|Is Freeclouds your first solo album?|
No, I actually put one out in 2004. I donít promote it too much though, since it was so long ago.
How does putting out Freeclouds feel since youíre promoting it more than your previous release?
It feels great. Iím happy. The songs are still fresh so itís nice to have it out.
You signed to Western Vinyl in July -- just months before the record came out. How did that come about?
I sent them the record and they listened to it and responded right away. It was very random. I made the record and it was mastered. I was fully prepared to release it myself. I thought before I did that I would send it out to a handful of labels that I really liked. Western Vinyl was one of them. They had a great vibe. I was expecting them to put me through various tests. I expected them to want to see the live show and stuff like that. Instead, Western Vinyl went out on a limb for me based on the record. My past experience probably helped me out. They knew I would tour on a record and be reliable. I really appreciated that. They heard the record and were ready to move forward from there.
Freeclouds was recorded primarily in your apartment. Why not go into a studio? And would you have preferred to go into an actual studio?
I just couldnít afford it.
To be honest, I think from now on I want to record myself in my home or a space of my choosing and then mix the record in a studio.
Did you mix this album yourself as well?
I mixed it with Brian McTear in Philadelphia. He mixed and produced Marissa Nadlerís record as well.
Speaking of Marissa Nadler, she provided vocals for the track ďFake PretendĒ and you played guitar on her newest album. Whatís it like working with her?
On her last record, she gave me a lot of freedom to over dub instrumental ideas. Weíve been playing together for two years so thereís a lot of chemistry. She gave me a lot of liberty. Itís really easy to work with her.
You have also joined the indie-rock band Lower Dens recently. Could you tell us a bit more about this?
Their guitar player left and a mutual friend suggested they let me audition. I went to New York and played and it all worked out. It was pretty simple. I went to high school with the bass player, but that wasnít the connection.
Your tour with The War On Drugs is coming up soon! Are you excited to be touring as a solo act?
Iím really excited. Iíve been preparing for the tour and realizing that I have total creative control. Thatís something I havenít had in other bands. With Lower Dens itís a democratic vote. With Marissa, itís how she wants things. Now I get to choose and thatís really exciting. I think I forgot how much I enjoyed that.
Do you have a band for this tour or is it just you? If yes, how did you choose musicians to bring with you?
I do have a band, and theyíre all people I was friends with in Boston. I donít live there anymore, but I stay in touch with a lot of the people I know from other bands and such.
Before releasing this album, you had been a member of the band Tulsa. How was the writing and recording process different?
It wasnít too different. With Tulsa, I played every instrument most of the time for the label recordings we made. Originally we started as a band. I Was Submerged was recorded as a band. All of our other recordings after that were me in the studio over dubbing things. Thatís how I made Freeclouds. It wasnít that different.
Whatís the status of the band nowadays?
We made a record and the label ran out of money. We didnít own the master tapes for almost a year. That really threw a wrench into our plans. It was hard to keep motivated. Itís really hard to put out your own record.
Ah, what happened to those songs?
ďHoroscopeĒ is from those recordings. That was recorded three years ago. Itís the only Tulsa song that I used for the solo record. Maybe Iíll re-record some of the other songs but Iím in no hurry. I have new songs and they remind me of better days.
Did your experience with Tulsa make recording Freeclouds nerve wracking in any way?
No, I wasnít nervous. Iím a healthy skeptic now though. I donít expect anything to happen for me. I have a pretty healthy outlook on things now. It just made me very appreciative of any help I get now. Iím actually very calm about this. My expectations are different now. I wouldnít say theyíre lower, but theyíre different. I donít expect as much of an explosion to take place.
02:56 PM on 01/30/12
Freeclouds was pretty good. Excited to see what he does with Lower Dens this year.