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article image8MM opens up about new 'Heart-Shaped Hell' EP and technology Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 5, 2019 in Music
LA-based alternative duo 8MM chatted with Digital Journal about their "Heart-Shaped Hell" EP, which will be released on February 22.
8MM is made up of Grammy-nominated producer and multi-instrumentalist Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Slayer) and his multi-faceted wife, vocalist Juliette Beavan.
On the song selection process for Heart-Shaped Hell, Sean said, "We actually just started writing and recording at the same time and the songs just took shape from there. There wasn't much forethought other than we knew we wanted to go back to an earlier 8MM vibe: moody, and cinematic but this time more electronic-based, but the rest was just following our noses."
Juliette added, "I wanted everything lyrically to be in the realm of the private hells that we build for ourselves. Big ones and small ones. We as humans are so good at making those and we all do it."
The couple listed "Move With Me" as their personal favorite song on the EP. "I love the scope of it musically. The landscape of the track is so achingly open and scary at the same time. Something in it breaks my heart, in the best way, every time," Juliette explained.
On their plans for 2019, Juliette said, "We are currently scoring an indie horror feature film, looking to do new 8MM music, other film production, and hopefully some festival and tour dates for 8MM."
Regarding their use of technology in their music routine, Juliette said, "It's two-fold really, one aspect is for the creation and recording of the music and the other for the "business" of music - distributing, marketing and branding (social media, web presence). They are both two separate full-time gigs and inextricably linked. Technology weaves through it all."
She continued, "For me, technology comes into play daily for the business of being in a band - branding, social media, and general online presence. It can be daunting and time-consuming and it's easy as an artist to feel like there is a falseness to social media, but it's a matter of how you look at it. Technology is an integral part of our lives and our fan's lives so it's a matter of using it to help both parties and hopefully not hinder them."
"For an artist, we have to define our personae, brand, image and be true to it," she said. "Don't post things that we don't mean, but do promote our shows, our releases, our work passionately and often, even though it can make me feel like a cheesy ad executive. It just has to be done. So daily, I work on ideas for videos, clips, posts that hopefully don't suck and represent what our listeners showed up for in the first place. I don't always succeed but I do it anyway."
Juliette further added, "Then there's the control over digital distribution that technology allows. I love Tunecore. The kind of control and tracking capabilities we have as independent artists now is great."
Sean handles the technical production, mixing, recording and all the studio aspects of their music, including Pro Tools and instruments, as well as the live technical set up such as computers and synthesizers. "Even the basic aspect of having our own project studio informs how the band interfaces with technology and songwriting," he said.
"Over the years we have written songs with me playing a figure on guitar or piano and Juliette getting out pen and paper and jotting down images and coming up with a title or a lyrical concept and by the end of the day we have a song written but then we would have to flesh out the arrangements of instruments and vibe in the recording stage and then refine that in the mixing stage all while trying to keep the initial feeling that inspired us in the first place," he elaborated.
He continued, "This is never an easy task. The ease of virtual instruments and the plethora of sample packs can make this task much more immediate, so if we can figure out the general vibe and the tone pallet ahead of time we find that gives us the ability to get inspired and keep running with it. Also introducing limitations in this new technological world of limitless possibilities makes the idea of starting less daunting."
"One can literally make an acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement or a full orchestral arrangement sitting in their comfy chair in front of a computer and we just find that creating with a tonal path agreed to beforehand makes the project move forward quicker and the results more satisfying," Sean added.
For their fans and listeners, they concluded about their new EP, "Heart-Shaped Hell contains some of our favorite 8MM songs to date. We hope they will mean as much to you as they do to us. We are all in this together and, as always, we love you."
To learn more about 8MM and their music, check out their official website.
More about 8mm, Ep, heartshaped hell, Alternative, Duo
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