So the wife and I have been championing the Irish band I AM NOT LEFTHANDED for awhile now and they were gracious enough to answer some questions for us about their upcoming album. Part one is over at Have You Met Heather? and part two is right here. (or this is part one and part two is over there depending on your perspective.) You can visit their site here and get all kinds of free music.
Zen: You spent a lot of last year on the road, including hitting the US - how did that affect your sound going into the new record?
Lefthanded: I think it made us more confident about the sound we wanted, rather than affecting the way it turned out. We tend to keep busy, together and individually. In that ten hour drive from San Francisco to Portland, or the six hour drive headed north from LA, in every car journey, we had more time and space to talk about what we wanted than we'd had before. It was good to check in, make sure we were all on the same page. There's at least one song on the album about driving at night too...
Zen: How was playing the states different from Europe?
Lefthanded: Audiences in the US are just so different from ones in the UK. We like people, as a band. We generally tell people that they're welcome to come up and talk to us after we've played. UK audiences are that bit more reserved. They're more likely to drop you an email after a show than they are to come up and see you. US crowds love to chat to you after you've played, it was genuinely heartwarming. There were a lot of great stories, good recommendations, and ultimately a lot of positive feedback for us, in the US.
Zen: You have been broadcasting some of the recording sessions live. Has that influenced your process at all?
Lefthanded: Have you ever had a favourite song that you listened to over and over again, and when you played it for a friend, or a family member, it sounded completely different? Like you hear the individual lines more, you hear the perfections as well as the imperfections, because you're more nervous about how their listening will change how you hear the song? That's what broadcasting the recording sessions has been like for us, I think. Songs and lines that had become comfortable, had become part of us were suddenly new all over again. It wasn't an entirely confortable process. But then I tend to be incredibly tense in those five minutes before we get on stage anyway. I think the sound we ended up with was closer to how we are live, as a result. I don't regret doing it at all.
Zen: What are your plans for 2011? Album release and tour?
Lefthanded: We're not the most patient of bands, I think. We like to get recordings done all in one sitting, to record videos in a night. Everything's done in the spirit of the adventure. We've definitely been trying something different this time. Making ourselves slow down, to think about what we're doing. It means can't quite imagine not being recording this album, right now. We're hoping to have it ready for release late in the summer, and will tour the US again for a few months from September. Then maybe Thanksgiving, Christmas, some more videost to celebrate the major holidays - we have some brilliant ideas up our sleeves for the next ones - and we stop and take stock at the end of the year.
I can't remember when exactly I decided this, but when I was a teenager, I remember telling my family I would play as much music as I wanted until 2012. Then I promised I'd take stock and see where I was in life. If I was busking on street corners and barely scraping a living, I'd sell my amps and find something better to do. I've no idea why I picked 2012, I suspect it was because it seemed just so far away, and was an easy out when they asked me what I was doing with my life. I'd like to at least stick to my word in some sense though. So 2011 is for the album, and for making as much music as we can. I can't ever imagine selling anything I own or agreeing to sit behind a desk for the rest of my life, but it will be a good time to take stock and see how we're doing.
Big thanks to Kathryn and check them out when they hit the road later this year.