Lavinia is the post-rock super-group that everyone’s been talking about. Featuring members from bands such as Caspian, Eksi Ekso and The Burning Paris, they’ve started off in a big way with their incredible There Is Light Between Us. Beginning 2011 in the same matter, they’re touring the U.S. and are also making an appearance at The Mylene Sheath’s Showcase at SXSW. I caught up with Nate Shumaker, who gave us the past, present and future of the band.
Ben: What made the members of the band get together to form Lavinia? Relationship from the Mylene Sheath?
Nate: When I left Eksi Ekso in the spring of 2009, Alex (Eksi Ekso) and Phil (Caspian) and I decided to do another separate project together. We talked Josh (ex On Fire, The Burning Paris) to come out of semi retirement and join the group. Most of our other bands have been involved with The Mylene Sheath and it was just sort of a natural progression for them to want to put out the record. We’re glad they liked it enough and have seen it through for us.
B: What is your favorite track off the album?
N: If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “Destroy Yourself” simply because it set the mood for the record quite nicely and it was the first tune we worked on together that really came to fruition.
B: Now, is this album just a one-and-done deal, or will Lavinia continue to put out more releases?
N: Everyone has pretty busy schedules with other bands and lives and what not. But we’d all like to make more music together for sure. I can’t answer when that will happen, but we’re pretty sure we’ll make another record.
B:”There Is Light Between Us” is an incredible album, and everyone I’ve spoken to has said great things about it. What do you think people connected to most about the album?
N:I think there’s a little bit of everything in there for people. I mean there’s quiet drone parts, heavy bombastic parts, spacey and atmospheric parts and we have vocals which may help people connect to it more. But we’re happy people seem to be enjoying the record so far. It’s flattering because we really only went into make this music for ourselves and it’s nice to know people appreciate it for what it is.
B: All of you come from very well-respected bands. Was it difficult to encompass everyone’s opinions in the making of the album?
N: It really wasn’t difficult at all actually. Most of us are fans of the same musical forces which made it relatively easy for all of us to come together to write these songs.
B: What is the reason you chose Lavinia as the band name?
N: We had originally settled on a different spelling of the name, but we all sort of enjoyed the mythology in the name Lavinia and it just sort of stuck with us.
B: Can we be expecting any sorts of touring?
N: We actually didn’t play the Last Night on Earth this year, but we’ll be doing some regional dates here and there in 2011 as well as an appearance at South by Southwest this March at the Mylene Sheath showcase.
B: How is it different working with this band than working with your original bands? Less/more creative input…etc.
N: I’d say this band is a lot more free and didn’t have any major pressures on it other than to make the music we wanted to make. We didn’t go into it with any presets or anything, so it’s been nice to work with like-minded individuals such as these guys.
B: How did you get into post-rock?
N: For me, it was hearing Mogwai’s “Come On Die Young.” Though I had been enjoying bands like Tortoise and Swans other bands that were arguably post-rock before hearing Mogwai; I think “Come On Die Young” just blew me away on so many levels that I knew I wanted to create music that was that emotionally powerful and artsy all at the same time. There’s also a darkness to that record that I really related with as well.