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Brother and sister duo, Dim Scripts, originally from rural Saskatchewan, Canada, are passionate about making music with a positive message that gets people thinking. Although they listen to and have been influenced by everything from metal to punk to rap, they describe their music as folk or indie rock. They caught our attention with their music video, “September Suicides”, a song in response to the increased number of suicides in September of 2010, due to bullying and we wanted to talk to them. Their personalities shine through their entertaining and thoughtful answers in our interview and it is a great read! Check it out...
From a purevolume.com profile on Dim Scripts it says you believe that in trying to find mathematical or scientific explanations to art, like Leonardo Davinci did, the experiments are inconclusive. With this view of math and science why did you decide to choose Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man as your album cover and an algebraic equation for your title?
Arun: I've always had a bit of a freakish obsession with the Golden Section, Fibonacci numbers and other structural means to an artistic end. I wrote my college thesis around the idea of translating music into a visual experience and eventually a spacial one that could ultimately result in Architecture. Math was the only tangible conduit I could use. The Golden Ratio, that Leonardo has so diligently diagramed for us, is abundant in music, art, and architecture, amongst almost everything else around us, yet it's purpose and existence is still a phenomena. So I suppose I like to think that math, science, law and other rigidly absolute domains are like tools that we can use to help guide us. But at the end of the day, "After Math" we are still nothing without our subjective individualism, creativity and art. Funny 'cause I really can't stand Math. I'm the jerk counting coins on the subway holding up the line.
Also on the purevolume.com profile, it says that your music does not have a genre or style and as a result, the songs choose their own sound. When you are creating your songs do you have an idea of how or what you want it to sound like or do you experiment with different sounds until you find something you like?
Arun: With the idea that art surpasses "the rules" of math, science, law and such, there comes a certain freedom, even musically. We try to take things lightly. No need to get uptight about what genre we are or what people in certain styles do. We have this great thing called art, and it's supposed to be total freedom, yet we find ways to box ourselves in by slapping a label on it and therefore setting ourselves up for more rules. Typically, one of us will bring an idea to the table and if it's groovy or interesting or not terribly assey, Laj will write a beat for it, we'll start singing some incomprehensible gibberish, then bring some lyrics in and stamp it.
Laj: I hate to sit too long on a song as it starts too lose it's original voice and pretty soon you've got a totally different song that isn't nearly as good as the original 7 second riff you played on the guitar. When things can grow organically you retain a certain level of honesty that is very rewarding.
What are some artists or bands that have influenced your music both while you were growing up and now as artists yourselves?
Arun: This is going to be a random list of artists that will make absolutely no sense. I used to be a strict metal guy. Slowly branched out and now listen to things that I would have mocked in my earlier more naiive days. I still listen to an unreasonable amount of Guns N' Roses. Big into Killswitch, All That Remains, Crazyfists, Human Abstract… that whole scene. Love Ryan Adams (not Bryan). He's got so much material to sift through but it's worth it for the amazing gems you stumble upon. George Straight, Zac Brown Band, Steve Earl… The Roots, Naz, Busta… Before all of this, however, there was Motown. Specifically: Michael. Still the most amazing performer I've ever heard. So much conviction. When I go a little out of the norm with my music and wonder how it will be received, I think of him and remember to be honest and commit. I mean, you gotta have some serious conviction to go out in pants like that and make it so badass. He was always on the edge, constantly re-inventing himself in ways that nobody had ever seen before. Hanging yourself out there is how you become great.
Laj: I've been inspired by a lot of female artists growing up and still now. Gwen Stefani is my hero when it comes to a female performer, she just always did her own thing and knew it was awesome, thus convincing everyone else. When I was little I listened to Alanis, Bif Naked, Nelly Furtado, Pink, etc. I got into some punk - Rancid, Alkaline Trio, Bouncing Souls, Transplants, AFI. I was influenced by the brother and thus was into some rock stuff - Guns N Roses, Metallica, Faith No More, etc. Different artists influence me in different ways - I look up to some of them as just insane performers, while others have a voice I could only dream of one day comparing to, and the philosophies of others are really encouraging. Incubus, 311, I could go on all day.. its all really random anyways. Oh yeah, and MJ of course, is the MAN.
You wrote a track called “September Suicides” about teens dying by suicide because of being bullied. Are bullying or teenage suicide issues something that you have personally been affected by, directly or indirectly?
Arun: I think we were both very fortunate growing up. I was friends with people in most groups. And we grew up in rural Saskatchewan so these groups were limited. A lot of cowboy hats and hockey pucks. There was really no "long haired guitarist" group. Although I got out pretty much scottfree, I saw some pretty intense bullying and peer pressure. This was a rough town and I had friends that did some heinous stuff. I'm talking, the kind of town where the percentage of people with full sets of teeth goes up significantly when you roll in. I've still some redneck in me and always will. There were indeed suicides but nobody that I was close with. It's just so sad to see that happen. So much potential ruined by someone else's insecurities. A change would be nice.
Laj: Suicides, no. Bullying, well I guess everyone sees it going on at school. I've had my fair share of dealing with mean girls at times, but I think we all have. I think everyone knows what it's like at one point or another dreading going into school the next day, but what's so heartbreaking is that these kids just couldn't take it anymore. I've seen such amazing people with so much potential be broken down by other people's insecurities, and I can see that it has unfortunately stuck with them later on in their lives. It is such a waste, and we wrote the song to bring any little bit more attention to the situation as we could.
What messages do you hope others will take from “September Suicides” and / or your music as a whole?
Arun: September Suicides is, lyrically, quite a literal documentation of events and a suggestion of change in the way we treat each other. It's not just directed at bullies but rather for everyone to start respecting their fellow man a little more. With the exception of September Suicides, we tend to try keeping the lyrics a little vague or "dim" if you will. My biggest hope is that people will just take their own interpretations from the music. We're not trying to steer anyone in any direction other than to think for themselves. Sure we'll toss in a few opinions here and there, but again, subtly and with the intention of sparking people’s own thoughts.
Laj: A lot of the songs have words of encouragement, and we try to have a positive message. We point out challenges that the world may be facing, but only with the intention of giving people a little nudge to think. There's really not a lot of opinions shared because we don't want people to think what we think, we just want them to think for themselves. There's already enough persuasion, hence why 3 people in the coffee shop I'm sitting at as I write this are wearing the same hoodie. There's no coincidence here.
At mindyourmind.ca we offer youth a number of ways to help them relax and deal with stress. What are some things you do to help you relax when you’re feeling pressured or stressed?
Arun: I find that creating puts me at ease. I love to draw, sketch, write or design. I find that it gets me in a very meditative state where everything around me seems to fall by the wayside. Or, perhaps, "a little bit a chicken fried, a cold beer on a friday night, a pair a jeans that fit just right and the radio uuuuuup." Kidding… maybe.
Laj: Candles, a cup of tea, and some paper. I write and listen to some tunes. That's pretty much when I'm most at peace. Also, just knowing that you are the one creating the stress and that the situation is what it is, regardless of whether you're losing it or not, kind of puts things into perspective.
Being brother and sister, when you have disagreements about musical or artistic choices does it affect your family or home life?
Arun: Good question. We really try to keep our familial life and musical life separate. We still have our typical sibling rivalries outside of band-life. Nobody can make you revert to being a child like your sibling. Fortunately, we share a mutual respect and passion for the project and our little hissy fits don't compromise the band. We have minor disagreements here and there on the music but we try to resolve them in a logical way with a common outcome in mind.
Did you always get along while you were growing up?
Arun: Surprisingly no. I was the older brother and had to be a jerk about everything. I highly recommend you don't tease your younger siblings for two reasons…. 1: No one will be there for you like family. You don't realize at that age that you have this amazing chance to develop such a great lifelong friend. This little person really looks up to you. 2: If you tease them, they will become twice as good at it as you are. And yes, they will get even.
Laj: We didn't really know each other as well as we do now when we were growing up. Arun was in the States at University for 6 years while I was still in Canada. We're at a good place now and respect each other's opinions and contributions to the band equally. Luckily, we share a pretty similar vision.
What’s the last thing that made you laugh hysterically?
Laj: I find a lot of everyday normal things to be hilarious, so sharing what it was probably wouldn't be funny to anyone else. I guess I could always save it with "you had to be there". Nah.
Arun: My boy Andrew and I pretty much wind up in tears anytime we talk. He recently got a hold of some incredibly cheesy modelling pics of me. As if I wasn't already laughing at them enough, he added the most fitting quotations to them. It was one of those moments where you can't even breathe anymore from the laughter. You start hitting inanimate objects and just want it to stop.