The 405 Interview

The 405 Interviewed Rado, and he talked about the recording process for the new album along with his and Sam’s musical influences while growing up in Westlake:

“We recorded mostly all the instruments with the exception of a few tracks in my garage; in a studio I built,” Rado explains. “There are really intense liner notes for the album that say stuff like the trumpet was recorded in a kitchen, but most of it was recorded in the garage. We recorded all the instrumental stuff in like a night; we’d start maybe at 6pm and finish at 6am. It was all pretty spontaneous. But we were doing that for like five months, after that we just couldn’t be in there anymore. No windows, it was crazy. So we decided to go to the Beverley Hills Hotel – an extravagant LA place to finish the album. I think the cabin fever thing worked – making records in a windowless room is pretty awesome, but five months is a long time to be in there.”

The album’s rough edges are as intentional as they are accidental. Rado is up front about the wilder end of the Foxygen sound, helped in part on …All Star Power by an incredible versatile backline. “Sam and I play all the instruments on the album for the most part. I think it comes from the fact that neither one of us is an amazing drummer or whatever. The rhythm is always going to be a little bit shoddy. That’s an important part of it – that bluesy bar room feel. Even with Krautrock, with Can, there’s a human element to it. I feel like there’s a certain point where music lost that, or at least popular music did.”

[…]

“There’s not much of a music scene in Westlake; it’s the suburbs. It’s where actors go to retire. There’s a lot of old sitcom actors you see out eating at restaurants which is kind of bizarre. The lack of a music scene and a frustration at that was possibly an inspiration in itself. I played in a lot of bands. Blink-182 are one of the reasons I started playing guitar. I really liked when I was eight years old, how they looked when they held their guitars, you know down to their knees. But then I started playing and my tastes changed. Me and Sam discovered the Flaming Lips and Beck and stuff like that, which took us from basic classic rock like Jimi Hendrix to The Doors into areas of music that we’d never heard before, that blew our minds.”

[…]

Our conversation moves on to the question of comparisons. Foxygen are in the frustrating position of making incredible music that draws – subconsciously or otherwise – on some of the 20th century’s most popular, successful and venerated bands; the sort that rock critics, music writers and journalists love to write about. “When we write the songs, maybe subconsciously they sort of morph in to sounds that can be compared to others whether it’s a bassline from Booker T, or a guitar line from Steve Cropper or a drum fill from Hal Blaine,” Rado counters. “It’s nice to be compared to those things. It’s always going to be in there but it can also lead to lazy journalism – I’ve read reviews which are based on us ‘sounding like this’.”

Read the full thing here.