October 19, 2009

White Rabbits Interview

Songs like "Percussion Gun" and "Lionesse" fill the White Rabbits' It's Frightening with a propulsive and nervous tension. Since the prominence of the drums and rhythms represent a noticeable shift from their last album, it was nice to be able to ask drummer Matt Clark a couple questions via email about their album and tour.

Quickcrit: Can you tell me a little about how these song and the album came together?
Matt Clark: Once we were done with touring we started working on demos. Which was a different approach than the first album. This gave us the chance to really edit ourselves before going into the studio,and to be able to spend more time focusing on the specific sounds that we wanted to get. When we started writing for It's Frightening we wanted to get away from certain trends in music and really create something unique and challenging but not pretentious and jaded. The tension on the album wasn't something that was discussed or anything, we just like music that has some emotional depth and room for interpretation. We had grown up too, and it was very important to embrace that fact. Just like the first album we wanted to do something different and get it on tape and then do something else.

QC: Are there any songs that you are particularly proud of?
MC: I'm proud of this whole album. A lot of time and hard work went into it from everybody involved and our loved ones really had our backs. But when we were writing we wanted a song like "Leave It At The Door" but didn't know how we were going to do it. We had a place picked out on the album for this slow song but no song. So when it came together it was really exciting. Steve had layered all of these vocal tracks that float over the piano that were great. I think when you put that track next to the rest of our catalog it really stands apart but fits within the context of the album.

QC: I've heard I need to see you play live. Do you play anything differently live than on the album?
MC: I would say that you should see us live. Only because that is a large part of how a band exsists nowadays. We learned from touring on the first album that even if you like the songs your playing you are going to get tired of them at some point. So we started working on alternate versions almost immediately after recording. Its nice to be able to incorporate new things for the people who come out to the shows. Who wants to see and hear a band that just sounds like their cd? In short,we do have a lot of alternate versions for various songs in the set. You have to go to the show to figure out the set though.

QC: Have there been any particularly great shows?
MC: As long as more than 2 people show up then it can't be a bad show. Good shows are when the crowd is really amazing even if you happen to be having an off night. And a great show is when everything is going great on and off stage and you can see that you won some people over. But that's just my opinion. But as far as great shows Denver always represents. And as far as tour stories go ask The Subjects.

QC: Are there any other bands that you've toured with that you think your fans would love?
MC: The Subjects are a great band from NY. We went out on tour with them and for a month straight they killed it every night. And this is from a band with no label. They are just hustling trying to make sure they are heard. And when you hold that work ethic with bands that have a lot handed to them before they even go on their first tour, you just have to tip your hat. Glass Ghost has put out my favorite album of the year. Atlas Sound's Logos, The Horrors' Primary Colours, and Mos Def's The Estatic are albums I would recommend to anyone.

The White Rabbits are playing Portland's Wonder Ballroom on Thursday, November 5th with the Glass Ghost and the Local Natives. See you there.