Scene Point Blank: How many New Brunswick bands are playing this year?
Lauren Measure: I'm a little out of the loop when it comes to the newer New Brunswick bands but I know Backpocket are playing and they're our old bassist Tim's new band. Night Birds and Black Wine are definitely NJ bands folks should check out as well.
Scene Point Blank: Do you tend to watch your friends or try to seek out new bands?
Lauren Measure: My general strategy is to pick a few favorites and then make sure I go see the bands I've heard that I've never gotten the chance to see before. If I have free time my friends' bands are definitely the default.
Scene Point Blank: Do you tour on the way home from Gainesville? Are you worn out, or are there just so many friends on the road that it doesn't really stop for a while?
Lauren Measure: Fest tour is always a giant clusterfuck of touring bands. The first few days afterwards always have a bunch of touring bands on the shows, which you just come to expect after a while. We're doing about 10 days home on our way back from Fest with Worn In Red. Sexy Crimes is also playing a bunch of those shows. Both on the way there and on the way back are always pretty exciting and full of friends from all over the place. It's intense but a good time!
Scene Point Blank: Notes will be released in early October. Is it coincidence that it's this close to Fest time? It seems to me that a lot of records by Fest regulars are coming out shortly before the tour to get down to Gainesville.
Lauren Measure: We definitely wanted it to be out in time for Fest. It's a great way to have it for a lot of people from all over.
Scene Point Blank: Notes is technically only your second full-length of new material, despite a slew of 7"s. Do EPs fit your writing style better, or do you simply have a lot of offers from other bands to do splits?
Lauren Measure: It's a little of both. We were writing songs pretty constantly for a while and would either ask bands or get asked to do splits, so we thought "Why not?" It just worked out that way for a while and we thought it was time to finally do something longer-format.
Scene Point Blank: Do you write with any kind of album concept in mind, or more to capture a period of time in your life?
Lauren Measure: We've never written a concept record, as cool as that would be. We did write a lot more songs than actually went on this record though, and picked the ones that went best together. In that way we're keeping a general sound in mind but, in writing, the songs themselves aren't specifically thematic or anything. They're definitely written out of whatever is going on at the time or the kinds of things we're thinking about in our own lives, but we don't usually say that a song about (insert topic X) has to go on the record. It's usually much more organic.
Scene Point Blank: You've released so many records already. How many are there total? Do you have a favorite or one with some emotional significance that makes you hold it a little higher than the rest?
Lauren Measure: I believe the bonus 7" with this next LP will be our 18th piece of vinyl. That's kind of crazy to me, but amazing. I don't really have a favorite but I think once Notes comes out I'll be the most emotionally attached to that one, for sure. A lot went into that emotionally, more so than anything else we've done, for everyone I think.
Scene Point Blank: Your stage persona comes across as very humble and shy. Do you find the PR side of things to be awkward?
Lauren Measure: I definitely don't like talking a lot on stage, and it's really because I'd rather be playing than talking. I'd rather just say something about the song and get on with it. I don't think I'm particularly shy if people want to ask about the band or our music separately, though.
Scene Point Blank: In your Razorcake interview you said that if a song isn't cathartic for you anymore, you won't play it. With the rigors of a touring schedule, how do you maintain an interest in all your songs?
Lauren Measure: It definitely takes a while to lose interest in playing a song and by that time we usually have new ones. It's more that we don't enjoy playing things off of our earlier records just ‘cause we wrote those things a long time ago and they're not as significant anymore. We have more fun with the songs we just wrote that are more in line with how we're feeling at the time. I do miss playing some of our old songs though so it's something I hope we can get back to soon.
Scene Point Blank: You also run Black and Red Eye, a graphic design company. Is this a part-time or full-time thing? Is it just you?
Lauren Measure: Black & Red Eye is the name of my design site and a moniker I use for that part of my life. I freelance doing graphic design and illustration full-time and do other fine art things as well.
Scene Point Blank: How did you get interested in art? Did you study somewhere?
Lauren Measure: I always really liked drawing and painting and ended up studying Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. I went to a bunch of different art camp-y things as a kid and just always really liked making things by myself. Illustration is kind of the "Do Whatever You Want" major and I was able to learn a lot of graphic design things that way as well, which was helpful in terms of finding a job. So now I do that for a living and have time to work on other projects too—which which is pretty sweet.
Photos courtesy of Chris Grivet and Konstantin - thanks!