Lowmen Markos' Brendon Helgason Talks Splicing 10-Minute Songs And Glockenspiel On "Flames"

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Lowmen Markos will be performing Dec. 13 at El Corazon
A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Brendon Helgason of Seattle post-rock quartet Lowmen Markos, delves into glockenspiel, the album's release at Easy Street, and putting past mistakes behind them.

Song: "Flames"

Album: Flames

Release Date: August 2011

When it was written: Sometime in 2010

Where it was written: "Flames" was written in a couple different places. It began as an even longer song before we secured our current lineup. We were practicing in a house five days a week back then and cranking out a lot of new material we weren't exactly sure what to do with. The song was finalized when we were down in Georgetown practicing and recording at The Kill Room.

Which part was the hardest to come up with: There is a glockenspiel part at the end of the song that our drummer plays in between heavy drum beats. He does this live and has to switch back and forth between the instruments very quickly. The parts weren't hard to write once we knew where we wanted the song to go, but practicing how to do this was something new for him and it took a little while to get right.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: We try not to focus on that too much. In a perfect world things would go differently because we'd have more money to make records with, which would mean more time in the studio to sit and tweak the hell out of everything. I'm sure everyone has at least one moment in every song that haunts them. We try to put it behind us.

Odd fact about song:"Flames" was originally 10 minutes longer when we first wrote it. The song "Cantos" off our new record was the second half, but when we got our fourth member we wrote longer interludes and ended up with four very distinct movements that would later become different tracks. Flames as a record is kind of one long song that just changes moods four times.

What was your inspiration for writing the song: We try to create a lot of specific atmospheres. Most of our inspirations come from challenging ourselves with moving forward. "Flames" was intentionally darker and more ominous than our earlier songs.

When was your favorite time performing it live: In August, we put Flames out at Easy Street in West Seattle. There were a lot of familiar faces there and we had been working really hard for a long time on these songs. I think that was one of our best shows and it felt really good to put it behind us.

What is the meaning behind the song: We don't have a vocalist so conveying meaning is difficult. Beyond the song name we don't really have any meaning behind it. For all the song names we took some ideas from The Inferno because we thought it fit the mood we were trying to create. The name was kind of after the fact though.

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