(Photo Credit - Danny Lee Allen)
1. With Huffy being your first album in three years, what can veteran fans and newcomers expect from this release?
"Well, this is our first self-produced album, so I suppose listeners can expect to finally hear us unfettered and undiluted by the corrupting influence of an outside producer. We’ve been watching our producers very closely, over the past six records - taking notes and biding our time. We knew the time was finally right for us to spread our wings and take flight on our own, with this record. No other producer in the world had better come near us, ever again, because we can beat them, now — both physically and as record-makers."
2. Can you tell me about the writing and recording process of Huffy?
"The recording process was pretty unusual for us. We’d rented a studio from a friend in New York City for a few weeks in February 2020, just before the pandemic closed everything down. As it turned out, our friend, who isn’t an American citizen, was refused re-entry to the United States during quarantine, and so his studio remained empty for several months until he figured out a way to game the system and smuggle himself back into the country by way of Turkey. True story. Until then, though, he gave us the run of his studio, and so we spent several months working in there, which was a far more leisurely approach to record-making than we’re usually afforded, and we took full advantage. I mean, yeah, a lot of the time we were just sitting around drinking margaritas in there and breaking his equipment, but we also labored over a huge slew of new songs."
3. The album design/artwork has been something that has been highlighted about the release of Huffy. Can you speak a bit about your inspiration for the awesome concept for your album design?
"I honestly have no idea how we initially came up with the notion of deploying an album cover that would allow listeners to craft their own artwork using stickers we’ve provided. I think it was Chris’ idea? We were probably drunk. But once Chris pitched it, we went all in. We designed sheets and sheets of stickers — we produced more than could ever possibly fit on one album cover, so we whittled it down to, like, the forty-some-odd best, I think? I still have a big folder of digital drawings I did for this project that didn’t make the cut, for one reason or another. I should try to sell them to a fancy art magazine."
4. Your single “Contact High” balances love and psychoactive substances. Can you speak a little to this marriage lyrically?
"To be honest, I’m not a particularly big fan of psychoactive agents, one way or the other, but I spend a lot of time with people who are. I’m a musician, you understand, so I’m usually surrounded by reprobates who will gobble down any ingestible thing you hand them, if they suspect it’ll send them all loopy. Anyway, I was probably watching one of my friends or coworkers, high as a kite, enthusiastically chatting up a wastebasket, and it reminded me of the consciousness-reorganizing effects of a good love affair - the wooziness, the elation, the occasional panic-induced nausea."
5. Your music is some of the best guitar driven indie music on the scene today and Huffy is no exception. What gear do you use to achieve this signature sound?
"I’ve been playing the same ‘52 reissue Telecaster that my parents gave me as a high school graduation gift since I was 18, so I’d certainly consider that essential to my sound. I’m also a huge, huge fan of vintage Selmer Zodiac amplifiers - I’ve got a 1966 combo and a 1977 head and speaker cabinet which I record with all the time, and they both make we want to leap into a river with joy. Otherwise, I’m a big fan of pedals by ZVex (the Box of Rock is a banger) and Death By Audio (the Fuzz War is a filthy, noisy little thing)"
6. What’s next for you?
"Probably just going to drink some margaritas, or something. Oh, yeah, and we’ve also got some big ol’ tours coming up - the UK leg will be happening in November and December, and then there will be some US and European jaunts in the spring."