Earlier this year, Step On Magazine reviewed the stellar debut album In Memory Of… by Slow Motion Picture. The record remains on regular rotation around here and continues to delight us with musical and lyrical gifts buried within its melancholy.
Wanting to know more about the personality behind the music, we reached out to songwriter / guitarist Brian Ceasar to ask him some questions about the music, inspirations and what he likes to do in his downtime. And if we didn’t like him enough already, he also revealed to us that he’s a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin fan!
What are your current fixations?
Horror movies. I’ve been screening movies for my job recently and I’ve become re-obsessed with the genre. Also, violins and piano sounds. I’ve been searching for ways to improve my writing and incorporate them more into the music.
What are you listening to (on iPod, record, cd, bandcamp)?
On my iPhone I’ve been listening to a lot of Max Richter, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard scores lately. I’m using it as a study for writing our next LP or EP because I’m fascinated by the emotion they get from their string and piano arrangements. They’re actually simple formats, with layers and layers of different harmonies piling together to become this cohesive mass that emits such empathy for the characters. I love it! Other than that, I’m also eagerly awaiting the new Florence + The Machine, Other Lives and Patrick Watson albums. I’ve been streaming the songs as they get posted on blogs and online and loving them.
Why do you live where you do?
The band is scattered through the different boroughs of New York City. We all live here because it’s where we landed and couldn’t be happier, unless we were richer.
Name something you consider a mind altering work of art.
What record/tape/cd/digital format music album inspired you to take up music?
I was always into music since I was a kid but I believe the album that got me into writing was Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream. It became an obsession of the younger me and really got me delving into anything and everything and experimenting with sound.
What advice should you have taken but did not?
Record the drum parts live. I spent hours and hours meticulously calculating every hit a drummer would make for our album, but when we play the songs live, we sound so much better. If I could go back in time that would be something I would love to fix.
What should everyone shut up about?
Cronuts, they are overrated.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
I love going to the movies on Sundays, so any Sunday with a good movie involved is perfect.
What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?
I really don’t remember the first album I bought as a kid but I do remember that the first CD album I bought was Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine and the first EP was Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s –Grey Cell Green.
I used to be the engineer at a demo studio in my town when I was in college. We had a 48 channel Sony console with API 512c pre’s and 550B EQs and a bunch of great outboard gear. It’s how I learned how to shape tone and mix. I fucking loved that job.
How do you spoil yourself?
We live in New York, so I’d have to say bagels, pizza and of course coffee.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Cameron Crowe has always been an idol of mine. I love the way he writes and how his characters go on their path. And I would serve him pizza of course!
What is your favorite 90’s band(s)?
So many!!- Verve, Embrace, Catherine Wheel, Kent, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, Spiritualized, Soundgarden.. to name a few.
What is your favorite current band(s)?
Florence + The Machine, Mew, Elbow, Sigur Ros, Woodkid, Other Lives, Patrick Watson, Ummagma, Sounds of Sputnik, Daughter, War On Drugs, Lykke Li.. so many!
Who is your favorite hero(es) of fiction?
What is your current mood?
Happy to be featured in this.
What is your favorite occupation?
Film score composer.. its what I hope to be before I die. That and/or record producer. I’m hoping to one day be able to record my daughter’s band when she gets a little older.
What should people know about you?
I have a twin brother. We’re still trying to figure out which one is the evil one.
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
Trying to write and record as much as I can between shows and spending as much time as possible with my daughter.
What are your 3 favorite films?
Almost Famous, Unbreakable, Halloween (the original John Carpenter version)
Favorite TV shows/streaming shows?
True Detective, The Leftovers, The Americans, LOST
Who or what makes you laugh?
My daughter, Mitch Hedberg, my commute to work.
What is your dream vacation/trip if money was no object?
I want to go to Paris and see the catacombs.
What has been the most significant achievement you’ve had with your music so far?
I wrote and recorded a ten song album with the help of my former singer, to heal from the pain of losing my father. That was honestly the only thing that I was looking to achieve from this album. Everything else that has come along since its release has been an amazing gift that I’ve been so completely honored to have and can’t thank everyone enough for.
Visit Slow Motion Picture’s Bandcamp and get lost in the music.