Concert Crap: Your album Zodiac is out January 19, 2018. How did the writing process begin?
Mikaela Salazar: We started the writing process a little over a year ago. The guys come up with a song idea and then I sit down with a notepad and rough recordings of the tracks to try to come up with lyrics and a vocal melody. We had written over 50 different ideas for this album and then we partnered up with our producer, Jon King, to narrow down the songs to see if we have enough solid ideas for an actual record. The whole process happens in phases and takes a lot of time to nail everything down. Once we get a full song line up, we hit the studio and start layering on additional ideas, riffs, harmonies, etc.
CC: What non-musical influences made their way into the album?
MS: A lot of personal experiences and relationships. I let myself be very vulnerable in my writing style. I just put it all out there with my heart on my sleeve. Some political influence could be interpreted even though we try not to get into all that it sneaks in there. I also try to incorporate ideas from the rest of the guys as well. Obviously, when they write songs it isn’t just because they have a cool idea (usually). They are also feeling a certain kind of way when they come up with a song, so I always ask if there is any special meaning about the song to them…. Or what kind of vibe they were thinking of, so I can get myself into that headspace when I write lyrics.
We try to make our music as metaphorical as possible; if I wrote lyrics that were so specific to me – no one would be able to relate. We definitely want our music to be relatable so our fans can turn to our songs when they have a bad day to make them feel better. We also want them to listen when they are having a great day and they want to keep that feeling! If they are dealing with depression, a bad breakup, a loss, whatever – we want them to be able to turn to our music anytime.
CC: If you had to describe Zodiac in three words, what would they be?
MS: Diverse, Energetic, Empowering!
CC: What’s something unexpected that made its way into the album?
MS: An acoustic alternative version of one of the tracks! We started playing around with “Better Off Alone” while in Nashville for our photo shoot on an acoustic. Jon suggested changing the tuning and it came together almost immediately. So he said “Ok! Quick… jump in the studio, let’s track it before we lose it” and now there it is… track #10 on the album. Maybe we will release the original 10th song as a bonus track or just chalk that one up to history. Stay tuned. ;o)
CC: What do you hope listeners love most about Zodiac?
MS: The messages in each song and the flow of the record. We spent a lot of time crafting what we believe is our best music yet; of course, everyone says that about their latest release – but that’s a good thing to always be improving. This record literally took blood, sweat, and tears; we have pictures to prove it! We just hope you love it as much as we did making it.
CC: Besides your upcoming local dates, do you have any tour plans in the making?
MS: Yes! We have a couple of festivals confirmed we can’t announce yet and in the planning phase of our upcoming tour schedule. We are definitely hitting the road to support the release of “Zodiac”. More to come on that very soon – be sure to follow us on Social Media and BandsInTown for dates near you!
CC: Do you have anything else to add?
MS: THANK YOU. Without you – the fans – we would literally be nothing. Don’t be shy at shows, we want to get to know you. We want to talk. We want to hear from you. We want to be friends. We want to play video games together. We want to build a safe and fun community. Let’s take over the world together. We love you, every single one of you!
Post and interview by Karen Shalev
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