Hi Austin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Ive been pretty good. Super busy with the next record and my other side projects.
When was the first time you fell in love with The Beach Boys?
I grew up listening to The Beach Boys on family road trips so I guess they’ve always been engrained in me but I would say it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I really started getting into them.
From all the things you can love about this iconic band – what was the first thing that caught your attention the most?
The vocals and instrumentation choices were the first things that really grabbed me in Pet Sounds. The tonality of their voices in an age when you don’t have really any of the modern production tricks we lean on now was incredible to me. I was also really draw to the experimental foundation of the record. You can clearly feel that Pet Sounds wasn’t just another album to put out and tour with. There was a clear artist vision behind it, one that almost transcends pop music.
How did the idea for the The Beach Boy’s Pet Sound tribute album?
It started as a mere exercise to shake things up in my creative world. I decided to cover “That’s Not Me”. Im really into cover songs that totally flip the sound of the original recording so that it almost sounds like a completely new composition. I was really satisfied with the end product and I had a great deal of fun diving into someone else’s music so I decided to do another. I was making “Caroline No” yet it was out of my vocal range so this was when I got the idea to have a guest vocalist on the track (Jenessa LaSota). From there I was just kinda like “ well I guess Ill just do the whole record now.”
How was the recording and re imagining process?
The recording and re imagining process actually came fairly easy. Since the songs were already written I essentially had free reign to try anything I wanted on them production-wise which turned into some really cool and interesting moments. My mentality at the time was basically just trying not to over think anything and to not rule anything out. I wanted to keep the experimentation aspect of the record alive so I acquired everything from a speak-and-spell to kazoo to make that happen.
What was the approach you were initially after with the album and did that direction changed as the writing went by?
For the most part my approach stayed the same through out the recording process. I wanted the whole record to sound like a cohesive unit yet I wanted each song to also have its own flavor.
You brought some special guests – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?
In short, yes. All of the guests were hand picked by me. I have so many good friends that are very talented that I hadn’t gotten the chance to work with yet for whatever reason, so eventually it kinda turned into me trying to pack as many friends as I could on this album haha.
Did you draw inspiration from other bands or artists aside of The Beach Boys?
Yeah totally. My inspiration pool ranges from everyone from Kanye to Animal Collective and back. I’m really drawn to artist that can serve me something sonically that I’ve never heard before or that gets me to think about music in a different way.
Any plans to hit the road?
Not with the Pet Sounds record. To perform my version live I would essentially have to recreate the record again and seeing as how I had already done it once I didn’t feel the urge to repeat it. I do however plan on hitting the road with the next YYY record which should be due out sometime next year.
What else is happening next in YYY’s world?