Sympathetic Frequencies has evolved into a solid, melodic indie rock act via sharp pedal effects, thick driving rhythms, and a very passionate edge. We believe they’re on the rise and wanted to know more about the band so we interviewed frontman Trevor O’Neill while photographer Mallory Turner shot some portraits.
Is there a story behind your moniker?
“Our name comes from the harmonic phenomenon known as sympathetic resonance where the vibrations of one object cause another object to vibrate. You’ve probably seen this happen when your stereo is cranked and something in the room starts to vibrate with certain tones. I always feel like I’m doing a Bill Nye impression when I talk about this. I came across this concept years ago when I was super into jazz and it always felt kind of magical to me. I love the idea of putting a sound out in the world and letting it resonate with everything that it comes in contact with. Plus it fit my habit of giving my bands unnecessarily long names.”
You worked on your forthcoming sophomore EP with producer Eric Palmquist. How did you recruit him?
“We met Eric through a label that we worked with briefly. They brought him out to a show we played at The Satellite last year and he liked what we were doing. We had a couple of meetings and decided to work together and we are all so glad we did. Eric really dove in with us and helped us tear apart our tunes to get to the core of what we wanted to be as a band. His studio has an incredible vibe. It’s the kind of place where the outside world just falls away and you can really focus on the music. It can be hard to find that when you’re recording in your home town with all the distractions of real life. He’s just amazing all around and we are hoping to be back in his studio very soon.”
How do you think your sound has evolved?
“This band has changed a ton since we first got together. It began as my solo project at a time when I was pretty unsure of what exactly I wanted to do. I was experimenting with a lot of electronic elements, trying to figure out where my main instrument fit in with the music I was making, and learning to sing on the fly at that point. We went through quite a few band members in the early days but once our lineup solidified we were really able to hone what we were doing. We spent a lot of time just playing together, the four of us, in a room trying things and taking risks. A lot of things we tried didn’t work but the things that did helped us reach a really clear vision of what our music is. That process also just helped us get to know each other’s playing and figure out how our parts can work together to best serve the song. Overall we feel so much more focused now and it has really lifted our writing to a new level that we are all super excited about.”
What can we expect from you next?
“We are booking some local dates in the next couple months to try out some of the new tunes on stage before we record them. The new EP will be out this summer. We are also in pre-production right now for a video for our most recent single “Wake Up.” We made our first video, “Wasteland,” ourselves with the help of some super talented friends. We loved the process so much so we’ve decided to make this one too. It’s looking super cool so far so keep an eye out for it.”