How the Record Company Broadened Its Sound for Its Sizzling New Rock LP, “Play Loud”
“I could talk a bit about the complexity and difficulty of the pandemic and how it has changed all of our lives,” begins Chris Vos of The Record Company. “But, in terms of making records: when we didn’t know what to do or what was going to happen next, we were able to get into a mentality of just focusing on the writing process. “
For The Record Company – a punk-meets-blues-meets-modern-rock outfit from Los Angeles – the pandemic disruption casually offered something they had never had in excess before: time.
“When you’re in a band, you turn… but they’re two different mindsets,” drummer Marc Cazorla told American Songwriter. “On tour, you focus on the details, like making sure you have a second bag ready to go for all dates, and you stay in that frame of mind all the time. Then you’ll come home on a break and try to write a few songs for the album, but you need to recalibrate yourself first. When the break ends, you go back to Chicago or something and you have to get back into the touring mindset. But this time it wasn’t.
With the extra time and space, the trio curled up, teamed up with more collaborators than they had ever had before, and ended up writing just under 20 demos for a new album. . Now that album is finally out — on October 8, the band unveiled Play loud, a collection of 12 songs that constitutes their most exploratory work to date.
“We were thinking about how to expand our sound and try something bigger, so we started working with external songwriters and it all blossomed from there,” bassist Alex said. Stiff. “We didn’t really want to do what we had done in the past: I produced the first two records, but I volunteered not to produce this one. We wanted to meet new people and broaden our sound… and I think it’s the best record we’ve ever made.
With a gritty hi-fi swagger, Play loud lives up to its name, offering sizzling alternate frolics, irresistibly bluesy hooks, and explosive bursts of rock’n’roll. Songs like the first single, “How High” show how big a difference the new “expanded” approach to record making has made.
“With our producer Dave Sardy [Oasis, Wolfmother, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem], we went further than before on stuff, ”Vos explains. “We’ve been hit with COVID as well – ‘How High’ was something we started before the pandemic, but we only got that chorus on the last day of muting in the studio. I realized that because of everything, the lyrics hit me even harder than before COVID. I felt them more deeply.
Yet for all experimentation, including synths, 70s and 80s inspired instrumentation and all manner of creative arrangements, the foundation of Play loud is always built around The Record Company doing what they do best.
“We had more things and tools at our disposal than ever before, but basically we were still recording guitar, drums and bass live,” Cazorla explains. “From there, we were able to build on that sound and try things out, like, ‘Hey, how about we put that Yamaha mini keyboard on that part here? It was cool, we had never done this before.
Now that the record has been released and a cross-country tour is underway, the band are thrilled to have the chance to share this next chapter with their audiences. Looking back on how far we’ve come since late 2019, Cazorla commented on how beautiful and surreal the full moments of a musical career can be.
“Just the other night we heard ‘How High’ used on opening night of NFL football,” he says with a hint of wonder. “I was like, ‘Wow, I remember the first day we started writing this song… now it’s on TV for the opening night of football while they show Tom Brady, but it looks like always to our little song that we made. It’s really cool. So now we’re going to hit the road and keep sharing it. Right now we have a lot to be excited about. ”
The Record Company’s New Album Play loud is out now, watch the music video for “Gotta Be Movin ‘” below: