After a four year hiatus, The Early November have re-united and made a new record, ‘In Currents,’ which they will be bringing to Australia on the band’s first ever visit for Soundwave next year. KYS caught up with guitarist Joseph Marro to chat about the hiatus and the group’s future plans.
So, what’s been happening in your world of late?
Well we just wrapped up a tour here in the States with Cartel and Seahaven, released a record this past Summer and did some more touring with The Wonder Years, and for the time being, we have just had a night hurricane here in New Jersey which we are all recovering from.
That you did, is everyone alright?
We were lucky, I was right in the path of it but it seemed to kind of blow directly over us which scared us a bit and we lost power for a bit but you know, we are all good here.
You guys are heading out to Australia next year for the Soundwave festival, are you looking forward to it?
Absolutely yes, it’s one of my favourite places to go in general, to play but also just to go so I’m super stoked.
The line-up is pretty good as well, I think you’ll have a lot of fun on this tour.
It is quite a line-up, some bands I would love to see and some I would like to just kinda witness, so I’m pretty excited.
Who are the band’s you only want to “witness”?
I can’t say I’m a huge Metallica fan but I will definitely watch their set to see what kind of thing they do, same thing goes for Slayer which will be incredibly interesting. I am a Blink and Paramore fan so I can’t wait to see all of those guys.
Let’s talk about the hiatus, what made you guys want to get back together and play shows?
Well we kinda talked about it here and there over the past couple of years but for some reason or another it just didn’t make sense, you know somebody was on another tour or it didn’t feel like the right time. Then all of a sudden, two summers ago we just got a call from Jeff and he was like “I think we should do it, let’s just try it out and see what happens” and everyone just said “ok.” It just made sense for everybody and everyone was around at the time, we booked a show, it went really, really, really well, we booked another one and on and on….
And that obviously led to a new album as well.
Yeah, once those few shows were done we decided to make another record because we had had too much fun so it got us pretty excited.
When it came time to write and record, had the band dynamic been effected or changed considering the break you all had from each other?
There was no change to the band dynamic as far as how we all interact but we were maybe all a little bit more patient and gracious to be around one another now which is nice. The writing process changed due to the fact that our schedules are now all over the place a bit so we can’t just get in a room and jam out a song so everybody just kind of added their own parts separately to the record, that wasn’t how we did it in the past but it seemed to work out due to our current situations and everyone is pretty busy now so it seemed like the best way to do it.
Now that you have recorded both ways, together and separately, which do you prefer?
I think it’s nice to do it separately because you don’t feel rushed, you have all the time that you need to work on your own stuff, but it does take some of the comradery out of it. That being said I’d go with the way we did it this time around as it just makes more sense.
Now that the record has been out for a little while and you have seen people’s reactions to it, is it the record that you wanted it to be from the beginning?
We talked about it quite a bit before recording and said “What do we want this record to be like” and one of the big words we kept using was that we wanted it to have a lot of ambient noise and background noise and I think we did that, there is a lot of stuff going on that you don’t really notice until you pay attention, just sounds in the background and stuff. I think that really came across well and that is hard because you can’t really write noise but I think it came across well and it had that vibe or mood to it.
Interesting considering that kind of writing or creation would usually happen in a “jam room” environment yet you guys have managed to achieve it in separate creative spaces.
We got to give a lot of credit to Ace, the songwriter/producer, he did a lot of that stuff late at night after we all left the studio, it’s his studio so he would just keep plugging away and the next day we would come in and hear all of the other stuff he did on the fly and he would be like “What do you think?” and we would all say “That’s it, you’ve nailed exactly what we wanted.” So we gotta give him a little nod there.
I noticed that Ace was quite unconventional and creative with the way he released a lot of his solo stuff during your hiatus, to try to offset the state of the music industry/internet etc. were you guys conscious of that stuff when releasing your new record?
That was definitely a factor and something we thought about a lot. We thought about the best ways to release the record, do we do it independently and just do digital and vinyl, but at the end of the day Rise are just the coolest bunch of guys and the sweetest label so we decided to go through them but we are still thinking of ways to market the record. It’s a challenge these days for every band, once it is out how do you keep it relevant? There is a bunch of little things you have to do but they all seem less relevant. In the old days you would just release a music video, then go to radio, push that record, now it is like, how do you keep giving them stuff week after week. It’s a challenge you know.
Do you find it frustrating that it is like that these days?
[Laughs] Yeah, a little bit but it has sort of levelled the playing field, there is so much to do that now it is weeding out the things that are and aren’t worth doing. There is so much we want to do but haven’t had the chance to due to time constraints but we have some things up our sleeves for the next few weeks.
Can you give us a bit of a preview?
I had two of the songs remixed by two different artists, the song In Currents, the title track was remixed and we want people to hear those which we have been sitting on for a couple of weeks now and trying to figure out the best ways to release those.
What sort of remixes? They aren’t straight up dance remixes are they?
Ummm, one is, more or less a four on the floor heavy beat dance song. The other one is…have you seen the movie ‘Drive’? It’s that kind of soundtrack, a very mid-80’s Tears for Fears kind of vibe, not dancey but still cool.
That’s the cool kind of remix.
Yeah kind of like if Hot Chip were to remix our song it’s what it would sound like. It’s not Hot Chip remixing it though.
What are the plans for next year once you finish up the Soundwave tour?
We have more international stuff planned, then we have some Summer touring in the US. In addition to that we want to do some anniversary shows for ‘The Room’s Too Cold’ as it will be ten years since we released that, which shows how old we are. I would love to go to Japan again and then maybe make a new record? I don’t know?
You joke and say that you guys are old because of a record that is about to hit its ten year anniversary, but there must also be a sense of achievement in there as well?
Absolutely, it’s pretty bittersweet in a sense that I’m proud that we made that record when I was nineteen with my friends and I think it holds up. A record that people my age then kinda look up to and that is the most flattering thing, but at the end of the day it does make me feel old.
Gotta grow old eventually, thanks for the chat, we’ll see you at Soundwave.
Exactly, thankyou man!