Vocalist AJ Perdomo talks us through the band’s third album, out now via Hopeless Records. Listen and learn!
On August 05 we are releasing our new album 'Golden Record'. These are ten songs that mean the world to us. We put every ounce of energy we had into this record. I took some time out to give my perspective on the song meanings and backgrounds. I believe that everyone should view songs with their own personal messages. You can take words a million different ways, and that is the beauty of it, though I also think that people can benefit from hearing my own personal side of things. So with all honesty in tact, here is my take on 'Golden Record':
01. Catholic Girls
"Catholic Girls came together super fast. It was really late at night and we would just jam until 5am. I grabbed a microphone and I'd freestyle to different parts, trying to think of melodies. Cody started playing the progression to this song, and I swear we played this one 3 or 4 times. By the end we had the whole song basically mapped out. So many lyrics came out of nowhere that I ended up keeping. I wrote the song about mine and Cody's home town of Ellicott City. It's about growing up, growing apart, loss of innocence, and just that whirlwind that pulls you in and out of where you came from. I get really specific and personal in this song, because it came out of me that way. The funny thing about the reference to Catholic girls is; Cody and I used to only go for private school girls at a certain point in life. I don't know what it was, or who we thought we were, being from a public school ourselves; but it was classic us. The name Virden is the last name of my high school girlfriend, and her family who took good care of me. Loriann was a very close friend to the band’s mother. We spent years in that basement literally growing up together, until she was in a horrible car accident one night, and passed away. It was a pivotal moment for how we felt about the place we came from. I know everyone can relate to the 'should I stay or should I go now' mentality that starts its plague around the age of 18. This is my ode to those years. I will never forget where I came from."
"Sins is probably the first finished song for this album. I demo'd out the whole song in garageband months before we wrote and recorded the album. You can actually hear the demo on the deluxe iTunes version of the new album. We later added a bridge to it in the studio, and it turned out to be a pretty solid ballad on the album. I wrote it about my wife, and the time I spent apart from her after we got married. She's South African, yet was living in London at the time. We spent a whole year on immigration before she could finally move out here. I paint the picture of what it feels like to miss someone you love so much. The relationship really pulled me out of a dark time of my life, so there is a lot of hope in the song, yet still a dark cloak of loneliness. The cities Cape Town and London were both places I visited with my wife, hence the name drops. I wanted to show the idea of new beginnings, with imagery of water. The thought of washing away who you once were, only to begin again."
"Drowning came from a straight up jamming moment. We wrote the instrumentation to this song so naturally. I freestyled the verses, and rewrote some of the words to it again later. It turned out to be such an unconventional song by us, but that’s what we loved about it as it draws from such different influences than normal. I wrote the song as my defence to the things that I choose to do in life, whether they be good or bad. It's my life, and I live the way I live. It's also definitely about escape. Everyone has that thing that opens them up and makes them feel whole again. Whether it be a vice, or a stage we get to stand on. I love the way everyone kills it together on this song, and I'm pumped with the way it turned out."
"Knives is a song that we had most of the instrumentation for about two years ago, but I hadn't written lyrics for it yet. It honestly makes it harder for me when an idea isn't super fresh to work on. We jammed it live and I came up with some cool vibes. I liked how the verses kind of drudged along, and created a really cool flow. The chorus only made sense to put some gang vocals on, something that we didn't use on War Paint. The bridge was written really late in the recording and the little outro kind of came out of nowhere when Paul was messing around with the mix. It turned out as a part two for 'Work in Progress' in a way. I wrote this song as a prayer, I have a very mixed up religious view and I've struggled to answer all the questions I have myself. I try to illustrate my longing for belief, and the turbulent on and off relationship I've had with God. I wouldn't view it as a religious song though, I think everyone should question religion, and find out what they truly believe. I do think people can relate to it on so many different levels."
"Honesty was written early on in the process. When we first started heavily writing for the new album, this was the first song. Cody and Matt came up with the instrumentals completely. Matt even programmed the drums for the demo (which later became the three second intro). They did it all in their apartment together, so I came over and wrote lyrics and melody over the verse/chorus in a two day period. We had the basic idea for the whole entire song after that. When Ben came, he added his little flares to the part, and it felt perfect. I wrote this song about music, and continuing to do music even when it’s hard. We've had so many rough times as a band, and we're still here. I wanted it to kind of stand as, look at what we've done, look at what we're doing now, and it's been a hard road. I know everyone will relate to that part of their life that drives them. Their purpose, and the struggle it took to keep that purpose."
06. We Will Wait in the Fog
"This song was written entirely in the studio. Cody was playing the song on guitar, and Matt hopped in on the Rhodes we had sitting in the studio. Ben started jamming out to it, and soon enough they had the song mapped out. It took me forever to come up with melodies that went well with it. I probably had like 3 different versions of this song. The one we ended up sticking with was written close to the end of the studio time. It's always hard to settle on an idea, because you constantly want a better song to happen. I wrote the song about those fights in relationships that you never remember. Those blind angers, the times when you get in an argument for no reason. It's a 'can we just wake up and get over this' moment. I hope it's pretty explanatory in context."
07. Miles Apart
"This is the love song of the album for sure. It was originally titled ballad as a working name. Everyone put the instrumentals together early in the studio time. I wanted to make sure I wrote the perfect melody and lyrics for the song, because I felt so much power from it. I tried to make something new, that we haven't done before. It became such a good vibe for the album. Again I wrote it about my wife, and the time spent literally miles apart. I wanted to encompass the moments we shared, and the moment when we could finally live together after a year of waiting. It was a very powerful time in my life, and it felt very good to outline the way the past two years has made me feel."
08. Into The Comfort
"Into The Comfort was jammed and demo'd out pretty early, but I also had a hard time getting the vocals right with this one. It was such an interesting and free flowing song. I didn't want it to sound too forced or stiff, so I eventually nailed out each part. I love the way everyone plays on this one, I think it really shows the versatility in writing styles. I was having such rough and moody days in the studio at a certain point, and this song kind of let off some of that steam. I wasn't functioning right or writing the way I wanted to. This was a big, "every things going to be alright, just take a breather" moment in the studio. It definitely let off some stress."
09. I'm So Pathetic
"This song was completed very early in the process. I remember working on this one before we left for the studio. The verse and chorus melodies kind of flowed out live like the others. I wrote the lyrics for it later. This was definitely my self-loathing song. I didn't feel like I was working hard enough, and I didn't like my attitude. I felt myself becoming so jaded over a lot of things that I couldn't control. I mention trying to get 'the light'. I use it as symbolism for 'the dream' basically. Trying to reach for 'the good life' no matter what it takes, but not feeling like I've been doing well enough. I loved how 90's it ended up sounding."
"This song I originally wrote the verse by itself and it was an upbeat acoustic song. We transposed it big and played around with the different instruments. We wanted a song that was different than what people would be used to. I sing so much of this song in a low register, which kind of just came to be through recording it. I like how it ended up closing the album. The song was written as a celebration song to accomplishment. My wife and I moved out west like we had always talked about, and went through hell to be together. We did it. I want people to pin it to anyone they feel like they've gone through the whole world with. That place you stand, and the time it took to get there, that’s the feeling."
See and hear these new songs when The Dangerous Summer tour the UK later this year, dates as follows:
25 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
26 - LEEDS Cockpit III
27 - GLASGOW King Tuts
28 - NEWCASTLE Academy II
29 - MANCHESTER Sound Control
01 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
02 - LONDON Borderline
03 - SOUTHAMPTON Joiners