Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Repeater

California-based art-rock group Repeater dropped their nineties/electronic-influenced self titled album on November 18th (available for purchase here). In our recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? spoke with vocalist Steve Krolikowski to discuss his love of New Order, dream collaborations, and being extremely witty. Here’s what he had to say:

AMBY: Hey Repeater, thanks for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?

Repeater: Hi, this is Steve. We just took way too long finishing an album. All the wonderful people involved in Repeater are crawling out of the studio and toward the stage. We also just finished filming a music video for our single ‘Lonely’. It’s a tribute to one of my favorite videos, ‘The Perfect Kiss’ by New Order, directed by Jonathan Demme.

AMBY: You released your self-titled album in November, congrats! What’s one of your favourite moments from the writing or recording process?

Repeater: I had the luxury of working with Christopher Fudurich in his studio over an extended period of time. The greatest experiences were adding those special instruments and touches after the basic tracking and arrangement was done. Recording my Guzheng for the first time on the track ‘Keep My Shape’ may have been the highlight. Another big moment was hearing the song ‘Uniform’ come to life after many years of being in my head, partially finished. That one is a real tribute to my friends who are no longer in the band and the music we created together.

AMBY: The album was inspired by the electronic sounds of the 90’s. Which artists had the biggest influence on you while creating the record?

Repeater: The album itself was influenced by several decades of music, but it’s all stuff that has an interesting, processed feel on record. New Order. The Big Pink. Primal Scream. Metric. The XX. Jesus And Mary Chain. Cocteau Twins. The Cure. It’s a collection of pop songs but we used a lot of layering and effects. Real and programmed drums are present on every song. Analog synths, step sequences, 12-string guitars, percussion, and a lot of vocal stacks from me and Tess Shapiro. If there is a common theme to the record, it is reminiscent of the late eighties and early nineties when post-punk bands became ‘alternative’ and adapted to slicker production and dance sounds while still writing very simple songs with a few pop structures. Of course we are influenced by modern indie sounds and by the catalog of Repeater as a band, which you may find very diverse.

AMBY: If you could collaborate with any three of your influences, which would you choose?

Repeater: Brian Eno: He is one of the most influential musicians and producers and I love so much of his work and his impact on modern sounds. His work with other people has almost always proven to be beneficial to both parties. Elizabeth Fraser: The former Cocteau Twins singer is famous for refusing projects and expressing lack of inspiration for collaborative efforts. I would love to write a bunch of songs she likes, just for her to lay down words and vocals. Prince: I think his infectious pop songs would be very well interpreted by a group like mine. If you’re reading this, send me a bunch of unreleased stuff from the vaults!

AMBY: What was the first record you bought, and do you feel that album had an impact on your music?

Repeater: The first record I bought was the 45 for ‘Rock Of Ages’ b/w ‘Billy’s Got A Gun’ by Def Leppard. It may not be similar to what I’m doing now, but it sure is dark, heavy, and very much a layered studio creation. I’ll stand by that one!

AMBY: Describe your dream concert and who would be on the bill.

Repeater: Well, I saw that tour with David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails, that was something I’ll brag about for the rest of my life. I think another dream show would be Tom Waits with a full band – and how about a long set by Sonny Rollins to open? All my dream shows have only 2 acts – more than that and you get fatigued, or the bands don’t get to play long enough.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Repeater that nobody knows yet?

Repeater: ‘Repeater’ is an anagram of ‘Repartee’ – every member of Repeater, past and present, considers themselves extremely witty and masters of their domain.


Thank you Repeater, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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