Loops & Loops
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
The most influential experience that I ever had to get me to start making music was back in college when I saw a relatively unknown band called Don Martin 3 at a house party. I had never seen a band in a house, nor a band with as much passion. Upon leaving the show, I thought "I want to make music." Shortly there after, I started to read more about the DIY scene. I was surrounded with people who gave me confidence and encouraged me to make music. I started playing in a shoegaze band in Gainesville, Florida. We played music for hours on end and I learned quite a bit about writing songs. Upon moving to New York City, the band broke up. I was still interested in writing music and started to record quite a bit. Before I knew it, I had an albums worth of material. I sent off material to countless labels and was picked up under the name The Sems. Playing in several venues and releasing two albums and singles, the band eventually fizzled out. Realizing the name The Sems was confused with the game The Sims, I decided upon a name change.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I remember playing a show with my band from college. We were a very loud shoegaze band and wound up playing in a biker bar in the middle of nowhere Florida. Needless to say, the audience was not happy with what we were playing. After several unwelcoming stares and eye-rolling, we stopped after two songs. Shortest and scariest set I ever played!
What has been the high point of your music path?
After I had been recording for a few months, my best Friend asked me if he could hear what I had been working on. I reluctantly handed over the headphones as he listened. He sat there for quite some time, listening. After what seemed like hours, he put the headphones down and said "You really have something here. You need to pursue this." It was after that point that I started sending off demos and was picked up by a label.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
My process always begins with an instrument that I am into at the moment. During the pandemic, I was really into my ukulele. I would play around with some chords and find something that really sounded nice to me. Next, I create a drum beat to match the tempo of what I am playing. Then, I record the instrument I am working with. Generally, I follow with a baseline (unless I stared with a baseline first, then I record a guitar/piano/synth). The next part takes the longest where I work on a vocal melody and lyrics. Afterwards I add various instruments and sculpt away sections to highlight various aspects of the song.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The proliferation and ease of recording and releasing music is the greatest strength and weakness for indie artists today. Anyone with an inexpensive setup and and internet access can release music. This is truly awesome. Artists were once limited by studio access and radio promotion. Every day artists listen to music. For the listener, this is a challenge as there is an over saturation of music. For the avid music listener, this is fantastic. There are so many amazing bands out there! For the average listener, it can be overwhelming. One change that would be amazing for indie artists is proper payment for Spotify/Apple music. Artists spend quite a bit of money on getting equipment, mixing, mastering, and promotion. Since most people listen to music digitally, streaming platforms need to adjust the payment to these artists.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
There are two bands that immediately come to mind: Lord Huron and Cigarettes After Sex. Lord Huron has such fantastic lyrics and amazing song writing techniques. I would love to sit down with them after a show and talk about the song writing process. CAS are equally amazing!
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Since all of the music is written by me, when I play live shows it is a matter of finding the right musicians. This is something that I will have to do now that the pandemic is ending!
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Perhaps the most challenging song that I wrote from the new album is The Light. That song was written, re-written, and re-recorded many times. It went from an epic song with countless tracks, to a song with just guitar and vocals, and the finally a balance of instruments was settled upon. It is always tough when you get stuck in analysis paralysis!
What's coming up in the future?
During the pandemic, I recorded close to 100 songs. The next few months is dedicated to working on the next album. So, quite a bit of time will be dedicated to mixing!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
About Loops & Loops
Pete Bogolub has been making music for over the last 20 years. Starting with a serious shoegaze phase, Pete played bass and guitar in a band in college in a band called Maybe Drowning Soon. The band was heavily influenced by My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, playing very loud shows, but sadly not recording any music. Moving to New York City in 200, Pete and his former bandmate, Joshua Krause, continued to make music under the same name. Due to the noise level limitations of living in an apartment, the music took on electronic drum beats. Joshua decided to focus on the visual arts and Pete began making music on his own. From there, a solo project under the name The Sems was born where two albums and three singles were released. Playing quite a few venues in New York City, The Sems lasted for three years as various members of the band decided to go in different directions. Pete continued to record and make music, but did not release music again until nearly 14 years later. It was during the quarantine that Pete discovered and experimented with lo-fi music. The less restrictive environment made for quite a few songs. Discovering that music could be self-released through Distrokid, Pete began releasing albums again. The newest album, fake face, is less of a lofi album and more of a return to the indie roots of such bands as Yo la Tengo and the magnetic fields.