--> Syntax - Issue 3 - The Czars
It's fall now. Soon the winter months will be upon us.

This is the time when everything melancholy will amplify itself off the rooms we hide from the cold in. And this is the perfect time for a soundtrack for all of these days. Goodbye, the new album released this October by the Denver-based The Czars, is just this accompaniment.

Spacious, and at times aching like those broken bones during a winter storm, the baroque rock pop of The Czars has evolved into arguably their finest hour. On Goodbye, The Czars have once again exhibited their dynamics and worth with more haunting ballads, rich textures and moody, introspective lyrics.

All in all, perfect for these wintry months.

It is quite certain you won't find another sound like The Czars. From Andy Monley and Roger Greene's proficient guitar chops, to Chris Pearson's calculated thunder on the bass, to John Grant's lovelorn baritone vocals, The Czars have molded their sound into something truly authentic. Noble. Czar-like.

Sometimes dreamlike - sometimes ethereal, some Czars' songs feel as though if you could punch your finger through them - they would dissipate entirely. But this isn't to say that apart from the mournful horns and forlorn piano there aren't charging guitars and crashing drums - there are. Goodbye is an excellent example of well-rounded songwriting, with great hooks and masterful recordings.

From exhausted depression to gallant climax, The Czars are a true gem in the Denver music scene.

Have a listen to three of The Czars' new tracks from Goodbye as you read below, what John Grant had to say about all this.

What emotions, or imagery do you consider paramount in imparting to your audience?

Well, to be honest, I don't think it's important to impart any particular type of emotion or imagery to the audience. Whatever I'm feeling at the time is the right emotion. It doesn't matter what it is. I'm not trying to get a particular message across.

What do you write about?

I write about my perception of the world. I haven't really gotten in to writing about how I imagine others perceive the world. I write about rejection whether it be giving it or receiving it. I write about jealousy, hatred, lust. I write about a lot of the negative things I experience. It's much harder for me to express joy or any kind of positive feeling although lust is positive or at least most of the time. I love autumn and I hope that is reflected in the music.

With regard to your arrangements, what sounds are you interested most in creating?

That is an ever-evolving process. We're getting closer to making the types of sounds we want to, but we haven't really been able to devote enough time to really creating the sounds we imagine. I think Roger comes closest in my opinion. I have a long way to go. I never realized how difficult it would be to create what I hear in my head. I'm in awe of those who achieve that, although many of the ones I admire probably don't think they have either. Who knows? Analog synths and drum machines are what I see in my future. Those are the things that make the sounds I love the most, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much to discover and experiment. Brass, woodwinds, all sorts of things. Everyday noises. It can all be important.

How do you approach songwriting?

It's different for every song. It could be a word that sparks a phrase or a melody. It could be a sound, any thing. The words can come first or the music. There doesn't seem to be any particular, fixed process for me.

Explain the process of collaboration with The Czars, with regard to the creation of your songs.

I guess I feel like that is part of the last question. Lately, Roger and I do the lion's share of the songwriting, so we usually bring something in to practice and play it and then if we have specific parts in mind for someone else to play, we talk about that and then go from there. We've never really come up with songs as a whole.

Visit The Czars' website at: www.theczars.net