So just to start, while you guys have been a band for a while you kind of metamorphosed into this new name, from “End of a Year” to “End of a Year Self Defense Family” to your current state as “Self Defense Family”, with little alterations in between. What sparked this shift, was is simply aesthetic or because there was a shift in your music style?
End of a Year was just a really, really wack name. We decided to change it because we're not wack. But, that name change would make it difficult to sell existing records, putting the labels we worked with in a bit of a bind. So, we went with a transition name out of respect for those labels who still had some of our records in stock. I'd like to shorten it again.
The new album coming out is called Heaven is Earth. Where did the album title come from and what can fans expect from it?
The name is either tongue-in-cheek because this planet is a true dump. Or, the name is earnest and we're capable of achieving a measure of paradise here through some sort of human kindness or connectivity to nature or some bullshit. It works both ways, so treat it like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
Your twitter account just recently got verified, congrats! Can I ask what you got your icon photo from?
Thanks. Proudest moment of my life. Our twitter icon is Richard Francis Burton. I've got a thing for explorers. I get misty thinking about Lewis & Clark.
You tweet a lot of interesting, eccentric things, is that a combined effort or is there one person in charge of tweeting for the band?
Andrew and I do it, though mostly me at the moment. I treat it like it's an individual's twitter, rather than a band's. What could a band have to say that would be of any interest to people? "We're playing Boise tomorrow" is fine information, but you've basically taken a platform primed for human interaction and reduced it to a corporate news account. I'd prefer to read bands talking like people.
The band is based out of New York, which is a highly competitive music scene as you may know. How do you attempt to stand out in such a huge crowd? Or do you like kind of being a hidden gem?
We're actually from all over. San Diego, Philadelphia, London, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Haven, etc. Only one of us lives in New York. Trying to 'win' at New York City band life is the saddest thing you can watch a musician do. I've seen plenty try it, and all end up back at their moms' houses in Akron. New York is a scam, and if you don't see that quick, you find yourself lugging your gear on the subway to play a bar for people who will forget about you within eight weeks.
A couple of months back you put out a collaboration with Touché Amoré, really high energy stuff. How did this collaboration come together and what was it like in the studio with them?
They asked and we were game. While on tour, we met up with them in LA, got a couple hours of writing in, and kept the riffs in our mental filing cabinet until we could get together on the east coast. When they were on tour, we all filed into Will Yip's spot, wrote another song, and recorded all the instruments live. Jeremy and I came back another day, did the vocals in a couple hours, and boom, sick record. It was fun in the studio. No one stepped on anyone's vibe and it was a blast watching the drummers work themselves to exhaustion.
Besides the album out at the end of the month, what else should we be expecting from Self Defense Family this year?
Two 12" EPs, and two 7"s. A tour of Australia. And, I think probably a few west coast shows to close out 2015.
If you could give one piece of advice to the kids trying to get into the music industry what would that be?
Take inventory of your goal and adjust your habits to correspond with that ambition. Be honest about what you want, so you're not backtracking or looking like a fool when adjust midstream. If you want to be rich, don't play broke people music. If you want to be cool, don't play music that tries to get big. Nothing wrong with anything you want to do, as long as you're self-aware.
Check out Self Defense Family's new album coming out on June 30th, and watch out from a review on the LP collective next week before it's release! As always support by checking out all their social media info below: