The adage of too many cooks spoiling the broth can be universally applied on a number of
levels, particularly in artistic relationships, where, for example, too many musicians' egos clash
during the writing and recording of an album. But in the case of New York-based indie rock
outfit Via Audio, having three-fourths of the band penning material for its SideCho debut
album , saysomethingsaysomethingsaysomethin g, has only made a great collection of tracks
Drummer Danny Molad, vocalist/guitarist Jessica Martins, guitarist Tom Deis and bassist
David Lizmi discovered each other as musical kindred spirits while at college in Boston back in
2003. Within a year, the band had begun performing locally, and its self-titled EP became their
calling card. In mid 2005 the band began work on a new album, but the album fell victim to hard
drive failures and sporadic recording schedules. It was during this time though that Via Audio
began generating attention from some highly established indie rock peers. Death Cab For
Cutie's Chris Walla fell in love with the group after stumbling across their MySpace profile. Being
dubbed Walla's "favorite new band" in Under The Radar was a giant boost to the band's
confidence, but it was admiration from another high-profile peer that would eventually lead to the
completion of saysomething….
"Jessica went to a Spoon show, and she went up to Jim (Eno) and was like, 'Hey, we're in a
band and here's our CD,'" says Lizmi. Before too long, Eno had taken a specific interest in the
group, plenty enough to make a considerable effort to produce the outfit. "We were on tour in the
West Coast and he flew out to San Francisco just to see us." After the concert Eno proposed a
deal that the band could not turn down. He invited the group to his Austin studio to help the band
record a new album agreeing to only get paid if/when the band got signed.
Via Audio spent two weeks in Austin with Eno, recording the remainder of the album as
efficiently as possible to ensure that it would be completed on schedule. In fact, because of the
band members' engineering skills, Eno and the band would often be simultaneously working on
the same album. "In one room, Jim would be mixing and in the other room, we would be
recording," says Lizmi.
"Jim's into the analog thing and it was a little bit harder than what we did at home, because of the
fact that it's very honest recording," adds Deis. "We had to really get it right without the luxury of
fixing our little mistakes."
But the tight attentiveness paid off. Not only did Via Audio finally finish the album they had
started nearly a year prior, the foursome walked away with the experience of being able to work
with one of their mentors.
"We were all really pleasantly surprised," Deis recalls. "Every time we'd leave the studio, we'd be
like, 'Jim is amazing.' We saw it as an ideal collaboration. He didn't force us into any direction. He
just gave his input and we usually felt good about what he had to say."
After wrapping mastering in November, the band began speaking with a variety of labels, waiting
for the right relationship. "We were sitting on this record, and we were anxious as to where we
were going to be, or whether we would have to release it ourselves," says Lizmi. To quell their
anxiety, the band leaked a collection of saysomething… demos to blogs with unexpected
success. Within days the band had rocketed to the top of the Elbo.ws <http://elbo.ws/> chart.
Blogs were singing their praises, WOXY began spinning and charting the demos and the band
landed in the pages of Alternative Press as a featured unsigned band. Via Audio eventually
connected with Southern California-based indie label SideCho Records.
The songs of saysomething… reveal a band that has the innate ability to draw from all depths
and corners of its musical upbringing. Although each of the three songwriters has their own style,
the end product is decidedly Via Audio. Credit this to their raw talent and understanding of
how to maintain a seamless, symbiotic creative relationship.
"We all enjoy each others' input," says Deis. "I'll bring in a guitar part and vocal part, or whatever,
and I just say, 'David, do what you want to do. Jess, do what you want to do. Danny, do what you
want to do.' And then we discuss, and usually the person who is playing the instrument has a say
in what their instrument does. We all let each other express each other."
"It's about having fun," Lizmi adds. "It's about having a good time and not taking yourself too
seriously. That's important. And having really solid musical and melodic content. We're trying
to be real conscious about everything we play and everything we put in. Music is first with us…
We've been in this waiting period, just kind of waiting to do a hard push. And with this record, this
is going to be it. It's now a goal for us."