Every Time I Die: New Jack Swing On My Junk Aesthetic: Interview with Keith Buckley

I’m really curious as to how you as a vocalist determine the pace of Every Time I Die in the songwriting process if you do at all.

I don’t at all.

Yeah, your vocal arrangements do their own thing usually from time to time and you repeat section and they may not seem to be going along with a chorus and its sporadic. How much of it is intuition on your part and how much is premeditated?

100 percent intuition. That’s kind of one of the things I learned to do on this record which I kind of liked better was normally I’ll stress and stress and stress for weeks about one line that I couldn’t find, and I’d get into pre-production and then that part would get dropped anyway. I’d be like, fuck, I spent so much time stressing over this I could have been working on other stuff.

It’s all totally intuition but a lot of what happens now was I didn’t stress myself out over the lyrics so much. Once we got to pre-production and once everything got arranged and I knew where everything was going to be and I knew it was going to stick. Then it’s really just listening to the song 100 times in a row until you get something in your head that doesn’t come out and then you just put words to it. It starts from the center and then spirals outward.

So you don’t have any idea what you’re doing until you actually hear it.

Right. Not at all.

So when they’re hashing out riffs and yelling at each other in the room…

I’m not even in the room. I’m not even there. In pre-production I am, but not during the writing part.

Is that hard for you in terms of just cues? Picking them up the live setting. I don’t even know where you start sometimes, just thinking about it, if I was in that band, I wouldn’t know where you were picking up your cues.

Usually it’s a little snare or hi-hat, it’s heavily reliant on the drums really. There’s a few songs on the new record where it’s actually a guitar part, a guitar note, that was kind of different for me. If there’s any weird timing coming from me it’s because I grew up listening to Faith No More and all I listen to now is Radiohead. Weird time signatures aren’t really as big of a deal to me as they used to be.

Is the new drummer screwing you up a little bit then?

No, not at all. He’s great. He’s very on point. It’ll be very interesting to write with him, see what he can do, but live he’s great. He didn’t write or play anything [on the new record], he actually just played his first show with us about two weeks ago. We played in Saginaw, we played a one-off show and that was his first show with us and he was amazing.

Was there a hazing process?

Not really. His hazing process was that he had to hang out with me and my alcoholic friends for a night because he stayed at my house for a night. But he actually got along with everyone so that was his hazing process.

New Junk Aesthetic is out now through Epitaph. Every Time I Die play the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on Oct. 3 and the Fillmore At Irving Plaza Oct. 7. everytimeidie.com.