Noah Roth - Sound In The Signals Interview

Juliette Boulay
I recently had the opportunity to interview Noah Roth. We discussed the writing and recording process for new album ‘Don’t Forget to Remember’, the song they are most excited for fans to hear, songwriting, collaborating with Devil Town Tapes, the importance of physical media, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Of course, thanks for asking me!

You’re set to release new album ‘Don’t Forget to Remember’ on June 9th. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process for the album?

I wrote the bulk of the record over the course of a couple months. I was going through a breakup at the time and had a lot of latent shit (can I swear in the interview?) I needed to get out. Some of it was written before that though, and that stuff is more about addiction and substance use. Some of it comes from experiences with psychedelics too. A lot of the time when I’m writing, I don’t really know what I’m writing about, and it just kind of comes out and then months later I’ll realize like, “oh, that’s what that song is about”. 

As far as recording goes, I did a lot of it over the course of a month last winter. I was home in Chicago, and my step sibling had this little two input interface, and I’d just go down to the basement and fuck around on ableton until I made something I was happy with. I usually try to do something that I feel like is more interesting than just the song by itself, so there’s a lot of tinkering involved. 

The last record I made, “Breakfast of Champions,” took like five years to make because I was working in a studio and then Covid happened, so this record was a pretty deliberate effort to do most of everything myself. If I can’t record something “well,” I can probably at least make it sound cool. I did some of the drums in a studio, and had some other people play on it, but it was mostly in the computer, which was a bit different for me.

Do you have a song that you’re most excited for people to hear from the album? Why? 

Probably “Paris, Texas.” That was one of the last songs I wrote for the record, and I’m really proud of the lyrics and melody. It’s also the last song I recorded, and it’s definitely the most stripped down recording-wise. I feel like that really lets the song breathe in a way that not all of the songs on this record do.

You released “C U Tomorrow” as the lead single for the album. What made you decide to pick that song as the lead? Can you tell us more about writing that song specifically? 

It was actually Jack from Devil Town’s idea to do that song as the first single. I initially worried it was too weird to be a single, but ultimately I’m happy we picked it. I feel like that song is kind of a synthesis of a lot of the different ideas that I explored throughout the record, and it’s also the first song, so it felt like a good introduction. 

I think this is one of the songs that I actually wrote on the computer. I can’t remember exactly, but I know I had the main riff before anything and the words came pretty quickly after that. That song is about reaching a point in your life where you need to make a change to the way you’re living, and you can’t go back.  It’s also about knowing what is and isn’t in your control to change or fix, which is a big theme throughout the record. 

What’s your favorite part of writing songs? Do you usually start with lyrics or music?

It really depends on the song, honestly. Usually I end up with like a verse and a chorus and then I have to sit with it for a bit before I figure out how to finish it. Every so often a whole song will just fall out of me though, and to me that’s usually a sign that it’s worth recording.

You’re working with Devil Town Tapes for this album. How did it work out for you to work with them?

I was aware of Devil Town because they put out the last couple Greg Mendez albums with Forged Artifacts and I really like those records. I sent them an email like a year and a half ago and they wanted to work with me, but timelines kept not working out, and I also had two records in the tank at the time. I ended up self-releasing “Breakfast of Champions,” and that was right around the time was finishing up “Don’t Forget To Remember.” I reached back out and we figured out a timeline that worked, and here we are now! Working with them has been a really wonderful experience — Jack is a super nice guy and he works really hard for his artists. 

They’re releasing the album on cassette. How important is having physical media like cassettes, vinyl, etc… to you?

I think it’s pretty important. Cassettes are a weird one because not everyone has a tape player, but I also think sometimes people just buy them because it’s a cool artifact. I think in general though merch is super important, and I’d like to explore vinyl in the future. 

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

I play in and write for another band called Mt. Worry, and I’m super proud of that stuff, too. We released an EP in February and are probably gonna release another one before the end of the year. 

Also my friend Leor Miller just put out a new record that’s really amazing. If you like my music, I highly recommend checking her record out, because she’s one of the single biggest influences on my writing and process. 

Thanks for having me! 

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