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INTERVIEW: Paper Jackets

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

We’ve been great! Just a combination of performing a bunch, hashing out new ideas for our live show and new ideas in the studio. 

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

Certainly! It’s been a great journey with this track and with the band along the way. We had a blast recording it and just as much fun working with Ivanna Borin on the music video! We put a lot into the production and are excited for listeners to absorb the layers presented in this song. 

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

It’s definitely one of the first singles in the new era of this band, and we would not have written it had our label not floated a generous recording budget. Sometimes belief is all the inspiration you need.  

What inspired the video for the single?

I really can’t take any credit for the video, but we will take credit for picking one of the nicest and coolest music video producers in LA – Ivanna Borin. She’s really fantastic to work with and I think if you watch the video you’ll agree her work speaks volumes!

How was the recording and writing process for Don’t Lose Your Head?

It was great! We worked with a few different writers but mostly kept it in house. Wrote and recorded about 32 songs and picked these 6. It was a pretty tiring process. Lots of agreements and disagreements!  Overall, I would say we were very organized and precise when working on it.

What was it like to work with Ethan Kaufmann and how did that relationship develop?

We’ve had the pleasure of working together for the last 5 years. The last year especially has been the most intense by far, but really a lot of fun as well!  The productions have matured, as have we! Music landscape has also changed in the last five years, so it’s been very interesting watching the not only songs mature but old songs be revived. Having this longer relationship has been an advantage for sure!

How much did he get to influence the album?

Quite a lot actually. We write these songs mostly on acoustic guitar, and Ethan and the band really do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to producing the song. We all weigh-in and know that everyone has their specialty.

What aspect of anxiety and tension did you get to explore on this record?

Working together has its rewards but also can get tense when not all creative forces align. With six different personalities and creative processes, it can be a whirlwind at times. But we really enjoy the grind. It’s just like any group of people working on something at once. And no one want’s to offend anyone else, but it’s easy to feel marginalized when your idea doesn’t work. Dialing in sounds as well as insecurities! Emotions are definitely a part of the process, just don’t call it emo or Indie…  

How did you guys intend to capture these themes within the music?

Fast and freely and with very little caution or hesitation. Sometimes I feel like there’s all this bizarre oversight on what’s being done in the song .. like stressing about lyrics or micro analyzing synth parts. While we are careful about it not sounding bad there’s a cool amount of laziness and free wielding distortion in these songs, both literally and metaphorically speaking.    

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

The idea of being helpless and how some people can’t help themselves is a common theme in our music. Like hopeless romantics or helpless drunks, it’s all very human and I think we when connect on this level it feels very genuine. I thought of chasing girls on the playground, childhood friendship and the kind of energy you have riding your bike in summer mixed with a little let’s get drunk in a boujee hotel cocktail lounge a European city. There’s a palette of emotion there.   

What role does LA play in your music?

It’s our home but I wouldn’t say we’re overly ‘SoCal’… think of us as citizen’s of the world first and hard core rootin’ tootin’ Americans second. LA has been the pressure cooker and New York is where people go to become frozen … literally and metaphorically. 

I heard your cover of “Bodak Yellow” and was so intrigued! Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else rather than working on your own?

In this case we took our normal approach with a song that normally wouldn’t fit. There’s a cool contrast there…  And it kinda falls on Ben Folds for covering “Bitches Ain’t Shit” and Dynamite Hack with “Boyz in the Hood.” Sometimes I can’t tell if we’re just being corny white people or creating art. 

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes indeed! Keep a look out this summer and fall! 

What else is happening next in Paper Jackets’ world?

Still up to all the same antics! Shifting gears from working on new material in the studio to promoting our summer tour and lining up more dates in the fall! 

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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