Lo-Fi and DIY: Interview with Talking Forever

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In a world full of over produced music, Houston’s Talking Forever is bringing back the lo-fi sound we miss so much. There’s something to be said for a band who records an album completely on their own. It’s not an easy task and I spoke with Jonah and Tommy about how they made this release possible.

NT: I hear a lot of 90’s influence on this new record. Who are some of your favorite 90’s bands?

Jonah: “I really love early foo fighters and some Sunny Day Real Estate stuff, Stretch Arm Strong, Pearl Jam for sure too, but a lot of early TBS, and Brand New.”

Tommy: “Tell All Your Friends era Taking Back Sunday, Brand New’s Deja Entendu, and The Room’s Too Cold by The Early November.”

NT: Where was the cover photo for My New Home Taken? Does the picture have any significance?

Tommy: “It was taken locally in Pearland (Houston for anyone else). The picture does a great job of capturing the tone of the album overall. The run down aesthetic, coupled with the damp-like colors.”

NT: If you could set up a new home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Jonah: “Somewhere with the band, with a place we could record demos and just be creative.”

Tommy: “Honestly anywhere with Aaron, Jonah, and Zane.”

NT: You guys do a great job of keeping “lo-fi” music alive. Is that a conscious decision or is that the sound you naturally gravitate towards?

Jonah: “Not really so much a decision but more or less of a product of our environment and stuff, besides drums everything was recorded in a closet.”

Tommy: “It’s sort of a mixture of our limitations, as well as the sound we were aiming for. We recorded a majority of this record AKA everything but drums in a bedroom closet. Our music lends itself to the sort of “lo-fi” sound, because it doesn’t need to be perfect, and it doesn’t need to sound like it cost 10 grand to record.”

NT: How long was the recording process for My New Home? What were the biggest challenges?

Tommy: “We started recording scratch tracks at the beginning of April, and finalized vocals in October I’m pretty sure. It was a very stressful at many different points. Towards the end we started to get stagnant in our stages of recording. We ended up redoing a majority of the vocals in nearly every song, and adding many more parts to fill gaps. We became discouraged after what seemed like months of nothing. But we managed to pull through and do what needed to be done, and in the end we managed to create and capture the emotions we felt very accurately.”

NT: What’s the craziest story you have from playing shows recently?

Jonah: “Probably at our release show when I fell down and tore up my knee (he laughs), I tripped over my quarter inch and fell down, I kept playing though.”

Tommy: “Maybe not so recently, but anytime we play with our friends in Donna Hayward, and Moth Wings at the same show, we’ll end our set in a super group cover of”Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, and it gets more wild every single time.”

NT: If you could work with another artist in any capacity who would it be and why?

Jonah: “Mike Sapone. He’s someone I want to work with more than anything in the world, he’s the best producer/engineer in my opinion, and has done some of my favorite records to date.”

Tommy: “I don’t know if this qualifies as the correct response, but I would love to work with Mike Sapone. We obviously draw a lot of inspiration from Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New, and Mike Sapone has helped make those bands what they are today, and to be able to make anything with him would be an incredible experience.”

NT: There are so many bands coming out of Houston. More than ever it seems. Who is your favorite?

Jonah: “We’re super good friends with Donna Hayward and Moth Wings, and we really like those guys. Rome Hero Foxes is also super dope, Crimson Arrow is tight, Meraki/Toska. Houston has a ton of good bands.”

Tommy: “This is such a hard question. We have to many talented friends and locals in our area. It’s really overwhelming when we meet a new band at a show and they’re just so insanely good. My favorites would have to be our friends in And Then Suddenly, Donna Hayward, and Moth Wings.”

NT: What’s your go-to fast food order while you’re touring?

Jonah: “Anything that is edible.” (he laughs), “or whatever Zane gets.”

Tommy: “Honestly anything. I’m not a picky guy. whatever Aaron orders. That’s what I want.”

NT: What shows do you have coming up?

Tommy: “We had our release show on February 22nd  at Walter’s Downtown, and a show or two off in the horizon.”

NT: What else can we expect from Talking Forever this year?

Tommy: “Talking Forever is going to keep on advancing in the same direction we’ve been going in for the last year. Performing better with every show, meeting new amazing friends, and hopefully creating some more music that we’ll be proud to show our fellow locals. We also hope to be playing bigger shows for bands we look up to in the near future.”

Listen to Talking Forever’s new album, My New Home, below:

*Thumbnail photo by @Mazalthan

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