The Ongoing Concept, releasing their debut album “Saloon” via Solid State Records, gave me the opportunity to interview them in light of their album release. Check them out of Facebook for latest news regarding their album, tours, etc.
Keith: With “Saloon” about to come out, what are somethings that are going to set this album apart from the others that have been released in 2013?
Dawson: I am in no way exaggerating when I say I have listened to this album at least 2000 times in total. Even after that many times I still enjoy the songs. That’s a rarity for me, mainly because I hate listening to our music. All of our old songs from our previous EPs are torture for me to listen to, but this album has something about it that captures exactly who we are. You can listen to the whole album and never get bored. Our music lacked that before, but I think we finally got it right.
What bands do you believe has influenced the sounds, tones, and overall songs on this album?
Tj: Its really hard for all of us to say “this band changed our sound and how we thought about writing.” I mean yeah we are influenced by the bands we listen to like Allen Stone or Emery but we really wanted to create our own sound. And yeah its not something new but I feel this record is us. Its our sound.
Where did you guys go to produce “Saloon”
Dawson: We originally went to Canada to record. We were there for over a month. After all that time, we decided in the end we weren’t happy with what we were getting and came home and redid everything at my own studio. The only thing we really kept from Canada was the drums. I produced and mixed the whole thing myself which was a rather new thing for me. As clueless and uneducated as I was when doing it myself, I wouldn’t do it any other way! I had complete control over everything and didn’t have to worry about some guy pushing buttons and telling us what we could or could not record. We were free to do whatever and take as much time as we wanted. It was great. I highly recommend it!
Being the latest band added to the Solid State Records roster, do you feel the pressures of the bands, such as August Burns Red, Underoath, Oh’ Sleeper, Norma Jean etc., that have become “giants”, so to speak, in the heavy music industry?
Tj: Personally being on solid state is almost unreal. I definitely feel the pressure to carry on the legacy the bands before us have left. Solid State gave us a huge opportunity to be apart of their amazing roster and show them what we’ve got. Its really nerve racking trying to live up to the standard that our label mates have created. I grew up listening to all the bands on Solid State and Tooth & Nail so being apart of something that was only a pipe dream growing up is really incredible.
“Saloon” is basically a heavy album with some sparks of melodic, southern, and sometimes even folky sounds. How did the writing process go for this album? Did you guys make it a point to create something different or were these influences naturally implemented into the songs?
Kyle: Saloon is different in part because of the folky additives. I know that it’ll be rememberable because of those elements. I wouldn’t say they came naturally to us, I had never made any ragtime music before this record, and Dawson had never picked up a banjo in his life, so it was new, and it was a struggle to keep it from sounding out of place. But we made it a point to be something we would be proud of in ten years down the road. That’s the main reason I think this record will stand out. We didn’t write this music for today, or in hopes of it being the music of tomorrow. We write for ourselves, and whether the world hates it or loves it makes no difference to me.
Dawson: We didn’t deliberately try to be different at all, we just simply stopped, took a step back from the world, quit listening to music all together and spent 6 months in our house creating something that was completely our own. I guess you could say we sheltered ourselves in order to not have any distractions while writing.
What are the touring plans for the album?
Dawson: We will be heading out the beginning of September to finish up the last leg of the Wilson and Greenery tour. After that we have a few more tours in the works for the later part of this year. Can’t say much yet but I can assure you they will be killer!
Are there any ideas already floating around for the next album?
Dawson: A few for sure! I’m always writing stuff. I call it the, “Heart” of the song, some people call it the “Hook” or “chorus” or whatever. Whenever I come up with one I record it on my phone. I would say I have about 3 to 4 hearts beating at the moment. Haven’t completed the body yet, but it’s coming along.
What is there to do in Idaho?
Dawson: There are tons of lakes here so boating and fishing are easily accessible. My parents own a little piece of property on a lake here so our family spends lots of time out there during the summer.
Is there any last words you have for your fans or future fans?
Dawson: We write music we like, we are always changing and never want to stay in a box. So if you grow to really like Saloon, don’t expect our next album to be just like it, cause it probably won’t be.