WEATHERS interview: on coming to be and their creative process
by emma valles
how did you guys meet and how did your name come about?
funny story actually. when i was putting the band together, i needed a drummer. i didn't know any, but my dad had mentioned that a friend of his from high school who he used to play in a band with has a son who plays drums. i saw a video of him playing and i can genuinely say he's one of the best drummers out there. so that's how i got introduced to cole.
i met brennen over facebook. i also didn't know any bass players, so i put out a facebook post asking if anyone wanted to audition for my band as a bass player. he was the only person that responded seriously haha. turned out he was pretty good so i definitely got lucky.
lastly, i met olsen at a battle of the bands. he was in a different band and i thought he was really good so i kind of snatched him from them haha. i still feel a little bit bad about it to this day.
and honestly, when it comes to the band name, it just sounded cool. it resonated with us and we didn't know why. we had a long list of band names and weathers was the only one that sat well with us and over time, the name became something. just as we did as a band. the name grew alongside us and that's what i like so much about it. we have all known each other since high school and have been playing music together for a while. we've seen each other grow up and change and as corny as it sounds, the weather changes just like we change. so, it just started to make sense like that. and i think that's why we all liked it. we just didn't know why at that time.
what motivated you to start playing music?
growing up i had also been involved in music in some way or another. but when i was 13, i realized that i didn't want people telling me what to do when it came to music. i wanted to do it myself and create something from my own mind, bringing my own vision to life. so, when i was 13, i started my first band. we sucked. it was bad. i don't even like thinking about it. but that eventually snowballed into weathers. and now i'm very proud of how far we've come, not only as band mates and as people, but as family.
where did you draw inspiration for your sound? is there anyone you look up to?
there's lots of different inspirations in this music for sure. but we also want to be different. a big focus with this album was being different while being ourselves. my favorite band is the killers, so naturally, i love brandon flowers. i see myself in him has a singer and performer so lots of my vocal performances and on-stage performances are inspired by him. some other inspirations are the cure (my second favorite band) and the police, especially when it comes to the guitar lines. like these bands, our guitar riffs are drawn out and very melodic. and when it comes to overall vibe for a lot of the songs, the pixies were a big influence.
what is your favourite memory as a band?
this is a tough question because we have lots of great memories. playing in chicago at the aragon ballroom opening up for cage the elephant was an insane show. although, i think our favorite show ever was this last april 4th at the troubadour because we just released an ep, our first release in a couple of years and fans had already learned the lyrics to some of the songs. the songs had only been out for a few days so that was really rad. but there's also lots of moments off the stage as well that come to mind. but it's hard to pinpoint the best one. i guess that's a good thing, so many good memories to choose from. not a bad problem to have!
which song has had the longest/hardest physical or emotional process to write and record?
definitely "secrets safe with me". this song has a very deep emotional connection to me. my mother has bipolar 1 as well as schizophrenia. growing up was really tough and i'm sure life was a lot harder for her. my parents are divorced now because of that, and i don't see her much. there's lots of variables there. many things to talk about. both good and bad. lots of conflicting feelings on my part as well. but to put it in a nutshell, the song is about the times i've been with my mom when she's not been at her best and noticing when she kind of "fades out". basically, when she's not all there. the song is saying that i hope wherever she goes in her head is a good place and that i hope she's finding some solace there. hoping that that place is happier to her than this one.
is there certain feelings you associate with different songs that you make immanent in either lyrics or music?
sure. totally. every song has come from a real place. whether it's bringing a simple feeling to life, to reliving a past event, or just singing about yourself. every song has something inside of it, both lyrically and musically, that provokes a certain emotion or memory. for example, we talked about "secrets safe with me". that song is especially hard to sing at times because the feelings are so real and also still very raw. also, songs like "the night is calling". that song is about how i picked myself up after an ex-girlfriend cheated on me. "1983" is about my first car which was from 1983. the car actually died on me when olsen and i were on our way to write a song with our friends. the car had a history of dying in the past because its older, and i knew this was the last time it'd be my car. i knew this was the end for christine (that's what i named her. the car). and so, when olsen and i ubered to our friend’s house, we wrote the song about that car. "i'm not ok" is the song that kind of encompasses the whole album. which is why it's the first song on the album. that song is all about being ok with not being ok. taking past experiences that were once bad and finding that silver lining and turning them into good experiences. i happen to believe that there's a silver lining in every situation, whether it’s immediate or not. it's about turning your shit around. it's about being ok with not being ok.
so drawing from that, what is your favourite song you have ever produced? (lyrically, musically, etc…)
unfortunately i can't choose. i think olsen (who i wrote this whole album with) would agree that all the songs were really fun to produce. our producer, tim pagnotta, is a super rad dude. he always pushed us to be better even when we had thought we hit the ceiling. and he made every experience eye opening and fun. and every song plays its own role so i really can't narrow it down at all.
what made you want to create kids in the night in two parts instead of an album?
it had been a long time since we put music out. and that's because we as a band and as people have changed a lot. so, we really wanted to take our time and get things right this time. and part of "doing things right" was this release plan. we know we have a solid fan base. small right now, but growing and loyal. we super appreciated how patient and loyal our fans were to us when we didn't have music coming out for a while. so, we thought, to please the fans the most, let's give them something the can really bite into and keep biting into. we didn't want to release a full album right away and have that be that. we wanted to keep the excitement going. we wanted to give our listeners multiple days where they could sink their teeth into new music. we released music late march of this year and about 3 months later we are still releasing new music. so, the excitement is still going and we think that's really cool. especially when the wait was song long. a long time waiting matched with a long time of excitement.
what would you think is important for new listeners to know about you guys or your music?
kind of like what i said before. it's ok to not be ok. that's the main thing we want people to take away from this album. taking those bad things and turning them into good things. using those bad things to make you stronger. also, i recommend listening to the album top to bottom by yourself first while driving your car at night. that's the best way to listen to this album the first time around. once you've done that. have a friend do the same thing. then listen to it again with your friend and compare and contrast your experiences. we really want people to have their own experiences first and that's why it's best to listen to it alone first.
what can people expect when attending one of your shows?
lots of fun. lots of energy. lots of really great/terrible dancing. lots of loud.