I have tremendous respect for a number of local artists. Guys like Paul Schluter of Muzzy Luctin, Eric Amble of MINE, on guitars. Of course, the great Clyde Stubblefield on drums. But I think the guys I most want to work with are Will, John and Paul. We hold the same core values. I love what we are about, and the direction we want to go.

Kathleen (Kat) moved to the Madison area in 2006 to complete her Bachelor's degree at UW-Madison. After graduation, Kat found herself unable to leave Dane County, mostly due to her love of the local culinary scene, the farmer's markets, roller derby and the dismal job prospects for a foolish young woman who chose to major in journalism. So she decided to stay and get her master's in library science. Visit Kat at her website.