INTERVIEW: LA-based Psych Folk Historian

Pic by Anna Maria Lopez

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

We’ve been good! We’ve had a really exciting year, Spiral Again being our third album since last September. It’s really rewarding being able to put out these records.

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

“Another Chance” was written over the course of a night. Oddly enough, it started out as a noise drone piece. I tried playing acoustic guitar over it and it very quickly turned into a poppy, ethereal folk rock piece. It was one of those songs that came together really quickly. That doesn’t happen all of the time, so I’m always grateful when it does!

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

Yes, the song was written after witnessing a friend who was battling addiction get sober. I have had other friends that have never made it that far despite how hard they’ve tried. It takes a lot to turn away from it for good and it seems to get harder, the longer you wait to make that decision.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We’ve been brainstorming video ideas. We’ve done several videos, so at this point we just want to make sure the video is great before going forward with it. It’s looking like a very strong possibility!

The single comes off your new album Spiral Again – why naming the record after this song in particular?

The title of the song just seemed like the perfect encapsulation of the record as a whole. The fact that it’s the opening track also kind of made it feel like an appropriate title.

What’s the story behind the title?

Several songs were written ‘mid-spiral’, a spiral into depression or anxiety; although sometimes it seemed as though it was the outside world that was caught in a spiral.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was incredibly slow. It was probably the hardest album to finish out of all of the Historian albums. I would write songs intermittently between other albums but, for whatever reason, the songs I was writing kept necessitating bigger arrangements. As a result, many of the songs I wrote for the album got pulled off this record and re-recorded for other Historian records. I’m really glad I stuck with it. I think it’s a unique experience among Historian albums.

What made you want to approach this as a much stripped down, acoustic album rather than full band?

I had the idea to make a stripped down, ethereal acoustic album pretty early on, around the time we were putting out our first album. I really wanted make something a bit more intimate. I think it contrasts well to our other albums, which our often pretty expansive.

What role does LA play in your music?

Los Angeles is flooded with talented people and that’s allowed me to make records I could only dream about if I was in some other part of the world. I’m very grateful to be surrounded by such talented and wonderful people. That’s one of the true gifts of growing up and living in LA. It’s always exciting to collaborate with other artists who are so dedicated to their craft.

What aspect of loneliness did you get to explore on this record?

I have some isolating tendencies, so if I’m feeling alone it’s probably my own fault. I spend a lot of energy looking at why I can, at times, feel alone even when I know I’m not. It comes up again and again on this record.

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

The album deals heavily with loss. From losing friends who’ve moved away to realizing that the life I’ve known has slowly disappeared and my old methods of coping no longer make sense.

I was also looking at how easy it is to get roped into blind allegiance to a viewpoint and the resulting cognitive dissonance. It’s frustrating when I see that behavior in myself. You have to constantly be on guard and try your hardest to look at the world and parse out the truth.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’ll see. As much as we love to tour and connect with people who enjoy our music and meet other interesting artists, it takes its toll financially if I’m being honest. We certainly wouldn’t say no to a great opportunity, but I’m not sure if we’ll go back on the road this year. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility though.

What else is happening next in Historian’s world?

We’re finishing up another studio album that will hopefully be out later in the year (or the beginning of next year). As excited as I am about that record, I’m trying very hard to stay in the present moment with this album. I’m really proud of it!

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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