New York Rock / Pop Band - MORNING SILK
"More than anything I want to find a way to make producing/writing and playing music sustainable. It is such a hard thing to do, with spotify paying .001- .003 cents per stream... I guess the dream is to just keep making music"
Music is powerful and full of emotion. There are a lot of bands that channel emotion through their music, and Morning Silk, an NYC based rock/pop band, is one of those bands. Their music is full of beautiful synths, and emotional melodies. Through and through - Morning Silk does a beautiful job of making music for listeners that want to feel deeply.
We had the opportunity to ask the artists behind Morning Silk a few questions about their motivations, journey and amazing new EP - which you can read about below. This piece was also featured in LONER Magazine Issue 10 - “Things Don’t Feel Like They Used To”.
Who is Morning Silk? How did you come to exist?
Morning Silk is the name that I came up with, with my main collab partner at the time, Matt. We needed a name to play songs I wrote, so we thought about our influences at the time, and morning silk just sounded best for what we imagined we wanted to sound like. Originally, I had no experience recording music, but I had been playing guitar for years having toured as a session player. I didn’t really even know how to write songs at that point.
I would create these songs with 5-6 movements in odd-time, with a progressive structure that never really returned to where it started. I guess I was just really hungry to play live shows, since I saw a lot of bands doing some pretty cool stuff in the Providence/Boston scene. I realized that in order to play live, we would need to record some material so we could show venues/other artists what we did. That sparked the beginning of the recording process, which led to building a studio with some other musicians. After a year of building a studio, I completely rewrote ideas and began to find a more relevant structure to songwriting. I started writing and recording songs simultaneously, which was a new process for me, and changed the way I thought about writing music.
The Band just released a new EP, ”Morning Silk”. Can you think of a few memorable moments while making this EP ?
Covid had just taken over the world. We completely shut down the entire city of New York. A lot of people left to go elsewhere, but I didn’t really have that option. I had been temporarily laid off, and was holed up in a tiny studio in Manhattan. I opened up an old macbook from 2011, and a MicroKORG gifted to me from Caroline, and started writing some melodies with chords.
I had never written anything starting with a synth. What I realized is that I thought of melodies very differently while playing keys, and taking the guitar out of the process somewhat. I started an idea with guitar and then immediately transported that onto the KORG and then I started layering bass synth over synth chords/guitars.
I think this was the beginning of the record because it sort of created a process for the whole EP.
The first words that came to mind were “Cause if it don’t pay the rent, pay no mind try again.” The melody was so playful and different, and I remember singing it while playing the bass synth. It just made everything simpler. The KORG is only 4 voices also, so there was no distraction between the songwriting and the sounds. I think I made 4 demos that week which would end up being the bulk of the EP.
I finished producing these demos on the KORG in my tiny apartment. Once the city opened up I booked out 3 days at my studio we had just built, and Matt and I went in with our engineer Eamon Ford and started to track the whole EP with drums.)
What impact would you like your work to have on your listeners? What message do you hope comes across through your work?
I think a lot of the lyrics I end up writing come from a place of self support. I never felt supported musically growing up. I remember wanting to do things, but I just didn’t feel like I was allowed to because my parents probably wouldn’t allow me to do them.
I just had this whole repressed identity because I was taught not to believe in myself unless someone else believed in me first. But all of that is nonsense. I think I want people, especially younger people to do what they want. Don’t get stuck doing something you don’t want to do, just because everyone else thinks that there is only one way to live your life.
I think it’s a super privileged mentality, but I also think you don’t have to decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life when you’re 15 years old. I feel like I was forced to choose my path when I was 14 or 15 years old. A lot of the music was created in a way that made me feel like I was starting my life over, but with a lot more hope in front of me.
I want people to know it’s okay to start over. As long as you find your place in your own way, and work harder than you’ve ever worked, you will end up okay. At least that’s what I keep telling myself haha.
Do you have any big dreams for the band? What are they? I want to play the next record I’m working on, on a support tour. I also would love to play in a gallery or museum someday. But more than anything I want to find a way to make producing/writing and playing music sustainable.
It is such a hard thing to do, with spotify paying .001- .003 cents per stream, to major tours ending in massive amounts of debt. I guess the dream is to just keep making music and my studio, and produce music to make it a sustainable practice. I think some of my favorite artists have just given up or quit because of the current climate in the music industry.
What advice do you have for other musicians trying to pursue music as a career? I think the main message I would send is to love what you’re doing regardless of what anyone thinks. There are all of these ideas and trends out there that will try to tell you what is cool, what is good etc. I think you should learn from those moments, but always keep what is you alive in any music you make.
That is the only thing you have, don’t throw that away because it's not “In” right now. Also don’t be afraid to rework songs to present the world with your adjusted vision. It’s a different world today. Take advantage of the tools we have and the community around you. Once you find a place of community with your work, they will support you forever. Don’t take them for granted!
What’s next for Morning Silk?
I am working on another record right now called “Dark City Silence.” This is a very heavy synth record with some hints of r&b. I’ve been teasing it here and there, but I am so excited for this one. It is so beyond anything I have ever done!
I am also wrapping up an indie rock record inspired by some very close collaborators/friends of mine. Every song on this indie rock record is inspired by at least one of my friends who is an artist that I have produced/worked with. I think this is the most collaborative record to date, because I normally just write alone!
But I am excited for this one because I think this record has some humorous moments. I remember I had a painting professor that once told me a story about how he never even considered humor in his work. It wrecked him and changed his whole life. I feel a little bit like that right now.. I think this record is kind of funny.. The lyrics are really special and playful, and the melodies are very childish and playful.)
What do you think, if anything, makes being a human being so special?
I can’t help but think of all of the AI art everyone is posting about these days. It’s cool but I think it’s missing something major. There is hardly any humor in it. The people on tik tok making very niche specific memes, sampling a clip from a 2006 pop culture reference is really where we are right now.
I think my generation has really “grown” up together and our humor has evolved around that due to the social internet age. This is sort of silly but seeing the city respond to covid really put us to the test of what it means to survive as a human against a virus. I felt emotional when the world opened back up and I was able to see people from my window, biking down the streets of the city again. It helped me write/finish the EP I was working on.