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INTERVIEW: Lines West

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi there. Thanks for having us! We’ve been pretty busy lately, but busy is good.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Head Start”?

Well, our first two albums had a lot of Americana elements, and I think that will always be at least a small part of what we do. But as we were writing material for our third album, we started to come to the conclusion that at this point in music, there’s nothing more “Americana” about someone like Jimmy Webb than there is about, say, the Beach Boys. So we started into this record with that approach and a willingness to incorporate elements of American music that pretty much run the gamut.  I guess you could call it “post-Americana.”. “Head Start” definitely illustrates that approach.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There’s always an inspiration for every song. Sometimes it’s a single event, and sometimes it’s more an amalgam of feelings, events, etc. “Head Start” refers to that feeling that you sometimes get in a relationship where you feel like you should just walk away before you get hurt. It’s sort of imagining each step heading away, while also thinking on what led you to take those steps. In the end, you look back to where you’ve come from and there’s only a ghost left behind.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We actually already have one “in the can” so to speak, so we’ll definitely put that out pretty soon.

What role does Wisconsin play in your music?

I think that where you’ve come from is just as important as where you’re going, and so the place that you grew up has the capacity to influence you throughout your life. Wisconsin can be pretty interesting musically. You don’t need to be south of the Mason-Dixon line to like country music, so there’s lots of that. On the other hand, I was also in the children’s’ chorus of the Milwaukee Opera Company as a kid, so I saw both sides of the coin…and a lot in between.

Does the new track mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes it does! We have a new album coming out and we’re really excited about it.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The release date is October 17th, and the title is The Ghost For You. It might seem weird in this environment, where people consume music in individually wrapped Mp3s, but it’s actually a concept album. If you listen to the whole record, it takes you on a kind of journey where the theme begins with loss and departure and moves through to return and redemption. In line with the title, every song has a reference to ghosts or spirits, some more oblique than others.

Would this album be a departure or follow up off your previous record?

It’s actually a progression. It’s so easy to record at home these days, and on our first two albums we definitely had no qualms recording things piecemeal and putting them together as we went. We made a conscious decision to try something different this time. In line with that “post-Americana” vibe, we booked a bunch of rehearsal time and ran through the songs over and over, letting the band cultivate them organically. Then we booked a weekend in the studio and recorded everything old-school…live drums, everyone in the same room, playing together as a band. It made for some magical moments. And as tempting as it was while mixing to go in and fix the little anomalies that come with recording live, we decided to leave them in, so the new record is a testament to what we really sound like as a band, with minimal overdubs.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely. We’re currently setting up dates for our late-fall/early winter tour.

What else is happening next in Line West’s world?

We’ve got some cool stuff coming up. We’re playing the Monadnock Fall Festival in Keene, NH; afun Halloween Show at  Wild Bill’s Concert Venue in Middletown, CT; and the Bridgeport Art Trail in November. Add to that the impending album release and the tour coming up after these autumn shows, and as I said, we’re busy…and definitely happy about it!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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