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INTERVIEW: Carry Illinois

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

We’ve been well and very busy! We are very excited to share our new music with the world very soon!

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

“Runaway” is an anthem for anyone struggling with body image issues, anxiety, depression, and emotionally painful childhood and adolescent memories. I have hated the way my body has looked and felt my whole life. This song is about facing fears, breaking through walls, and running towards self-betterment. When people hear “Runaway”, my hope is that they are inspired to harness the strength to see their own power and beauty.

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

This song was inspired by my entire life. I spent years writing songs about other people, and finally gained the courage to tell my own story with complete and utter honesty.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We hope to do so! We just finished filming a wonderfully weird video for an unreleased song off of Work in Progress. We will be dropping the new video in late May!

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

As humans we are constantly evolving and striving towards creating our best self. I recently came off of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs after 15 years. I am meeting a new “me” and learning how to live in my new skin. The new EP is called Work in Progress because my brain is still re-wiring itself, my emotions fluctuate, and I am figuring out how to exist alongside our ever-changing world. I am indeed a work in progress.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the songs over the course of 4 months and then brought them to the band. I allowed them to experiment with different sounds and parts and then we refined the arrangements, readying them for recording. Recording was an intense but enjoyable process; we spent several days in the recording studio. We dug deep and got strange with several different instrumental parts. Once we felt good about the base of each song we recorded backing and lead vocals. The entire recording process was fully collaborative, making the creation of the album a completely interactive and exciting experience.

What role does Austin play in your writing?

I am constantly inspired by my musician friends and heroes who perform in Austin. The music community and the natural beauty of the city are a good source for creativity and song fuel. Many of my newer songs have come from interpersonal interactions and tough memories from my childhood in Illinois.

What personal struggles did you get to explore on this record?

The record largely explores my personal and interpersonal struggles during my late teens through current times.  I felt an urgency to write about getting off of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, because coming off of them was both a hellish and liberating experience. I also expressed my deep inner fears. Naming what you are scared of is the first step in working towards facing down demons. One song exclaims my hope to be a better and more loving partner to my wife, and I hope that when she hears the song she knows I am working on it.  As I said earlier, I have always hated my body and I finally had the courage to provide words for my severe disconnection and disgust towards my body. Writing these feelings down has provided me the opportunity to edge closer towards body positivity. The EP closes with my reaction to a previous bandmate suddenly quitting the band two weeks before tour; it puts an emphasis on how we all can grow wiser if we stare truth in the face.

Any plans to hit the road?

We will be touring through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma July 6th-July 16th. We can’t wait to play the new songs and make some new friends! Tour dates will be announced soon.

What else is happening next in Carry Illinois’ world?

We will be premiering a new track from Work in Progress in the next few weeks, releasing a new music video, and celebrating the release of the new EP on May 25th at Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin, TX!

Listen here

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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