This time, we get to know Terrestrial Animal, a four-piece band made up of Jason - guitar, Sid - bass, Tiff - keys, AJ - drums. Based in Wilmington NC with influences ranging from INXS to The Deftones. The track "Saṃsāra" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
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1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
We are from Wilmington, NC. Jason and AJ are natives from the Wilmington area, Sid is from Fayetteville, NC and Tiff is all the way from England. Wilmington, known as the Port City, has a thriving musical community that we have become fully immersed into since our formation in 2018. We just released our sophomore album Constant State of Decay this past Friday August 25, 2023 and have a few more shows lined up to continue sharing our music with the masses. Although we just released this new album, we have already began working on our next release. There's nothing we enjoy more than making new music.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
The four of us have all been playing music most of our lives and have all been in handfuls of previous bands. AJ grew up playing drums in his church and is a massive hip-hop head. Tiff has always played music her whole life and not just the piano. She also plays the violin, guitar and many other instruments. Jason and his brothers were raised around music, since their father played guitar in bands while they were growing up. Him and his brothers all played various instruments and formed a band together when they were in high school. Sid has always been around music and grew up in the likes of drum circles and always going to concerts. He played guitar for most of his life and then met AJ at a friend's house where they were jamming in the garage. They then formed a band together, but no one played bass. So, Sid decided he would play bass and has been playing it ever since. Many years later that band would dissolve, but then AJ would be asked to join a project with Jason and they formed Terrestrial Animal. Originally, it was just two guitarist and a drummer until after their first show and they decided they should get a bassist. Since AJ had played with Sid in a band before, he asked him to join and the rest is history. We all have always loved and played music and we truly enjoy every moment of making music together.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Our influences vary from person to person, but we have compiled each of our top five biggest ones:
Sid's are: Tool, Pink Floyd, Mastodon, Russian Circles and The Ocean.
AJ's are: August Burns Red, Gojira, If These Trees Could Talk, The Sword and Tom Misch.
Jason's are: Def Leppard, This Will Destroy You, Mogwai, Fugazi and INXS.
Tiff's are: Spiritbox, The Deftones, Tori Amos, Queenadreena and Infected Rain.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
Our goals in the music industry are probably the same as everyone else that makes music: to make it. To actually make it. Make it big. It is a very intimidating thing to do and in this day and age is very challenging just because of the sheer volume of musical artists, not that that deters us from it. Our new album that just came out, Constant State of Decay, is being released and distributed in physical form through Shirley Roads Records out of Durham, NC. That was a milestone for us as well, to be part of a record label. Ultimately, wr really just enjoy making music and out goal in the music industry is to do just that: make and release music so that others can hopefully find some kind of joy in our creations.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Whenever we practice together, we always jam: sometimes impromptu ideas and other times rough ideas that one of us came up with previously. Ultimately, Terrestrial Animal is a jam band. We try to always have everything that we play at practices be recorded because of this process. A good portion of our songs have been from random little riffs that we just expand upon organically and then we just keep refining it until we are at a happy place for it.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
This is one of the most difficult questions I believe anyone could try and answer. I believe that this answer could change for anyone depending on when you asked it to them. For they reason, I cannot answer for all the members of Terrestrial Animal, but I -- Sid -- will try to answer for myself. "Echoes" by Pink Floyd might be the answer. I have always loved Pink Floyd being raised on classic rock and old metal bands. "Echoes" is such a wonderful masterpiece, from the atmospheric elements, the ambient soundscapes and the glorious long jam section in the middle of the song. That song is one of the prime influencers whenever I try and formulate songs and I could listen to it on repeat forever.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
The best advice we have received in terms of music would probably be to do this for yourselves. Make music for yourself. Do not be concerned or worried about what anyone else thinks of it, as long as you love it then it is good. We have fully embraced this concept and we make music for ourselves. Obviously, it is a huge perk when other people also enjoy what we create, but that is not a driving factor for us whenever we do create. As long as we are happy then all is well. We truly believe that everyone should live by this advice for anything and everything they do. You must be happy with what you do and you must do those things for yourself, others will follow suite alongside you.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Our proudest accomplishment is doing everything with our music ourselves: we write, record, mix and master everything ourselves. Sid is main contributor for this process. He has self taught himself the most optimal ways to record everything, countless hours of mixing and mastering music and through much trial and error has been able to finally do the music justice. We as a whole have only gotten better at this DIY operation and things will only benefit from the hard work we have all put into it. Doing everything yourselves ultimately makes the finished product so much more special.
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Our most embarrassing moment as a band was when we played a music festival Port City Blitz V at Reggie's in Wilmington, NC. We were experiencing some very technical difficulties and kept losing power on the left side of the stage, the side where Jason was on: the guitar kept going in and out during the whole performance. Not only was this embarrassing in that of itself, but we were also being filmed by a professional film crew. We made it through as best we could and the video was released and is available on YouTube. We also released the mastered audio as a Live Album. It was embarrassing, but live performances are always a gamble: you never know what is going to happen.
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
I would say that our lowest point in music so far, as it probably was with all musical artists, was the Covid Pandemic. We had to cancel, as did everyone, more than ten scheduled shows in 2020. Then we lost a founding member during this tumultuous period as well, Ryan. He was the main driving force behind our first album, Amorphous Sum, and it was a pretty devastating thing for him to step away from the band. We have no hard feelings whatsoever, it was just a fragile time and we did not know if we would replace him or end Terrestrial Animal altogether. Obviously we didn't call it quits, but instead gained a new band member that lead us to one of our highest points in music so far. We gained Tiff on the keyboards; which we feel made out sound and vision for future music complete. We are an instrumental post-rock band, so the keys serve as filling the void of not having a vocalist and we could not be happier that she joined our musical endeavors.
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