Seattle rockers Barcelona caught our attention with their latest record ‘Not Quite Yours’, and after seeing their amazing show in Denver a couple of weeks back, we just had to talk to the guys behind the album. We catch up with band and talk recording, Kickstarter and why playing live is so important.
When you went into the studio to record ‘Not Quite Yours’, what was your vision for the album?
Our vision was to make an honest record. We wanted to get out of our own way, out of the way of the songs, and record them as naturally as possible. With the help of our producer, we recorded almost the whole record live, in a small room. It has a special energy because of that.
You used the Kickstarter method to raise funding for the record by reaching out to your fans. Do you feel that this made the connection between band and fans stronger?
Kickstarter was an amazing experience. It definitely made the connection between the band and our fans stronger. It let us know that our music still means a great deal to people. It feels incredible to have that support, and in turn makes us hungry to give back.
What kind of creative process does the band go through when writing new songs?
I usually write the basic song, and then we all sit around adding bits and pieces until it gets to a place where we can play it a bunch of times in a row. We usually take a break from it so when we come back, it’s obvious if something is still working, or is awkward and out of place. It depends, some songs take way longer than others to find their feet.
We caught your show in Denver last night, and were blown away. How important is playing live for the band?
That show was radical. Denver shows are some of our favorites. I think playing live is most band’s bread and butter. I can’t think of many artists that can write and release music locked in their bedroom and never come out to share themselves or their art with the world. I think touring is one of the most crucial things bands can do. It not only gets your art out there, it builds you as a person and as a creative unit. We wouldn’t sound anything like we do today had it not been for touring. It’s essential.
What did you draw on as inspiration for your lyrics on ‘Not Quite Yours’?
Like always, I draw on personal experience. Mostly about relationships I’ve had. Some romantic, some friendships. Some hard, some good. Sometimes they’re about people I know, but wasn’t in a relationship with. My songs are almost always about my relationship to something or someone. I know that’s vague, but people are ridiculous (me most of all), and so I write about that.
How would you describe the distinctive sound on your latest record?
Since it was recorded mostly live, it has a very raw and unedited sound. Also, we recorded using old gear and old instruments, so it also has an “older” sound. It’s a bit gritty and unpolished. It was a good change for us, coming from the exact opposite sound. BIG AND POLISHED AND EPIC! This record is a lot more understated, easier to listen to all the way through. I’m not sure if we’ll record that way again, but it was the right decision.
Listening to ‘Not Quite Yours’, we found that ‘Evermore’ is one of our highlights. What inspired that particular song?
‘Evermore’ is similar to a few of our other songs in that it talks about the weird process of taking a relationship for granted, knowing that you’re doing it, not changing, but still fighting for the person you’re taking for granted. This is why I think people are ridiculous. We are like children sometimes. We don’t want something to happen, or someone to leave us, because it’s just not right in our minds, it’s not what we want! But we don’t do anything to change it. We just sing songs.
‘Not Quite Yours’ is out now.