I am glad you brought up ‘I Don’t Know.’ I think that song is very different for you guys. It’s almost poppy and dancey.
We like to try different things. I feel like from a lyrical side, things aren’t very poppy ever, even though the songs might have a bit of that vibe. I feel like the lyrics never have a pop-driven idea.
Was the record based on a Salman Rushdie’s essay?
Yeah, a lot of the record was more inspired by rather than based on a Salman Rushdie’s essay, A Letter To the Sixth Billion Citizen. It’s a short essay, you could probably find it online. It’s a great concept, he is basically writing a letter to the sixth billion citizen, who is unborn at the time. It inspired a lot of the artwork, too, it has a letter and stamps being delivered to the seventh billion citizen, which should happen in the next few years, amazingly. It just helped inspired us and helped us have a cohesive outlook on the record.
Is it harder or easier to write within the lines of a concept?
I think it helps drive the record and the artwork. I think it makes things a little easier to have an underlying theme. I don’t feel bound by it by any means. Certainly things can kind of veer a little away from it, but we just like to have things to help inspire and deliver the product as one cohesive idea and have it be a record, and not a collection of songs.
Do you think that you would ever like to have the other option, a collection of songs?
Yeah, I feel like our last record was the closest to that we’ve had. We kind of wanted to do that, because El Celio was conceptual and a lot of instrumentals. We just didn’t want to recreate that record again, so it was kind of our rebellion against that record. So I would say that this record is more a mix of El Celio and our last record.
Is the point of the essay similar to a state of the world address theme?
Yeah, it is basically telling that person what to expect from life, and all these people around you are going to tell you what to believe in and how to live. It’s basically saying, figure it out for yourself. Learn from experience and you don’t have to listen to people, there’s a whole universe out there, and have a humble approach to belief and so on.
Sounds empowering. How did you find it?
Mark actually found it, our guitar player, in a book he was reading. He said, ‘This actually reminds me of the lyrical content.’ It was at the beginning of the writing process, but we did have some songs done. I read it, and it was perfect. From that point on, we just used it as an inspiration and a guideline.