AMFM Magazine: Congratulations on the new release that’s coming out. When I heard Blackout and Wicked Heart I thought they were SO good. Wicked Heart came out last late last year, right?
ROME: Yes, July 17th of last year. Wow. Time flies.
AMFM:What do you think about Lana del Rey covering Doin’ Time
ROME: It’s awesome. Actually. Eric played the bass on it.
AMFM: So you already knew about this.
ROME: Oh yeah, we knew about it months and months and months ago. She’s a huge fan and she wanted to do her rendition of the the legacy performance of Doin’ Time. The producer Andrew Watt reached out and asked if Eric would be interested in it, and obviously he was like, “Hell Yeah” – and the song came out amazing I’m not sure if it’s out yet.
AMFM: Well, just a snippet on her instagram account was all I heard, and I was like, holy cow! She’s always been amazing, but she really fits that song. She put her own little twist on it and it’s really cool. So do you anticipate maybe touring with her? Are you guys going to collaborate more?
ROME: Hey, that’d be cool. We’re definitely down to go on the road with her. We’re hitting up her management and seeing if we can do some other sort of collaboration.
AMFM: Well, I’m looking at your tour schedule right now and it’s pretty brutal. You’ve got so many places to go from April through August. Looks like you’re going to be in Austin, new Braunfels, Houston and Dallas in August. I know you guys have played there before!
But I want to circle back and ask you about the new release. Can you tell me some more about the other songs that I haven’t heard yet?
ROME: Yes, absolutely. We have a pretty wide range of instrumentation on it, which is really cool because we haven’t really done that in the past. We have like a lot of different sounds including Flamenco guitars, brass sections, even Marimbas – really different soundscapes.
The entire album is very cohesive. That’s the one thing I can say, ’cause all the songs were written beforehand. When we went into the studio, the purpose was to create productions that supported the lyrical content and the songs narrative more so than trying to come up with productions to influence the latter. And it really did serve for a much more cohesive project. then We had Ralph Cavallo and Doug McKean who produced and mixed the entire record from start to finish. That even more so contributed to the overall cohesiveness of the the album, and it has such a strong flow and such a wide array of different instrumentation.
AMFM: Oh, I can’t wait to hear the rest of it. So what is your collaboration process? I mean, first of all, how much influence do you have and secondly how do you play against each other to make the whole product?
ROME: I’ll write a song and then I’ll bring it to the guys when we’re in the studio and then at that point we’ll start to chop it up. “Are we going to do it this way? Are we going to do it that way? Do we want to speed it up here, slow it down?” And that’s how we’ve taken it in the past, but there’s sometimes where we’ll just really get it right straight out of the gate. I’ll have an idea and we’ll go and record it in the studio and then that’s it. You know, maybe a couple of little tweaks or punch-ins or something, but the overall the meat and potatoes is already there. So we’ve definitely done both sides of the recording. But I would say predominantly the idea is fleshed out and then in the studio we dive in on the production together.
AMFM: Okay. I’m looking forward to this. So none of the songs will sound alike, and yet they’re cohesive. So what you’re telling me is you’ve got brass and you’ve got Marimbas and Flamenco – sounds like a lot of Spanish influence.
ROME: That’s what it sounds like (laughs)
AMFM: So can you tell me how you guys ended up at the studio in El Paso? Why did you select that one?
ROME: We’ve been going there sinceYours Truly,our first album. That was where we nestled up and called home. It’s a great studio because it’s in the middle of nowhere and it really does allow you to just focus on the task at hand, which in this case would be writing a record. It can be very distracting in places like Los Angeles where you have all your friends and your family and there’s much more of an urge to go home and try and make it for dinner and distractions like “I’m going to go around the corner and have a drink with my friend” and then you’re gone all night ’cause your drinking. (laughs) When you’re on this ranch in El Paso, you’re in the middle of nowhere. They have a group of people that cook food – breakfast, lunch and dinner AND do your laundry.
AMFM: Oh Wow. That sounds better than home. That sounds like a vacation
ROME: Right. It really does facilitate the writing of an album.
AMFM: How long from start to finish did it take you to make this album, from the inception to release?
ROME: Two years.
AMFM: Two years. Okay. So it took you months to write it and then what was the longer the writing of the lyrics or…?
ROME: We had the entire album recorded and done this time last year. The label and management wanted to push back until they had a tour to support it, which is the smart thing to do. That’s what we did and that’s why we’re dropping it now. But that’s why it’s Kinda making it to the three year mark. We wrote the songs in 2017, some of them in 2016 and recorded them done in 2018 and now we’re putting it out in 2019.
AMFM: You know, touring is a lot harder than most people realize, to be away from your family, going to all these different places and eating all the different foods. So can you tell me what your most favorite and least favorite part of being on tour is?
ROME: My most favorite part of tour is the comradery and the traveling aspect. I really love to go to different spots and just be like a stranger there, and absorb how people live, and their food and culture. I get a kick out of that. The only part of it that is a drag (and literally touring is awesome except for this one part) – the only part that is a drag is with all those things that I said I like to experience, you really want to do those things alongside your love ones.
AMFM: Oh, yes of course.
ROME: Yeah. The only part that’s missing, you know? “Oh, this is so awesome – I wish so and so was here!”
AMFM: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
ROME: Imagine going on vacation, and it is hard work, but don’t get it twisted cause it’s rock and roll and it’s a lot of fun. It’s more than just hard work. The hardest part is mentally and emotionally. It can be physically draining as well, but from what I’ve experienced and from what I’ve seen other people experience it’s the emotional state that can really fuck with people.
AMFM: Oh yeah, sure can. Well, thank goodness for Skype and facetime it makes it a little bit easier than touring musicians had in the past.
ROME: Thank God. Absolutely. FaceTime is a Godsend.