DyingScene (Mara): You started out playing house shows in basements; how does that compare to your massive tours today? Do you prefer an intimate atmosphere or the energy of a huge crowd?
La Dispute (Jordan): Well, I don’t know if any of our shows are massive. I mean, some of our best shows have been in basements, and some of our best shows have been in 300-400 cap venues, so it just depends on the night and the atmosphere.
So, you’re from Grand Rapids, and the lyrics from quite a few of your songs reflect your hometown atmosphere, as well as specific places and events. As you’ve toured around the world, have you gained inspiration from the new people and ways of life you’ve experienced and how do you think they’ll manifest or influence future songwriting?
Well, of course, I think it has already manifested itself in our writing. You know, what you write about is what you experience and what you’re surrounded by, and that’s home, which is Grand Rapids. But it’s been different in the last couple of years getting to meet new people, hear new music and see new places. I think that everything that happens to you affects you and the way you create.
So one of the biggest feats for “Wildlife” was the lack of artificial reverb on the album. What was that like, and how did the decision come about?
Well, we wanted to make the record as organic as possible; we tried to minimize studio tricks and everything. We tried to come up with something that captured what we sound like live and naturally. We entered the studio with that mindset and the complete lack of artificial reverb came from two recording sessions. In the first one, we got done and realized we hadn’t used any so we decided that part was cool. So the whole thing went up without relying on computer tricks to capture effects. So yeah, it was an interesting process, it was a lot of fun, it was challenging at times to figure out how to do it, but I think we’re all pretty proud that we accomplished it.
You should be! It sounds great. Are you planning to try that again on future projects?
Yeah. Since we’ve been a band that’s always been important to us, so now we have more resources available to us in regard to writing and recording, so I think we’ll definitely consider that the next time we enter the studio.
So more about the recording, I’ve heard that while recording “Wildlife” at StadiumRed you all brought some really cool customized equipment and instruments. Are there any in particular that make your sound unique?
We tried to use a lot of different things just to make it more interesting recording. One of the things that we did end up recording with was an instrument that Chad’s brother actually made, so that one was unique to our recording completely.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
LA DISPUTE live: