Interview: Cincy Post-Punk Duo Amanda's Scanner

What course of events brought Amanda's Scanner together? What ideas or influences been a key factor in your music from the very beginning?

madge: nick joined as the guitarist of my first band, it was very punk and angry music as i had just been raped and was not doing well in school or with people in general. he helped me exorcise that experience, we would drink costco margarita mix and burn each other with cigarettes and write wretched fast songs. the songs were not my favorite but writing music with him was, and i fell in love with him. when that band broke up, we moved in together. nick sent me the first of the demos for amanda's scanner when i was on tour, so very far away, but the second i heard it it was like, okay, here we go again, the ball is back in motion, right? and it is time to be angry again. but precise anger. we have invited friends to play with us that share that emotion, in some way. intensity and a sense of urgency, maybe.

nick: as for the writing of that first song... We knew we wanted to do something kind of darker and less like, explicitly angry. So after a few glasses of wine one night and listening to a lot of death rock, and having somehow managed to set up my four-track, I wrote the bass line that eventually became the wash and we've just been trying to do things in that vein since. also, the name: we had a roommate named amanda who had a scanner. I said Amanda's Scanner out loud once and I liked how it sounded so reserved the bandcamp domain. Think that was before we wrote the first song... But coming up with the name was kind of an impetus for writing the music, or something like that.

madge: hahaha. at this point i am what could be called a Bitter Person, so lyrically i whirlpool around the same pain.

Does all the music for this particular project all circulate around the same sense of anger? Do your songs tend to be written at the spur of the moment to capture certain feelings?

nick: so far, the formula for writing the music has been to come up with a bass line that we base the structure around, programming the drums and then recording the bass on top. after that pretty much everything goes in the first take--guitars, noise blips, even vocals (which are written in advance but madge is a talented vocalist and has managed to nail everything on the first take)

The bottom of your bandcamp page notes that your two current single releases are from ENTERING THE FLESH AGAIN. Do you have a full album release planned for the future? Do you plan to perform your material live?

nick: we plan to keep writing music and to eventually release an album or tape or something... madge liked that name for the album so noted it on the release, (the two songs are really just demos but we wanted to put something out to encourage us to keep making stuff and to see if people liked it). we've had a band practice with a few of our friends and are hoping to play a show some time in september and to see where that takes us. but for now we're sort of planning to keep recording music at home and releasing singles, then maybe doing a tape compilation of those songs. we really just want to keep writing music and putting it out in whatever capacity or medium seems appropriate.

madge: we are planning on headlining south by southwest in 2017

I'm stoked to hear more material, I'm sure a tape release would have rad artwork! Who put the cover for "The Ball / The Wash" together? It's really intense and kinda futuristic. Seeing it browsing local bandcamp releases made me click on it instantly. What SXSW stage are you planning on playing? The Universal Studios Minions™ Pavilion?

nick: ideally every crowd we play for would be dressed entirely as minions madge made the artwork in like five minutes in a web based image editor. we really just wanted to put it out and the artwork was kind of secondary, but thank you for your kind words

The font you used was mind-blowingly punk.

madge: pixlr.com!

nick: olde english i believe

What kind of music have you been listening to lately? To what degree do you think it affects your Amanda's Scanner material?

madge: we've been listening to a lot of yung lean, his music is very honest and openly about his own mental breakdown. same with kanye... nick's consuming anything with electronic beats because he's teaching himself how to do that for amanda's scanner.

nick: when we first started writing the music, i had been listening to the killed by deahtrock comp and a lot of terror bird. but yeah yung lean as of late

That interview Yung Lean did with The Fader made me revisit his new music lately. Really beautiful and intense stuff 💕 What art outside the realm of music inspires you?

madge: iron chef

no but that's a tough one.. that fader interview is great. the climate of cincinnati is inspirational, though that word doesn't feel correct. inspirational should be a positive. on the 19th, it will be a year since the shooting of sam dubose. lots of my friends don't have money for food here while $1,500 a month studio apartments are being opened downtown.

What is the first piece of music you can remember listening to?

madge: my dad and i singing along to "bad to the bone" when i was 6

nick: i remember like singing puff the magic dragon with my mom on the way to a day care center when i was like 5 probably, too young to get the implications but thinking of it right now it's a pretty funny scene