The Island of Dr. Lee preforming at the Mousetrap in February

Jaime Hansen has been active in the Eau Claire musical community for several years.  Often his contributions have occurred behind the scenes – he’s engineered and mixed for a number of prominent artists in the area, including work on the much beloved Amateur Love’s only official release It’s All Aquatic.  More recently we’ve seen him step out from behind the curtain and into the world of performance, playing bass for the trip-metal group The Ronald Raygun.  His new project is called The Island of Dr. Lee, for which he has done the majority of songwriting thus far.  Along with Jaime, who handles guitar and lead vocals, the band’s lineup consists of Adelyn Strei (Adelyn Rose) on guitar and vocals, Dave Power (Adelyn Rose, Meridene) on drums, and Matt Florence on bass.  We asked Jamie to answer a few questions about the band to serve as an introduction.

Caleb Price:  How did you guys start playing together?

Jaime Hansen:  The noble spirit of Dave Power came down and blessed me in my hour of need.

 

CP:  What is your songwriting process like?

JH:  It’s in transition. I sketched out the 9 songs we’ve been playing live, about a year-and-a-half ago.  Those are pretty much the way I wrote them but better.  Lately we’ve been writing together though and I’m loving it. Matt brought in a barn-burner the other day and Addie’s been able to stretch her legs a lot more. Some cool stuff is happening.

 

CP:  In describing your sound you make reference to all of the following:  Chillwave (the style), Sade (the band), and Big Black (the band.)  That’s quite a combination of elements.  Care to comment on this?  Any other descriptions you can give to help give us a handle on what you’re putting out?

JH:  Dave did the Facebook page and I’m not sure what “chillwave” is.  The Sade/Big Black reference is pretty close to what we’re shooting for though… Give or take some Bowie, Kenton or Unwound.

Basically if you trade the chalkboard guitars for horns and you’ll find “old-school” dance beats underneath.  The moment of truth will come when I get off my ass and write some solid vocals.

 

CP:  On your Facebook page you have a seemingly random link to a video of Max Roach playing a hi-hat solo.  Is there a story behind this?

JH:  You’d have to ask Dave for a solid answer. I’m all about Max Roach being anywhere in my life anytime in any capacity though.

 

CP:  Speaking of your Facebook page, are those pictures of all the band members as kids that I saw up there?  (If so how did that come about?)

JH:  Yeah, they are. Quite a showcase of stonewashed denim and the relative age differences within the group.

 

CP:  Your profile pic and your band name both throw off an eerie, mysterious vibe.  Can we expect this to be part of your overall style?

JH:  The profile pic is of my parents. It’s a christmas card they made way back when.  The second part of your question seems to assume there is an overall plan.

 

CP:  Fair enough.  I see you’ll be recording an album in April.  Will you be doing that yourself at your studio?

JH:  I’m thinking about pushing it back a bit ‘cause I’d like to give the new stuff we’re working on a chance to breathe. We’re tentatively scheduled at April Base though. I find it very difficult to record my own stuff. It’s way too easy to go down rabbit holes and get lost.  Leo Strei will be engineering while Matt, Ryan, and I make insane demands of him.

Addie and Dave will each be appearing in their respective roles of “Voice of Reason” and “Sound Judgement”.  It should be a lot of fun.

 

CP:  One of your band interests is Mario Kart, which I also enjoy.  Which console’s version do you prefer, and which character is your racer of choice?

JH:  N64.  We mostly battle. I’m a long time Yoshi user but I’ve been trying Donkey Kong lately, just for a change of pace.  Matt is a consummate Wario user. Because he’s a dick.