3:17pm — I am waiting inside the press tent, fidgeting with my note pad and pen waiting for the lads to arrive. With an incredible calming, cool confidence they enter the tent, waving enthusiastically and greeting me with open arms and friendly hugs.
Nicolette: Hello gentleman! It is any honor to be talking to you today, I really love your album it is outstanding! Let’s just dive right in and talk about the unique way your recorded it… When you were recording inside the Redwood tree(s), how did you adjust your acoustics/audio? Did you have to at all?
Zambricki: Oh, awesome so, we built a solar powered, mobile recording studio that acted as a battery for the entire record. So while we were recording it was totally silent, which was really important. So, when we pulled up to the Red Wood tree —
Austin: There were birds chirping, you know, pleasant sounds!
Zang: Sounds you’d wake up too…
Zambricki: Yeah, it wasn’t like a generator or anything making noise…
— Queue the bands random beat break down of generator + air conditioning noises, then they dissolve into laughter.
Zambricki: -- we pull up to the Redwood tree, well we went to a couple trees actually. To find the right one that sounded the best. If you clap your hands in any acoustic environment it gives you the reflection of how it’s going to sound. So we went to about four or five trees until we found the tree. there was like a rainbow through the air and straight to the tree…
Zang: Weird, I didn’t see a rainbow actually.
Austin nods in agreement with Zang.
Zambricki: Oh yeah, it was there. You guys are just rainbow blind… Anyways, so we went inside the tree and we chose it because it sounded amazing acoustically. It wasn’t like a studio that you need to build.
Austin: When they’re building studios they’re basically trying to make a tree... The cool thing is there’s less prep if you go to the right spot; you don’t need to message the audio that much. It’s how it’s supposed to sound.
Zambricki: Exactly, like less knob more leaf.
— They laugh - so adorable, seriously. They’re very charming!
Zambricki: The only thing that’s difficult is rain.
Zang: Yeah there’s no roofs in nature… Unless you’re in a tree.
Zambricki: It’s a bit of a pain because of the equipment. We almost recorded in a rainforest up in Washington and realized… wait, it will be raining. *brakes noise* Turn around!
Nicolette: See, that’s totally awesome. How did you decide which places to go?
Zambricki: Well, we were on a festival tour, it was all mapped out. We did Electric Forest, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle, we were all over the US. You just look at the map and you have these tentpoles and you go “what’s in between?” Sometimes we would drive eight hours out of the way to get the sound. It was like, sound first everything else after.
Austin: And then a ranger would come and we would be like “oh no, don’t tell me we drove eight hours to have a ranger end it.” A ranger actually came to the tree and they were like “ah, just be safe you guys!”
Zang: California baby, California’s always kind.
Nicolette: When finalizing the album, what lead to the organization and order for the track listing?
Zambricki: One of the things that happened when we were recording the song “Jade,” Zang was playing guitar and we got some birds chirping in the guitar. And the lyric is “sang the bird forever, and then she flew away” so we actually thought that’s too on the nose, we should take out the birds. But you can’t actually remove them, so we distorted the birds and turned it up and that became the first song.
Austin: We tried to re-record it but it didn’t have the same ju-ju you know? The original sounded great.
Zambricki: So we put “Jade” first, so it started with the bird and started the flow.
Zang: It’s like the wake up, you know? You wake up to the birds.
Zambricki: We did want to have the album have a flow and you know, not that it starts small but that it starts really intimate and then goes through this whole journey and then the end goes back to “Nothin’ Left” and it’s back to being more intimate.
Nicolette: I can completely see that, how the preludes build throughout the song and it carries it over to keep the story going.
Austin: Nice, yeah!
Zambricki: So you listened to the whole thing (consecutively) —
Zambricki: — which is great because with streaming and everything you can just skip around and not listen to the whole thing. Just shuffle play.
Austin: did you hear the thank you song as well? (“Sails Up (Thank You)”)
Nicolette: Yeah! I love it.
Zambricki: Yeaaaaa, that one is really like an avant garde, stream of consciousness piece.
Nicolette: Gotta love the phone call right in the middle!
Austin: Yeah! It’s so real, man!
Zambricki: I mean, we’ve only been together for three years but we already have so many people to thank and stories to tell from along the way. It’s just really cool, it reminds us just of all the places we went.
Zang: Writing the names on paper felt boring, but now people are shows are like “PLAY THE THANK YOU SONG!”
Nicolette: Well, speaking of favorite places to be and places you’ve been, Zang’s once said “living in the city, it’s easy to forget how enchanting the road can be.”
Zang: *Smiles* Yeah, I mean it is. It’s right there, it’s right over the hill, the road she calls.
Zambricki: So the places we like, reconnect? Cool. I mean, at least one place is definitely at the cottage outside of Montreal (Canada).
Austin: There’s a lake too, yeah we’ve gone there the last few summers.
Nicolette: So do you draw information from those kinds of places where you’re able to just chill out?
Zambricki: I don’t know if we’re exactly ‘drawing inspiration’ from those kinds of places…
Austin: We’ll be in a hotel room and draw inspiration, it’s not an exclusive thing. It’s a different type of inspiration; if you’re in a city, or if you’re with a jackass, or a woman, or a friend. It’s the space and time together.
Nicolette: So just being able to do your thing…
Zambricki: Yeah, I mean sometimes I like to write in a none sensory environment and let my mind imagine.
Zang: We write a lot of the songs in the studio, just staring at the brick wall.
Austin: And then we recorded stuff in Marble, CO just starting at like… marble as mountains, you know? You create.
Nicolette: Outstanding. You guys are truly some of the most inspirational and unique musicians out there right now and I thank you for your time and I’m sure we’ll meet again soon!
Austin, Zang, Zambricki: Awesome! Thank you so much!
— Another round of hugs and the lads are off for their next interview.