What inspired the verses of “Is Love Enough?”, first song released from your EP “Spring Drew Blood”?
‘Is Love Enough?’ was our attempt to flip the love song trope on its head, and try to come at it from a different direction.
We wanted to explode the myth fed to us by hollywood and so many love songs that if you love someone enough, the relationship will work out. In reality, we beat the crap out of each other emotionally.
The verses are about the pain we go through in love and the hopelessness we can feel in the midst of a bad fight.
It’s inspired by that moment where things suck so much and you can’t seem to break the unhealthy patterns, so you would actually consider letting your home burn down so you can start over.
How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Most of the time the lyrics come last and when we write songs we use nonsensical scratch lyrics until we decide what we want the song to be about.
Then we use a combination of free association writing and also pass phrases back and forth to each other until one of us pieces it all together.
Every so often though one of us will write the whole thing in one go, like ‘Old and Alone’ Digo wrote pretty much over the course of one plane ride, and Jennica impulsively decided to totally scrap and rewrite Afraid in the studio like 30 minutes before we recorded the vocals.
What the last song you wrote was about?
Digo just wrote a new song we’re excited about called John Wayne, that looks at toxic masculinity.
Is passion for music something that runs in your family or you are the first one?
Jennica’s family is almost comically filled with musicians.
Her parents are both opera singers, and one of her grandmothers was also an opera singer, other grandmother a pianist, her aunt is a conductor, who runs a girl’s choir in the city…the list goes on.
She actually performed on stage with her dad at the Metropolitan Opera when she was a kid.
She’s the first in her family to play rock and roll though.
Digo’s family loves music but aren’t musicians, except for his uncle who played bass for a lot of the 70s bay area punk bands and americana bands, like Hot Tuna and The True Believers.
What are you planning for 2018?
We’re heading back into the studio to record some more music, and are planning on shooting and releasing some music videos as well.
We’re excited about putting out a ton of music, playing as many shows as we can, and getting out on the road at the end of summer.
Can you tell us about the lyrics of “Afraid”?
I mean, conceptually, Afraid is about suicide. It’s about that dark and seductive voice of depression that says things will be better if you give in to it.
In the song the negative voice is personified as someone trying to get you to come into the water, saying everything will be better if you trust it.
But if you listen to that voice too long the words will literally and figuratively drown you.
The song is pretty pessimistic, to be honest. The third verse is basically wondering if, even if you manage to make it to old age, will that voice ever really be gone.
This EP is definitely not our most cheerful work.
Do you remember the day you wrote “ Old and Alone”?
Yeah Digo actually wrote most of it on a plane ride on the way back from visiting Jennica’s family in South Carolina.
There was a moment when we were on Myrtle Beach where we saw this old dude that kept ranting and raving at anyone that came near him, he seemed so bitter and sad and lonely.
We felt bad for this guy, and also had this fear spring up that it would be really easy to end up like him, because we all struggle with letting go of pain and resentment.
So the song formed out of the idea that if you go through life and never forgive or make amends, you end up alone and holding on to these old grudges that you don’t even necessarily remember what they were about.
What is the best lyric ever written for a song? (not by you)
Honestly, Digo usually doesn’t listen to the lyrics of songs, unless they’re really bad and therefore distracting. He’s more focused on the emotion in the vocals than what they’re actually saying.
Jennica is the one that usually actually listens to the words. However, we’re both suckers for Arcade Fire lyrics.
The Suburbs is one of our favorites – the lyrics really fit with the musicality of the song. They’re specific and general at the same time and have this really relatable and captivating nostalgic quality to them. Slothrust also has some striking lyrics. We love her snarkiness and imagery. “Don’t shake hands with the lonely kids ’cause I hear that shit’s contagious” is just golden.
Are you ever scared of revealing, aspects of your personal experience, to strangers through your music?
No, not at all. I mean, we’re afraid of no one caring about what we have to say, but we got into music in the first place because we’re bad at communicating about how we feel, and music is a vehicle to express ourselves.
Usually if we play a song for friends and family and they get really uncomfortable about the lyrical content then we know its going to be an effective song.
What is the best verse you ever wrote?
We like pretty much everything we’ve written, because its always been an honest look at where we each are at that exact moment. In this EP we really like the second verse of Too Little Too Late: “We’re all vultures just trying to please our mothers, and kill that dark spot that won’t seem to be smothered. Take a picture – there’s a ghost in the margin. And even the most cynical men still need stardom.”
If you had to use only one word to define your new album “Spring Drew Blood”, which one would it be?