Jon Lebiecki (Undesirable People)
SPB: Winter touring: yes or now (and why/got any stories)?
Jon: Yes, absolutely. Simply because we’ve got a sick record coming out on 12” that we need entire world to hear. I’m not quite sure where we are headed yet because we don’t have a booking agent. I think the plan is to head down south. The Midwest sucks in the winter, especially with all of this global warming shit going on. Who knows?! We'll figure it out.
By the way, that record is called Eternal Vision of a Blind Future and you can preorder right now from www.stayundesirable.org. Hopefully you’ve heard of it already. But probably not because (A.) most major online media outlets would rather blind you with some bullshit news of some old band (Blink 182) doing the same thing over and over again & (B.) We are releasing it independently.
Dave Curran (Pigs, Unsane)
SPB: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long tour?
Dave: I curl up in fetal position and sleep for 5 days. Then I go on tour again...
Joel (City States)
SPB; How do you find the time to work on so many projects and do your regular day job (if you have one)?
Joel: At the risk of sounding overly technical, a lot of my productivity just comes down to really rigorous planning and time management. I do have a full-time job as an art director for a great agency in downtown Chicago, which makes it hard to stay on track as a songwriter in my spare time. So when I'm free and available (in other words, not asleep or at work), I kind of approach my music-making like I do my design career: I have a plan before I sit down. I tend to have a playlist handy—featuring the songs of other artists'—in case I'm stuck and need a source of inspiration, and if a composition isn't working I simply move on and try writing something else.
That's not the whole story, however. Though I now have four threads of music I work on—City States, Avvenir, Contretemps, and Modal Voices—which has resulted in lots of output in the last 18 months, I started my music career with 10-year slog where I really struggled to create. Case in point: between 2006-2013 I only released nineteen songs! I was slow, self-critical, prone to bouts of crippling indecision and, as a result, not a lot got done. By comparison, since May 2014 when I released the first City States LP, Geography, I've put 22 songs into the world, and by this time next year I will have released over 40.
The truth is, writing a good song is hard, learning to be efficient is hard, overcoming your own personal hangups is hard. With that, I'll offer a piece of unsolicited advice to anyone who is having a rough go as a songwriter: take your time, learn your craft, have a plan, and find a way to remove yourself from the burden of self-censure.
Alex (Wonk Unit)
SPB; How do you describe the band’s changes from Day One into what it is today, sound-wise?
Alex: The biggest change is a total reversal in songwriting style. For our first two albums I was writing lyrics to music, some pretty crazy technical stuff. These days (for the last two records) I'm writing music to poems which were already out there independently. It generally means musically our songs are simpler but delivered with more lyrical twists.
We began as a 3 piece but started experimenting with different stuff by the 3td album (Muffy), adding cellos and trombone. Our current line-up includes Hammond organ.
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