The ATL & The ATH by Hunter S. Jones

Supercluster Waves Cover

Recently the members of Supercluster -one of the most creative bands to come out of Athens, GA took some time from their busy schedules to connect with me. Supercluster is a super project of Vanessa Briscoe Hay, one of the founding members of the iconic alternative group, Pylon, and Hannah Jones, The New Sound of Numbers. They recruited a stellar group of musicians in 2007 for a project. The project has become an ongoing labor of love.

An Athens, GA supergroup, Supercluster consists of Vanessa Briscoe Hay (synthesizer, vocals), Kay Stanton (vocals, bass guitar), Hannah Jones (vocals, drums), Bill David (mandolin, vocals), Bob Hay (acoustic guitar), Jason NeSmith (electric guitar, vocals, autoharp), Bryan Poole (electric guitar). We connected over drinks, via email and phone calls to complete the following interview and discuss their latest recordings-Things We Used To Drink and Memories of the Future.
Supercluster formed in 2007. Their self-styled sound, Appalachian Wave, is a term they created to describe themselves.
According to Vanessa, ‘I don’t really know who we sound like besides Supercluster. We have a number of influences. Those influences create their own unique voice when we are all together. Every song comes about in a different way.’
Supercluster considers themselves a dream team. Members were drawn from Pylon, New Sound of Numbers, Casper & The Cookies, Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, The Squalls, and North Georgia Bluegrass to name a few. Check out this amazing line up of musicians:
Hannah Jones is the front woman of New Sound of Numbers and was the drummer for Circulatory System.
John Fernandes is a member of Olivia Tremor Control.
Bryan Poole is in Of Montreal, the late b.p. helium and Elf Power who are all listed as offshoots of the E6 collective. The E6 collective grew out of a group of Superclusters’ friends (Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, Jeff Mangum, Robert Schneider) who moved to Georgia from Louisiana. Those friends made other musical/artistic friends in Athens, GA and have inspired people all over the world.
Jason NeSmith spent time touring with Of Montreal before his current project Casper & The Cookies.
Are you impressed yet? Well, if you’re not I am. Let’s find out more about these guys.
What do you want your listening audience to know or understand about Things We Used to Drink/Memories of the Future?
Vanessa: That the past is all around us, but to get to the future, you have to get past it, make new things and approach the process in a different way. This can involve uncertainty, and it does take a lot of patience. I wanted to learn how to write with a different group of people and be open to their experiences and ideas. Every song that is born comes about in a different way. Almost two years ago I gave a simple melody line with a title to both Hannah Jones and Kay Stanton. They each expounded on it in their own way and brought lyrics and vocals back to practice. Supercluster came up with the rest. We started recording when we had time around a year after that. Jason started seriously mixing it on and off last October when he had downtime from other projects.
What message or theme is in the new recording?
Kay: Vanessa came up with the basis of the music and also had a list of song titles. Hannah and I each selected one. I really liked Things We Used to Drink because it conjured up all kinds of images for me of summer in the south. It’s like a painting and it could be ancient history, or it could be any number of years in the future. You’re always needing to drink something; literally or figuratively. The song truly is more about drinking in the slowness, humidity, and sweat of summer. It’s too hot to do much, so you’re drinking in stories being told on the porch or a good book. And don’t forget sweet tea! Hannah: I like to question the limits people place on what is knowable and possible in life, so Memory of the Future seeks to express that feeling. Really we are all just little dots floating around in space and time, and the universe is so much more complex and mysterious than we can possibly imagine.
If you could spend one day with one person, who would it be?
Hannah: Fred Astaire. Jason: Isaac Asimov, author of one of my favorite books, 2001. He seems to know enough about the past and present to be generally correct about the future.
Bryan: I’ve always thought of a real situation of hanging out with Jimi Hendrix in the now. It would take longer than 24hours because he would be completely freaked out. We would have to start quite slow. He wouldn’t be allowed outside for a while. I would need to teach him about some various changes that have occurred since 1970. Of course, I’d play him some music I thought he would appreciate, but he’d probably like Santana or Weather Report. Who knows what he’d think of Yngwie Malmsteen. If Hendrix had lived, he would’ve made some awful jazz fusion record. Just like I think John Lennon would’ve made a bad rap record. But I think Hendrix and I could get along. I’d just have to guide him down the right path before I set him free.
Vanessa: I can think of a lot of artists, writers and musicians with whom I would like to spend a day, but if I could just pick one living or dead it would probably be Georgia O’Keeffe. She had a very long and fruitful career and was constantly looking for new inspiration. I think she would have a lot to teach me and I would be willing to learn. I would love to hang out with her in New Mexico at her house.
Bob: Robert Burns.
What is the latest news on Supercluster or any of your projects?
Kay Stanton and Jason NeSmith are also founding members of the art-pop band Casper & the Cookies. Their fourth album, provisionally titled Dingbats, is due for release in early 2013.

Artist Hannah Jones has just finished mixing and mastering a new album for her project The New Sound Of Numbers.

Here is an advance track just released on YouTube:

Bob Hay is going to be performing at his yearly Burns Night in Athens, GA honoring Robert Burns.
Vanessa and Hana Hay are working on a video for Things We Used To Drink.

What sites can we visit to learn more about the music and projects of Supercluster?
Where can we find your music?

Thanks for being my first guests on Expats Post. This article is from the ATL to the ATH with love. I look forward to hearing more from your group in 2013.

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The ATL & The ATH by Hunter S. Jones, 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

About the Author:

Hello from Hunter S. Jones. I am a writer & author living in Atlanta, GA. I make things up & write them down. Look for my best selling indie novel, September Ends, currently on Cheers!

  • Hi Hunter, great interview. Welcome to Expats Post!

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  • I love the music! They remind me of another band that came from Athens GA..REM 😀 I love group interviews. Great work!

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