Cape Crush - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Ali Lipman of Cape Crush. We discussed an early interest in music, writing and recording new EP ‘San Souci’, lyrical themes, releasing the EP on vinyl, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.
Of course!  
Can you tell me more about how you initially became interested in music and how you started writing songs?
The joke in my family was that I was singing in the crib before I could speak. As an infant I had a lot of ear issues which contributed to a speech delay, but I was always drawn to music and performance even without words. I have early memories of flipping through the cassette drawer as a youngster and listening to artists like Elvis Costello and Hal Ketchum in a walkman. As I got older, I found more resonance in the punk and emo I was discovering from older kids in my neighborhood. There's always been a hunger in me for discovering new music so I gobbled up trips to Newbury Comics and Bullmoose, spent hours on Purevolume and Myspace discovering new artists, and constantly traded mixtapes with friends. In school I was in every music ensemble I could fit into my schedule as well as musical theater. On the weekends, you could find me at all-ages venues like the Fishtown Artspace dancing to local bands. 
I started writing songs in college accompanying myself on the piano or banjo. I played in a couple groups and recorded a couple albums. Eventually I picked up a guitar at a thrift store and started spending more time playing that, mostly out of convenience. I've spent a little over a decade writing songs with very little to show for it, but after recording a solo album in 2015, I knew I wanted to put a full band together. The final iteration of which is Cape Crush.

You recently released your debut EP, 'San Souci' via Ancient Injury Records. What have you thought of the fan response so far? What are your thoughts about it now that it is out? 
The response has been overwhelming. There's so much effort that goes into getting music into the world, to have it received so positively feels like a gift.  Especially for a first release of a brand new band. I might be a little sick of listening to the recordings, but I am so proud of the work we put into it. Everyone in Cape Crush brings something magical to the table, both in music sense and a business sense. We all pull pretty hard because we're passionate about the music, and I think that passion has boomeranged back at us in the best way.
Can you tell us more about the writing process and the lyrical themes you explored?

The EP is a mix of older and newer material. When James and I began arranging these songs together in early 2022, we began with the older ones and the newer ones were inspired by our combined ethos. Some of the lyrical themes explored are homesickness, isolation, and change. What's most interesting is that a lot of the songs are about the same series of events, but written at different times with different perspectives. So while the EP itself is not a concept album by any means, you can pair the songs together. Avec Souci and San Souci go together, and Sandwich Wars + Sunny & Boone are also companion pieces. 
You recorded the EP in 5 days with Zach Weeks. Can you tell us more about the recording process? What came easiest in the process and what took the longest to complete? 

First of all, recording at God City was a dream come through for all of us. So many important recordings have been made there, so to be counted among its outputs is so cool. Zach is an immensely talented engineer. Every minute you're with him, he's on - so he moved us through the process fairly quickly. As a band, I think we were quite prepared for the experience as these 6 songs were the only thing we had been rehearsing for the better part of the year. Guitar and vocals probably took the longest, just because James and I wrote so many parts. Luckily, we had done pre-production demos at my home studio so we could quickly refresh guitar parts and harmonies for recording. Zach helped us prioritize melodies, which really shines in the mix. There are some things I never would have thought of without Zach's discerning ear. 

You’ve said “each song is a reflection on that time in life when your mistakes feel colossal and irreversible”. What do you hope listeners take away from the EP? What did you take away from the process of creating it? 

I hope that they take away that gaining perspective is a gift. It's okay to make mistakes, and that even if they feel colossal, you're never past the point of redemption. I think I worked through a lot of regrets during the process of creating San Souci. I can always hope that it means as much to listeners as it does to me, but I'd be just as happy for listeners to take something completely different from it. 
You're also releasing the EP on vinyl. How important is it to the band to have a physical release and the music pressed on vinyl?
All four of us are vinyl collectors and we were all dead set on pressing San Souci at its release. For me, it's the tactile and tangible nature of holding our own physical music in hand. I think we were privileged to be able to do it with the support of Ancient Injury Records. Copies will be shipping over the summer! 
Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for reaching out! I'd like to add that you can find us on all social platforms - Bandcamp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, ect. We've got some great shows coming up: 6/3 at O'Brien's Pub in Allston is our Record Release w/ Me in Capris, Shiver, and Sonder. Then we hit the stage at NICE, a fest in Somerville in July.  We'll be announcing more dates in late July so stay tuned! Pre-orders for vinyl and merch are available through Ancient Injury Records until 6/3 and shipping in the summer. Thanks for listening!

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