We reviewed “Paper Says”, the fantastic collection of songs from The Quiet Revolution. We thankfully got a chance to speak to Tal More, the creative genius behind the music to see what makes him and his music tick…
What originally sparked the idea of The Quiet Revolution and the more unusual approach of having guest artists on board for different songs?
Singing has always been an issue for me. I don’t consider myself a great singer and as far as personality goes – being a front man never appealed to me. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes sort of person in my nature, so the concept of other singers singing my material seemed like the right path to take. Instead of just offering songs to various singers, I thought a songwriting project could be a better idea- since it could help me kill four birds with one stone: allow me to choose exactly the people I want to work with, match songs that will fit them, have control over the outcome and get an opportunity to voice my musical agenda during the process. The name ‘The Quiet Revolution’ had been buzzing around my head for a while since most of my music is low-key and because I think the music industry sort of needs a revolution that will bring back some old school values of songwriting– so that’s how TQR was born.
What gets you going as a songwriter that then inspires you to write these tracks?
I usually write about things that relate to my life in some way or another or things that evoke some sort of emotion in me. Since creativity is something that’s very important to me, I usually try to give songs some sort of twist or aim at a deeper meaning. For example, the next TQR track that will be released on June 1st is called ‘This Human Zoo’. The basic thing I wanted to write about was a feeling of alienation and loneliness, so I decided to write about a human zoo on an alien planet. I feel these kind of decisions are what artists should aim for in order to differentiate themselves from other artists and make their songs worthwhile. The easy way out is writing: ‘I feel lonely’. Sure, it gets the message across but anyone can write ‘I feel lonely’. When you try to dig deeper and end up with a sentence like- ‘I wish that I could read the sign I wear’- some people may say it’s good and some people may say it’s bad but either way, it has your own unique signature on it and I think that counts more than anything else.
“Paper Says” is a compilation of your tracks you’ve made to date. Do you feel its representative of the direction you’re heading in?
I definitely want TQR to continue in the direction it’s heading in now: stripped down songs that focus on lyrics, melody and delivery. I do have a lot of material that will require more elaborate productions but for me this project is all about taking a step back and trying to find that basic core that personally I feel so many songs lack today. I think production in a way is like make-up- if you apply just a little it could help you look better but if you go overboard you end up looking like a clown. I prefer the natural look (and sound).
On “Paper Says” you worked specifically with Hadar Green & Tracy Gibbons. How did you find them and how was it working together on the tracks they were involved in?
A couple of years ago I worked for a music site called OurStage. While working there, I came across Hadar and Tracy’s MySpace pages and was really impressed by their vocal skills as well as their songwriting skills. Recording with Hadar was simple- we both live in Israel, so I just sent him an e-mail, we met and ended up recording together. He’s a very cool guy. With Tracy it was nothing short of miraculous- I sent her a message on MySpace not really expecting anything. She wrote back and told me that it was really a stroke of luck because she was coming to Israel for a month and that she’d be happy to cooperate. We recorded some stuff here and hit it off so well- that a few months ago I flew to New York to record more songs with her.
The music video for “Parallel Me” is great. Where did the concept for that come from and how did it all come together?
Thanks. I’m glad you like it. I have a BA in film studies and majored in scriptwriting, so that was a good starting point. I came up with the basic concept for the music video, then worked out the exact script together with Yaniv Shmeltzer, an extremely talented director I met during my film studies. I started looking for an animator and received a warm recommendation about a Jerusalem based stop motion animator called Rivka Press. I checked out a short animation she made called ‘Gary and Mildred’ that was so good, I immediately knew I wanted her for the job. We decided that we wanted the characters, surroundings and background to be composed entirely out of paper and ink to convey the connection between the theme of lost love the song speaks about and the creative inspiration it can ignite in an artist. Half a year and a whole lot of work later- Parallel Me’s music video was ready.
If you had the chance of getting any three guest vocalists onboard for your next project, who would you choose and why?
That’s a tough one. There are a lot of vocalists I would love to work with. Unfortunately Elliott Smith isn’t an option. He would have been my first choice because his music has inspired me deeply as an artist and his low-fi recordings are one of the reasons I believe so much in stripped down songs. But… If we stick to people who are actually alive I’d probably say: Richard Hawley, E (lead singer for the Eels) and Thom Yorke. I love their music, their vibe is somewhat close to TQR’s and I have specific songs that I think will work great with their voices, so guys- if you’re reading this, just drop me a note and we’ll set the ball rolling.
What’s new on the horizons for The Quiet Revolution that you can tell us about?
An EP will be released sometime during the next few months. It will include the songs released so far plus a few new ones. At this point in time, I’m sort of looking for a lucky break that will help TQR reach a wider audience and allow me to really make this quiet revolution work on a much bigger scale. Being indie has many advantages but it’s a hard struggle considering the enormous competition out there and the fact that I’m currently still living in Israel and aiming abroad. I’m looking into different opportunities, so hopefully this revolution won’t stay too quiet for much longer. Considering the staggering amount of songs I have that are waiting to be recorded- it better.
We thank Tal for his time and look forward to more from The Quiet Revolution!