Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Regret and Nostalgia”?
Of course. The idea behind this song is that we all have regrets. It seems like when we’re young, we’re carefree and daring, often times not realizing the weight of our decisions that ultimately shape who we become. Hopefully those choices mostly add up to good outcomes, but no one’s perfect. The narrative of the song explores an old man or woman’s recollection of their youth at a very specific moment in time that would have potentially changed everything. When you’re 17 and 18 years old, you jet off to college haphazardly, not realizing that many of the people you leave behind will always belong to your childhood and will not follow you beyond. It’s bittersweet. We carry these people, these moments, inside of us. As we age, they produce happy memories that we can tap into and relive. In this case, the hero abandons his love, and many decades later, it pains him to realize this. It’s an anthem of sorts of regret and nostalgia.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
My now 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia last year and in the flash of an eye, I saw her childlike innocence assaulted at every corner. In my grief and panic, I also saw my own reflection age considerably in a very short period of time. I just turned 30 in September, and most of my hair is white now. The idea of this song was born out of those moments when I think back to before all of this and how happy and carefree, even naive, we all were. Taking for granted how easy and free life was. There are wonderful memories that I can pull up on my iPhone right now and show you, and they always make me smile. But they also grow a lump deep in my throat, and I can’t help but wonder if I could have done something different, something that would perhaps have made my little girl’s life easier. In the end, it’s the inspiration of seeing her incredible spirit that illuminates the backdrop of our lives right now. It’s that bittersweet nostalgia and hope for the future that is the undercurrent of this song.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
The song is certainly cinematic and could very well benefit from a visual narrative. I’m talking with a few directors right now and gauging interest. Ultimately, I think the audience will let us know if they want more from this project.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording process was incredibly fast. I was listening to a mixed playlist of Future Islands, The Killers, AWOLNATION, Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, and randomly Tom Petty, when I bolted to the studio with this idea for a song. This was probably 1 in the afternoon on a Saturday, and by midnight I had the final vocals cut over a demo track that was about 80% of what you hear in the final track.
One of the very first things I did was send that demo off to Seattle where bass player genius Juan Hernandez laid down some wonderful parts for me mirroring a lot of what I had laid out in the synths already, but then adding his own unique flair here and there, which really elevated the whole thing a lot. A funny side note, Juan’s computer wasn’t working to track for me, so I sent him this little mini interface for guitar and he tracked everything in Garageband on his wife’s iPhone! haha!
At about the same time, I sent the track to Alec Lowe at LoweNoize Production in Provo, Utah because not only are his drum chops off the charts, but he’s also a fantastic engineer. I should show you the dry stems he sent me, they sound good enough to eat off of.
And the final bit that really pulled it all together was the main electric guitar that oscillates between riffs and rhythm so nicely. I’d just met Coral Bones who is a fantastic producer/artist in his own right, and I quickly found out how handy he is on guitar. Having him here in my studio, I had my super nice PRS Custom 24 all ready for him, but instead he reached for my cheap open body electric Ibanez instead. It made me laugh, but the tone he got out of it was just lovely.
I mixed the track myself and then worked closely with Warren Sokol at United Mastering here in LA, who did a marvelous job mastering the track for me.
What role does LA play in your music?
LA was always a magical place to me as a child growing up in a blue collar community in Eastern Washington. I desperately wanted to be there and share in that creative energy. That never really left me. So naturally, when I was old enough to make the decision, we packed up and moved here and haven’t really looked back ever since. It’s a real melting pot of creativity in LA, the trick is learning how to navigate it all. I guess for me, the mystique of a city that is sunny and happy looking with a grimy and dangerous underbelly is what is inspiring me the most these days.
How have The Killers and Modest Mouse influenced your writing?
The Killers have definitely influenced me way more than Modest Mouse from my early 20’s onward, but as a teenager one of my defining moments of glory as a musician was dominating our high school battle of the bands with my group of buddies rocking out to “Float On.” That is a wonderful and exciting time of my life, and that song brings it all back instantly.
The Killers music is incredibly interesting to me. The evolution over the course of their first 3 albums is so satisfying to listen to. Hearing a punky garage band turn into huge anthemic rocker-poets is so inspiring to me. I think Regret and Nostalgia specifically conjures up many of the feelings I have listening to tracks like “All these things that I have done,” “Can you read my mind,” and “A Dustland Fairytale.” I’m a little obsessed with Brandon Flowers. I think his last solo album, The Desired Effect, is The Killers album we all wanted. Wow, what a perfect record. From start to finish, the tapestry he creates with sound, imagery, and loose narratives is just a straight up treat. Brandon, if you’re reading this, I love you.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes. Absolutely. It’s coming along swimmingly, as lifeguards say. There are 6 or 7 tracks finished right now that will be released incrementally over the next year. We’re hoping to have a new single out every 4-6 weeks. Just a few weeks ago, we tracked a really killer piece over at Sunset Sound Studio 3 and had a fabulous time, and we’re heading back to record even more.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
“For the Wicked” will drop January 1st, 2019.
Any plans to hit the road?
I think we’re going to dip our toes into the water up and down the West Coast and see where the wind takes us from there.
What else is happening next in Vintage Bones’ world?
Us bone boys are a rare breed, feeding on pizza and Monty Python reruns for sustenance. haha. Right now, we’re in studio mode. Stay tuned boys and girls!