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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Secretary

Secretary, Bandcamp,

Photography by Flóra Borsi

Secretary began in Southern California as the duo of Craig Ellison Wolf and Em Maslich. In 2013, the band relocated to Seattle and added members Luke Yanz and Max McSimov.

The group released a self-titled EP in early 2014 and is currently working on its debut, full-length album.

Want to know more about Secretary? Read The Spec‘s interview with the band, below…

How long have you been making music?
As a band, one year. As individuals, many years. When I was in the fourth grade, my music teacher Mr. Harris told each of us in class to pick an instrument that we wanted to play, so I picked saxophone. I had really screwed up teeth, and when I said that about the sax, he suggested I try playing a simple rhythm pattern with my hands on the edge of table that he showed me, which I did perfectly, and told me I should play drums. I went home and told my dad I wanted to play drums, and my dad wasn’t having it. He said that drums weren’t a real instrument because you couldn’t sing to them, and when I asked what was a real instrument he told me that I should just sing, something I’d never done before. I don’t think he wanted to hear the tuneless practicing of a piano or guitar or the bashing of a drum kit in the house. I was a pretty happy go lucky and clueless kid, and took it all in stride and the next day told Mr. Harris that I wanted to sing. He had me sing a little bit, and was impressed enough to put me in the choir and to sing solos in front of the class. He was the first person to encourage my singing.

Who/what are your influences?
There are so many people, ranging from musicians to food activists, to cobblers. Folks such as Junya Watanabe, Leonard Cohen, Julian Imrie, Carol Alt, Tesla, Theremin, Alice Waters

What is your favorite song on the new EP and why?
The Only Ones” holds a special place. It’s easy to be cynical about the world and to use that cynicism as a reason for inaction. “They did this, and things are never going to change, so why bother.” That’s not a question but a misguided mission statement that’s easy to justify, but brings nothing. We are in an age where one has to constantly fight to not just be entertained all of the time, but to be out in the world, experiencing it, no matter what state you think things are in. “The Only Ones” is our contribution to that relentless pursuit.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
A wool case for our abacus, and Ithaca, N.Y.. In addition to the abacus sheath, we’re also working on a full length to be released in Spring 2015, videos for “The Only Ones” (due out  June 2014) and “Words,” and a limited edition 7″ for two unreleased songs that we’re only pressing 100 copies of on white vinyl and using as a Kickstarter incentive to help fund said full length. We have some summer dates, some festivals coming up, and a fall tour of the West Coast, which will see us down to L.A. with stops in between.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
So many…impossible to list them all! Bjork, Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Sigur Ros, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Zombies, Clarence Carter, Johnny Cash, Bill Horist, PJ Harvey, Elbow, Can, Air, Joy Division, Blonde Redhead

Why do you make music?
We had the recipe wrong for Palak Paneer and it turned out to be music. Ours. And we have burning holes in our souls that must be filled.

Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
If you like what an artist does, show them. We are grateful for every fan that comes to a show, buys an EP, or wears one of our shirts. Our fans are our family. www.secretaryband.com

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