Concert Crap: Your new EP Previous Love is set to be released on July 25th. What was the writing process like for the EP?
Steve Browne: Gary goes to school in Florida while the rest of us are in Upstate New York. So when we decided to make the record, it was all long-distance writing. We would constantly be bouncing ideas back and forth in voice memos, and wound up having ideas for something like 13 songs. When Gary came home from school it was go-time for us. We narrowed down our ideas to the 5 songs we wanted to work on that would make sense together on an EP, and got to work. We’d often times work acoustically to work out song structure, and then feel it out full band 3-4 of us at a time. I don’t think there was a day when the 4 of us were free where we didn’t write together leading up to recording.
CC: Who are some of your musical and non-musical influences?
SB: Turnover and The Maine are easily my favorite bands. I have a pretty wide range of what I listen to, but I’m also a total sucker for pop music. As for non-musical influences, certainly my mom. She would take me out to see bands all the time as a kid. We didn’t have a lot of DVDs when I was little, so we would re-watch quite a few things. I remember she had me watch The Goo Goo Dolls’ live performance many many times.
Gary Sheedy: Some of my contemporary influences include Balance and Composure, and Brand New, but I’m also very influenced by older bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and the Smashing Pumpkins. My mom got me into music at a young age and introduced me to some great bands she like when she was my age. As far as non-musical influences, I like watching old movies and television shows like The Shining or The Twilight Zone. I also read a lot and find inspiration there.
John Perdue: Dave Grohl is my favorite drummer because he is so fucking loud and crazy behind his drum kit, his energy is something I have always aspired to recreate in my drumming. As for other musical influences, I wouldn’t even be able to talk about drums if it weren’t for my dad. He bought me my first drum kit and we would jam together with him on guitar and me trying to learn simple bass-snare beats until I could figure out how to play the hi hat at the same time. He taught me literally everything he knew about music, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Charlie Campanella: Growing up, before I even started playing guitar, my mom would always have me listen to bands like Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Goo Goo Dolls. The sound of these bands have always been in my ear. Probably the most influential musician for me would have to be John Mayer. But more recently my two favorite bands are Hippo Campus and Turnover.
CC: What was it like working with Jay Zubricky? Do you feel more pressure to work hard when working with a guy who’s produced and engineered with some awesome bands?
SB: Jay is not only a class act, but extremely good at what he does. He had a very laid back approach with us, always keeping the vibe feeling right. That guy has been around the block a bit, and always has some hilarious stories to tell. As for feeling more pressure, I don’t think so. Jay made us feel right at home, and we were all just stoked to even be there making a record. I think making music should feel that way every time.
CC: I was listening to the song “Make It Up To You” and based on the lyrics it sounds like it would be relatable for a lot of people. Does knowing that help when writing music?
SB: I think a lot of times in our writing process Gary or John will send us lyrics, and we’ll all reply back whether or not we like them. Many times when we all wind up talking about them, we draw different interpretations of what the lyrics mean to us. In my opinion the songs where we all draw different meaning are really special, because we all took away something from it. This is definitely one of those songs.
GS: To me, art is all about emotional connections and finding things you can relate to. It definitely feels good when someone says they connect with what you’re doing, understand what you’re saying, and that it made them feel a certain way. That being said, I don’t try to write things that I think will make people relate to what I’m saying, I just write what I’m feeling at a certain moment and if people connect with it, then that’s awesome. For me writing music is very personal and very cathartic, and I think that is apparent on songs like Make It Up To You and Freezing In Florida. Both of those songs were written about specific experiences I had in the last year, and were written after reflecting on what happened. It’s all there in the lyrics if you know me, but it’s also there to be taken and interpreted by anyone however they choose.
CC: What songs or albums have had the biggest impact on your lives?
SB & CC: The Earth Pushed Back by Have Mercy is fantastic, and was the first time I think all 4 of us really bonded over one record. Fun fact, for a brief period of time in High School we named ourselves after a Have Mercy song, “Two Years”. For about 2-3 months any time the 4 of us were in the car together that is all we would listen to.
JP: When Turnover released Peripheral Vision a couple years ago, I was listening to it on a daily basis for months on end. I had never heard anything like that album before, and it sparked my interest in so many classic bands that influenced Turnover to write that album. The band and I could each write a paper on how much that album has impacted us. Even in 2017, I can always rely on Peripheral Vision to brighten up my day. Very excited for their new album next month.
CC: Any plans for the rest of 2017?
SB: We have quite a lot in the works! Gary will be playing acoustic shows around the southeast as he goes to school in Tallahassee, FL. Any opportunity we get where we’ll all be in the same place you can certainly expect to see us playing full band.
Along with that we’ll be releasing weekly videos, and producing as much content as possible for fans to chew on. We really hope people enjoy the record, and perhaps we’ll even be hitting the studio again in the not-so-distant future.
All questions answered by Steve Browne, Charles Campanella, John Perdue and Gary Sheedy
You can listen to Previous Love’s music HERE
Post and interview by Madeline Cronin
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