|Photo By Amanda Elsberry|
I know that you are only five days in, but how has the tour been so far?
Lancaster: It has been really good. All the bands are really chill, and everyone is just hanging out.
You guys have a new album, "Lucky Street," coming out March 1st on Fearless Records. Can you describe the writing process behind the record, and Fearless' expectations?
Lancaster: We demoed fifty songs for them. We were writing on the entire tour, but getting them together as a band on the road wasn't really an option. So we had a total of nine days at home to demo them out, send them to the record label, who when sent then sent them to Tim (O’Heir). It was very fast paced indeed.
With so many songs in the bank, do you see yourselves putting out a “b-sides” record soon after? Or maybe a deluxe edition with extra songs on it?
Lancaster: I doubt it, just because I have always thought those things were kind of cheap. If I was sitting there thinking these (songs) aren’t good enough to make it on the record, and the label is saying going these aren’t good enough to be on the record, then why would we ask you guys to buy them? (Laughs)
Did you guys go in a different direction in terms of themes for the actual songs on the record?
Lancaster: This album is more about life in general. Really just life and death, and faith and lack thereof, and everything in between. I think that there might be two songs on the whole album that are about girls (laughs). “The Truth Is” was written with Burns, for his wife.
Did you guys have creative control over the recording process?
Lancaster: Yeah, Fearless pretty much told us to do whatever we wanted to on this record. We were very lucky. Every step of the way was the band’s decision. It was a good thing.
How did the recording process pan out? Was it pretty fast paced?
Lancaster: When we got in from touring, we moved the band up to Brooklyn for a month and a half. We spent a month and a half in Williamsburg with Tim O’Heir and we did about a week of pre-production and then went straight into the studio. It was very, very quick. We were doing twelve and fourteen hour days, really just busting it out.
What did Tim O’Heir specifically bring to the table that you guys were really looking for in a producer?
Lancaster: We always liked his production style, because Tim has never really been a “formula” kind of guy. He’s not like “verse, chorus, verse, chorus, Verse, chorus, bridge,” he’s not that guy. He is more about finding out what’s going to make the song move best, and that’s what first attracted us to Tim. It proved sturdy, and I am really stoked on how it turned out.
What have the reactions been so far, of those who have heard the record?
Lancaster: Everyone is stoked. We haven’t had a negative reaction so far, granted the audience gets a lot bigger in a couple of days (laughs).
Last time we talked about your songwriting process, and how your songs start out in an acoustic-folk format and then you worked on making the sound bigger. Did you stick to that formula? Or are we going to hear songs closer to their original format?
Lancaster: Its closer to the original ideas, it is a lot more true to the song. We didn’t go “hey, let’s pop this up and hopefully fourteen year-old people will like it!” It is a lot more adult, and every song has its own feel on this record. If it is a sad song, it sounds sad. We didn’t try to mask the identity of the song with a breakdown or a hook. It is a lot more honest.
What would you like for listeners to take away from this record?
Lancaster: Just pretty much the story of the last year of my life. These are songs about everything that I have been through, everything the band has been through, and everything that we have done as a unit. It’s about losing family members, losing close friends, and Burns has picked up the relationship that will last the rest of his life. So much has happened this past year, and its all there.
Did you write all of the lyrics on the album, aside from the song with Burns?
Lancaster: If people weren’t writing with me, then we were all critiquing in the studio. So it was definitely an effort from everyone.
Are there any specific artists/bands that you are listening to a ton of right now?
Lancaster: I have been listening to a lot of Manchester. I stay true to Bright Eyes, always. I am also really stoked for the new Starting Line to come out; I’m really excited about it. I listen to a lot of the same thing over and over, like Death Cab and the Postal Service, that’s my jam. It never really falters and changes.