BIRDGANGS are the latest Massachusetts rock band to hit the scene, releasing their debut EP ‘Maximum Suction’ just one month ago. We had a chat to the guys to find out the start of their music, how they progressed to create their first EP and where to go next.
Could you please introduce yourself and what you do in the band?
Jack: I’m Jack, I do lead vocals and guitar
Julien: I’m Julien Manuel-Cristaldo Schremmer, I do the bass and backing vocals.
Fernando: I’m Fernando “Nandy” Echeverry. I’m the Drummer and Harmonizer
Matt: I’m Matt Bates AKA “Marty Plates” – Lead guitar, and backing vocals
Your debut release ‘Maximum Suction’ was recently released, how long have you been working towards getting this release out?
Jack: We started recording it back in late July of 2017. We had the whole thing recorded and mastered by December, but we waited until March to release it for a number of reasons.
Did you come across any struggles during the writing/recording process?
Julien: There was a lot of downtime in between the recording sessions. We were working around a lot of conflicting work schedules.
Jack: Yeah, we were doing recording sessions rarely more than once a week, so it took a really long time for us to get the EP tracked and what-not. I don’t think the spacing of the sessions affected the quality of the EP though because our producer Joe Zucco really knows his shit, and he and I go way back, we’ve been recording stuff together since we were 13, so we’re really on the same page about the sound.
Matt: First time recording a guitar solo was rough. Probably took longer than it should have. Jack and our producer Joe are good at reigning me in.
Is there anything you have learnt from the EP creation process you will apply to your next release?
Matt: I think we learned we need to manage our time better, get it done quicker but don’t sacrifice the sound and play quality. It would also help to have more finalized ideas coming into the recording sessions.
Julien: Definitely have the songs more rehearsed by the full band before recording them. We’re thinking about doing live takes as a band rather than tracking the instruments separately.
Jack: Yeah there were a couple of the songs on this EP that we hadn’t played together before recording them. I was still kind of figuring out the arrangement or the lyrics and that definitely didn’t help speed things up. But we’re confident about the changes we want to make to the process the next time we record.
What music influences you each as musicians, does it vary from member to member, or do you all find inspiration and influence in similar things?
Jack: We all like the blues and a lot of garage rock, Arctic Monkeys, Zeppelin, I really dig Parquet Courts, Real Estate, and Courtney Barnett.
Matt: we all vary in our influences but find commonality in the Arctic Monkeys, Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age etc.
Julien: Besides the Arctic Monkeys, I’m a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, specifically their guitarist John Frusciante, he’s a big source of inspiration for me.
Fernando: I listen to a lot of blues and soul.
Choosing any track from ‘Maximum Suction’, which lyrics are most personal/meaningful to you and why?
Jack: I guess Lorraine has the most personal lyrics. The subject matter of that song is the most emotional. But all the lyrics are personal, they’re always derived from some personal experience.
In a year, what do you hope Birdgangs will have achieved?
Jack: Two more EP’s released, and hopefully playing plenty of shows. Personally, I wanna eat more vegetables.
Matt: Would love to play at a festival or two who knows if that’s possible. Definitely want to release more music and keep playing a bunch of shows.
Julien: Play a festival and release more music, or maybe even an album.
Fernando: Work out more, make Matt not allergic to almonds