A band’s dispersion is always mostly sad. However, the forming of new bands, either towards the end or after the end, usually acts as a bright byproduct of the breakup, a fresh new focus for perhaps phased members. “Just start something new,” writes Sarah Everton, formerly of Philadelphia’s Bleeding Rainbow. “Every band starts to suck when it goes for too long anyway. It felt like a bittersweet relief.” Everton and Rob Garcia, who called it quits with Bleeding Rainbow earlier this year (after a slew of 7”s, LPs and live shows), recently teamed up with Paul Brinkley to form new project, Telepathic, and self-released their debut Powers of Ten EP at the end of March. The six songs skirt the edges of punk, psych and pop, layering bright harmonies over a poppy wall of trebly guitar and driving rhythms. The whole EP is streaming below, alongside a Q&A with Everton on fresh starts, the pure joy of playing first at shows again, and general inspirations.
Why did you all decide to end Bleeding Rainbow?
It felt like it ran it’s course. We had already switched things up a few times and to do that any more would have felt pointless under the same name. Al and Ashley [of Bleeding Rainbow] also had other projects they wanted to pursue and it felt right ending it. Being in a band that isn’t big enough to make a living off of just feels stressful and burdening when you keep it going for too long. Just start something new. Every band starts to suck when it goes for too long anyway. It felt like a bittersweet relief.
What was the trajectory from Bleeding Rainbow to Telepathic like?
Really freeing and natural. Rob and I felt like this huge weight had been lifted and we got to chill out and relax for a few months. We did a Weezer cover band for charity in October. I finally had the time to pursue my other band Blowdryer with my two best friends and also was in a Green Day cover band on Galantines Day. For months Rob and I would constantly talk about what the new band was gonna be like, and how we wanted it to be a 3-piece and a return to the shit we really love. It has been really exciting starting a band again and knowing what to avoid and what is worth while. It’s super humbling but in the best possible way. We love playing first at shows. It’s just been great. I smile like a fucking idiot when we play.
How does Telepathic differ from previous bands you’ve been involved in?
Bleeding Rainbow was the ultimate learning experience, so basically Telepathic feels like this fresh start where we know how to navigate things much better. In Bleeding Rainbow we were constantly trying new thing and listening to other people’s feedback and ideas with very open minds. We definitely learned a lot of things the hard way and now with Telepathic we just feel very confident about what we want — and basically we want total control and creative freedom and no stress. If being in a band isn’t fun any more, then what is the point? I think we wanted to make a living off of Bleeding Rainbow so badly that we made compromises so often by the end that we lost sight of what was right for ourselves. Once you start trying to make a living off your art you can really fuck things up. (This is some sagely advice, haha.)
Did you set out with a similar vein of Bleeding Rainbow in mind or did you want to detach yourselves entirely from that sound? Are the influences the same?
Bleeding Rainbow ended up being pretty shoegazey and Rob and I got really sick of that after one album of experimenting with that vibe. With our last album Interrupt, we wanted to have a much more stripped down record with very drivey, catchy punk songs. In Telepathic we wanted the drivey and catchy punk elements still, but didn’t want the produced or over-the-top bombastic stuff. We wanted Telepathic to be the most to-the-point band where we write what sounds good to us and isn’t over thought. I think our songs work best when we rely on our subconscious as the driving force — do what feels natural, and don’t question it unless there’s a gut feeling that it’s not finished. A lot of the same influences are there, but I think we both are more interested in the lo-fi and late 70’s punk bands that inspired us when we first started writing music together (The Urinals, The Clean, Half Japanese, Wire). Also we are both hugely into midwest punk of the 80’s and 90’s (Husker Du, Replacements, Squirrel Bait, GBV).
How were the writing and recording processes?
For months we collected riffs and ideas and then picked what we wanted to focus on first. A couple songs just came together immediately, like “Back and Forth” which I wrote including with lyrics before I went to work one day. We didn’t want to take time off to book studio time and spend even more money (we are in major debt thanks to Bleeding Rainbow) so Rob took a little time to read up on recording techniques and we recorded it all in our basement. We used to record everything ourselves on reel-to-reel and it sounded cool but lacked definition in a lot of the sounds but Rob really nailed it this time. Then we got our friend Kyle to mix it, and our friend Dan to master it. It was almost totally free!