PropertyOfZack had the chance to speak to Rick from mewithoutYou just last week for one of our best interviews in a long time. Rick and I discussed how the band’s new album is coming along, how important it is to make the right decisions, leaving Tooth & Nail Records, potentially self-releasing their new record, and so much more. Read up and enjoy!
For the record, could you state your name and role in mewithoutYou?
My name is Rick, and my role in the band is drums, primarily.
The band literally just finished up a string of tour dates with Alkaline Trio throughout the east coast. How were the shows and getting back into the swing of things?
I was just watching a bunch of YouTube videos actually to see how we did. Getting back into the swing of touring usually takes a couple days. This trip was only a few weeks long, but it was a good road test for us because we haven’t been out in a year. We opened up for a bigger band with a totally different fan base in Alkaline Trio. It was a little strange; their fans are totally dedicated to their music, and that’s a wonderful thing, but it sometimes was a little frustrating to play for the audiences because you’re trying to give it your all and you’re being met with a lot of blank stares. That’s just devotion on their fan’s part though. It was a great time overall.
You guys played a new song live called “The Fiji Mermaid.” Were fans receptive to the track overall?
This tour we played two new live songs, that one and “January 1878,” which got a lot more play on this tour. “Fiji” was a little too rugged it play. We just finished writing it over the past month and recorded it, so there were still guitar tracks to lay down. It got good reception and the other one got fantastic reception. It’s a rocker, as we would call it. It fit the tour better to play a heavier song. You don’t want to go up there playing songs your fans would want to see. You’re trying to play songs that are going to win over people. We tried to keep that in mind.
That song will be one of many featured on your new release, which was just recorded. How was your time in the studio with Daniel Smith this go around?
We came to Daniel about three months ago. We told him we were interested in making an album and he was immediately on board. He encouraged us to let it all fly out. We took about a month and a half and worked every day from 10 to 5. Basically we came together and had a good time. Everybody brought songs this time and everybody had a place on the record. Right now we’re in the middle of tracking guitars and vocals. We got the basic tracks done for the album in the first two weeks. Right now the guys are in the studio as we speak laying down some more stuff and it’s coming along pretty good.
POZ: When do you guys hope to be completely done recording?
Rick: I would like to be down in the next two to three weeks. When you’re working on a project you don’t really want to let it go on too too long. Aaron starts school in two weeks for the semester and I know he wants to get his parts done. We’re looking at having it mastered sometime in October. We’re not sure about a release date or even how it’s going to be released at this point. We know we’ll have a full record in the middle of October though.
What made you guys want to work with Daniel again?
He’s got good vibes and he’s a friend of ours. It’s not so much like you’re working with a producer with him where they’re calling the shots. It’s really a bouncing back and forth of ideas. He’s got a lot of great ideas and comes from a different approach than I would. He built a pretty rad studio on his own property too. We like to work with the same people we use.
In terms of what went on in the studio, did much change this time from the recording of It’s All Crazy!?
When we recorded It’s All Crazy! we didn’t even really road test the songs. It was written in a totally different way too. It’s hard to explain. This time the way we wrote it and went on the road and played some stuff live. Mike’s in there right now redoing some guitar tracks to fit more what we were doing live.
POZ: So would you say this is going to be a more live-oriented record?
Rick: I think so. As far as the drums are concerned, I was trying different things every take. I tried different things every time we ran through takes. I don’t even remember some of the stuff I did because I was just going off of the top of my head. It really felt like a live experience because live music is obviously way different. A lot of bands come out and just play their music, but we like to take a different approach. That’s been a big part of the record.