It Has To Start Somewhere is a ripper of an opener; the range and propulsion of rhythms you’re using are awesome. Also considering the track’s title, did you know early on that this was going to be the first song of your first album in eight years?
I think once we heard it finished it was a no brainer. We knew we wanted a fast, in-your-face song to open the record with and based off the lyrical content I loved the idea with the title.
During the chorus of Rapture, Aaron [Gillespie, drummer] hits the snare on the on-beat instead of the off, which is kind of unsettling but really arresting. Did he play it like that straight off the bat?
Rapture was a song I wrote alone away from the band. It was all programmed drums… When we actually got in the studio to record, Aaron tried several different drum ideas to replace my programming. Somehow we landed on this one. I’m not sure why, but I do love it!
No Frame has a kind of unusual, gravelly, robotic effect on the double vocals. What came first, the glitchy style of the song or the decision to use this vocal effect?
Nobody wanted vocals on it at first. I kept getting unsettled by the idea of the melody I had for the verse, and felt like I needed to bring it up. We all loved the vocal and turned it into a song completely. This song was basically done pre-vocal; then we added it on top to finish the track.
I love the punching industrial choruses verses the creeping, hissing verses in Sink With You. Did these two parts ever exist as separate songs?
Sink With You started off as just the intro. We wrote the rest in the studio. We vibed with [producer] Matt Squire until we felt good about it. This song fell into place pretty naturally; we were stoked on what was coming out of the speakers and finished the track pretty much the first day we started working on it.
The chorus in Hold Your Breath is massive. Did you imagine it as a big live moment? How much do you think about the live performance when you’re writing/ recording?
I do think about live moments sometimes – what’s a good set opener, what will be fun to play – but that wasn’t the idea with this track. Aaron had written the music to that chorus a while back and we both played with a melody together [and] tracked a few ideas down. Last minute I came up with the idea that you hear today, before leaving a writing/demoing session, to follow the drum lead-in and turn around. Once I laid it down in the vocal we both knew that was the one.
In Motion seems to have the most unclean vocals, and also the longest held notes (the sliding melody on the word “high”). Is it not extremely challenging performance-wise to pair those two vocal techniques together in the one track?
I think it could have been, back in the day. After singing in bands since I was 13 or so, I’ve learned how to use my voice the right way. I think we can all improve every day if we try hard enough, so nowadays stuff like this is easy live, but might have been impossible five or six years ago.
Which of these tracks are y’all most excited about playing live?
Every single one of them. For the first time ever we have an album that we LOVE every track on. I can’t wait to play them live and for the world to hear them.
Erase Me is out April 6 via Fearless.