Progressive rock act Euphoria Station returned in September with the release of their sophomore album ‘The Reverie Suite.’ Vocalist Saskia Binder opens up for Prog Sphere about the creative process behind the new record, its message, and more.
Define the mission of Euphoria Station.
We love to create music. Our dream would be for The Reverie Suite to be heard and have people feel something from it. I started singing in hopes that people who hear the music would be moved by it. I personally have my favorite songs that have been very meaningful to me in one way or another. Being moved by music is not new. And if the people from our audience are touched by our music…I am happy.
Tell me about the creative process that informed your new, sophomore album “The Reverie Suite” and the themes it captures.
I would give Hoyt requests such as “ I want to feel like I walked into a hoedown in the middle of the forest” or “I want to look through window into childhood, with my best friend on the most perfect day lying on the ground, cloud watching.” These two suggestions influence the songs Reverie with its orchestral section and Seasons’ outro hoedown. Another spark of creativity was places in New Mexico and South Dakota that we visited that have a lot of Native American influence. Songs like Seasons, Remind Me, Prelude/ She’s Calling, Content and Queen of Hearts have sections of Native drumming, shakers and flute. These are some of my favorite moments and make me feel like I’m in an old town at the dance square with Natives and Settlers comingling.
What is the message you are trying to give with “The Reverie Suite”?
Some of the songs on the album have a very happy, uplifting sound and a lyrically joyful, playful kind of interpretation. Then songs like “On My Way” is about leaving my hometown as a child (Sacramento) and moving far away south (Los Angeles). I was devastated to leave a place I knew as home only to go to an unknown new home. That anticipation of what’s around the corner as well as leaving my best friend had emotions flying. Conveying a message through this album would be…roll with the changes! I know it’s the name of a song (which I love!), but it’s true. From childhood to adulthood, life is what you make it. L.A. is my home now and has been for a long time, but I embrace all I went through and am excited about the next adventure!
How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Many of the ideas came while we were in nature or on our way to nature. The song Seasons, for example, came about when we were waiting on the side of the road in Sequoia that was blocked with some debris. While waiting for it be cleared, Hoyt experimented with an alternate tuning, feeling the high altitude and being in the moment and began rhythmically tapping the verse chords. I began humming some ideas and we immediately grabbed the handheld tape recorder that we travel with!
Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?
Yes, the music and the lyrics flow from past to present. There are motifs that appear throughout with some acting as memories and others as anticipations of things to come.
Describe the approach to recording the album.
The number one goal was to have all real instruments. There are no synthesized or virtual instruments on this record. Just real humans making real music. That’s also why our keyboardist Ronald Van Deurzen does not use any synthetic sounds, sticking instead to piano and organ, reaffirming the organic direction we went for on our album.
How long was “The Reverie Suite” in the making?
It is quite interesting to me how the music turned out. That old adage how the music speaks for itself and how it tells us what it should sound like…so to say, actually has merit. There have been quite a few times for me when I would hear something over and over and be happy with it, only to have Hoyt change it. It was a feeling and I knew in my gut, it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Although I do look forward for our next album to not take so long : )
Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?
The Allman Brothers and The Doobie Brothers, but this release was less influenced by bands than it was America’s scenery, folk music and Native culture. In our travels from Northern California with its amazing Sequoia trees to New Mexico’s enchanting plateaus and Utah’s heavenly formations, we’ve seen the beautiful land that exists as it once did minus the Natives who live freely in it. Seeing nature in all its glory reminds me of a time when we were more spiritually connected, and music was the vehicle for that connection.
What is your view on technology in music?
Technology is unavoidable these days. On one hand I admire where music came from in that it was in the moment and served a purpose in communities. It served multiple purposes – spiritual, ceremonies, celebrations and mourning. A lot of these element s have been lost over time due to technology, but without electricity there’d be no rock or the album as an art form, so I embrace technology. There is a point where everything becomes too stale and robotic and that is my only beef with technology. You must keep the human element. Without it, I’m not sure what the point is.
Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?
The Reverie Suite has a story to tell. It invokes feelings of joy and bliss, sadness, adventure, memories, childhood, experiences, best friends. There is something very tangible for me because the story is real. The beauty of feeling so many different emotions that come in the form of music is an absolute treat that lasts forever! I can always put on a cd or You-tube or whatever is in and play it at any point in life and re-create that feeling! I do it all the time. Music is very special.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plans are to get The Reverie Suite out to the world. We have been very humbled by the responses and look forward to promoting the album live as well. We are looking forward to bringing our music where it takes us : ) I am that dog with my tongue hanging out with my head out the window of a car going down the highway thoroughly enjoying the moment! THANK YOU!
For more about Euphoria Station visit their website.