Saturday, April 5, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Album

1. Why is "Trad.alt.blues" not a Roundabout album?

Because it's just Andres Roots & Raul Terep playing on it.

2. Andres and Raul - are you guys Spanish?

No, we're Estonian. And yes, those are our real names.

3. Why did you decide to perform and record as a duo?

We didn't, really - it's just that the line-up of Andres Roots Roundabout changed over Christmas, with bassist Peeter Piik replacing guitarist Martin Eessalu as the third member of the group; and then Peeter ended up in hospital right before we were due to go on the road with Finland's Devil Box. Martin would have helped us out but he was on the road with MOduo, and thus we had two options: do the shows as a duo, or cancel. We hate to cancel.

When Antti Alanko of Devil Box told us he was going to tape their performances and asked if we'd like him to record our shows as well, we said yes: we'd only had time for one quick rehearsal and had been wondering what it all sounds like. The idea to make an album out of it only occurred when we heard the tapes back and went "Hmm..."

4. Why does it sound like a field recording?

Because that's what it is, essentially, and that's part of the reason we like it so much - we had been thinking about putting out something rougher and not studio-produced for quite some time, and this was the perfect opportunity. It's a one-track stereo recording made from the audience, so there wasn't even anything to mix. Field recordings are cool!

5. Was there an octaver used to enhance the bass frequencies?

No, Andres has never used an octaver. He does favour the open G tuning on his guitar, which goes pretty low, and for the duo shows, the guitar signal was split between a bass amp and a guitar amp. But it's still just guitar and drums you hear throughout "Trad.alt.blues".

6. If there's no bass, why is there a bass solo on "Legacy Blues"?

Because there are no limits to our arrogance and temptation is a terrible thing...?

7. Why is it called "Trad.alt.blues" - and which is it then?

Both, and possibly neither - quite a bit of it *is* blues, though. The title was in fact suggested by Steve Lury long before these recordings were made - we had been discussing the fact that in Estonia, our music is always pictured as "very traditional", whereas abroad it's usually labelled as "alternative".

8. Why is there a waltz on the album?

There was a tango on the last one, wasn't there? But really, what would you do when you get a request for "House of the Rising Sun" and you really don't like taking requests?

9. Are you going to continue as a duo or a trio and how is Peeter?

Peeter is fine and we'll be appearing as a trio on April 12th at the Linna Pea Rock festival in Rapla and on May 8th at the Tartu Jazz Club. But we'll also be continuing as Roots & Terep - the next duo show is in Tallinn on April 19th at the Buffalo Bar & Grill.

10. Are you planning to release "Trad.alt.blues" as a regular CD album?

Not at present. The free download will be available from April 6th to May 8th; if there's still a lot of interest beyond that, we may consider it. 

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