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Vents Magazine Interview: Some Days Are Darker

November 28, 2020

Hi Lear, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you for having me. I’ve been well. The world has slowed down a little bit this year which has allowed me to put some undivided attention towards things like writing, recording, and video production, which I’ve been enjoying.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Wolves”?

Wolves is the first song I wrote for Some Days Are Darker, and along with Restless Tides and a couple of songs that followed, was the reason I felt the band deserved to exist. I guess that also makes it kind of fitting that it’s the first song on Love+Truth.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Wolves was inspired by several destructive events in my life; falling-outs with old friends, making new enemies, hitting bottom in a lot of ways. But it was also a time of transition and growth where I found new love and realized I had some very loyal people in my life who would do anything for me. Metaphorically, wolves have a history of being something we should fear, but in this instance I’m embracing them. You really see people’s true colors when things go badly, but you also quickly learn who will fight for you.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

As a matter of fact we did release an official video for Wolves. The video explores some of the lyrical themes of love, loss, and rebirth, along with a few other more subtle nods for anyone paying attention. We’ve also wrapped a video for Take Me Anywhere which will go live on July 9th.

The single comes off your new album Love+Truth – what’s the story behind the title?

The title comes from a line in Take Me Anywhere, “I want to do it all again, the life and lies and love and truth.” In the context of the lyric, it’s about the cycle we go through in life, from excitement to apathy; always searching, always wanting. As an album title though, Love+Truth is about the pairing of two complex human ideas, one purely emotional and one purely cerebral. On one hand, they are the two things we desire the most, and on the other hand, they are the two things most likely to hurt us. Inextricably entwined.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was simple and mostly involved me doing one-takes in my bathroom with an acoustic guitar and an old 70’s Teac tape machine. From there we went into rehearsals and tried to give each song only what it needed, instrumentally. I wanted the recordings to sound very live and organic. We mic’d all the instruments in the live room and avoided overdubs as much as possible. We were really focused on the performance. I also did a couple of live acoustic takes and put them on YouTube. Just one mic and the tape machine.

What role does Phoenix play in your music?

My studio is in downtown Phoenix so that’s where I live and work. The heat and somewhat desolate nature of the city and surrounding area probably plays into the mood of these songs. I keep late hours because the sun can be so oppressive. We never rehearse before dusk, so after dark is our time to work and play. The nights are beautiful though, in their own bleak way.

What is it about the likes of Nick Cave and Chris Isaak that you find so fascinating?

It’s fascinating to see those two names in the same sentence. It’s like Cave’s lyric about Robert Johnson and the Devil, except in this case I’m not sure who’s who. I’m interested in writing songs that aren’t era-specific. If you listen to Back to Black, it doesn’t sound like 2006, even though Amy Winehouse was a more contemporary artist. Whereas a lot of other albums from 2006 sound dated today. I could say the same for Nick Cave or Chris Isaak—their albums aren’t era-specific. I don’t think anyone would hear Red Right Hand and say it sounds like 1994, or that Wicked Game sounds like 1989. The idea that a song can span generations has value to me.

Is it easier for you to balance your passion and love and homage with your artistic vision?

Some of my earliest memories are listening to my parents’ records in our living room at probably age 3 or 4? When I think about all of the music I’ve consumed and studied and learned and played, it’s inevitable that what I write is going to emerge as some combination of all of those influences, but hopefully with my own fingerprint on it. I think that’s why new music continues to be exciting. We’re all drawing from the same history but applying our own unique perspective, because no two people have the same experience.

What aspect of love and truth did you get to explore on this record?

I got to explore writing about the love of my life and she’s been very receptive to the songs about her, which was a risk for me artistically. The truth in that is probably my own vulnerability in being able to express those sentiments lyrically and put them out in the world. I hope that listeners will find their own truths between those lines.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

For me, Love+Truth is a deeply personal album. While writing the lyrics I was really only looking inward. It’s almost a confessional of the past few years of my life. Even at the lowest points, I found beauty.

What else is happening next in Some Days Are Darker’s world?

We were really hoping to get out and do some Phoenix dates as well as some shows across the southwest and west coast, but that’s been put on hold for obvious reasons. The Take Me Anywhere video will go live on July 9th. I’ve also started pre-production on a video for my cover of Ain’t No Sunshine, by Bill Withers. Otherwise, I’ll be in the studio working on demos for the next record until we can rehearse safely again.

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