Ravines

Back in the mere infancy of SoundChips, we covered electronic duo Ophelia on two separate occasions. “Eden” was the first feature, while “Play With Me” followed shortly after. Jump ahead two years, and the duo are back with a new single for “Release,” which you can listen to and buy from their bandcamp page. Oh… and they also have a new name – Ravines. We get into the name change, finding their place in a budding New Zealand landscape, and the power of fan supported album creation below. And if you’re in the Auckland, NZ area, be sure to check them out with Miloux at the Wine Cellar on Saturday, May 14th at 8:00 PM.

So what’s the story behind changing the name?

It’s a strange one this – we actually got slapped with a lawsuit in the U.S about a copyright infringement. Pretty annoying, but we are really happy with our new name. We feel it reflects us much more as a duo. As Ophelia, people kept thinking it was a solo act, and we really are a team, so we prefer it!

There seems to be more clarity, more focus on “Breathe” – does that just come from growth as artists, or is there some personal reflection in that as well?

I think it maybe just comes from working together for a while. This is our third EP together, and I think we have gotten to know a lot about each other in a musical sense. The more records you write together, the more you find your footing. We also worked with Michael Szumowski over at Alberts (our publisher) on this one, and he really helps to bring focus to the track. He is great at distilling things down to the message without losing that big feel that we love.

New Zealand has, for obvious reasons, popped up on the music map big time recently. But outside of that, do you feel like New Zealand is finally getting a fair look abroad?

I think in general people are realizing that New Zealand is a great country with a lot to offer. It’s great to see New Zealand bands breaking through on the international stage; there is a really terrific scene here, and as it’s such a small country, it has a really grass roots feel. People do it for the love in NZ , and I think that really comes across in what they make.

How’s the crowd funding campaign going? What can we expect from the new album? Is there a particular sound or element you’re aiming for? Or a new direction you’re hoping to experiment with on the album?

We made it! People have been so generous in helping out, and we have been really overwhelmed by the support. It’s amazing what you can do when you reach out. Nice to know that so many people love what we do!

With this record, I think we are just putting in our favorite tracks. With the previous two, I think we tried to get a uniform feel, but we have realized that we aren’t really one sound or the other. We write in lots of styles, so we wanted to really embrace that variation. There is a ballad, some soul influence, and some of that heavier vibe from before. It’s electric, it’s orchestral… it’s a bit of everything!

With something like the crowd funding, is there more pressure to create something particular to an expectation, or is it possibly the opposite and more freeing?

I think it is very liberating, to be honest.  We can write the record we want with no expectations or external pressures. If it gets picked up by radio again, great. If not, we just get to make the music we want. That’s exactly how we like it!

Do you all have a particular method to pushing yourself creatively, or does the creation process come about more organically?

Creativity is a fickle thing; it comes and goes. I think generally we just love to write, so it comes around pretty organically. We both have a lot of ideas, and I think you can hear how the tracks vary by who it is that starts the process. If the songs come from Alex, they have a more lyrical, storytelling vibe with a folky undercurrent. If they come from Pat, they tend to be more beat driven and textural. We love both, and we hope our listeners do too!