You know the drill by now, friends. Old Indian. Time Columns. Wish List. Heavy Lights. The Faux School. Saturday night. 8 p.m. Five bucks. It will be the first time you can pick up a copy of “Mumble” on vinyl. We recently caught up with the band to talk about their the past, the show this weekend, and what they would rate their own brand new record, if they were given the chance. Enjoy!
What’s each member’s favorite song on the record?
Evan Owens (drums): I choose “Space Connect.” Not only do I like the song when we play it, but I think it packs a great punch as an opening track. It has multiple vibes from quick little riffing to heavy slamming. I like.
Mark Weeks (bass): I like “Space Connect.”
Cory Springirth (vocals/guitar): “The Riff.”
Were there moments that you listen back to now and think, “I love to be able to do that over?” If so, which ones and why?
Springirth: Of course! I think of parts we could have added or different tones that could have been brought out. But vocally, I thought I could do a better job now on a couple songs … but I’m not gonna throw myself under the bus and say which ones.
Owens: I would re-do the drum solo. When we play live, I tend to make it up as I go. I incorporate new chops I’ve learned or just flail wildly for 35 seconds. I could have put more planning into it.
Weeks: Mainly, I would have liked to work on the tone of my bass on some of the fuzzy songs — just work that fuzz out over and over and over and over until it’s just perfect.
That final track is so low-fi. How did it make it onto the album and whose decision was it to add that on? Was it a digital-only track? And where did you record it?
Weeks: Yeah, (it was on the) digital release only. We have been reworking that song in practice lately and I’m stuck between riffs. I think I have it down and it’s all good but then i just destroy it, much like a crazed potter who smashes his work only moments after pulling it from the kiln.
Owens: That was a little digital-only bonus that popped out of Cory’s brain. I don’t know if it is intentional, but I think it is a cool comparison for where we came from to this album. We were reviewing all of the times we had recorded before as we listened to the new songs and stumbled upon that. It’s an old riff that Mark came up with that became a song called “When I Sleep.” This particular version was recorded with Ryan Nicholson of Heavy Lights, light years ago.
Springirth: Super low-fi. We recorded it live in Ryan Nicholson’s living room. It was the first time we tried our hands at recording, so yeah: We thought it would be cool just to throw it on as a bonus track.
What was it like to re-record a few of those songs, like “Mean Man,” etc.? Did they take on a new life now that you’re revisiting them? Why or why not and how so?
Springirth: “Mean Man” in particular is a song that has been in our setlist since day one. I honestly think we have played that song at every show we have ever played (laughs). So it’s nice to revisit a song that you have recorded before because you know exactly what the song needs during that go-around and you’ve been playing it so long.
Weeks: Yeah, “Mean Man” was good to re-record because it forced us to actually play the same thing every time. I mean, I don’t know about that drum solo, but it all came out in the wash, I’d say.
Owens: “Mean Man” is the only song that we re-did for this record from earlier recordings. I think this newest version isn’t that structurally different, but this recording really nails down the tone changes in different breakdown parts. I like Cory’s vocals the best on this one and the backing vocals sound like how we really wanted them to. It pays off to play a song for four years and then record it. To me, it holds energy well through the whole track.
There are a lot of instrumental moments on the record – less singing and more playing. Was it a conscious decision to focus more on the playing rather than the singing?
Springirth: I think a riff can be just as catchy as singing or lyrics can be, but yeah, I tend to be pretty reserved with putting too much singing in songs. Especially if it doesn’t feel right. I do find that we are singing more in new material we are working on. I’m gaining a little more confidence, I guess.
Owens: Our songs tend to weigh heavy on the playing over the vocals. To me, that just means when you hear vocals, they are more important.
Weeks: I don’t think that is something we planned.
On a four-star scale, what would you rate “Mumble” and why? Feel free to give a mini record review here.
Weeks: Honestly, I’d give this record 50 stars because … well for America and our freedom and freedom rocks and keep on rockin’ in the free world.
Springirth: A 2.5 (laughs). There’s always room for improvement. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of it. You know, it’s hard to rate an album when it’s your own. You look at it completely from a different perspective. I’m pretty hard on us (laughs).
Owens: Four. No, duh. Well, I would say four stars because I wouldn’t feel comfortable releasing something we didn’t all collectively agree had enough attention given to it and enough cooperation and effort. I think we all worked well together to get the sounds we wanted and the songs are rad. They are a mix of styles and not just one sound through the whole album while still staying rock and roll. And I love Cory’s vocals.
What went into picking the other bands for the show – Heavy Lights, Time Columns and Wish List?
Weeks: They are our bros, bro.
Springirth: They are buds. Also, all the bands have music pressed to vinyl that will be for sale, which is awesome. And DJ Babylon will be spinning vinyls all night.
And finally, what can we expect from the show?
Weeks: Party party party party. If anyone has Andrew WK on vinyl bring it to the show so we can really get down with the get down, ‘na mean!?