FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
Nicole: We don’t have one set technique in writing a song but a majority of the songs start out with me bringing a riff to Sam and us working on moving that song along in a natural progression through jamming and experimenting. The riff or melody acts as the base for the song and where it goes can take hours/days/months to come to a final resolution. It all depends. Sometimes songs come from intoxicated jamming where everything just kind of gels together all at one time…Thank God for tape recorders or else we’d never remember those ones!
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Deliver This Creature?
Nicole: There was a lot of pre-production in making Deliver This Creature and that pre-production was done while living in our van/in practice spots/on couches/in hotels. We really developed and crafted the songs and the layering of instrumentation and harmonies before we even got into the studio so I’d say that was the most difficult part but also the most fun and exciting…along with trying not to lose our minds while creating the album! There was a lot of highs and a lot of lows on that trip and the lows could be little frustrating at times, us trying to figure out what the hell we were doing so far away from home, spending our life savings on creating an album…but looking back, we’re glad that we did.
Sam: The most difficult part was just being in the studio with a limited budget, which equals limited time…just trying to get everything right and trying to get everything the best it can be at that moment. This is the first time we recorded analog (on tape) so we did all of the basic tracking live together and having to get a good take all the way through was a little nerve-wracking. There’s points where we wanted to keep going until we got a “perfect take” but couldn’t. We had to settle sometimes but that’s the beauty of being an indie rock band. Settling with mediocrity!
FEMMUSIC: What was the best experience, or an experience that stuck out, making Deliver This Creature?
Nicole: It was such an interesting way to make this record because we tracked at three different studios scattered throughout the country so we were literally carrying the album in each step along with us in an external hard drive across the country. There were so many wonderful experiences in making this record but the best experience for me was bringing it to Beau Sorenson at Smart Studios and having him mix the record. Beau is an amazing engineer and was totally in tune with what we wanted to hear on the production level of the mixing process. It was in this stage that the songs really came alive and we feel as if Beau really stepped up the production level in that final stage.
Sam: I think the best experience was having a few weeks off during our tour before we even decided we were going to record an album. We were staying in San Diego, jumping between my sister’s spare bedroom and our friend’s couch. We rented a practice spot that had been molested by heavy metal bands…i still don’t know what that white stuff was on the wall…and every day for about two weeks, we just jammed, wrote, got high and ended up writing half of what is now called Deliver This Creature. We didn’t know what we were doing at that time, but now looking back on it, we were writing an album. This is where tracks like “Night of the Crickets”, “After the Sun”, parts of “Rabbit”, and tracks that didn’t even make this album but will mostly likely be on our follow-up release, were written.
FEMMUSIC: If you could change anything about the music business, what would it be?
Nicole: I’d probably get rid of American Idol. Enough said!
Sam: Things seem to be changing so rapidly right now in the music business that I don’t even know where it’s at in order to change it. With the advent of the Internet, small labels like ours are able to compete with the big dogs. With digital distribution and online promotion, our limited budgets are able to keep up with major labels at times. This is a time where real music can overcome the fabricated acts that major labels shove down people’s throats.
FEMMUSIC: If you could tour with any artist or band, who would it be and why?
Nicole: I think it would be a toss up between Radiohead, Portishead, Pink Floyd (Meddle-era), and Otis Redding. That would be magical. I would just want to see them perform over and over again…
Sam: The cast of The Little Rascals, circa 1930s…boy, I love Alfalfa. What a breathtaking voice.