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INTERVIEW: Year of October

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

Hey thanks for having us, we’re doing well.  We’ve just been playing shows and promoting out new record.

Can you talk to us more about your new single “Come & Get It”?

Well this was one of the last songs that we wrote for the record.  I’d had the verse riff for a long time and we finally sat down and put some lyrics to it.  It came together quickly and took off once Phlecia and I had the first verse down.  It was one of those songs where everything fell into place, before we knew it we had a chorus and a bridge.  It is one of my favorite tracks on the record and I like the energy and melody that Phlecia brings to the verses.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

There wasn’t one event that inspired it, but we wanted to have a song with a strong woman protagonist who stands up for herself.  I don’t want to get into too many details about the story because we like for our listeners to make their own conclusions.  I’d been listening to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age at the time though and wanted the song to hit really hard like theirs’ do.

How was the film experience?

It was an absolute blast.  Our director, Ryan Rehnborg of Surly Urchin Studios, did a great job.  We got to the park at 6:00 AM and we shot all day until 6:00 that night.  It was a lot of fun and we have so many friends come out to help with the shoot.  Everyone did so well, and it was an extremely smooth shoot the whole day.  We started by shooting all the band footage in the morning and then did all the battle shots and character introductions for the next few hours.  We shot a ton of great scenes and the whole day was a blast.  We are happy with how the video turned out, Ryan did a such a good job and it captures how much fun we had during the video shoot.

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

Phlecia and I are big Stephen King fans and we love the Dark Tower series.  We had the main riff for the title track for a long time and we couldn’t come up with any lyrics for it.  Phlecia finished the last Dark Tower book and we were talking about that series and how the song that we were working on sounding foreboding and “Trouble Comes” just came out.  We have been working on this record for two years and we felt like that title really fit the entire feel of the record.  We wanted it to sound foreboding and dark like a lot of the music on the record.

How was the recording and writing process?

We are always writing and working on new music.  We put out our last record, “Golden Days,” back in 2014 and have been working on the songs that ended up on “Trouble Comes” for the last three years.  We had a lot of these songs written for a few years and it really helped us develop them further because we played them live so many times.  We were able to tweak the songs how we wanted, and it helped us get a better understanding as to what we wanted to do with this record.

The recording process on this record was a long one because of some changes in our lineup.  There are two drummers that play on this record, Kody Muhic and Phil Moore, and they both do a fantastic job.  We had to adjust with changing drummers and it elongated the process.  We recorded all the drum tracks either at my house or at Kody Muhic’s house and everything else we did in my home studio.  I was able to engineer and produce the record all in my home studio and this helped us take our time with this release.  We would get drum tracks laid down first then I could go back and layer guitar and bass tracks before adding vocals.  There was a couple of songs where I would go back and rerecord guitar tracks after I got the vocals done because I would hear them differently.  We also recorded the two acoustic tracks on this record entirely live with no click track and with just a few microphones in the same room.  I wanted those tracks to sound raw and have the right kind of authenticity too them.  I’m happy with the results of those two songs, When It Rains and Broken.

What troubles did you get to explore on this record?

Well for one thing we switched drummers halfway through, so we had to get the next drummer up to speed.  It added an extra 6 months to the recording and was added to the frustration of making the record.  There were also a couple of tracks that we worked on that didn’t up making the record and it was difficult at the time letting those songs just sit.  Looking at it now those tracks didn’t belong on this record and I’m glad how the full thing turned out.  We may put those tracks out later or rework them and put them out on a future release.

What role does Nashville play in your writing?

There are so many great bands in Nashville that we play with or go see almost every weekend.  It really pushes us to be alongside so many fantastic artists and see what they bring to the table.  There are nights when I get home late from a show and I must pick up my guitar and try and write a new song just because I was feeling so inspired by my fellow musicians.  I always try and push our songwriting and with seeing all these bands in Nashville it can be challenging to stand out in the crowd.

With what genres and styles did you get to explore on this record?

When Phlecia and I write music, we try not to talk about genre or style.  We listen to a lot of different types of music and we want to stay as authentic to ourselves as we can.  We write music for each other more than anything.  If we can get the other person excited or jazzed over a new line or guitar riff it really can help get the ball rolling on the writing process.  We try and not limit ourselves with what we can do musically.  This album is filled with a lot of heavy riffs, but it also has a lot of neat little nuances like a 3/4 waltz groove in it and some little jazz sections.  Just in our song “Bad” we cover everything from riffs to soul to a walking bassline.  We have our sound, but we don’t like to limit it to just one genre or one type of style.  We really love artists like Beck who can cover all kind of ground when it comes to genre, but you always know that it’s a Beck song when you hear it.  We are not on that level yet but it’s certainly something to strive for.

Any plans to hit the road?

We travel nearly every weekend with the band playing mostly in our region.   We just got finished with a little run up through Kentucky and we plan on going into Alabama and possibly further south this Spring.  We love being on the road and we would like to spend larger amounts on time this next year playing shows every night in different towns.

What else is happening next in Year of October’s world?

We are setting up a lot of shows this Spring and we should be putting out some new videos for the record.  We also will be putting out some live recordings up on our bandcamp page here in the next few months that will probably be included with the purchase of “Trouble Comes”.

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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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