Shapes of Future Frames may be a new band, but their faces should look familiar. Featuring members of local powerhouses Scarlet Symphony and the Old In Out, the band's epic arrangements and space-age guitar effects have already earned them a reputation as one of San Diego's most exciting and innovative live acts.
The David Bowie-inspired group just finished recording their debut EP, The Minds of Tomorrow, Gone Today. We caught up with band members Jamie Pawloski and Gary Hankins to talk about the record, the creative process, and what an acoustic Shapes might sound like.
SoundDiego: You recently finished recording your first EP. Can you tell me about it?
Hankins: We recorded five songs. Four of them are original, and one of them is a Yardbirds song [“Evil Hearted You”]. But basically it was just: Get in the studio, bang it out and have something to show.
Pawloski: We only had a little bit of money, and we wanted to get something done quickly, so we recorded five songs. And we just kind of busted it out, recording a live track, and we just went over it a couple of times with our vocals and whatnot. It sounds pretty good, actually.
SoundDiego: How does the writing process work in the band? Do the band members generally contribute equally, or does one person pitch a song to the others?
Pawloski: The one thing that’s really fun about being in the band is that we kind of blur the line of who writes the music. It’s not Gary, being from Scarlet, who’s always the one writing the lyrics, or for me playing guitar, I’m not just writing guitar stuff. We all sit down, we write a song that’s 15 to 20 minutes long and have fun with it. Then it’s like, OK, let’s write the lyrics, so we sit down and throw ideas around. There tends to be a lot of space and a lot of random weirdness, but we’ll throw things out there until one of us finalizes it. We’re all equal in that process.
SoundDiego: One of the big draws of seeing you play is the wide range of crazy guitar effects you use. What would an acoustic Shapes of Future Frames sound like?
Pawloski: An acoustic Shapes sound [laughs]? I would say that Shapes Acoustic would sound like psychedelic folk. [To Gary] Does that sound right?
Hankins: Not at all.
Pawloski: Gary says not at all.
Hankins: It would sound like a spliff grinder.