Sydney based emo/alternative rock band Recovery Room have recently released their first musical offering with their new EP ‘A Lesson In Letting Go’ and you can check out our review of their new EP here.
I (virtually) sat down with Dylan and Christian in a cute Facebook group chat the other day and asked them a few questions about their new project and how it all came together.
Where did this all get started and when did you guys realise the ball had started rolling with the band and your newest release?
Dylan: Christian and I had been experimenting with different projects since our last band (Clipped Wings) fell apart back in 2013-ish, but the lack of other musicians being involved was really holding us back. In early 2016 I had some personal stuff turn everything a bit upside down and for whatever reason, I began coming up with ideas for much less abrasive music than we had been attempting before, which led to trying vocals myself – something I could never pull off before with heavier music styles.
Once I realised I finally had the ability to write and demo nearly everything myself, I got Christian involved and everything started moving further than it had before. Still unable to get a permanent drummer or bassist involved, I decided to record bass myself and my friend Chris Blancato (of Bare Bones) kindly offered to interpret my demo drums and record them properly for me, which he did a fantastic job with and we would probably still be stuck where we were without him.
What are your main influences musically for the band musically?
Dylan: The influences for this project are a little spread out. Everything we had been working on before was really in the same vein as CW – heavily influenced by bands like Modern Life Is War and Go It Alone etc. I think for me personally, influences like Knapsack, The Jealous Sound and Tigers Jaw were what I was listening to in terms of developing my voice and then slightly more instrumentally complex stuff like American Football, Cap’n Jazz and Algernon Cadwallader crept in too. We’re still trying to figure out where we land, I think we have something like 35-40 songs in demo form at the moment and it really varies around all of those influences a lot as we experiment.
Talk us through your writing and recording process of the EP
Dylan: I basically wrote all of the material thus far, and then Christian would re-interpret the leads I wrote in the final recording stages. I had to become pretty efficient with programming software drums so that I could do everything at my home studio and then send ideas back and forth online. We’ve always had to struggle with peoples busy work lives and remote collaboration is essential to getting things done now.
In terms of the final recorded versions, I undertook as much of that myself as I could because I’ve always been highly interested in recording – so vocals and all guitars were done at home ourselves. As I mentioned earlier, Chris Blancato performed and recorded drums at his own studio. This time around I didn’t want to mix it, because I struggle to remain objective and it was in our best interests to let someone else leave their mark. For that we contacted Jack Shirley, who played in a band we’ve both idolised for a long time, Comadre. He has a great recording studio in San Fransisco called the Atomic Garden, and he really understood what we were going for.
Could you give us a little information about the context of the EP lyrically and musically?
Dylan: The general context for the EP is based around a break up, which hit me really hard and I guess made me realise I had to change a lot of stuff about my life, let go of things that were holding me back – particularly with music, which is maybe why it proved cathartic for me to finally break through the issues we were having and get to the point we’re at now. It’s kind of a confession of things I was coming to understand about the situation and a goodbye to that chapter of my life.
What kind of changes did you and Christian face creatively?
Dylan: I guess I touched on this question a little bit already with the incomplete band members issue and the need to remotely come up with ideas a lot, but more specifically to me – trying to teach myself to sing has been a really interesting journey. I’ve always been a guitar player, and between Christian and I we would always be in reversed roles previously. He would write the structures to most songs and I would come in and do melody/leads. Figuring out playing guitar and singing is a constant struggle/something I’ve learned a lot from. Moving on from the typical melo-hardcore formats we had spent so long figuring out and onto cleaner, more melodically complex things has also been a challenging but equally rewarding experience. I’m really looking forward to pushing it further with both my voice and how we structure the songs as we move forward.
What are you some future ambitions and goals for the band?
Dylan: There’s really no end to our ambitions with this, as I said before – we’ve already put ourselves through years of frustrating non-start projects to get to this point and now that we’ve become a bit older, and more independent, things are all looking more possible than they ever have before. I won’t speak for Christian, but I really want to push myself and record some stuff that really stands out from anything we’ve done previously. I’d love to head over to the states to work with Jack in person at his studio. Ultimately it would be great to go play big shows with bands we idolise, but at the end of the day – I think I miss just playing little shows with our friends like we used to, it would be great to go play venues like Rad bar again. At this time we have a couple of great friends who are helping complete the band so that shows will be possible, and we have stuff locked in that will be announced soon. Hopefully as we spend time playing together live instead of always working in a studio context, it’ll help us grow and find out what we want to ultimately sound like.
Christian: I’m with Dylan, I really have no limit, I want to play as many shows as possible and record and release as much quality music we can. I want to do everything we can as a band. If I have a dream for this band, I want to play with From First To Last.
Recovery Room’s new EP ‘A Lesson In Letting Go’ is available now at your nearest local streaming service.
Facebook – www.facebook.com/recoveryroomfeels
Bandcamp – http://www.recoveryroomsyd.bandcamp.com