1) As I mentioned in my review, you guys seem to use calmer/more melodic moments differently than most heavy bands I’ve been listening to in the fact that they exist as their own movements and not just a prelude to a breakdown or climax. Was that something that was intentional, or did it come about naturally? Does that come more from an emotional place or a songwriting one?
This was intentional. Cory has been doing solo ambient performances for a long time now and has a regular gig at a yoga studio in Austin where he plays a lot of stuff similar to the movements on the album you mention. One reason they’re their own tracks is because we wanted them to serve as reflections on their he previous tracks so they sink a little more. The other reason is to break up the formulaic crescendo-based post rock structure and let the bangers be bangers and the chill pieces be chill pieces.
2) Your first album was a bit more aggressive, whereas Spotted Horse is more spacious and dense-what heralded that shift between albums? It really seems like Memorial hinted at that shift a little bit, was it a case of picking up where Memorial left off, or no?
The first record is definitely a beat down but I think Spotted Horse is actually more powerful with its use of dynamics. It lets you breathe before punching you again and I think that comes from our evolved collaboration as a band. A lot of the first record is based around riffs and Spotted Horse is built almost solely on songwriting as a group. This record is us. It showcases more of who we are individually and as a whole, and the different facets to ourselves, where as the last record was more oriented around parts and less on the whole. The end of Memorial definitely hinted at where we were going with Spotted Horse to highlight a shift towards setting a more of mood and giving the music more emotion.
3) Another noticeable change on Spotted Horse is the number of lengthier tracks-was it challenging to create these more expansive tracks, or did it come naturally?
Yes it was challenging. This was the hardest we’ve ever worked at writing and it was grueling at times. We struggle with knowing when to be finished with a song so there were many variations of the tracks that had to be painstakingly edited and re-written or tossed out completely. Creating a mood and evoking emotion is hard to do in short songs so in that sense we naturally did end up with longer tracks.
4) It’s also interesting to me how long stretches of Spotted Horse are purely instrumental with no vocals. What was the thought process behind that? Is that something that you guys think you’d possibly expand on even further in the future?
Definitely. We’re excited to explore more of that terrain. We’ll always have the context of wanting to be “heavy” but there’s other ways to accomplish that besides minor key chugs that we are working on for new material. There will certainly still be the occasional songs of pure aggression.
5) Were there any specific bands/artists that influence you in general and may have influenced the new album specifically?
We are all fans of this will destroy you, who we were fortunate enough to tour with in 2017. We also have been completely entranced by Holy Fawn from Arizona.
6) Lastly, if there was one band you’d want people to check out in 2019, who would it be?