Supercrush - Sound In The Signals Interview

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mark of Supercrush. We discussed the imagery and concept behind the band’s upcoming album, shooting their new video, vinyl variants, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

No problem, thank you.

You just announced your debut album ‘SODO Pop’. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process for the album? How long have you been writing for it?

The writing took place over a long period of time.  A few of the songs go as far back as four years and were written while I was living in Oakland, while some of the others were written in Seattle in the final month or two before we started recording the album.  I had a ton of songs and song fragments that I had amassed as voice memos or full fledged demos.  We narrowed that down to fifteen songs that we chose to record, ten of which make up the SODO Pop album and five others that will appear on a future release.  I think the fact that the songs were written over such a long time period is reflected in the varied styles on the record.  Over the course of those four years I went through different periods of being interested in different types of music and being influenced by different things, and inspired to write different types of songs.  So it's not just ten of the same type of song in a row, which I think would be more likely to happen if all the songs were written in brief burst of inspiration.  The recording also took place over a long period of time.  We were in the fortunate position of being able to really take our time and be meticulous in the studio so we took advantage of that and put a lot of care into all aspects of the recording and mixing.        

The artwork, pre-order packages, and the new music video all center around tennis. Who came up with the concept for all of it?

I had been sitting on that idea for the cover art for a long time, but had kinda put it aside in favor of another concept for the album.  But at the last second we decided that my other idea, while it would have looked cool, didn't really suit the visual style of the band that we've developed over the years.  It would have involved a lot of black in the layout and that's something I've always tried to avoid in the Supercrush imagery.  The colorful tennis balls suited the bright, bubbly visual style a lot better.  I really like making music videos that are self referential to the artwork of the record from which they came.  So when it was time to make a music video for On The Telephone I wanted to find a way to incorporate the tennis balls from the album cover.  That's how the tennis match idea came to be.

The new music video and song are great. What was the video shoot like? Do you have a funny story from the shoot?

Thanks!  The video shoot went pretty smoothly.  There were other folks playing tennis on the courts around us for a lot of the shoot, but they were cool for the most part.  We didn't receive any grief for setting up on the court until the very end of the shoot when we were filming the final couple band performance shots.  Someone else had reserved that particular court and our video shoot was eating into their match time.  We were playing with a generator and a PA blasting the song so it attracted the attention of a lot of passersby, but most were probably just more amused than anything.  The shots with the VW Beetle were fun to do too.  We found a guy down in Gig Harbor who agreed to drive us around in his '71 Bug for a couple hours.  He seemed very stressed that the car was going to break down at any second or would die on the way over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, but it performed like a champ.

The new single “On The Telephone” is another great Supercrush song. It showcases what makes your music so good and shows how you’re continuing to refine your sound. What made you pick it for the first single? 

It seemed like a good candidate for a single because it's concise and immediately catchy.  There are some other songs on the record that are longer and a bit more elaborate and ambitious, but I liked the idea of going with a song that would (hopefully) stick in the listener's head immediately and wouldn't overstay it's welcome.

What was the writing process like for it both lyrically and musically?

That song was a bit of an anomaly for us because it kinda came together at practice, which is rare for Supercrush.  I had the main progression already, but the rest came together really quick at a practice.  I sometimes don't trust a song if it comes together really fast and on the fly, but I think it worked out well in this case.

The album is getting the vinyl and cassette treatment. How important was it for you to have it available on those formats. How closely did you work with the label for packaging and variant choices?

When we work with a label I always work really closely with them to try to make sure everything turns out the way I envisioned it.  Probably to the point of annoyance for the people that work with me.  I can be a control freak about tiny little details of the artwork, packaging, and presentation.  I dig all the different formats for different reasons so I like to make our music available on all of them.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks a lot for the interview and for being interested in the record.  You won't have to wait nearly as long for the next one, I promise.

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