BANGOR – With only two people creating a complex tapestry of sounds, The Method and Result are not what you’d consider a traditional rock band. But behind the duo’s swirling rhythms, ambient electronic noises, ghostly guitar and haunting vocals are the solid elements of good songwriting and playing to live audiences.
“The difference, I think, between what we’re doing and a lot of other electronic bands are doing is that we’re actually writing songs rather than just instrumental loops,” explains Megan Wendell, one half of the Philadelphia-based duo that performs at 7 tonight at Cafe Nouveau. “We’re still writing sort of traditional pop songs, just with a different kind of instrumentation.”
After graduating from Bangor High School a decade ago, Megan left the area to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she met her musical partner and husband, Mason. The couple moved to Jersey City, N. J., where they spent some years playing in Manhattan clubs with their former band, Blinder, a more traditional rock ensemble.
But it was desperation, Wendell says, which led to experimentation. The group lost its drummer just as Blinder was preparing for a national tour. A replacement was found, but quickly lost, leaving no time to find another. So, rather than cancel the tour, Wendell and Mason went into the studio and tore apart the band’s arrangements and hit the road as a two-piece using a laptop computer to add drums and effects.
When they returned, the Wendells decided it was time to change their band’s name and musical approach and The Method and Result was born.
Now the couple collaborates to create multilayered, futuristic pop-rock and hope to have a full-length album completed this fall. She writes the lyrics and melodies, and together they flesh out the songs by incorporating electronic samples – manipulated bits and pieces of sound recorded at home or and just about any place, including a cave in Kentucky.
“We’ll just find things that make noise [in order] to record them, and then put effects on them and make our own sounds,” Wendell says. “We have one song where all the drum sounds are made from a broken light bulb.”
Incorporating so much technology does have disadvantages.
“Technically it’s been a little difficult just to figure out how it all works best and get the sounds right on stage,” says Wendell. “But once we have that and we start playing, Mason and I really like to perform, and I feel like we get that across to the audience, even though it’s just two of us, because we do play a lot live. Mason plays upright bass a lot, and I sing, play guitar and keyboards. So even though there’s a lot of electronic stuff coming from other places, there’s still a lot of live playing onstage.”
The couple now lives in Philadelphia where, in addition to making music together, they have day jobs running their own business, Canary Promotion & Design. Wendell admits that with the band and the business, she Mason log a lot of hours together, though overall it works in their favor.
“We’ve been playing together a long time and I think that’s really a benefit for us, because we know each other so well, not only personally, but also musically,” Wendell says. “I know what his instincts are as a musician and also what mine are and they really work well together.”
The Method and Result performs at 7 p.m. tonight at Cafe Nouveau, 84 Hammond St., in Bangor. For information, call 942-3336. For more about The Method and Result, visit www.methodandresult.com.