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  • Interview: PRIORY

    Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:21:19

    Interview: PRIORY - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    • Priory - Weekend

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    PRIORY give their all every night—quite literally.

    "I broke my rib two nights ago," chuckles one-half of the duo Brandon Rush. "We were at the very last The Kooks show, and I stagedove into a crowd of like 2,000 15-year-old girls who swore they would catch me, but they parted like the Red Sea. I shattered a rib. At our next gig, I got through it on beer and bravado. I went into the doctor's yesterday, and they told me I shattered it. Right now, we're having so much fun on the road, and it's such an amazing time that I refuse to let pain get me down. On stage, I used it. I dug in that much more."

    The pair also digs in on their stunning Weekend EP [iTunes link]. Artfully threading together bristling electronics, upbeat melodies, and thought provokingly dark lyrics, they stir up an alchemical sonic concoction that's unlike anything out there. It's both invasive and intoxicating. It also makes for one of the best musical introductions in quite some time...get ready to experience a new favorite!

    ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino talks to Brandon Rush of Priory in this exclusive interview!

    Did you approach the Weekend EP with one vision or vibe in mind?

    Kyle Sears and I worked on it for about a year-and-a-half. We actually have the full-length done. We're just figuring out the order still. We work on a song until we feel it's complete. Sometimes, that means spending two or three days on just a guitar or synth tone. We really didn't think about cohesion from one song to the next. A sound just began to develop as we were in the middle of the album. Because we engineer, produce, and record everything ourselves, we get into these learning curves with gear. Let's say you're playing guitar a certain style because you're inspired by something. That starts turning over from song to song. That's kind of the way that works.

    Was there anything that thematically tied the music together?

    When we were making the album, we were going through some pretty extreme hardships. We had both quit our day jobs. Kyle was giving plasma to survive, and I was giving bass lessons. We were essentially completely broke. It was a pretty trying time. We were trying to stay hopeful in the writing process. I was also spending a lot of time reminiscing about the last decade of life. There's this theme throughout the album which is the survival of our youth. There's some darker subject matter, but we like to have this contrast between major key, melodic chord structures and those darker lyrics. It's a disguise, if you will.

    What's the story behind "Call To Arms"?

    That song is really cool. We actually got to work with Spike Stent toward the end of the song. We went to London, and we were there for like a month. We had just gotten stuck musically, though. That song started out, and it was sprawling. It had like three bridges and this breakdown. It was really cool, but it was more like a concept song. Spike is like, "What if you take this chorus section, and as opposed to having the 16-bar breakdown, you hit this thing really hard?" We ended up "side chaining". It works with the subject matter. The song is about being with someone who is questionably out of your league. That person is too attractive and being continually hit on. You're dealing with the normal testosterone-charged response, which is to stand up and puff up your chest. It's about a tumultuous relationship. It was incredible hanging out with Spike too. We had meals with his family and stayed with him.

    Where did "Lost Gold" come from?

    That one was a lot of fun. We didn't use any kind of a click track or tempo for that song. We wanted it to ebb and flow, which is also a challenging practice. The song is about young love and how unrealistic young love is. The song starts out, and there's this kid calling up this girl and saying, "I'll see you when I get there. Flash a light in your window". He goes on this conversation with her about all of these completely unrealistic and fantastical things they're going to do over the course of a lifetime. At the end of the song, it comes full circle like, "I'll see you when I get there" like none of this actually happened. There are some undertones, which are a little more subversive yet fairly self-explanatory.

    What artists shaped you?

    I got my first record collection when I was 12-years-old. It was a bunch of old Motown and jazz vinyl. I grew up listening to essentially everything. I'd say the guys who really stuck out in my mind were the great frontman like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury as well as Joe Strummer and those kinds of guys. Kyle takes a lot of his influences from those bands as well. He was in a The Clash cover band when he was 12- or 13-years-old. We listened to a lot of Clash during the making of the album. There's also a band called Donkey Boy. When we signed to Warner Bros., we didn't know they were on the label at the time. I think they're from Sweden. It's this blatant pop-driven sensibility. It's incredibly well-executed. We listen to that as well.

    If the EP were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?

    How about the whole series of True Detective (TV Series)? It's brooding, and there are a lot of things going on under the surface. Why don't we say True Detective meets Labyrinth? You have to get some over-the-top, ridiculous youthful things mixed in with some dark heavy-hitting material [Laughs].

    Rick Florino

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