Drunk Uncle - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Drunk Uncle. We discussed the writing and recording process for upcoming album, ‘Look Up’, lyrical inspiration, why “Depakote” is a great introduction to the upcoming album, vinyl and merch, how they signed to Count Your Lucky Stars, and more. Check it out below.  

First, thanks for the interview.

Peyton: Oh, no problem! We’re excited to talk.

I had a chance to listen to the album and I think it’s fantastic. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process for the album?

Tyler: Thank you, it’s really rewarding to hear others enjoy these songs.

We recorded everything at Peyton’s house. The whole process was unusually democratic. Everyone in Drunk Uncle is a multi-instrumentalist and has done their own home recordings for years. So while we each have a primary role/instrument, there weren’t firm boundaries between who writes guitar riffs or drum beats or lyrics—it was fluid—everyone contributed to everything. The result was a “greater than the sum of its parts” sorta thing.

Peyton: It’s honestly a wonder that this album came together the way that it did with how little we were in the room together. The writing process for a lot of the songs was Tyler and I bouncing demos back and forth and recording on top of each other with Will and Jake in the background, listening, planning their parts for when we were in the room together. We had stuff so planned out by the time we “wrote” the new songs together that it really felt like magic. They say that being in a band is like being in a relationship and, if that’s the case, those moments were definitely the sex of the band lol.

You cover some really interesting themes with this album. Can you talk about some of the lyrical inspirations you used for the album?

Peyton: Lyrically, the first and last songs were the first songs to come together. After those were finished we sort of had the arch of the album. Like, how do we get from “Fuck these little things that keep catching my ears” to “therein’s your blue sky, in a sound”? So we focused on mindfulness and the things that keep us away from appreciating the moments that are given to us. What takes us away from that? The album argues that there’s some sort of ingrained obsession with efficiency and making sure that everything that you do in your life is supposed to amount to some grand purpose. I feel very guilty of that, and I think it has made me a less genuine and sincere person sometimes. The album is a lot of us dealing with that.

Lyrical inspirations come obviously a lot from my musical inspirations but also the lockdown gave me a lot more time for reading. A lot of the lyrics are heavily inspired by Don DeLillo, Kurt Vonnegut, and, despite its faults, Infinite Jest (which I begrudgingly challenged myself to get through during lockdown).


You released “Depakote” as the first single. What about that song made you want to pick it as the first song people would hear from the album?

Jake: That’s a riff I had in the chamber for a while. We worked it out and we were going to throw it on a split but decided to keep it for the LP. Glad we did. The energy of it is just very aggressive, very forward in your face. Then it slows down a bit. It encompasses a lot of the emotions of the album. Plus it’s short, sweet, and fun as hell to play. We wanted something like that to be the first thing people heard.

Pre-orders just went up for the album as well. What can you tell me about some of the various pre-order items that you’re excited about?

Peyton: I think we all love the CYLS-exclusive shirt. We met an artist named Elijah at a show and he sent that plastic chair design a couple days later and we all knew it would be a hit. Also I can’t wait to put some of those pins on my denim jacket.

The album is getting a vinyl pressing. Did you pick the variants? What can people expect in terms of packaging for it?

Peyton: So crazy to us… We wrote the album with the idea of having an A side with a certain feel and a B side with a certain feel. Before anything was set with CYLS, we were just gonna try and crowd fund for vinyl. This is much better though, much cooler.

We picked the variants. The cloudy blue really lines up with some of the symbols and themes of the album and we wanted the “beer” splatter variant to be a reflection of our alcoholic band name. Will and Tyler put together a really cool design for the liner notes and lyrics. We really want people to read along.

Will: We’re very proud of the packaging itself. Tyler and I took the cover photo on a windy day in Leander, Texas. We had to string up the letters between two poles to get it framed right, which was fun. Tyler and I collaborated on the liner insert and we’re stoked with how it turned out. Can’t wait to have people see it in person, it’s such a surreal feeling knowing that people will be holding something that you poured months worth of work into, not only recording but designing, taking photos, agonizing over details, and finally bringing it all together.

You’re releasing the album with Count Your Lucky Stars. What made you decide to sign with them and how has the experience been so far?

Peyton: It’s honestly a pretty funny story, albeit, long. The reader-friendly version is that Jake has an Empire! Empire! tattoo and he shared a picture of it with Keith on Facebook like 3-4 years ago. Keith liked it and sent Jake a bunch of free CYLS goodies. This was all pre-drunk uncle. Well, as we were recording and mixing the album, Jake would occasionally mention, “hey I have this open conversation with Keith, should we send this to him at some point” and the common answer from everyone in the band was “totally, but I doubt anything will come of it”. Fast forward to the day before we were going to self-release the album, Jake messages us and asks “hey when should I send this to Keith?”. So we sent it to him the day before it was going to be released on all the streaming services and stuff and he thankfully loved it. We got on a skype call and planned it all out.

Tyler: And none of it went to plan, lol. Our self-release was planned for April 2021. We delayed to release on CYLS in August 2021. But supply chain issues blah blah kept pushing the date out and out until finally March 2022—almost a year after originally planned! Strangely it’s all proven to be for the best I think.

Peyton: The past 3 months have been crazy. From holding the vinyl in our hands to the amount of support and excitement people have shown for us, it’s really been a dream. All we wanted is for people to hear this 30ish minutes of music we made and now other people want to hear it too. It’s great.

Jake: Yeah it was pretty wild. We weren’t sure what to expect with the signing and it’s been a very very cool process. Who knew me getting an impulse tattoo 3 years ago would have opened the door in a way for something cool like this. Usually my mom just yells at me when I get tattoos. I’m almost 30.

What are some of your favorite past and current Count Your Lucky Stars albums or artists?

Will: For Cameron by Merchant Ships got me into screamo. Full Health by The Reptilian, too. The pacing of that record gives it this keyed up, almost paranoid vibe? Such a fun record to blast while driving too fast on the highway at night. Summer Fences by Castavet was one of my formative emo albums. Probably has the most legendary two opening tracks of any emo album. Ways of Hearing by Goalie is my go-to cold winter day album. Overo’s s/t has huge 90s post-hardcore vibes, I’ve had it in heavy rotation for a couple years now. I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted by Snowing obviously. Mend Again by Tiny Blue Ghost makes me happy. :)

Peyton: That Goalie’s anxiety record is SO good. I agree that it’s perfect winter vibes. I love Kind of Like Spitting and Two Knights.

Jake: Snowing, Prawn, Brave bird

Tyler: Joie de Vivre

Will: Basically CYLS’ discography is an absolute goldmine lol.

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

Peyton: I think we’ve rambled enough. Thank you again for your interest and questions :)

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