Earlier this year, Old Man Canyon released the hotly anticipated and incredibly well-received Delirium album – a follow-up to the 2013 EP Phantoms and Friends. We e-chatted with frontman Jett Pace about how the two records ended up so different from one another, how big a role analog gear played, and what’s next for Old Man Canyon.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): You earned relatively early success with your first album, Phantom and Friends. What was that experience like? Did it impact your writing on Delirium at all?
Jett Pace (JP): Releasing Phantoms and Friends was all a giant learning experience. I put it out with no real notion of what was going to come of it; everything that came about after the release was all pretty fascinating to experience. As for my songwriting being affected by it, I’m not sure it was. I think the change in instrumentation and style came organically from just experimenting and playing live shows and seeing what worked and what didn’t, and where I wanted to go from there.
RMM: I read you originally wrote hundreds of songs for this album. How did that happen? And how did you narrow it to 10?
JP: Ya I had a lot of songs written, some weren’t entire songs, maybe just a verse or a melodic idea I recorded in a voice memo on my iPhone. But it wasn’t to hard to figure out what songs would make the record just because I had a pretty good idea which ones I liked best and which ones I felt fit cohesively together.
JP: I think the most noticeable change is the instrumentation that was used, I got heavily into vintage synthesizers and analog recording gear, so I think just having those new tools around allowed me to find the sonic shift that I was drawn towards. I’ve always been more drawn to groove-based music, so it was just a gradual process of experimenting and trying new things, that led me too the sound on this record.
I’m also someone that feels creatively trapped quite quickly if I don’t continue to try new things and change it up.
RMM: You also recorded at Lost Arc in San Diego. Why did you want to go there? How did the space impact the album?
JP: I went there because of their vast array of vintage instruments and analog gear. I spent about two months with producer Mike Butler re-recording my home demos and crafting the record. The whole process was really fun; it never really felt rushed or restricted in any way, which sometimes can happen when you have a strict timeline to work within.
RMM: You recently released the video for “Back to the Start”. How did the idea for the visuals come about? How do you see them tying into the meaning of the song?
JP: Right off the bat I knew I wanted the video to be dark and dream like, but it wasn’t until I sat down with the DP James Gill and director Tavi Parusel that the full scenes were conceived of. We wanted it to give the notion of the internal battle we face when we want to change something in ourselves, that isn’t serving us. Each scene in the video represents the mental process that your mind passes through when your trying find the will and strength to shift something in your life.
JP: Hopefully lots of touring, maybe in Europe or Australia. Getting some time to write new music and make more videos, also wanting to collaborate with some really great artists.
For more on Old Man Canyon, visit www.oldmancanyon.com.
We chatted with Jett Pace of Old Man Canyon about albums old and new, the “Back to the Start” video, and what’s to come