INTERVIEW: Stock Footage

Pic by Felix Javier

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

Hi! Everything has been going great!

Can you talk to us more about your EP “Anywhere But Here”?

It’s a six song EP that showcases our style of indie punk. We were inspired by the 80s and 90s style of loud-quiet-loud indie rock, and the album has a warm analogue feel. There’s a strong sense of energy and momentum, but the songs also have variety and each one has its own vibe while still being cohesive as an album. It’s about searching for your place in the world. There are moments of quiet contemplation and then loud catharsis.

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

Not necessarily the writing, but the reason for recording the EP was inspired by my move to Brooklyn. I wanted to record what Tom Pilcher, who plays drums on the album, and I had been playing in Chicago and to capture our energy and musical chemistry. It was originally supposed to be a last hurrah for the band, but it’s turned into a new beginning for Stock Footage.

Any plans to release any videos for the EP?

That is something we’re considering, but we want to make sure it feels right and isn’t forced. There is a video up on our Youtube channel of an acoustic performance of Little Hurricane that I did at the single release show.

Why did you choose this particular title for the EP?

“Anywhere But Here” is also the name of one of the songs on the EP, and it felt like it fit the album as a whole. In the song, the lyric “anywhere but here” is used in the opposite way that people expect it to be. The album has an undercurrent theme of movement and restlessness, so the idea was that the full context of the title would be shifted slightly when the listener gets to the title track at the end of the album.

When we were working on the album, I also had this idea that the cover would be a picture of buildings at night. The picture we end up using is actually one I took in Midtown Manhattan on a foggy night, and then Mark Weckman edited it a bit and did the final designs. So the combination of a dark foggy cityscape and the title “Anywhere But Here” felt like a good first impression for the album.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was that I would come up with the guitar and vocal parts, and then I would work with Tom to work out the arrangements.

Recording started in the spring of 2016. I was getting ready to move from Chicago to Brooklyn, and Tom and I wanted to do one last EP with the songs we had worked up as a duo. We booked a two day session at Atlas Studios in Chicago with Dan Tinkler engineering the session. The goal was to capture the live sound and energy of the band, so we did the guitar and drum tracks together as live takes. There were a couple of guitar overdubs, and the vocals were overdubbed as well.

We had started mixing the album with Dan, but Tom and I both got busy with life and the album stalled a bit. About a year later in Brooklyn, I played what we had mixed for Greg Ferreira of the Bushwick Hotel. He liked the songs and saw potential in building them up a little more. I did another recording session with him at Live By the Sword Studios in Brooklyn where I tracked the bass lines and some subtle vocal doubling. Greg then remixed the album into what it is now. But the idea throughout the whole process was to make something that sounded like people playing instruments together, that didn’t sound artificial or overly processed.

What role does NYC play in your music?

The biggest role is that the picture on the cover is of NYC. Even though all of the writing and most of the recording was done in Chicago, the final version of “Anywhere But Here” was formed in NYC. One of the reasons that I moved to Brooklyn was to try to find new opportunities for music, to take myself out of my comfort zone a little. Looking back on the album, I think those feelings came through in the songs.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I was going through some changes and thinking about where my life was going while I was writing the songs on “Anywhere But Here”. Those themes come through on the album, but they are abstracted a bit. The songs all make me feel something, but there isn’t a specific event I can point to that inspired them. My goals when writing a song are to capture and explore an emotion and to try to do it in a way that’s exciting and different.

Getting the right lyrics is the hardest part of songwriting for me. I usually start writing based off of a chord progression or riff, and I write lyrics and a vocal melody to compliment the guitar part. My inspiration is really trying to write a song that I’m going to enjoy playing over and over again.

Any plans to hit the road?

Nothing concrete yet, but that is definitely something we are looking to do soon!

What else is happening next in Stock Footage’s world?

We’re playing shows in NYC, so you should definitely try to check us out live this summer! I’m also writing songs and recording demos for the next release. I’ve learned not to promise anything before it’s ready, but I’m doing everything I can to make sure there’s not a three year gap before the next album. Besides that, we’re also pretty active on Facebook and Instagram. Our handle is stockfootageband on both.

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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