Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Head In The Sand”?
Nick: This is the introvert song and I’m all for it.
Noah: Yeah it’s definitely a song for the introvert in all of us. We had a lot of fun writing this song because we were constantly playing this balancing act with happy melodies and anti-social lyrics. The song makes you want to party, but the lyrics are saying “Leave your awesome supportive friends and lock yourself in your room for the night!”
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Nick: We had a jam session once and Justin and I were talking about how much we wanted irony in our music. We joked that “Head In The Sand” — just a chord progression at the time — was so fun and could totally be an ironic song, since it already sounded so happy! And then Noah turned it into real lyrics.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Not for this one. We’re working on a bunch of other songs and focusing on our live performances for now.
How was the recording and writing process?
Noah: I came up with the opening chord progression while noodling on the guitar one night. I brought the riff to our next rehearsal and Charles immediately added on this awesome bossa-nova-inspired lead guitar melody. Then Justin and Nick brought it together with this swingy rhythm and at that moment I knew we were writing a new Altitudes song.
What role does San Francisco play in your music?
Although I’m not writing about the Golden Gate Bridge or Karl the Fog, I believe the themes of being a tech worker in SF and commuting to and from work has had an effect on my songwriting process for sure. I’m constantly listening to our practice recordings on my daily commute, and when a cool idea pops in my head, I’ll take notes on my phone and start to sing along in my head. It’s a strange thing to be surrounded by strangers in a packed subway and then writing these extremely personal lyrics on your phone.
How does your DIY aesthetic gets translated into your music?
We recorded our EP at our own homes using whatever equipment we had at the time. I remember being really self conscious of my singing, so we recorded most of the vocals where we rehearse at Music City instead of my thin-walled apartment. Because we built the songs in this piece-by-piece way, I think the songs had a lot of room to grow as we were recording. I guess we made a habit of “writing in the studio” because of this.
For Head In The Sand, although we got to record in a legitimate studio this time, we still spent a lot of time tinkering with amps, settings, and microphones. I think that was my favorite part. Also the moment when you realize you did it and you can take a deep breath and take in the song in its entirety.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Nick: Really good! Since we’ve started focusing on writing our own parts more, I feel like we’ve freed up some of Noah’s creative mental energy. And we’ll take as much of that as we can get!
Any plans to hit the road?
Yeah we’re hoping to play some awesome shows around California this summer!
What else is happening next in Altitudes’ world?
Noah: We have a bunch of new songs we’re still iterating on. I can’t wait for those to come to fruition!