INTERVIEW: Dark Wave-Dream Pop Duo Mall Daze

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

Thanks so much. Doing pretty good considering WA just came out of smopocolypse and you couldn’t breathe the air or leave your house on top of all the other crazy stuff happening in the world right now.

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

I sort of write songs in a haze or stream of consciousness style that seems to build a story after the fact. It feels special because it does seem to be about a specific memory from my teen years, yet I never set out to write that, it just kind of happens in a way that makes me feel like I’m a part of the process rather than the subject.

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

No particular event inspired me per-say, I basically fill in my free time by being creative instead of waiting to get inspiration, so it sort of comes billowing out whenever I get a moment alone in my tiny dark home studio.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The videos are always fun for us because it sort of feels like the work is done… we kind of just rely on the director to follow their vision so that things stay fun for us and just kind of hope for the best. Darien Mack was the director on this one and he’s always easy to just let take over and give it that dark vibe we’re after.

The single comes off your new album Ash House – what’s the story behind the title?

The house I wrote all of these songs in was on Ash Street in Spokane, Washington, so I just felt like everything coming out of that basement needed to be an homage to that house and the memories it kept. I’m living somewhere different now and it was just a very special place for me .

How was the recording and writing process?

This album came together so easily in the sense that the songs felt like they were waiting to be written, I always start with a basic drum track, then I start playing bass over it and just looping something until it just feels so good to keep playing it, it’s usually very simple and has a foggy night drive feel to me.

What role does Alaska play in your music? 

Alaska’s such a strange and beautiful place, It’s hard to pinpoint what part of it resides as I move in different directions, but it is there like a thick honey over any style of art no matter how contrived your next move may be. It’s a dark and a midnight light that stays with you I think.

How has Joy Division and The Cure influenced your writing?

Great bands and so honored that you notice any hint of their influence or would ask that question… just a very big fan of both and I would say that it’s more the attitude of their lyrical tones than anything else. I feel a connection with the things they’re saying even when the lyrics don’t hit me directly, there’s just a feel there that can’t ever be expressed just right but by the two groups.

How did you go on balancing the cynicism with the much lighthearted themes on this album? 

It all just comes down to driving songs for me… the moment I get in my car I start to day dream and I always want a theme song to that feeling… I think I’ll probably just continue to try to find that and keep writing songs to accomplish that even when I’m failing at it, so I don’t know that I do anything particular for balance, it just sort of works itself out and builds on its own a bit.

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

I don’t ever feel what I think is inspired because I’m a strong believer in creatives bing creative… like writing songs and music is just what I do when I have the time… that helps me to have a constant well of inspiration… or at least that’s what works for me… there’s never a time where I feel like something hit me and I just went on a song-writing rampage… sometimes it takes me a few days to finish a song and other days I write more than one in a night. It inspires me to stay sharp and keep writing consistently and that helps the process to stay comfortable.

What else is happening next in Mall Daze’s world?

In the next couple of days I’ll be moving int a new tiny dark basement studio where I’ll start working on the next Mall Daze record and considering touring may be at a crawl this year, I expect it will be out in 2021. 

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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