The Ambulance are one of the hottest unsigned rock bands in America right now. In fact there intensity impressed System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian that he took them into the studio to record demo's which when signed will make up the basis of their debut album. Pain, regrets, love and truth seep through the lyrics a band who admit they'd much rather open for King Crimson or S.O.A.D and play a set unsuitable for your average radio junkie. We caught up with AJ to find out more.
Q: I guess the obvious place to start is what's the
concept behind the name? Is there an ideology where you make the music
so agressive and so out there that people end up leaving gigs with their
A: On November 9, 1996, I found a siucide letter from my father. Part of it stating a clue where I would find his remains. Still in disbelief, I began searching for him. When a short while later I heard a siren coming from an ambulance a few blocks away from where we lived. I knew at that moment which direction I would most likely discover his body. Three months after that night I decided I would name my band The Ambulance in tribute to my father's cry for help.
There was a never a conciuos ideology behind the music.
We would just jam for hours improvising, making noise that distracted us
from reality. Having no form, no versus, etc. Our music sounded very "out
there". Once I started voicing into the mic, i guess all that would come
out was what i was avoiding all along. Which to some would sound aggresive
and in your face
Q: Rock music is a dominating force in music right
now from the Nu-Metal bands like Limp Bizkit to the punk-pop of Blink 182
or Jimmy Eat World. For our readers out here in the UK where would you
say the Ambulance fit into the scheme of things?
A: It's easy for The Ambulance to blend in with most nu-metal and punk-pop bands only because we have no limits in music. We appreciate the art of writing "song-songs", having a verse and chorus ranging 2-3 minutes long. How ever, this style of writing never keeps Shahen (bass) and Brett (drummer) from weirding out Making what we call our "hits", sound anything but normal. We wouldn't sleep if our pop songs didn't have something testing us, at least for the moment.
I think, in the end we would prefer to open for King Crimson or System and play a set unsuitable for the average radio junky.
Q: Although its rock music through and through what
would you say the main influences of the band are?
A: Speaking for myself, artist like Nels Cline ,Trent Reznor, Hendrix, Iggy, Zorn and bands like Ministry, Slayer, Isis, and Nirvana have influenced my writing.
As a band I think fusion would be the main influence,
because all three of us went through many phases of music as kids growing
up. At the end jazz changed our lives forever, but not before being raised
Q: You're currently in pre-production for the 2nd demo
and the 1st demo recieved critical acclaim the states over. How did System
Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian get involved with producing the band
and what does he add to the bands sound in the studio?
A: Daron Malakian became involved after receiving a recording of The Ambulance from "metal maniac" Steve Vasquez. Who at the time worked with me at a record Store called Music Exchange. Shortly after that, I received a phone call from Daron saying that he liked the sound of the band and was interested in producing our demo.
Daron takes songs that we've written and formats them
so they come across with a clearer understanding to the listener, taking
our music to another level. Since his arrival, we have evolved and established
a unique sound that has become possible because of his guidance, ideas,
Q: Is there an underlying motto behind the Ambulance
and lyrically what are you trying to get across to the audience?
A: Experience, pain, regrets, love and truth are what I am trying to get across to the audience. Those are the things I feel are important. I don't desguise the emotion I'm trying to describe with puzzled lyrics in any of the songs I write. Each song has it's own description of what it's about and each description has it's own emotional reaction that is expressed. If i'm singing a song about guilt then i express shame. If i'm singing about attraction then i express my sexuality and so on and so fourth.
It is important for us to communicate and help each other
understand how we react and what we feel with each other. If we don't communicate
we will never understand what being human is...
Q: I guess with your connections it won't be long before
you head over to the UK. Whats the bands plans for 2002 and is that elusive
record deal in sight now?
A: I have no doubt in my mind that a record deal is already in sight. For right now, after we finish the new demo we plan to continue to play shows and do what we slave to do, creating music and outlets for ourselves and others like us.
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