Source Victoria has the brilliance of surrounding themselves by great local bands like Jimmy Eat World, Reuben’s Accomplice, The Necronauts and Let Go. The brilliance lies in the fact that they allow their friendship and the competition that arises out of sharing recording spaces and, in some cases, recording engineers with these fellow bands, to make them better. Even with a constantly evolving cast and the trials that come out of being a “part-time” band, they are at the forefront of the musical revolution that is happening in our valley. As long as we continued to be blessed by these bands pushing each other towards greatness, we, the listeners and music lovers, are the real winners in these friendly competitions.
I had the priviledge of sitting down over a Roosevelt Tavern brew with Brendan to ask him a few questions about the impending record.
I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge their upcoming show at ASU’s Hoskin-Ryan Building on Indian School on April 10th 4-10 p.m. w/ Dry River Yacht Club. This show is support ASU Art Museum Exhibits. Tickets are $5. Please support the cause and the bands.
Kenny Bump (KB): I saw that you guys were putting yourselves out there to garner some support raising funds for the new album. Have you guys received some help?
Brendan Murphy (BM): A little bit. We are kind of in a weird place. We are playing more shows than we normally do to just try to raise money. We make money at the shows for the record. Largely, we are paying for it ourselves. It happens.
KB: What about the last album?
BM: We almost broke even. Then, we started kind of giving it away. Not the record itself, but we made it available as a download for free because so many people just don’t pay for music. We made it available and we were only going to make it available for a little while from the website, but then some people said they would go check it out and a bunch of people grabbed it. Which was great and it got us some plays and people listened to the record that otherwise wouldn’t have listened to it. It would have been nice if we had the donate button up then. We didn’t. We probably should’ve. But people listen to your record, they like it, maybe they go buy the next one or feel like spending $5 to download it.
KB: Who are you guys recording with?
BM: This guy named Chris Testa. He won 3 Grammys for working on the Dixie Chicks album. The Long Way Home or something like that. The one after the got in trouble for their Bush statements. He engineered that record and then he engineered, and I think co-produced the Jimmy Eat World record Chase This Light. And that is how I met him. I’m friends with Jim and it was a dinner for me for my birthday or something, and Jim called, and they were making that record, and said “Hey, can I bring Chris?” and I went, “Sure.” We talked and hung out. He is a super nice guy. So, I thought I would call him and see if he would want to mix that record [The Fast Escape] and he did. He made it sound a thousand times better. He is currently recording the band Reuben’s Accomplice. He is recording their record right now. Well, it is almost done. He is actually mixing it right now.
We just recently were in the studio for 4 or 5 days. He flew out and we did some basic tracking and now we are doing overdubs and cutting vocals and stuff, kind of in a couple of different spots. I’ve got a vocal chain set up at my house. And we rehearse, we have a little studio set up, so we do a little tracking there. Aaron Wendt, our guitar player, is sort of engineering the overdubs and taking over the labor of the recording process while we are here. And what we do is just send tracks to Chris and he says yay or nay and do this or do that.
KB: I imagine it costs a pretty penny to record with him.
BM: Well, the joke is that he ends up making less than minimum wage when he works with bands like us and Reuben’s Accomplice. You know, ‘cause we don’t have a ton of money, but he likes us, so he wants to help us out. He is a cool guy and it’s great to record with him because it sounds like a real record, you know. It’s not like you are recording drums in the garage and you try to make them sound better, but they sound like a record. So, if it sucks, it’s not because it is gonna sound bad, you know what I mean? It sucks ‘cause we suck. Do you know what I mean? That’s how I look at it ‘cause I’m a negative person, but I being somewhat facetious.
KB: I noticed that The Fast Escape had lots of silence and building of songs. What is different about this upcoming album?
BM: This record is a little different. I guess I’ve been feeling a little weird about the record. I guess you don’t know what happens, you just kind of do it. I’m just writing it and we are working on it. The songs are a little tighter and they are a little more personal. And so they are a little more down to earth, instead of space jams. Like some of the ones off the last record were these big, spacy things happening. I think the songs are just smaller. There are some acoustic songs. There is gonna be a track that is just me and acoustic guitar, which would never have happened on the last record.
KB: Are there some new influences on this new album?
BM: I don’t know. Possibly. I haven’t really listened to a whole lot of new stuff. There are some singer-songwriter type dudes, like this guy Fionn Regan that Jeff Bufano turned me on to. He has got an interesting songwriting style – just acoustic guitar and a singer. I listen to a lot of that kind of stuff. Maybe that influenced me a little bit. I say this and if the other dudes in the band were here they would say, “Whatever, he is full of shit. It’s basically the same type of stuff.” They would say that it is just better. The songs are just better and maybe that is true.