The Dreaded Laramie - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview The Dreaded Laramie. We discussed their upcoming album, ‘Princess Feedback’, capturing the band’s sonic footprint, filming music videos, releasing music on vinyl, upcoming shows, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview. 

Thank YOU for this interview!

You're set to release your upcoming album, ‘Princess Feedback’ on July 5th. What can you tell us about it so far?

Well, I can tell you that you can listen to 40% of it right now! We have four singles released from the album– “Breakup Songs,” “Fishnets,” “Life is Funny,” and “Where’s My Crystal Ball?”. As the first single’s name suggests, this is a breakup album. It really spans the emotional gamut, and shows off a much more dynamic and confident side of our band than has been recorded so far.

You collaborated with producer Dave Schiffman (PUP, Vampire Weekend, Bayside) on the album. What was it like working with him? What did he bring to your music and process?

Working with Dave was (and continues to be) incredible. He has been such an incredible mentor, and really brought out a new side of our band on this record. Going into the recording process, he said that one of his goals for the project was to capture our sonic footprint–basically the unique quality of our band that would make these songs recognizably us in even the first few seconds of the recording. He obviously has a massive technical expertise when it comes to the engineering stuff, but he is also a great and encouraging advisor in general. Since recording, I have asked him for advice about an embarrassing amount of band-related stuff, and he has been a really generous guide.

"Where's My Crystal Ball?" was written during the week of a breakup and when Roe v. Wade was overturned. You’ve said “the music and lyrics are both meant to communicate the idea that things are not as they should be, and that this situation could’ve been prevented with a little more forethought”. What do you hope fans take away from the song? What did you take away from creating it? 

Yeah, that was a rough week! As far as what I hope for people to take away from it…I don’t think I’m necessarily trying to be edifying, there isn’t a “moral of the story” that I want people to pick up and run with. I think that kind of thing is really more the job of philosophy, and not something that songs can or should do. Certainly not my songs. 

However, I took quite a lot away from creating it! Writing it really stretched my abilities. I wanted to make the tritone the harmonic centerpiece of the song–a really uncomfortable and dissonant interval to reflect the utter stomach ache of my life at that point–which was new territory for me. I also got quite a bit more accusatory and angry in the writing than I’m used to being in my songwriting. As a woman (or maybe for some other reason, I don’t know), I face a surprising amount of chastising when I’m angry at a person or situation, and the songwriting on this album is very much an outlet for anger that is otherwise frowned-upon to express. This song really captures that sentiment.

You recently released a video for new song, "Life Is Funny" featuring members of Virginity. Can you tell us a bit more about filming the video and the theme you explored in it? 

That music video was SUCH a blast to make. We were on tour with Virginity, and, after our absolutely wonderful Monday-night gig in Charleston (seriously, it was the most happening Monday night show I think I’ve ever played), we were like, “hey, I know this is a weird request, but we really need to make a music video for this song TONIGHT. Would you mind throwing some eggs at us?”--thankfully they were down. It was a memorable time.

It’s such a weird and simple concept–people getting egged?--but it somehow captures the essence of Life is Funny SO well. Very literally, it’s a video where we have egg on our face. That’s more or less the impetus of the song; I’m embarrassed, I’m confused about the embarrassment, and it’s all just captured right there for anyone to observe. It’s painful for the subject (those eggs hurt when they hit you!!), but kind of impossible to look away from as a viewer, even though you’re thinking “I bet that probably hurt.” So yeah, it is simple, but I think it is appropriate for the song.

You’re releasing the album on vinyl via Smartpunk. How important is it to the band to have a physical release and your music pressed on vinyl? Do you have a favorite variant? 

We are so, so grateful to Smartpunk for partnering with us for this release and for coming up with such incredible variants!! It means a lot to have the album on vinyl (especially such pretty vinyl). It’s our first-ever full-length release, and having a material record of that feels crucial, if for no other reason than to symbolize what a huge accomplishment this is for us. My favorite variant is probably the baby pink and white smash. It is super dreamy.

You recently announced an upcoming tour with Pinksqueeze. What are some of the aspects of performing live that you are currently enjoying?

YES, we are so thrilled about that tour! My current favorite aspect of live performance is getting really experimental with vocal delivery. I have been working hard for the last couple of years on honing my vocal skills–particularly having better control of my voice in live performance–and somehow, despite (or maybe because of?) that, I have been doing a LOT of yelling, screaming, whining, and being generally over-the-top in the live show. It’s a little bit of a vicious cycle where I’ll try something that feels in the moment like I’m crossing the line into a territory that won’t actually be enjoyable for the audience, and then after the show someone will compliment me on that exact moment, and so the next show I take things a little further, and so on and so forth.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Is there anything else that you want to add? 

Thank you so much for asking them! I’d like people to know that they can pre-order our album right now on our bandcamp page (for the band variant) or on Smartpunk’s website (for two other great variants). I’d also like to say that we’ll be on tour in the midwest and pacific northwest in July with Pinksqueeze, and then we’ll be on the road in other parts of the midwest and on the east coast in August with Teens in Trouble and Bat Boy. We’re also going to be playing FEST in October. We’d love to meet you at one of those shows!

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