How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Sometimes a whole song structure is written out before any lyrics get added. Everyone in the band has a slightly different writing style. My tendency is to write the chords and lyrics at the same time. One of our most recent songs that we are working on, I found the lyrics and melody first before finding the chords.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
My opinion on this has changed over the years, because what I value in songwriting has been evolving. In the past, I valued the aspect of good storytelling, as well as the ability to strongly convey an emotion. These days, I am looking for something a little bit more elusive and vague. I want to be able to capture unique and compelling imagery or sensation, coupled with sick dance beats. Sometimes, lyrics can get in the way of the music, but if you look for them, and apply them loosely to your own life, they can heighten your experience of the song. I am looking for the perfect marriage of lyrics and music.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
What’s funny is that I used to solely write in an autobiographical/diary-esque manner. It was all about heartbreak and hardship. If you listen to my old stuff, you’ll know the ins and outs of my personal life. So no, I’m not really scared about revealing aspects of my life to strangers.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
There is one lyric that stands out to me, which was profound at a time in my life when I was doing a lot of self-reflection. It’s from a song called “Back with Me” from our self-titled EP:
“And so I won’t apologize; even one, not one more time.”
I am a compulsive apologetic, and I realized that it’s an unhealthy way to interact with the people in your life.
Let’s talk about your new EP “Leave Me/Let Me”, is there a link/common theme among all its songs?
You know what? There actually is. After realizing that I needed to work on saying “no” to people, and apologize less, some of these songs began taking on a stubborn attitude. All three songs contain the pervading theme of “going at your own pace” and “taking time for yourself”.
What inspired “Leave Me Be”?
A failed relationship, originally. I started writing the song five years ago, then picked it back up more recently, after my bandmate David, expressed a strong interest in working on it. The song is about having a wound in your heart, and deciding to let it bleed, rather that patch it up or try to cover it up with something else.
And “Flowers Grow”?
“Flowers Grow” is a story about two people who decide to stay in their hometown, rather than move to a different city, state, country, etc. to find contentment and adventure. I’ve lived in Austin, TX for almost thirteen years, and I often had to watch my friends move away to “re-start”. It was very tempting for me to just move away in order to run away from parts of myself. But, every time I got close to making a big move, something intangible kept me in the same place. I’ve learned that you can grow and transform into the most extreme version of yourself, regardless of where you live. You might even find love next door.
Do you remember the day you wrote “My Stride”?
I didn’t write the song in a day, but yes, I remember where I was when inspiration struck. I began writing the verse of the song sitting on a couch in my apartment staring into space. I was going through quite the existential crisis, and was looking for lyrics to embody my sense of confusion and determination to keep pushing forward, despite the unknown. The other half of the song I came up with in the shower. Like most people, that’s one of those places where you are unbothered by social media and stimulus, and can clear your mind.
What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Seriously working on new material, pushing our new EP, playing lots of shows, and getting out of town.
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your EP “Leave Me/Let Me”: Defiance.
- The best show you ever played: We played to a standing ovation at the old Scottish Rite Theatre in Austin, TX. It was for an organization called Black Fret which raises money for local bands to help them achieve their dreams of living off their art.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: To be completely honest, a bathroom. I get seriously nervous before shows. If that answer is not to your liking, then it’s my bandmates. 🙂
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Burt Bacharach, The Beatles, Sergio Mendes & Brasil’ 66, anything motown, and The Cardigans.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: This one is hard, but I might have to just say “Case of You” by Joni Mitchell.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Find someone who understands your cat’s intricate personality, and also, be your own best friend first and foremost.