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INTERVIEW: Overlake

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

We’re doing well, thanks! Tour’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. Some stolen clothes here, some slight van troubles there, but the shows have been mostly good and we’ve been enjoying our time in all the different cities. Doug Martsch came to see us in Boise. He bought a shirt. We had a much needed day off in New Orleans. It rained all day, but it was still very nice. Very relaxing.

Could you talk to us more about your track, “Winter Is Why?” Did any event in particular inspire you to write the song?

It’s our “Sweet Child O’Mine,” haha. I say that because Slash wasn’t even trying with that riff, but Axl heard it and loved it, so it became a song. I was at our space by myself being Slash when I just played that part out of nowhere. I thought it was silly, but then the Axl that lives inside of me decided to form a whole song around it, haha. Lyrically, I wasn’t thinking too much. When we’d play it at practice, the words winter and summer just kept coming out. I’d sort of been thinking about a friend of ours who suffers from reverse seasonal depression, and there is also this idea at play of pain before perseverance, but these are all afterthoughts. I really just try to think of words that sound good on top of the music and aren’t totally stupid.

Any plans to release a video for the song?

Not currently. I’d had an idea for a sweet video, but it’s the kind of thing where we’d all need to be in the same space and on the same page at the exact same time. Weather would need to play a big part, as well. I’d still like to do it someday. Maybe next winter.

The single comes off your album Fall. What’s the story behind the title?

We’re just fans of one-word, one-syllable album titles, and it’s a word that keeps reoccurring in our songs. It’s not necessarily meant to have any seasonal connotations here, but it does work in that respect.

How was the writing/recording process?

I’d started demoing most of these songs back in 2014. I tend to go all out when recording demos. I play all the instruments, do endless takes, leave the studio at six in the morning, etc. I like to have everything as filled out as possible, knowing we don’t have a lot of time for exploration in the studio later on. I sort of found this nice stride while writing these songs, which is a thing that rarely happens to me, and suddenly there were 12 or 13 songs I was ready to share with the band. We went into the process wanting to be more collaborative with writing, but these songs came together nicely and an album started taking shape, so I kind of presented it to Lysa and Nick. You could say I imposed it upon them. That’d be fair. They were both supportive of it, though. It helped make for a smooth recording process for me, and everyone else, I think. We knew exactly what we needed to do, and so much got done over what was really a short period of time spent in the studio.

What was it like working with Tom Beaujour and how did that relationship develop? How much did he influence the record?

We have a lot of mutual friends. I first met and worked with him a few years ago when I played drums on a friend’s project, which Tom was recording. His studio was in a different part of Hoboken back then. He started coming to our shows, he liked what we were doing, we became buddies and he really wanted to work with us, so we recorded the “Travelogue” 7″ together. That was a fun experience and it yielded some pretty great results. We’re still proud of that single, so he was the obvious choice when album time came. There was a little bit of pre-production involved on his part. He came to hear us practice before we started and offered up good ideas for some of the songs. Some worked and some didn’t, but the ones that stuck were really beneficial to the way those songs sound now. He was familiar with all the demos, so he only stepped in with arrangement ideas when it ended up being necessary. He mostly just made everything sound as nice as it does. He’s a great producer and engineer, and a lot of that rests in his ability to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and productivity. He’s also kind of a silly dude, though. He never loses focus, but he is a goofball to some extent. You kind of need that in the studio.

What role does Jersey play in your music?

About as much as Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly, haha. No offense to Mr. Stoltz. He did play one of the great drug dealers in Pulp Fiction. And he was also in Mask, one of the best movies ever made, in my opinion. It’s just an analogy, haha. Any Jersey that may have been inside us as a musical entity ended up on the cutting room floor.

What is it about the 90’s you find so fascinating?

We don’t really find the 90’s fascinating, haha. It’s where we’re from, we actually grew up during the 90’s, and the music that inspired our band I think kind of saved us from what was actually a pretty embarrassing decade, haha. We’ve said this elsewhere, but this is the band that Lysa and I had separately been wanting to play in for as long as we both can remember, definitely since the 90’s. It just took us a little while to get here. We had to find each other first.

Where do you find inspiration for your songs and lyrics?

Like I said earlier, I kind of demo everything, but the songs wouldn’t exist were it not for the band. I couldn’t write these songs without Lysa and Nick in my corner. They keep me inspired. And I don’t think too much about the lyrics. I just write what sounds pleasing to my ears, hopefully it’s not totally stupid, and I’ll assign my own meanings later in some way, but not always. Some of them pertain to shit that’s actually happened, others exist merely to serve the feel of the song. It’s mostly the latter.

What’s happening next in Overlake’s world.

We’ve got some local shows happening in June, then we’re going back out on the road in July, then again in the fall. Hopefully, we’ll find some time to work on new songs. We’ve been playing these ones for fucking years, man. Since the 90’s, it feels like.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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