Surfer Blood's JP Pitts on Where the Band Is Today: "We Are All Still Best Friends"
Zachary A. Bennett
Pythons. The long-awaited follow up to the collection of lo-fi fuzzy gems that made up Astro Coast, is slated for a June 11 release date.
Recorded and mixed in front man JP Pitts' apartment in early 2009, it wasn't held back by its DIY nature.
Because so much time passed between releases, rumors circulated that Surfer Blood was undergoing turmoil and the dreaded sophomore slump has sunk its claws into the promising, fresh-faced musicians. Nothing could be further from the truth, according to the group's introspective lead vocalist JP Pitts. Yesterday, New Times caught up with the soft-spoken, reflective singer to hear about his foursome's meteoric rise through the indie ranks and reason it took so long to release its anticipated major label debut.
We wondered if the group found it more difficult to cull creative energy, on demand, in the fancy confines of a well-equipped major label studio. Pitts says the upscale studio experience was a liberating one. "It allowed us to focus on the arrangements and performances rather than worrying about the minutiae of the recording, such as files being corrupt and stuff like that."
According to Pitts, sophomore slump pressure was nonexistent in these Surfer Blood's studio sessions. "Warner Bros gave us the opportunity to make the record we always wanted to make; they have been supportive with us from the day we signed to the label."
All the songs on the album were written in the last year and a half since Pitts says that the band spent the last two years touring extensively, and simply didn't have time to focus on songwriting. Taking that time is one of Pitts' biggest regrets. Additionally, he explains that constructing a song can be a lengthy process, "When I write, I like to block out a lot of time." That made writing while on tour impossible. He deliberately took his time to allow himself and his band to grow as musicians. He thinks the new record reflects that sentiment in a positive way.
And the singer couldn't be happier with the end result. "Weird Shapes," for instance, a song released on the web this week, provides a nice sample of the sonic tools the band used on the record. "It will give fans a good idea of what direction we are heading in next," say Pitts about the heftier sound.
With a major tour coming up with danceable indie act Foals this spring, a gig at Sasquatch Festival, and five SXSW dates booked, we wondered what kind of luxuries being on a major label has afforded Surfer Blood while touring.
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