Spaces For Two combines elements of English pop with classic American folk to deliver an intriguing ethereal sound - Doug Sloan
Shimmering guitars, poetic lyrics, and an overall driving sound makes this Boston band a pleasure to listen to - Mike Gioscia WZLX
Wow. These guys are really really good. We receive loads of independently released albums, but rarely do we hear a band with a sound and style so clearly defined. This Boston, Massachusetts-based band is the duo of Bob McElwain and David Fisher. They met in 2015 by way of a posting on Craigslist and have been working together ever since. The band also now includes Bob McElwain on guitar, Dan Sebring on bass and electric fiddle, and Rogerio Santos on percussion. After recording eleven tracks to be released under the title On The Dial, the two made the wise decision to also include all the tracks on their two previously released EPs (Believe and Gone For The Show). What we like best about this band is the fact that they seem to be emphasizing their songs rather than an image and/or publicity photos. Wise decision, because songs are what matter most. And on this release these two fellows prove that they've got what it takes to have long and rewarding careers in the world of music. They've done an excellent job recording their tunes. These tracks were produced just enough to sound warm and professional without ever coming across as sterile or overproduced. For us, these guys' vocals are the main ingredient. Fisher's got a voice that is immediately sincere, warm, and real. There's a lot of material here. Between the new album and the two EPs the band presents twenty-two tracks...and they all have something substantial to offer. Our initial favorites include "On The Dial," "Find The Girl," "Fall Through the Crack," "The Light," "The Game," "I Don't Know," and "Gone For The Show." - babysue
ON THE COVER OF THE NOVEMBER 2018
ISSUE OF METRONOME MAGAZINE
METRONOME: The last time we spoke was for your debut album Gone For The Show. How did you make out with that record?
Bob: Not bad. Two of the songs from the album got decent airplay and helped get radio interviews and more gigs.
David: It’s a great record. The songs really represented the band at that point in time and it gave the listener a good idea of what to expect when seeing us play live.
METRONOME: What is the name of your second CD and when was it released?
David: We released that shortly after Gone For The Show in late 2017, but it was completely different. In parallel to our indie- rock stuff, Bob and I perform as a duo and these songs were produced to really showcase our
songwriting and musicianship. Without electric guitars or drums, there’s nothing to hide behind.
METRONOME: Who played on that album?
David: Bob and I of course, and Rich Doyle added some percussion. For these songs Bob played acoustic guitar and I made a switch from guitar to piano and keys.
METRONOME: Where was it recorded?
David: Like all of our recordings, we recorded the basic tracks ourselves at our rehearsal space or in my studio. The songs were mixed and mastered at Wonka Sound.
METRONOME: How long did it take to complete?
Bob: Maybe six months from start to finish.
David: We weren’t in any rush. These were songs that we worked on between gigs and we knew we wouldn’t release Believe until Gone For The Show had run its course.
METRONOME: You have a new full-length CD called, On The Dial. How long was it in the making?
Bob: This took more time and resources and took about a year on and off.
David: Yeah, some of the tunes are actually from the same sessions as Gone For The Show, but they were never mixed, so when we threw them up on the speakers we knew we had to include them.
METRONOME: Where did you record those songs?
David: We recorded all of the tracks ourselves in our space or at my studio.
METRONOME: Did you engineer the project too?
Bob: Yes. David did the engineering and Bob Nash at Wonka Sound mixed and mastered the tracks.
David: Bob Nash is great. Definitely consider him for any style of music production.
METRONOME: How long did it take to record?
Bob: About a year.
David: For us recording is usually pretty fast, Bob lays down a guitar track first that becomes the base of the song and we build it up from there. We are fortunate to have great players on the record who nailed the takes quickly.
METRONOME: You plan to deliver your last three recording projects as a triple CD release. Can you tell us about that?
David: When you’re releasing a record, it’s a major effort. We decided that it made sense to promote all of our material as a semi-chronological body of work. It spans 2014 to 2018 and has 21 tracks. In this way, when a radio station or listener has the set in front of them, they can really understand the timeframe of the recordings and the evolution of the band. They can also see who played on each track.
METRONOME: Do you have a tentative release date for the 3-CD collection?
Bob: November 2018.
David: The record is going out for radio play in October. We are doing some live on-air interviews and performances to support the release at WEMF, WERS and WUNH to name a few.
METRONOME: Who is currently in the band?
Bob: Myself, David, Rogerio Santos, Dan Sebring and Guy Seeley.
METRONOME: How did you meet and what instruments do they play?
David: This is a great lineup. Rogerio is amazing. He plays triple congas and other percussion in sync with Guy on the drum kit. Dan played with us before but left last year when he relocated to NYC. He’s back now and plays a mean bass and electric fiddle.
METRONOME: Who wrote the songs for On The Dial or was it a band collaborative?
Bob: I come up with the riffs, David arranges them and writes lyrics, and then it’s a collaborative band effort to flesh them out.
METRONOME: Have the new members added an element to the music that you didn’t expect?
Bob: Yes. With the drums and adding percussion it added a whole new groove.
David: It’s great, these guys have really added their own spin to the songs making them something that I wouldn’t have dreamed of. You really have to see us live to appreciate the musicianship.
METRONOME: What was some of the inspiration for the songwriting?
Bob: Just by playing all the time and trying new things.
David: Lyrically the tunes are universally relatable. They’re about love, loss, hope and struggle. I draw a lot from my own life, but everyone who hears the tunes thinks that they were written just for them. I’m always surprised when I hear someone’s interpretation of our songs.
METRONOME: “Prime Time” was an excellent song. How did that song come to life?
Bob: I was trying out a different style of playing out of drop D.
David: I’m only playing a bit of organ on that one. The intention was to really let the guitar and vocals cut through against the driving rhythm.
METRONOME: “Better Than Him” rocks. What inspired the writing of that song?
Bob: Nothing special just a cool riff. David: This is as straight-ahead rock as we get. It was produced to have a very modern sound with a spirited beat and catchy hooks to keep you humming long after the track is over.
METRONOME: “The Parade” reminded us of something David Gilmour might have written. Tell us about that song.
Bob: David and I both like Elliot Smith, so we wanted to try something along that line. I think the vocals in particular are of a similar style.
David: I really like this song. I laid down vocals for this, but when I was finished I ended up erasing everything and starting over in a different direction. I wanted this song to be “dreamy,” but too many lyrics were taking away from the vibe. This song is highly representative of the future stripped- down sound of Spaces For Two.
METRONOME: The guitar sound on “Stay Where You Are” is very cool. What did you use to get that flange effect?
David: Layering. Normally I don’t play the same riffs as Bob, but for this one I doubled it in a different position then layered on another track with a different melody line and some delay.
METRONOME: Do you have any big shows coming up in November?
Bob: Yes, our release party.
David: We’re using that one to springboard us through the winter for shows around New England and NYC. Keep an eye on our website for the latest shows.
METRONOME: Have you shot any videos for the new songs?
David: We’re shooting two videos now to support the new record. The video for the title track, “On The Dial” will have a story about “making-it” in the record industry. The song for the second video is to be determined, but we want it to showcase the band as opposed to a narrative.
METRONOME: Where can people find out more about you on the internet?
David: Our site with info, photos and video is www.SpacesForTwo.com. You can find songs on SpacesForTwo. bandcamp.com, Spotify, iTunes and all of the other usual music sites. You can buy physical CDs from CDBaby or at our shows.
METRONOME: Is there anything you’d like to add before we close out?
David: First of all, thank you everything that you do to give artists like us a destination for people to discover excellent music. I’d also like to thank my family, our friends and fans who come to our shows, DJs who play our music, and of course all of the listeners who enjoy what we do.
On the cover of the September 2017 issue of Metronome Magazine
Spaces For Two is a contemporary rock & roll quartet that takes their cues from a vast pool of heavyweights like The Replacements, Wilco, The Beatles, Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd. Featuring driving guitars, compelling hooks and impressive vocals, this rockin’ outfit plays rock & roll the way it was meant to be played. We caught up with the band one night in June and they explained how the band has finally hit their stride... METRONOME: How long has the band been together? Bob McElwain: The band has been together about three years. METRONOME: Who are the original members? Bob: David Fisher and myself. Rich Doyle came in about a year in to it. METRONOME: How did you come up with the name for the band Spaces For Two? Bob: We had a whole list of band names, but they were all taken except for Spaces For Two. It sounded a little bit mysterious so we decided to name us Spaces For Two. It doesn’t really mean anything (laughs). METRONOME: How did you and David meet? Bob: I posted an ad on the internet for a singer-guitarist and David was one of the guys that answered the ad. As it turned out, we work quite well together. METRONOME: How did you guys meet Rich [Doyle]? Bob: Rich came through David. David Fisher: I put an ad on the internet looking for a drummer and Rich came down to my basement and played. I asked, Where are you from? He said, “One town over.” I asked, Where do you work? He told me, Andover. It turned out that we worked for the same company in the same building together. METRONOME: Had you ever run in to each other at work? David: No. It was one of those things where you go, Hmmm. That had to be a good thing. At that point we couldn’t get rid of him because I would have felt weird seeing him at work (laughing). METRONOME: How did you feel about the whole thing Rich? Rich Doyle: I was excited. I was out of bands for a while because I had a kid. A few years passed and I decided to get back in to music. I started looking around. It’s very difficult to find original music in my area, but by luck I found these guys. It was between me and another drummer. I pestered them enough that they kept me (laughs). It’s been good. METRONOME: Lee, how did you get inducted in to the band? Lee Holland: I answered a post on the internet. It had been a while since I was in a band. The last group was a three piece punk band. I was looking to get back in to it. Music has always been my therapy and I was overdue for some therapy. They brought me in and were all really cool. I liked their originals. These guys had some really good stuff. They were very hospitable. It just worked out. There’s great chemistry here. I’m glad I found them. METRONOME: Who is the principal songwriter in the band? Bob: Basically, I handle writing the music. David writes about 80% of the lyrics now. I think that’s really why we work so well together. He adapts to whatever I write. When I write something, he always improves upon it. METRONOME: Who is the main singer for the band? David: I am the only singer in the band. We had another member who is going to be on the next recording. He sang backup too. He’s going to be featured on one track. He’s an electric fiddle player. His name is Dan Sebring. METRONOME: How did you guys meet Dan? David: Through the internet. METRONOME: Is Dan a full time member or just a guest? David: He just left us. He wasn’t involved in the first record. He was actually auditioning as a bass player. He was in the band right before Lee joined. We had a good string of people audition. They were really talented and all very different. As it turned out, we hired Lee. Lee is the quintessential bass player. For us, there was no other choice about who should be playing bass. However, I should say, Dan could play keys, the fiddle, he played digital percussion and sang backing vocals METRONOME: Who are your musical influences? Bob: My influences go back to The Beatles, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Today those are still my idols. I like the Foo Fighters and Nirvana too. David: My grandfather actually influenced me to play music. He was a banjo player and played in Vaudeville. He lived a long life and in the end, he gave me his banjo. I still have it. I want to try to get that on a recording. My mother, Rhonda Fisher was a singer/ songwriter as well. Those are the external influences. As far as listening to music, I really liked a lot of Johnny Cash growing up. METRONOME: Did your mom sing and play professionally? David: She was more of a singersongwriter. She only got to make one record. It was a 45 rpm. She was on Community Auditions and did really well. Another one of the acts was a Russian Dance Team and there was 30 of them. You call in to vote. She lost to them because there were so many of them. METRONOME: Lee, who are some of your influences? Lee: I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of music, but the band that got me in to playing was The Cult. I got in to AC/DC and really cut my teeth on Nirvana. Hendrix and people like that who could just let go. It was more about the feel for me. I also like heavier stuff like Suicidal Tendencies, and early Metallica. Cliff Burton is one of my heroes, RIP. It’s interesting that the bassist from Suicidal Tendencies is now Metallica’s bassist, Robert Trujillo. I‘m particularly fond of authentic music where people are actually playing their instruments. I like the Strokes, 21 Pilots and anything you can really groove to. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sublime. I really liked their 40 oz. to Freedom album. It really rocked. I’ve always been attracted to the bass lines. That’s what makes your booty move and I try to do that in this band. As a newcomer, the dynamic of this band is incredible. I can’t say enough. Bob and Dave write the music, but this band has been all hands in. Everybody is either going to rise or fall and that’s a beautiful thing because I’ve been in other bands where as a bassist, you may not be writing the songs, but you’re still bringing something to the music. To have that acknowledged is great. I’m all in because these guys are really cool. METRONOME: Have you always been a bass player? Lee: I wasn’t smart enough for six strings and went right for four. METRONOME: Rich who are some of your musical influences? Rich: My mother would sing in the church choir. She also played guitar and piano. Growing up, there was always music in the house. She used to listen to records by The Beatles, Johnny Winter and Queen... stuff like that. I got in to junior high and high school marching bands and jazz bands and honed my percussion skills. When I got in to my 20’s I listened to Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but my big favorite was always Faith No More, simply because the drummer, Mike Bordin is a phenomenal drummer that always impressed me. Neil Peart of Rush is a drum god too. These days I love The Foo Fighters and I’m really digging The Guardians of The Galaxy soundtrack. METRONOME: Was your recent EP, Gone For The Show the band’s first official release? David: Yes. METRONOME: How long was that in the making? Bob: That didn’t take us all that long to record. That came together reasonably fast. We had a lot more music recorded during the same time. We have at least 25 songs recorded. This 5-song release was just to get the name out there and to get some exposure. David: We’ve been recording incrementally for about two years. Whenever the opportunity to lay down some tracks came, we would jump on that and get the basic tracks down. Then what we do is move ahead with new material and in parallel go back and finish the other ones. When we have songs together, we bring in to someone to do the finishing touches. METRONOME: Where do you guys record? Bob: We have several places where we record. We do it in the rehearsal room, and some down in Dave’s basement, but we also used a studio for mixing and mastering up in Lowell called Wonka Sound. Bob Nash did the mixing and mastering and put the CD together for us. METRONOME: How did you meet Bob? David: I was a recording engineer for a while and heard good things about him. I got him on the phone and told him what we wanted to do. He was totally down with it and very welcoming. I think he went above and beyond. He’s very good. METRONOME: “I Don’t Know” was a great song. Who wrote it? Bob: I came up with the original riffs on the guitar and some words, then David improved upon the lyrics. The whole band came together and we finished that song in a very short period of time. METRONOME: “Cloud” had a real “airy quality” to it. What inspired that tune? Bob: I wrote that one and wanted to come up with something that had a little jazzy flavor to it. Dave took to it really well and wrote out all the lyrics for that one. METRONOME: “Gone For The Show” had a Pink Floyd vibe to it. Were you thinking Pink Floyd when you were writing that song? Bob: That song did strike me as something Pink Floyd would have done. METRONOME: “Miss Me” had a very Beatle-esque quality to it. What is that song about? Bob: That’s because I grew up with The Beatles. It just happened to come through in that song. METRONOME: Did you guys have a CD release party for Gone For The Show? David: No. This is a new outfit and we didn’t really know if we wanted to do a CD release show. It just didn’t feel right to be honest. We have another EP coming out. It’s acoustic based songs. Then we have another electric rock thing after that. I think there will be an opportunity to have one or more CD release parties for those albums. METRONOME: When is the acoustic EP coming out? David: Right now that has to get mastered, then we have to finish the artwork and get it pressed. I would say definitely by September. It’s seven songs and these are really different tunes. They’re very cool and different. METRONOME: When are you looking to release the electric CD? David: If we have a lot of momentum going, we will do it sooner than later. I’m thinking about putting a 2018 on it. We really should get it exactly the way we want it. METRONOME: It sounds like you’re going to have a lot of music out within the next 8 to 10 months? Bob: Absolutely. METRONOME: Does the band play out often? Bob: Yes, we play out quite often. David: We didn’t want to play out until we had a solid band together. I didn’t start booking any shows with this lineup until April. By the time the summer is done we will have played a dozen or more shows. You can go on our web site and watch us rocking out on our videos. For the Fall we’re looking at The Middle East, Ralph’s Diner in Worcester and some spots in New York. METRONOME: Have you thought about shooting a real video for one of your songs? David: I have the knowledge and equipment to produce our own videos. We have one out now for the song, “Cloud.” It doesn’t have any band performance in it. We’re going to shoot one for this new release and I think it will be for the song, “Gone For The Show.” METRONOME: Where can people find out more about Spaces For Two? Rich: We have our main website at www.spacesfortwo.com that has music clips and links to buy our EP. We also have a video page that has a lot of live videos of us playing. We are also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, CDBaby and we have a YouTube channel. I’ve been really trying to push us out in those different avenues to get some networking going. - Brian M. Owens