Posted by: will | May 22, 2007

Band Interview – The American Dollar…

The American Dollar are an amazing instrumental duo from Queens, NY. I reviewed the band’s second album, The Technicolour Sleep here. Thanks to Rich And John for answering my questions. Check out some of the band’s work at their myspace links below.

How would you describe your sound and what are some of your influences?

We make music that has a number of different dynamics. Overall it’s cinematic, but we achieve this through creating sections that range from ambient to huge orchestral rock. Our vision is to always focus on making the compositions their best. More vaguely, we fit into the ambient, post-rock and electronic genres.

What’s the songwriting and recording process like for the band?

We write and record simultaneously. The last record was written and recorded in something like 25 days. We each play a little of everything. The writing largely starts on keyboards and moves on from there. Rich does the vast majority of the production, and on our last album we outsourced the mastering to a great Mastering Engineer Robert Hadley.

It seems you don’t really hear a lot about bands from Queens. How does Queens fit into the NYC scene?

We never really found much to care about in the NYC or Queens scenes so we just sort of did our own thing and we’re really enjoying being outsiders to all the noise.

In your opinion what is the reason for the rise in popularity of instrumental rock/post-rock?

Formulaic corporate music got to a point where deviation was needed, both by the creators of music as well as its listeners. It’s a natural evolution I suppose. And, messing with a ton of delay just sounds awesome.

What’s the band’s opinion on file-sharing?

Well we think everyone on the fucking planet should be given the most chances to listen to our music and like it, and we’d also hope that they would then buy it or something related to it too. So, file sharing is good to the degree that it is not crippling our ability to live off our music, neither of which i think is happening so far; there is a good chance that its worth in publicity equals that of its cost.

You guys have self-released your first two albums. Do you think it’s necessary for a band to be “signed” to be successful?

We discuss this from time to time and have been offered several minor “deals”. It seems to us that being signed is all about participating in the corporate business model of music that has been constructed before our time and is largely artificial, unneeded, and damaging to the original artist(not new news). We don’t believe that that kind of a system applies positively to the music we are creating, nor is really looking for us anyway. That’s not to say that people in the music business can’t offer opportunities we don’t have on our own, but they are few and far between; so then it becomes about finding the best relationships that work for everyone, which can be more difficult when you don’t have pre-made contacts. We don’t really worry about this though, we’re successful as long as we keep creating the best music we possibly can. If we’re offered something that is somehow better than what we can do on our own, we’d certainly think it over, but we’re not jumping ship easily.

What’s been playing on the band’s collective stereo lately?

Saxon Shore’s Exquisite Death LP, Ulrich Schnauss’s Einfeld and Isolated Place LP were cooperatively enjoyed the other day. Longwave’s Strangest Things LP was on the speakers recently – we’ll be at their Brooklyn show in June – and we also like to test the fidelity of our studio monitors with Coldplay’s X&Y LP. Additionally, The Album Leaf’s live material has popped up in several car rides.

What’s on the horizon (releases, touring) for the band in the near future?

We have just started on our third album and have about ten minutes of it tracked. We’re really happy with the results and feel we’re taking a step forward musically; if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be keeping the material. And again, we’re writing as we go along, crafting the songs and tracks in realtime. Some of these new works will be featured on an exclusive EP which will be sold at Linus Records in the coming months. Fursy Teyssier is also busy working on his short animated film “Tir Nan Og” which we are in the process of scoring; this project will hopefully be finished by the end of the summer of 2007. Finally, we’re on iTunes which is pretty cool.

Playing live would be really awesome and thinking about it both excites and burdens us because of all the preparation that still would have to go into that area to make it happen. We’ve been in live bands for almost half of our lives, so it’s an odd feeling for us not to be playing out. But in order to make the performance live up to our standards of being incredible, there are still some elements that we both have not and cannot solve yet, such as equipment requirements and personnel. Eventually, when these things come along and the time is right, we will play material live again. The studio is lots of fun anyway!

Any last words?

“This one’s for all the potheads, if they can keep their fuckin’ arms up” -Liam Gallagher



  1. Great interview. I adore The Technicolour Sleep. Keep up the great work!

  2. Awesome.

  3. Great band with a bright future ahead in film scores and soundtracks.

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