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INTERVIEW: Andrew Paley

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

Hello! I’ve been just fine, thanks. At the moment, I’m on my way back to Chicago after a blast of a weekend at The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Come Home”?

Sure, “Come Home” is the lead single off of my upcoming album “Sirens.” It’s a pretty stripped-down song — basically guitar, vocals and some piano — and it’s got some harmonies care of my friend Tom from The Lion and the Wolf.

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

No single event led directly to the song. It came from a theme and a few lyric fragments that I’d had kicking around in my head for a while, and grew into itself sometime last spring.

Any plans to release a video for the single? 

There’s a video in the works for the second single now — a song called “Let Me Go,” which will be released soon — but there’s an open question as to what visually would match well with this first one. We’re playing with it and if something good comes of it, we’ll put it out there.

What was it like to work with The Lion and The Wolf and how did that relationship develop? 

Tom and I toured together for a couple of weeks during the summer of 2015. We didn’t know each other before that, but we immediately clicked and had a great time playing all over Germany together. I put “Come Home” in the set at some point on the tour, and by the midway point Tom was singing along with it. By the tour’s end, I knew I’d ask him to add his voice when it came time to record it.

The single comes off your new album Sirens – what’s the story behind the title? 

There’s a dual meaning there. I guess you could say it plays at the enticements to and aftermaths of disaster (in differing forms and at various scales).

How was the recording and writing process? 

Well, “Sirens” really has two parts. The first five songs were largely written and recorded over the past year in both my own studio space in Chicago and in a house in the woods of Vermont. The other 7 songs are from the Songs for Dorian Gray EP that saw a limited release last year, and which was recorded in various cities/spaces over the few years prior.

The common thread though is that I wasn’t really sure I was putting a record together when I wrote or recorded much of it. I just wanted to start working through a backlog of songs and ideas that I’d been building up over the past few years that didn’t quite fit the stuff I do with my band, The Static Age. I wanted to basically act on impulse and record whenever I felt compelled to, and then let whatever came out live on. It’s a very different process from a lot of what I’ve done with the band over the past few years (though the process does have its roots in some of the songs we released on “Blank Screens” and “i/o”).

Would this be a follow up to your previous musical projects or is a total departure? 

Well, it’s all still interconnected. The Static Age is still quite active — we actually just got back from a month-long European tour a couple of months ago — so there’s plenty of creative space for the sorts of things we do together. I think of this other thing now as an outlet for whatever doesn’t fit The Static Age. And so I don’t want it to be any one thing — not just an acoustic project or something like that. I want the freedom to figure it out as it comes. That’ll become apparent with the next single, “Let Me Go,” which is a lot more keyboard-heavy than “Come Home”.

What soundspaces did you get to explore on this record? 

Well, the Songs for Dorian Gray EP songs are much more stripped down. They basically sound like me in whatever room I happened to be in at the time. On the more recent songs, however, I played around a lot more. First off, I took advantage of a slate-floored sunroom in Vermont that has an amazing natural reverb to it, which I think gives a few of the new songs a really great space to them. I also started to play with other types of instrumentation on a few — keyboards of various sorts, samples, some percussive elements. And I think that’s a sign of where this is all headed next, too.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yeah, we’ll be announcing some exciting international tours in the next couple of weeks, and US dates are also in the works for next year. It’ll be a busy 2017.

What else is happening next in Andrew Paley’s world? 

Well, once I land back in Chicago, I’m looking forward to a nap. Beyond that, we’ll see.

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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