Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Dead Gold”?
Dead Gold is the second song from our EP, FACTIONS. Musically, it’s the most diverse song on the EP. Sing along chorus, manic pre-chorus, spacey almost spoken word bridge. It moves around a lot, but still feels cohesive.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It’s a little nerdy, but, thematically, the initial spark was taken from Game of Thrones! ha! Dead Gold is a reference to the Mountain and his relationship with Queen Cersei. It then began into evolve into an exploration of relationships. The give and take between two parties.
How was the film experience?
It was great! We worked with Scott Ballard, a very talented indie film maker. Our singer Michael, works as an actor as well and met him on set for a film called DEATH ON A ROCK. We just wanted to document the process of THE WITHOUT’s first trip into the studio. We had a lot of fun.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process for FACTIONS was a long one actually. We wrote about 10 songs, and then worked together to whittle down to our strongest four. Factions was born. It really made us weigh out what we were doing well, and what needed work. Lots of discussion. But now we communicate with each other really well, and the process has evolved and sped up a bit. We’re currently working on material for our next release, and it’s moving much faster. Had to build the foundation, ya know?
What was it like to work with Stephan Hawkes and how did that relationship develop?
Stephan is a wizard. A highly skilled, endlessly entertaining wizard. Michael, Adam and Wade had worked with Stephan on various projects before FACTIONS. He’s the go to guy for that big sound we were looking for. His drum sounds are amazing. He’s also a very talented drummer and guitar player, so he always had great ideas and we turned to him for advice often.
How much did he influence the album?
We had the bulk of the album done before Stephan got his hands on it, but he is the sole reason that sonically is sounds the way it does. We used multiple guitar cabinets and guitars on this record, and Stephan provided a few of them. The most surprising one was a John Mayer signature Stratocaster that made it on much of the album. We never would of thought to use it, but Stephan made the suggestion and we fell in the love with it.
What aspect of your lives did you get to explore on this record?
There was a lot of self reflection on this EP. We really wanted to make it personal. There is colorful language, but the themes all relate to where we are at specifically as individuals, and as the band. Some of us have battled addiction, or have started families, lost and gained jobs. Some of us didn’t think we’d ever be in a band again, and here we are! The EP references all those things.
What role does Portland plays in your music?
Portland is a very rich musical city. Lots of great bands of all genres, with a lot of history of influential bands coming from this area. We love it here. It’s gray, dark, cold and wet 9 months of the year. Whether we like it or not, that is ingrained in us. We’re all from this area. It takes a certain kind of person to find the beauty in it. Maybe crazy people?
Any plans to hit the road?
We’re working at putting together a 2 week west coast tour in the fall. In the mean time, we’re just hitting the Pacific Northwest. We’re not on a label and don’t have a booking agent yet, and don’t have deep pockets, so financially we’re a bit limited. We’ll get over the the UK and South America at some point. Baby steps though.
What else is happening next in The Without’s world?
We just did a live studio and video session at Bridge City Sessions, so we’ll be releasing that soon. We’ll put that up on YouTube and our website. Our online merch store will launch next week, so we’re pretty excited about that. We designed everything ourselves and there is some pretty cool stuff there. After that its about trying to get the attention of a small label or booking agent. It’s about grinding it out and doing the work. So we’ll keep moving forward on our own until someone notices!