Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:37:39
On Broadcast, Meese craft a form of space rock all their own.
The album seesaws back and forth between towering emotional choruses and warm riffs. Broadcast is an inviting soundscape that calls listeners back for repeat trips down Meese's very own rabbit hole. It's also quite catchy to boot!
Vocalist Patrick Meese spoke to ARTISTdirect.com about Broadcast, playing live, songwriting and much more in this exclusive interview.
Was there one common theme to Broadcast?
Each song has its own character and flavor. Some of the songs are more piano-based, and some of the songs are straight-up rock. I think all of it sounds like Meese. We wanted to put out a record that sounded like one band but covered a lot of different styles of music.
What's the story behind "Movie Screens?" That song really stands out.
That song was added to the record later. We were just about to head out to L.A. to start recording, and I came up with the music to that in my apartment. It came together in about an hour. I worked on the lyrics that night. It was late in the process when we came up with that song. We'd already decided on what songs we wanted to do, but when we all heard "Movie Screens" and starting messing around with it, we knew we needed to record it. It's definitely a fan favorite and one of our favorite songs to play live.
It's a step back, and you bring the sound into spacier territory.
I like the harmonies on the chorus. There really isn't a lead melody. It's just two voices going at it. I think, as far as texture goes, that one definitely stands out from the rest of the songs.
Do you feel like you're covering a wide range of emotions?
Yeah, definitely! When we first started, we used to be really mellow. The shows weren't as fun. I wasn't enjoying myself as much on stage as I wanted to. So we started rocking a little bit more, but I started to miss the ballad-y side of our music. There are poppier songs on there that are good time songs. Then you have songs like "Movie Screens," which are heart wrenching. We try to take that into the live show too. It's hard thing to get across sometimes too—especially if someone only hears one track from the album. We're learning how to convey it live, and people are starting to really understand it on the record now.
Is that why you called the album Broadcast—because you're broadcasting emotions?
One of the songs is called "Broadcast," and we felt like that song really sums up most of the elements of the band. It's got a nice groove to it, but it also rocks really hard. It has a lot of electronic elements, and it's guitar-driven sometimes. What we want to do is broadcast—so it sums up what we do with the band.
Where does everything typically evolve from?
Most of the songs start with me in front of my computer—underpants and coffee early in the morning [Laughs]. I demo it out drums in all. Then I have my brother come over, and he'll work on guitar parts with me. We'll get the demo to where we want it. Then we'll sit down in the rehearsal space and see what we want to change. Then we'll know how we want to record it and play it live.
Did this album come together fairly quickly?
No, definitely not. We signed in October of 2007. It took a long time to get the right producer. We landed on Sean Beaven in March 2008. Then we spent that summer recording. We went back into the studio to write a song for a movie in October 2008. It wasn't any one thing that made everything take so long, that's simply how it went. I'm glad we took the time and got it done that way. I wanted to live with it a little bit before we just put it out there. It gave me perspective on the album until we put it out.