Hot on the heels of their sophmore album, Recent Drama, Pants Yell! granted me a short Q/A session. Andrew from PY! shed a little bit of light on the band’s formation, time with Asaurus, and future plans. And yes, he did return my email with “Onward interview….”
What’s the story behind the formation of Pants Yell? What made you all instilled with the urge to create?
Andrew: We all went to the same art school. I’d been writing songs and was contemplating playing live. I found out Carly played the drums, so I invited her to accompany me at a show I was playing in my living room with Young People. I gave Sterling a flier, he came to the show, enjoyed it and we all started playing together. My urge to create came with the excitment of playing with other people and not just hitting “record” on a four-track.
How’d you wind up on the lovely label that is Asaurus?
I’m not sure how I inititally learned about Asaurus, but I was definitely aware of the early Diskettes and Elliott the Letter Ostrich CDs they released. It’s got to be three years ago that I sent Matthew a cdr or cassette of some of my songs (which was probably stapled in construction paper). He got back to me and was interested in releasing something. I’m pretty sure that none of the songs I initially sent him made it onto Songs for Siblings. Those were all written after our meeting. It’s amazing seeing what Asaurus has turned into. We love that label.
It seemed like Recent Drama was a lot more cohesive than your other works. Was there any change in the writing or recording process?
Yes, definitely. By the time Songs… came out we already had a bunch of new songs written that were being more and more influenced by our live performances. We set aside some of these songs for the 7″ that was release last summer, so from that point on I was consciously writing an album, which hadn’t been the case before. And I was consciously trying to record an album that wasn’t like Songs For Siblings. I’m happy that cohesiveness is apparent to you. The other big factor of this record was the studio. Tim Shea and his studio Analog Divide is our secret weapon, and we put it all down to 2″ 24 track tape. No digital bullsh*t and not 16 track as we had previously done. We spent a year going in to record and mix, as opposed to a couple of days, and taking our time on it really made a big difference. Looking to record in Boston? Get in touch with Tim Shea!
You all will be going over to Europe this summer, correct? Is this your first adventure to the “old country?” If so, what made it possible?
Yeah, we’re going to be playing the Emmaboda Festival in Sweden in August and then we’ll be doing a weeks worth of shows in the UK. We’ll be promoting a split 7″ we’ll be doing with the Ghosts, a great pop band from England who is actually fronted by the Television Personalities current drummer. This new little label called Undereducated is putting out the single and organizing the tour and needless to say, we couldn’t be more excited. Carly and I have never been to Europe before, let alone to play music, so it’s going to be an amazing trip.
I couldn’t let this chance go by without asking: what’s the significance of the piano recording at the end of “Southend-On-Sea?”
That’s a recording my brother made of our grandmother playing piano. She writes all of these really great songs that just sit in her head, so my brother secretly recorded her playing one day. That song’s called “Razz-Matazz”. She has some lyrics for it, but the last I heard she was having trouble finding something other than “jazz” to rhyme with the title. I love that recording and thought it’d end the album on a nice note. I guess the secret track isn’t so secret anymore.