Echogram: The Irish Invasion You’ve Always Wanted
Photo Credit: Brian Benjamin Dwyer
While Los Angeles might be the central hub of the music world, there are great up and coming musical talents across the globe. Need proof? Check out ECHOGRAM, the Electronic Rock project of Ireland’s Kilian Petit. Having begun to gain steam in his native Ireland, Kilian is bringing ECHOGRAM, and their single “Conspiracy,” to the U.S. Kilian talks to Progressive Man about what it’s like to work with a Grammy winner, winning an award for the “Conspiracy” music video, and moving to the U.S. to take on a whole new challenge.
Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us! Could you tell us how the band came together and how long you’ve been playing together?
Kilian: I started writing all these songs about 8 years ago; I had an idea of how I wanted them to sound, and how I didn’t want them to sound! It took a while but eventually I made some demos I was really happy with. I sent it out to radio here in Ireland, and pretty soon started picking up some steady airplay. After that, I wanted to get out there and play.
How did you come up with your band name?
Kilian: I wanted a name that sounded like it meant something, but a bit ambiguous. Like Radiohead – what is a ‘Radiohead’ anyway?? Band names are really tough to come up with, but eventually I stuck 2 words together that felt like they conjured up some kind of image. An “echo-gram” sounded to me like a form of communication, like “I’ll send you an echogram later”.
Of course, all of a sudden, every medical tv show was talking about echograms as an abbreviation for echocardiogram! Still, an echogram uses sound to map the chambers of the heart, so maybe it actually turned out to be the perfect band name after all.
What other bands do you look to for inspiration? How would you describe your sound for those who’ve never heard it?
Kilian: Defining your own music is tough, but it has been described in the past as “dark pop music” and “rock with a digital sheen”. That sounds about right to me. Electronic rock is probably the easiest way of describing the sound. I’m very influenced by industrial and post-industrial music, even though I wouldn’t be considered a huge fanatic. I like the mix between big guitars and drums, with synths and programming.
Early 90s is the greatest time for this music, Nine Inch Nails et cetera. I love Depeche Mode and how they dabbled with rock in the early 90s, like how U2 did it the other way around – adding electronics to their sound. Then you have Garbage who was a massive influence, The Smashing Pumpkins and Deftones, Radiohead and A Perfect Circle. Music should be exciting, fearless. If you’re passionate about music you shouldn’t be afraid to mash it all up!
What projects do you have lined up? Are you recording anything new right now or lining up show dates?
Kilian: There is an album in the bag, partly recorded at Cypress Hill’s Temple Studios, and mixed by Sean Beavan at his studio in Hollywood. Sean has worked with Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, 8MM and Slayer, and a track he mixed for Marilyn Manson was nominated for a Grammy this year! I’m looking for the right label / distributor to release it, so that’s something I’ll be working hard on this year.
Apart from that though, I’ve started writing new songs like crazy! Really exciting times creatively, bringing it back down to me and an acoustic guitar. I almost forgot why I was pursuing music; I spent the last 2 years on all the business side of things that I forgot that it is really all about the music.
What would you say is the band’s favorite track to play and listen to? Why?
Kilian: The song ‘Windows’ is a live favourite. It’s got a driving beat and bass line in the verses, then opens up into this very epic chorus, soaring vocal line and chimey guitar. It’s a big track that I feel sums up the ECHOGRAM sound.
As for a favourite song to listen to? That’s a tough one. I did a Top 5 for a blog in Ireland recently, a mixture of songs I love and that remind me of happy times. The easiest thing to do is tell you that Top 5: U2 ‘Zoo Station’, Depeche Mode ‘Enjoy The Silence’, Deftones ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’, Dexy’s Midnight Runners ‘Come On Eileen’, The Beatles ‘Across The Universe’(Let It Be… Naked).
What was your favorite part about shooting the music video for Conspiracy?
Kilian: All of it!! From coming up with the concept, to casting the actors, finding the locations, to the actual day of the shoot – it was all so much fun. What a great experience altogether, plus we won an IMTV award!! We had a fantastic director, Shaun O’Connor, and he made everything look wonderful. But we had a great team to make everything go smoothly; if I could I’d make a video for every track on the album! Maybe I will…
What made you choose that song to make a music video for?
Kilian: It’s a very immediate track, very easy to catch onto and sing along to. It has always gotten a great reaction live, as well as on radio. It was the obvious choice to release it as a single. From the video point of view, it seemed perfect to make a video with a story arc, a narrative. That was important to me.
What’s one of your favorite memories during the time you guys have been together?
Kilian: Getting the IMTV award was possibly the greatest achievement to date, it felt like a vindication for all the hard work and dedication. Plus, it was a public vote so I am very grateful to everyone who got us that award. Besides that, there have been many other high points; recording at Cypress Hill’s studio, getting the album mixed by a Grammy nominee, playing shows in LA and New York, loads of airplay. It’s been a great adventure so far, hopefully even better times to come.
What are some of the long-term goals of the band?
Kilian: Right now I’m working on relocating ECHOGRAM to the US. Ireland is a great place for music and creativity, but there comes a time when you have to go where people really get your music. I’ve always felt that the ECHOGRAM sound is very much at home in America, probably because of the massive influence American artists have had on me. Hopefully I can get out there before the summer, and hit the ground running. I really feel that once I get out there I can make anything and everything happen.
Where can people go to find your music?
Kilian: The easiest thing to do is go on Facebook.com/ECHOGRAM, ‘Like’ the page and follow the links. Also, type “echogram conspiracy” into YouTube and you’ll see our IMTV award winning video, plus loads of other clips.