This artist is featured in:
Mike Deni (vocals, guitar, keys, synths, bass), Nathan Blaz (cello, electronics), Brian Ostreicher (drums, vocals)
Indie rock/synth pop. Signed to Modern Art Records and Tricycle Records. Discography to-date includes Animal Shapes (2010), Myth (2012) and Ghost Modern (2015).
It’s one of the most redemptive facts of life that sometimes great art can emerge from terrible loss. Geographer founder Mike Deni knows this all too well – he moved to San Francisco from New Jersey following the tragic death of his father and sister, and began to channel his distraught emotions into amazing musical soundscapes. When he conscripted fellow band members Nathan and Brian, this creative prowess only began to spiral. “When I first moved to SF I went to the Hotel Utah open mic every week to perform,” Mike remembers. “I met Kacey Johansing there, and she introduced me to Nate and Brian, who all knew each other from Berklee College of Music in Boston.”
"Mike already had a roster of deeply personal songs written, and the Geographer line-up gelled so well that little revision was needed. We all come from different musical backgrounds, with different backgrounds that sometimes bump heads and always push the songs past where they were originally intended to go."
It’s this unity that has seen the band develop their sound over the years. “Over the course of our three recordings,” Mike explains, “we learned what it means to be in a band, and we learned what we are each capable of as musicians, and more importantly, what we each want to be capable of as musicians. I think we also feel a little bit of comfort from the support we've gotten from San Francisco and the West Coast, that gives us the strength to make risky decisions and try new things.”
How would they describe the culmination of this development? “I just say [we sound like] indie rock with cello and synths, because it's impossible to describe music. No one ever hears what they expect to. Like how do you describe Oasis? Heavy guitars with a winy vocalist. Or Paul Simon? Good music.”
Whatever the aesthetics/logistics, it’s clear that their artistic rise looks set to continue. “Our proudest moment to-date was selling out the Independent for the first time. We had no idea that many people were listening to our music. Weakest was our first tour when nobody had heard of us, and we were just planting the seeds. It's hard to play to a crowd of 4 people, but you gotta go about it thinking those four people are the most important people in your world right now. Put all your delusions of grandeur aside and give them the best show you've ever played.”