I'm usually a sucker for post rock and ambient rock, both genres sometimes maligned by people with no patience whatsoever and dismissed as “boring”. In my humble opinion, a lengthy track doesn't necessarily mean boring, but then again, English is not my first language, so what do I know? Now, Hammock have been doing the instrumental thing for a while and their latest record, Chasing after shadows ... Living with the ghosts really struck gold with my emotions. Marc Byrd, 50% of Hammock kindly responded to a few questions we put together for them. 1) Tell us a bit about the history of Hammock (including how you chose that name) for the uninitiated. Andrew and I have done a lot of behind the scenes in music. In between doing what that requires we started recording some pieces in Andrew’s basement that were strictly instrumental--a complete emotional outlet, without any idea of who, if anyone, would ever hear us. The name Hammock came about after we had recorded and mixed some songs. We wanted to release a record but since the music had been the first priority we hadn’t thought of a name. I had a party at my house. I live far out where you can see the stars. I used to lay in my hammock at night, listen to the day’s work of recordings and disappear underneath the stars. Back to the party--a group of us were walking inside and someone asked, “What should we call this?" and Skye McCaskey, who engineered our first two LPs and EP, saw the hammock in the backyard and said, “Name it Hammock.” You seem to specialise in dreamy soundscapes that could very well work as soundtracks for films, as seen on the great video for ‘Breathturn’. Have you ever been approached by film makers to score their stuff? We do have a very cinematic and compositional approach to music for the most part. We have been approached by numerous people asking us to use our music in a film or video. Lots of people… We’ve been successful with cool placements in film and TV and there was a mention of the possibility of us scoring a NBC series. It makes sense. In a world dominated by autotune and major-scale based songs, what drives you to continue doing atmospheric/drone stuff? It has to do with several things. Probably an artistic vision and desire to make a small comment about our culture. Andrew and I both need escape. At the same time, we’re very realistic about where we are right now and what we're living through, historically speaking. I think our music gives people some hope to face the present while at the same time creates a space for melancholy and sadness to exist. Culturally, we’re trying to get people to slow down and just listem. Less sound bites, take the time and listen to the entire album. You have your own label, Hammock Music, do you plan to expand it further with more artists that are similar to you or do you plan to branch out with other genres? We wanted to do that at first but now we think we’ll keep the label for ourselves. Who does your artwork? Specially the ones for Maybe they Will Sing for Us Tomorrow and Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts? Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow is named after a visual piece Jonsi (Sigur Ros) and Alex (Parachutes) showed in their art exhibit known as Riceboy Sleeps. They had their first overseas exhibit about three years ago and we were asked to perform at their after party. We wrote all brand new music that just the two of us could perform in a live setting. We got back from the opening and realized we had enough for a record. We contacted Jonsi and Alex to see if they would be open to letting us use the title of a piece from their exhibit called "Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow" as a title for our next full length. They were fine with that and then they offered to create the artwork and now here we are today. Chasing After Shadows, Living With the Ghosts was inspired by Thomas Petillo. He creates all of our photographs and artwork. We travelled through the deep south in an RV searching for the right landscape to shoot this cover. Finally, at the end of the trip, the title Chasing After Shadows...Living With the Ghosts was presented. It was like Thomas knew what needed to happen. He pictured women floating in the dark deep with white on. I now know that Thomas never meant this to be a morbid photo of extinction and drowning but rather a rebirth… A symbolic baptismal experience. Any particular effect pedal you’re really fond of? There are several, but one would be the Line 6 Verbzilla pedal. If I might ask about a few tracks in particular from your new album, I would like to ask about the history behind: a) ‘Andalusia’ The name 'Andalusia' comes from Flannery O’Connor. It’s the name of the farm she lived on in Georgia. A place of light and shade—faith and doubt—grace and depravity. b) ‘The world we knew as children’ Lots of times we idealize childhood and forget about the reality of it. It’s not just delusional. In reflecting on it, eventually you piece together the longing and hope of a forgotten youth with a realistic acceptance based on a “more” mature outlook. This is tough. I have a love/hate relationship with my past and 'The World We Knew As Children' represents a chasm where the past lingers. c) ‘How can I make you remember me?’ My best friend died in a drug related fire, days after I turned 18. I miss him in a very profound way. I wonder if he can remember me? I doubt it, but I hope for a life with my friends and family that might allow me to live as a memory through several generations after I’m gone. It’s like when I read The Bothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. For the most part we’re all just periods and commas. But deep down we want to be a sentence of meaning or a phrase of wisdom. Punctuation serves its purpose, but Truth is eternal. We want that one moment to be real in our lives. Creating a life worth remembering is the key. Both ‘Breathturn’ and ‘You lost the starlight in your eyes’ have some great vocals. Have you considered more vocal tracks (even if it’s only vocalising) in the incoming years? We’ve always used subtle vocal treatments on our recordings. It looks like we might be working with Matthew Ryan in the future on a project that will combine both heartbreaking lyrics and melancholic music. In a previous interview, you have both mentioned Mark Kozelek as the auteur of some of the saddest songs you’ve heard. Have you considered collaborating with him? You’re both distributed by Red Eye too! We love his music and that would be amazing but honestly Matthew Ryan just rips my guts out. It makes sense that we’re starting to work together with Ryan—we both experience a great compassion for, and doubt about, the world we live in… You can visit Hammock by heading to http://www.myspace.com/hammockmusic