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With their last tour being snowed out in Boston, I jumped on the opportunity to interview Landon, Hayden and Jason when they came back through Boston. We talked the music that's to come from the band as well as delving into their recording process. Read on for my new interview with the boys as well as catch them on this current tour because these boys are about to blow up.
There is obviously a lot going on for the band right now and has been for the past few months. Maybe a soft one to start, the three things that you think you must have with you while on tour?
Landon: Three things I must have with me while on tour. Clothes, computer and the other guys in the band? I don't know. Those are the things that I must have.
Jason: Are we talking outside musical stuff?
Landon: I don't really carry much.
Jason: Probably my phone. When you're away from home, you feel so disconnected.
Landon: My phone. Pictures of my dog.
Landon: We're pretty bare bones. We don't bring alot.
Jason: We tour in like a stretcher so there's not alot of space. We're not on a bus or anything.
Landon: I bring like five pairs of shoes. That's about it. That's the most excessive thing I bring, I feel.
Jason: Everything else is like computer, phone.
Landon: Tea. Put tea!
And then how has this tour been going with The 1975? I know you've been touring playing these big rooms. You've headlined in Boston even but how has this tour been?
Landon: It's been amazing! I think touring with The 1975 has been the best touring experience we've had. I would say. Just all things considered. Like our first headlining tour was really fun and exciting and stuff but it feels like we're making good strides as a band right now. Because we've toured before and we feel pretty confident about the live show, we feel it's translating well to people and they're coming out. The fans of the 1975 are really great music fans so they come out. Hopefully put on a good show because I think they respond well. It seems we're getting new fans every night.
Then I know the "Gold" EP came out in 2013. Obviously it's been going over well radio wise or performance wise but how do you think it's been going over personally? Like as a band perspective and maybe not the numbers and everything?
Landon: No, I mean we get the numbers. Some of us pay attention a lot less then others. I probably pay attention the least maybe because it affects me the most. It's been going well. I think we're excited about the fact that radio's playing us. People still go to radio to hear new music so it's great. We've seen response from that. Coming to cities and playing before the 1975 and seeing people sing the words to both usually is an amazing thing. Yeah I think we're excited to release new music as well but for right now, we're coasting on four songs. Building it really well which is pretty exciting for us. When you start making music, you just want to make more music. Somewhere along the line though, you do need help from radio or blogs because we don't distribute our own music. Like we don't have our own soapbox on which to stand on. Yeah you do rely on people to play your music.
Then I know you guys have a really hands on approach to your music. I believe you do it all yourselves. Maybe how do you think that helps you in the songwriting process? Because you control all the elements of the recording process? How do you think that kind of helps you as a band?
Landon: In every way.
Hayden: Yeah, honestly that has shaped who we are as a band. Like our mission as a band. Our attitude as a band. It's relying on yourself. It's about trusting in yourself. It's what makes you unique. Trusting in yourself. We're the barometer. We can set the tone. We can record our own music. Like we have Jason who's brilliant.
Landon: We can't record our own music. Jason can. Jason has lent us his skills and allows us to say that we record our own music. In our studio. Even though it's Jason's studio but it's fun.
Jason: It's definitely way less pressure I think. You don't feel like you have this time constraint. We don't need a producer. It's like where are the songs at? We have a week to do this.
Landon: We've had a year and a half to keep writing our first record and we released an EP. We'll hopefully release another one. We have an album that we're really excited about. We get as much time as we want to do that and we trust that it sounds good. Label is really supportive of how it sounds. Management was really supportive of our sound. Jason is able to mix, master, produce all of our stuff. We originally made all our own videos as well. So it's been really cool. I think it shapes everything about the way we make music. It is the way we make music. It's really hard when there's no outside perspective. I mean I've recorded music other ways before but we've been doing this so much for the past year and a half that it's really hard to get out of that mentality. How has it shaped our music? I don't know, it's just the way we do it.
Then how do you go about the writing process itself? Is it one person, more collective? Does it change?
Landon: Different pieces start in different places. Since Jason has a studio and stuff, a lot of times he'll start with like a trial track or like I used to have a piano in my old place that I would write with. I don't anymore so I'll start with like a chorus or a few lyrics here and there. Then we write the whole song in a day and record it.
In one day? It goes that fast?
Hayden: I don't know if we've ever really had a two day song.
Landon: We've never had a two day song.
Jason: If it's a two day song, it's not happening. It's not a song.
Landon: There are times where we'll go back and re-do vocals but for the most part, I'd say probably ninety percent of the vocals are done the day that we've written the song. We won't go back and change anything. The things that we add maybe are things that Jason will add in here or there when he's mixing later. Like texture pieces and stuff but most of the song itself is done the day of writing it. We get pickier as we go though. There have been more times when we start songs and we shut it down much quicker.
Then you've been obviously talking about the full length. Is that something that's like already done? Are you still working on it?
Landon: It's done. It's quote unquote done but it's not ever done. I mean we have our own studio. Yeah you tour a little bit and you go back in and you're like well maybe there's room for more songs on there.
Hayden: I really think the live show informs the writing process too in some ways. Not usually but in this tail end of the album, when we've had it pretty much done. There are things that happen live where you go, well that really worked. You kind of inject that into the studio.
Landon: Like I was listening to the record the other day on headphones as we were driving. I leaned over to Jason to talk about it. Like we've been listening to it when we play it live but I haven't listened to the songs we've recorded for a couple of months now. So listening to them again, I was like I kind of like the way that sounds live better then the way it sounds recorded. We should go and transplant a little of that stuff back into what we recorded. A little bit of the Frankenstein makeover but yeah I think we're excited. It's good because originally, we liked writing and recording music way more then we liked playing live. I think now that we have a new batch of songs that we're really proud of, I think playing live for me has become a lot more fun. It's very different. It's become a lot more fun to do.
Then maybe to end it off, what is coming up after this run with The 1975? I know you talked about how the album is kind of done quote unquote or being finished.
Hibernation, yeah? Taking a break from the road?
Landon: No, no, no!
Hayden: Some headlining stuff.
Landon: Things like that.
Hayden: Writing a lot more.
Landon: Yeah, just trying to listen to new music. Seeing movies and stuff. Getting inspired and just finding where we're going to pick up after this tour winds up. I'm trying to think beyond shows. More shows! Oh, releasing an EP like I said! Maybe trying to write more songs for that, I'm not sure!