How did you all develop from a duo to a four piece? How has this transformation been?
We developed into the four piece gradually over the past year. We added live drums for our tour with Starfucker to give our live show a more full and energetic sound. When planning to record our new album, we added Tom to be the full time vocalist (who only previously appeared on two songs on the Surf Noir EP) and have been performing as a four piece ever since SXSW. The transition has been an easy one because we are all good pals and love making music together.
With the new formation how has this affected your sound? Recording? Live setting?
The new formation has placed a greater emphasis on live instruments and less computers. Its a nice balance of real instruments with electronic music to produce a danceable set with raw energy. The recording process was a lot of fun because we had complete control of the situation as we recorded the full album in our basement in Seattle. Reed and Jordan's ability to mix live drums, guitars, and vocals, with our somewhat limited studio finances was really important for creating a well balanced record. The live show was just taking what we did in the studio, but adding a little bit more percussion zest and groove (timbales and agogo bells) to spice up the act.
You have received a great deal of praise with your live setting especially opening for other acts. With you touring behind the new album and as a headliner should be expect anything different?
Expect the same danceble tunes, but now we just have a longer set time to do it, so more jamming, a little more improv and extended transition sections.
You all are mostly an electronic act. How do you bring that to a live setting? Instruments or laptops? Or both?
It was really important for us to move away from just being an electronic act. Its really very hard to be an engaging live electronic act when you are just starting out and playing relatively small rooms. Having Tom and Jared join the band added quite a bit of depth and genre diversity to the recordings and also to the live show. We have a computer running abelton live which is triggered to play short 4 to 16 bar loops which have some impossible to recreate sounds and textures. So that is about the extent of the computer in the live show, we use samplers and keyboards extensively as well as electronic percussion pads in conjunction with drums, guitars, vocals and percussion.
The Palace Garden is your debut LP. What should we expect from it that differs (if any) from your previous production?
Well there was more emphasis on lyrics this time around, when creating this album we had an implicit narrative arc that we wanted to use as a compositional basis. When we made the first EP we had literally no idea what we were doing, we just wanted to make some songs, and to be honest thats what we are still doing, but now we pretend we have a plan.
How was producing your first lp? Was this a new twist?
Our album came together with relative ease. All four of us lived together in a house with a basement that we converted into a studio. As such, we had the luxury of taking our time, trying out a bunch of different things, without breaking the bank on a legitimate studio. We tried to stick to the general vision we had for the record, a loose narrative maybe, but other than that we took what felt good and built upon it. These recordings have more instruments, more vocals and more Jarred Katz.
What do you think of the current media/social music world? Now being a solo artist is it difficult/time consuming to maintain a relationship with fans/public?
We are a four piece, the internet is still hard, we are all kind of intermittently obsessed with it and alienated by it.
With albums being able to d/l for free, what changes need to be made to maintain an ‘indie’ act such as yourself? What modifications need to be made in your opinion?
Well just about everyone steals music and we gave our first EP away for free because we wanted to be heard. Obviously we need money to survive and to keep making music, but thats not the number one thing for us, which will hopefully keep us artistically integral for a while. As for maintenance, I think giving the listener something that is physically desirable is the key to moving records. There is a new emphasis on touring, and it seems like licensing music is a little less vilified now than in the past.
What are your upcoming goals? What would you like to accomplish?
We would like to play a lot, make people dance and have fun. Its a nice notion to set goals of playing this festival or going on this or that tour, but if you're not enjoying yourself there is a real disconnect there. Hopefully if we can keep it light and get in front of a crowd as much as possible, good things will come. We just feel lucky enough to be where we are in the first place.
What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?
I know its an obvious choice but TLC's, "Fan Mail".
Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?
Jarred was born in Pittsburgh. So he'd like to say, "Trucky is as Trucky does."
Show is at the Brillobox and begins at 9:30p with doors at 9p. More information here: