INTERVIEW: The Giant Peach

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

Thanks so much for having us! We’re doing really well, it’s an exciting time in our lives right now. We’ve been making a lot of music, and of course we’re really looking forward to sharing our new single, “I-89”, with everybody.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I-89”?

Of course. “I-89” is about being stuck. Have you ever come home from a long day of work and realized you’ve been living the same routine for weeks or months or however-long? And tomorrow you’re going to wake up and do the exact same thing again. It’s more than just the job. It’s patterns of behavior, how you feel, who you care about… “I-89” is me taking stock of the past year of my life and realizing that I’m still standing in the same place, driving home to get snowed in while everyone else is moving on.

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

There’s a lot of Vermont in “I-89” – I’ve been living here for the better half of a decade now. Just a few weeks ago, I found myself alone on the highway. It was late at night. The first snowflakes of the season were beginning to settle on the road. There’s just something so isolating about snow. It’s so quiet. The snow just takes all the sound out of the air, and, for a little while there, you feel like you’re the only person in the world. I was the only person in the world.

How was the recording and writing process?

“I-89” happened really fast. I think I wrote and demoed the song over an afternoon. I started tracking just a couple of days later. There was a lot of fine-tuning, of course, but it all came together relatively quickly. Usually I’m a slow writer – painfully so –, but with “I-89” the vision was just so clear. I recorded and mixed the piece over the course of a week in my apartment.

How did the constrained environment influence the music?

Well, the weather certainly had something to do with it… I wasn’t going out very much at the time to begin with, but with the snow falling so persistently outside there wasn’t much more to do than sit inside with my thoughts. As for the actual recording process, we’ve always been pretty DIY – we tracked almost all of our first album, Pulling Teeth, by ourselves. I’ve never found any technical limitations in this approach, though. Part of that is having a clear vision; we know that we want to create a world that is tangible and intimate and inviting, nothing too over-produced or super shiny. We track using primarily SM57s running into Reaper through a little four-input interface. A really affordable set-up, but it far outpaces anything the Beatles had, for example – at least in fidelity.

What role does Vermont play in your music?

Vermont is a beautiful place. Most of the towns here are small. Some barely more than an intersection. They’re scattered across farmland and mountain passes and the shores of Lake Champlain. In the summers, it’s the greenest place you’ve ever seen; hot and humid. Yielding to shocks of red and yellow as the air turns crisp and autumn. Winter is long and difficult, hiding inhospitable cold behind fairytale snowfall. You set your memories to that landscape. The first snow isn’t just an exciting change in the weather, it’s a later-than-expected night huddled with your friend on her couch because you were unexpectedly snowed-in and every other first snow. And the winter that followed. It’s a long, difficult winter.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album? How’s that coming along?

Yes! We’ve been hard at work over the last six months on our next record, Sleepless. I think our sound is becoming much more clarified. Our first record, Pulling Teeth, swerves through folk and pop and jazz and avant-garde art rock; Sleepless takes all of these sounds and wraps them up together. It’s much more cohesive. The sound is much more textural and atmospheric. The highs are higher. The lows are lower. And of course the writing is – I hope – much more mature.

Any tentative release date in mind?

No clear answers on release date – this is a more ambitious project – but we’re hopeful it will be sometime during 2019. Stay tuned!

Any shows coming up?

The Peach will be an artist-in-residency at Radio Bean in Burlington VT this January – we’ll be playing every Thursday at 7. That’s five Thursdays! It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to open up our songs and explore some new sounds. We’ll be exploring a different side of the Peach that our fans might not have had the chance to see yet.

What else is happening in The Giant Peach’s world?

The family in and around The Giant Peach is ever-growing. A lot of our friends have been releasing music for their own projects. Let’s see. Alpacka – that’s Mike [Nunziante]’s band; he plays slide guitar for the Peach – released an album called 400 Miles North earlier this year. Very compassionate roots music. Public Library Commute put out Sienna (1999), which is just so creative in its songwriting and production. I know our friends out in LA, Max [Shashoua] and the boys of Munro the Band, are hard at work on some new tunes. Our buddy Jasper Sloan Yip – a huge influence, and who lent some vocals to “Want” on Pulling Teeth – just put out his third record, Post-Meridiem. There’s a lot going on. This is a very exciting time!

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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