Saturday, August 11, 2007

Interviews:: Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley

Yesterday we had a few minutes to chat with Blake about the new Rilo Kiley release, and the affects of touring so much. The new record - out Aug. 20th - is a marked departure from the bands established sounds, so check it out.

HH:: Hey Blake. Thanks for talking with us.
BS:: No problem. Sorry about being a few minutes late. The other interviewer had lots of questions.

HH:: No worries. It was weird though, the Warner "hold music" is like some crunked out hip hop. Not really standard stuff. Hopefully you are doing ok today. I know these media days aren't always fun.
BS:: No, they are ok. I mean, it's fun to talk about yourself isn't it?

HH:: Very true. So let's talk about the new record - Under the Blacklight . With all the success the band and the individual members have had since More Adventurous, did you guys feel any pressure going into the studio to record?
BS:: I don't think so to be honest. If any, I'd say it's the pressure we put on ourselves. I think it was more a question of not trying to bum each other out. I mean, Jenny and I have been having so much fun with the solo projects and it's the longest break we've had, so I think we really just wanted to make the whole process fun.

HH:: That makes sense. I guess I've often wondered what how you decide what songs go with what project. Like do you write a hook and think, I should save this for the Elected, or change it to fit more into Rilo's style?
BS:: I don't know… Not to sound weird, but I never think about it. We just sort of write when we get together and go from there.

HH:: Money Maker was a bit of a shock for me. As a single, it was pretty big change for you guys - especially the video, but now even hearing Silver Lining the guitar work is more prominent and much more upbeat . Was it a natural evolution, or something you guys really wanted to experiment with?
BS:: Our only philosphy was "no wasted tracks." If the instrument wanted to say something, we wanted to make sure it was heard. We wanted to make sure we had nothing lurking. That's always been our style, but this time we wanted to make sure everything was bold and commited.

HH:: I read that you guys produced most of this record yourselves, which considering all the new sounds, seems like a big undertaking. Did you like the experience and having the control?
BS:: Well we had some help from Jason Lader (Vietnam, Jay-Z) and Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Fiona Apple), but neither of them tried to manipulate the sounds at any point. I mean, we are kind of used to having that control, because even our first records Mike wasn't really controlling. He was very hands-off, which allowed us to keep our focus.

HH:: Musicians always say they write tracks when they are touring or on the downtime, but with you having the Elected waiting for you after the Rilo Kiley tours - how do you find time to write and how do you keep your sanity when you are on the road so much?
BS:: To be completely honest, it's pretty well boring out there. If you aren't playing shows, you are mostly just sitting around. It's pretty chill, so after a while you really just have to do it; just sit down and write. I guess being on the road all the time does get sad after a while, which totally helps the song, but you know... it still isn’t great to have to go through it.

HH::Ok, well now a question that affects us, as we are a web based review site. This is your fourth record, but probably the second since blogs and the NET really changed how marketing music is done. How do you guys feel about blogs and downloading? Like I know you are running the myspace secret show tonight, so you must be somewhat comfortable with it.
BS:: At first, it was pretty bad. People were just downloading the songs for free, which is fine I guess, but still. You work hard at writing and producing them and people just take it. There was no yin to the yang; no positivity to the negativity. It's different now. It's much more positive. And it's changed music. I mean I just finished producing a record for a band, and I've never done that before. I would have never heard of them without myspace. Well, I mean my friend told me about them, but I got to hear them from myspace.

HH:: Yeah, I think that's a good way to sum it up. Most of the blogs actually love the bands they talk about, so it's more inflating than deflating, but lots of people still want something for nothing. Last question - You are about to head to Europe for a few festivals and club dates. Do you guys like the big festival gigs and is there anyone you guys are excited to see play?
BS:: (laughs) I actually have no idea who is playingat the shows. They are fun, but really, really hectic. But it's fun to be out there.

HH:: Excellent. Well good luck on the tour, and with the new record. Talk soon.
BS:: Thanks man.

MP3:: Silver Lining

Posted at 11:24 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 5:34 AM, Blogger ev did sayeth:

thanks for the interview! :)


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