Ok, so Prawn. An amazing band from the States. A great interview for you guys.
Would you like to introduce yourselves and what each of you does in the band?
Unfortunately not all of us could do this interview for a variety of reasons, but my name is Tony and I play guitar and sing in Prawn. Then there is Jamie who plays drums, Kyle who plays bass, and Andrew who plays guitar.
One of your newest releases “Ships” came out September last year. Can you take us through the writing and recording process for it?
Sure. We wrote Ships in the fall of 2011 and early winter of 2012. We had just put out of first full length and wanted to write a follow up EP. We worked really hard on the 6 six songs that appear on Ships and continually tweaked them throughout the writing process. We had really wanted Ships to come out before our first European tour, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We recorded Ships actually at my parents house in New Jersey. The drums were recorded in the living room, guitars in the garage, and vocals in a bedroom. We bought a keg for the week of recording so needless to say we were pretty inebriated throughout the whole process, which made it all the more fun. After we finished recording we sent it to our friend Greg Dunn who did a marvelous job mixing and mastering it.
Your debut full length “You Can Just Leave It All Here” came out a while back now! How do you feel you’ve progressed up to and since that record came out?
I think we’ve just grown a lot as songwriters since YCJLIA. Not even that, we’ve all started to listen to different music and our influences have trained drastically. Some of the main influences on the full length were The Get Up Kids, American Football, and Explosions in the Sky. Now all we listen to is The National and Bombay Bicycle Club. We still have a very similar way of going about writing, and I think we’ve really honed in a sound we all think describes us well. So in short, we’ve changed a lot as a band in regards to how we write music, but still have the same essential approach as we did since False Institutions.
I noticed you’ve put up “Short Stay, Long Road” also recently. Can you talk to us about that release?
Yes. That was a release that was supposed to appear on a split with our friends For Hours and Ours. We recorded that in my garage with the same guy who did YCJLIA. However, the whole writing/recording process of the two songs was extremely rushed and I think the end result shows that. The split actually never ended up happening and we never officially released those two songs. Jamie and I came up with the idea driving into New York one night to give away all our music, including unreleased stuff, as a thank you to everyone that has helped us out along the way. It seems like people really enjoyed it and we may have even made a few new friends.
You toured with Calculator last summer! How did you find that? Do you have any great tour stories? Or does a gentlemen never tell?
We first met Calculator a few summers ago while both of us were on separate tours. We ended up playing 2 or 3 shows and becoming buddies. Last summer we were primarily focused on our first European tour and hadn’t thought much of touring the states when we get back. Ramez from Calculator shot me a message asking if we’d want to tour with them for 2-3 weeks and it seemed like a no brainer. There were some good tour stories, totally. A lot of things went wrong for us on that tour actually. So I’d say the most quintessential tour story is our transmission dying on a bridge on our way into Montreal. We all almost died trying to get to the side of the road and nearly missed the show. It took a week or so to get our van fixed and we missed half of the tour.
You’re signed to/work with Topshelf Records, right? How does it feel being where many bands are aiming to be? How are they to work with?
Topshelf is great. Kevin and Seth are very relaxed most of the time, but when something needs to get done they’re on top of it. It’s been a very easy relationship. It seems like Topshelf is on its way up pretty fast to be honest. When we started working with them in 2011 they were a well-known label, working with a variety of bands. But since then, they’ve signed a bunch of new bands that seem to be doing really well. It’s great to be part of a community where everyone helps each other out as much as possible. We just got lucky.
What would you guys say that your main influences are musically?
Our main influences fluctuate all the time. Kyle went through a pretty big Parliament Funk stage, which is great but extremely odd. Luckily none of that really came out in our songs. I really couldn’t say our biggest influences are. Recently I’ve been loving Bombay and Lucy Rose.
Do you have any plans for future releases/tours/other stuff during 2013?
We have some stuff planned for 2013. We have a split coming out with Joie De Vivre hopefully sooner than later. We’ve been talking to some other bands to get some more splits out by the summer. We’re also hitting the road in March with our good friends Gates for about 10 days around the East Coast. We’re also playing a few festivals in April and May. Other than that, we’re planning on writings our 2nd full length this summer. (which we’re all really, really, excited for.) We haven’t been home in 3 or 4 summers because we’ve always toured around that time. Jamie and I only recently graduated college, which means the freedom to really tour when we want. Also, we’ve only written music in the fall/winter months, so I’m personally excited to write in the summer when its warm and happy. Expect a very happy 2nd LP from us, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Where would you like to be at the end of 2013?
It would be great to end 2013 with our 2nd LP coming out. Kyle graduates next Fall semester, December 2013, so I’d like to be going out on tour. If all goes according to plan, I think we’re going to push this band as far as we can once all of us are done with school. So hopefully 2014 will be non-stop touring and writings.
It’s your time to recommend some great bands/labels/artists/zines that you guys love…
This is always tough because I don’t want to leave anyone out.
All the artists on Topshelf and Count Your Lucky Stars. Local friends would be Gates, Caravela, This Old Ghost, Arrows in Her, and Au Revoir. The only zines I really know are Manual Dexterity and Zine and Not Heard. Sorry I’m bad at this!
Last question! If you could tour with 4 bands to any 4 places… Who, Where and Why?
Lucy Rose in Paris so I can try to seduce her with some delicious French wine.
Explosions in the Sky in Texas.
Bombay Bicycle Club at a Bombay Bicycle Club Resturant in London.
Anddd The National in Brooklyn.
Thanks so much for this! I wish you all the best in your future endevours.
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