Friday the 13th has a notoriously negative and nerve-wracking connotation, but Pillows & Therapy, the new album by Weathers, came out today… on Friday the 13th…. And it’s highly-anticipated release comes right alongside the excellent, pertinent, and early 2000s-inspired music video for “Talking Is Hard.”
Maybe Friday the 13th isn’t so bad after all.
Southern California, home to Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Jason Mraz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tony Hawk, is also the home base of alternative rockers, Weathers. Like the famed SoCal locations and legends, this band is all about being more than what people expect of them. Sure, Disneyland in California is a cultural entity home to one Mickey Mouse and Tony Hawk is a beloved skateboarding icon. Disneyland is also home to Cars Land and World of Color, which not all Disney Parks have. Tony Hawk is also a notable philanthropist in and out of the sporting world.
Weathers might be a rock band, but they are also a savvy group of advocates whose music is not simply an artistic outlet, but a method of communication with the young, relevant, impressionable voices of today. With 1.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, we don’t even have to hope that their indie pop meets indie rock messages are going straight to those who need it most.
Performers and musicians to the core, Weathers, this talented four-piece outfit with an indie pop edge to their garage rock sound, have been shaping lives with their lyricism and realism since day one. In 2016, “Happy Pills” was released as a single and immediately took off. Flittering up the Billboard Alternative charts and racking up streams (80+ million to date) has mostly to do with the uptempo, groovy, slightly angst-ridden musicianship found within the single. The track, though, is an idiomatic look at what different pills, specifically those for depression and anxiety, can showcase to individuals. Medications can act like rose colored glasses, building out fulfilling landscapes while taking them, but in reality they’re simply a mask for true feelings, outlooks, and experiences.
While everyone’s life is different and sprinkled with trials and tribulations, Weathers strive, without trying all too hard, to connect with such on a generalized, but still oh-so-very personal, level. Time and time again this band has told the tale of growing up and growing out. In this day and age, it’s hard to do such without brushing aside the tense climate we’re all immersed in – regardless of our age, gender, or background. Weathers has crafted the perfect formula for music that is enchanting and fun, not terribly rebellious, and still prioritizing honest interpretations of life.
Their sophomore LP, out today, is titled Pillows & Therapy, which in and of itself should give you insight into these youthful, but outstandingly wise and passionate artists. Wonderfully pop soundscapes delve deeper than any listener can anticipate with raw instrumentation backing it and personal themes tied into the storytelling. “C’est la vie,” a 2020 hit single that showcases the band’s interest in adding hypnotizing electronic layers to their pop rock stylings. For a sonic song that discusses reality, mania, and questionable actions, the musicality fits the bill, depicting once again that Weathers can – and will – hit the nail on the head when it comes to equalizing truly entertaining and enjoyable music with an always-broadening scope of mental health being explored.
Frontman Cameron Boyer answered some questions for The Aquarian to not only explain the thought behind such balanced art, but to dive head first into the makings of their second full-length album and their forthcoming headlining tour.
Pillows & Therapy follows up 2018’s Kids in the Night. Pandemic aside, what has changed – if anything – with the way you approach music and art? Is your process any different now than it was, say, in the midst of getting Kids in the Night together?
I would say it’s pretty much the same. We did have to adapt to the changes in the world by doing some Zoom studio sessions which was not fun [Laughs], but overall things stayed the same. However, what’s different about how this album came together is that it consists of songs of recent and songs from up to five years ago. It’s a mixed bag of classic and new sounding Weathers. I think fans will find the contrast pretty fun, too.
From day one the Weathers’ style has been uniquely it’s in own category within the ever-changing alt world. You’ve practically cornered the market when it comes to balancing fun individuality with classic influences. Do you set out to sound a certain way when preparing for an album or single release or do you just build your sound out as it comes in the midst of writing/recording?
It is definitely a blend of both, but ultimately, it’s not something we think about when writing. We just do what feels good in the moment and chase that – and I think that is kind of how we cultivated our sound.
Speaking of, now more than ever it is imperative that artists show honesty and vulnerability in their work. This is something you all have done since the beginning and we are so grateful for it. There’s a relatable quality and a connection laced into every lyric that allows these pertinent messages to resonate tenfold. At what point did you decide that lane was one you wanted to occupy? Because I can imagine that it’s a bit daunting to be so unguarded and raw time and time again – even if the response is lovely all around.
Being honest in our music has always been a priority to me. It’s very difficult to get up on stage and perform and own something you don’t feel at least somewhat connected to. I started my first band when I was 13 and I wanted to sing about things I’ve gone through or wanted to do.
An aspect of Weathers that we love that’s a bit outside of the music is your attention to detail in the artistry and branding of the group. It’s intriguing and inclusive and fits the aura of the music overall. How much of that side of things are you embarking on, such as, say, the colorful “Karma” lyric video or the Pillows & Therapy cover art, which is eerie and stunning all at the same time.
I’ve always loved the idea of incorporating film into our music and that’s how we started using our style of artwork. I wanted our artwork to be inspired by movie posters from Saul Bass around the seventies. Since then, its evolved a lot and we’ve branched out a bit, while still using those as the same roots.
There are ten tracks on this sophomore release of yours and from what we know of Weathers and what we have heard, it feels so cohesive and thought-out. What was the process like of choosing which ten songs went on this album – and even in what order, as it feels so specific with the flow?
It is honestly as simple as just choosing the songs that we felt like sounded best and fit the theme of the album. We also were thinking about which songs meant the most to us and which ones who have the biggest impact on fans. The order is chosen based on pacing. Similar to a movie, if we are going to put a body of work out, the whole thing should be easy to listen to and I think a huge part of that is pacing.
My favorite song thus far is “In Love With Myself,” but I feel like once live shows start up again, the on-stage versions of so many of these new hits are going to have new life breathed into them. Are there any songs specifically that you personally can’t wait to hit the stage with on your national headlining tour?
Yes, I can’t wait to play “Hello,” “Talking Is Hard,” “Karma,” and “Rehab” live. Those are gonna be the most fun I think…. Also, “Strange Dayz.”
Another track we love is the opener, “Hello,” that packs a punch we all need in this day and age of oversaturated media and not-so-memorable releases. There’s a commanding within that song that is enticing, from the drums to the lyrics and everything in between. We’re wondering, as it does kick off the album and is titled “Hello,” could that possibly make for an opening number on this forthcoming tour of yours?
I guess you’ll have to find out for yourself, ;).
Alt Press premiered “Karma” as a single for Weathers ahead of this album. The response has been immaculate over the last couple of weeks, too, in and out of your rock loving fandom. Why “Karma” as a single?
We believe it’s one of the strongest songs on the album with a cool message and we wanted fans to get ahold of that beforehand to prepare them for the album.
You guys are so personable and entertaining, not just as musicians, but as people. Many of your fans look to you as friends as opposed to these untouchable, successful rockstars. Why is it important to maintain that sort of image and connection with people, both on the Internet and off of it?
I think it’s important to be personable so that fans can know that we are the same and we all go through similar struggles.
Last, but not least, can you give us the low down on what’s to expect from this highly anticipated tour? Post-pandemic (Sort of), post-new LP (Finally)?
This tour will be a huge return of the highly energetic and emotional shows that we always like to put on. Can’t wait for fans to see some of the new stuff we are doing. We always like to play at least one unreleased song, so they can definitely expect that, too.
WEATHERS’ SOPHOMORE RECORD, PILLOWS & THERAPY, IS OUT NOW ON ALL STREAMING PLATFORMS! FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION ON THEIR UPCOMING TOUR, CLICK HERE!