Updated: Feb 11, 2018
Haloscope got the chance to talk with frontman Kieran Hansen of impressionist rock band Aerial View about the band’s history, their latest release, and what inspires him to keep making music.
HS: If you could Introduce the members and who does what?
KH: I’m Kieran Hansen, I play guitar and sing. Brendan [Brady] plays drums and Rye Ann Gregory plays bass. This has sort of been our live set up for the most part. For the past two releases, it's been kinda Brendan on drums and sometimes keyboard, and then I’ve done vocals, guitar, and bass.
HS: So what's the history of Aerial View, how did it's formation come about?
KH: It started as an electronica project way back in high school, in like 10th grade or something, and I just made wack sounding stuff. But somewhere along the way I just decided to get more into songwriting [as I already played the guitar]. I had a sort of one man band thing for a while.
Brendan and I went to high school together and we both went to School of Rock, which was a program [for] kids who wanted to play music together. We were in there with Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield from The Obsessives, just various other people who all wanted to rock 'n roll. I think there was some sort of thing where we were sort of grouped off, there was a songwriting challenge or something, so I was like “I’ve written some songs so I'll teach them to Brendan and we could just jam ‘em.”
For a while, it ended up being Coby Haynes [of Bleary Eyed] on the drums, but it didn't become a real band for the longest time. [There were] a couple of months, I would say a year, of members being all over the place. We had all sorts of people, like Clayton Gibbs [of Bust Off] was the guitarist at one point and Ashe from Djembe Jones was the bassist. Jonas [Farah-Bumstead of Dissonance] has played drums for Aerial View on numerous occasions. There were just all sorts of really random lineups.
HS: When did this current line up solidify?
KH: I would say Brendan and I sort of played regularly as Aerial View as of two years ago, and Rye Ann, who's got their project Lies Kill, joined like half a year back.
HS: I’ve noticed on your Bandcamp you guys have released 3 EP's, among some demos over the course of you being a band: Woodmoor in 2014, Wear in 2016 and, lastly, Golconda in 2017. How have you guys noticed your development as both people and artists over the course of time with each EP?
KH: When it started out, we were just teenagers, and now we’re like 20, so we’re barely not teenagers. Along with growing as people, we’ve definitely sort of composed our skills. I definitely think that in my mind I see Aerial View having a lot of sort of sonic changes through time.
But I feel like we’ve actually gotten more experimental than less. Like on the Woodmoor EP there's a lot less variety of sounds and then it increased on Wear, and then on Golconda there's a lot of stuff going on. It's sort of interesting to see the progression and be like “Whoa, maybe I shouldn't have done this” or maybe “I wish I had done this,” but the process itself it [has been] pretty fun.
HS: According to your tags, correct me if I’m wrong, you guys identify your sound to be a sort of "impressionist rock." Could you talk about that and what it is and how you sort of established or became comfortable with this being your sound?
KH: I like the name "impressionist rock" because it's one of those things where we have a lot of different sounds- so if we just say impressionist rock, people won't have any sort of idea in mind that's really solid. Like, if we say we’re shoegaze and people listen to us they’d be like “This isn't quite shoegaze.” If we say we’re [progressive rock] they'll say “Well, kinda.” But if we say we’re impressionist rock and they're like “What's that?” and they listen to us they're like “Well, that must be what it is.”
I kinda [sic] of came up with [impressionist rock] because I really like impressionist classical music and the idea of just lots of different sorts of moods and musical parts, so to speak, sort of coming together into one cohesive thing. I think that in a lot of my songwriting I try to put a lot of various things together so that it's sort of impressionist. I would say that in the future, the more songs we sort of work on the more we can sort of try to discover for ourselves what that means cause we’re still growing as a band.
But I've had one of my friends [after listening to us play “Hypnotist’] be like “At first I wasn't sure what impressionist rock meant, but then I heard that and I was like yeah.”
HS: Do you guys have any goals in the near future to work towards releasing a full length?
KH: I have a batch of songs, about 12 or 11, that are sort of demos or ideas. I just have to send them to Brendan for a possible sort of debut LP, so we’re exchanging ideas right now. I’m interested in getting more people involved in the recording process, like more friends like Rye. I think it would be neat because I feel like an LP [is a] very challenging thing, you have to have songs that can stand on their own but also be cohesive but I’m pretty confident so far.
HS: Last month you guys released the song “Family Catalogue” - beautiful song by the way- and I feel like its lyrics are particularly applicable with the nearing holidays, could you talk about it for a but? What's the intent behind it?
KH: There's one specific memory that comes to mind, but this has happened on multiple occasions: basically, I was looking at this catalog, it was Christmas or Thanksgiving- and it's just a family hanging out around a dinner table and they're all eating and laughing and various things, but it made me feel very sad because it was clearly an advertisement to sell a product and these people didn't even know each other. They were just actors pretending to be a family, creating family memories and things like that and it's all just an advertising point. Advertisements that are aimed at families in general just make me feel very sad on an almost primal level, it's like when you can tell something is a facade. That's how I’d describe it feels.
HS: At the end of the day, what really inspires or fuels you to make music and continuing making?
KH: I just love music a whole lot, and I like it as a sort of form of communication and a source of beauty. I think it's interesting to sort of show a part of yourself to the world, it's like editing parts of yourself and showing various things and seeing how people can identify with them. ✉
piece by: lydia velazquez
visuals by: lydia velazquez