*Taken from LMP #7
With their new album finally here, we wanted to make sure we had the chance to speak with Stacy Jones about the band’s return and more. The funny thing is we actually did this interview back in May, but the audio recording was messed up by cell phone interference. So, to make sure to band made the new issue in time for the release of Fight The Frequency, I called Stacy back up and re-did the questions. Enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to pick up the new album immediately!
Interview w/ Stacy Jones (Vocals, Guitar, Drums) by Nathaniel Lay
How did you guys come around to creating your own label and why?
SJ: When we were making this record and knew we were getting close to finishing, we started talking to some labels. We talked to majors, to indies, we talked to all kinds of people. We came to the conclusion that it might be a good time to do something on our own. We hooked up with Sony with Red. They liked where we were coming from and what our ideas were, and we liked what they brought to the table, so it just seemed like a good time to try this little experiment here, starting our own thing. At the end of the day, it gives us a little more control of what happens to the album and the lifespan of the album.
What made you guys decide to go with an obviously related name, which was Hi-Fi Killers?
SJ: That was just something we’ve used for different things in the past. We have a song called “Hi-Fi Killer”. It’s just one of those things we’ve used in the past when we needed a name for something, so it just seemed kind of easy and obvious.
The new album comes out next week. How are you feeling about that?
SJ: We’re pretty excited, you know. We’ve been working on this album for a long time. Some of these songs have been recorded and done for a couple of years, so it’s exciting to see that this thing is finally coming out to the public.
I searched you guys on Twitter to see what came up, and a lot of people seem excited about the new album and are rocking out old songs in preparation. What would be some of your favorite old songs that you would still like to be playing during tours?
SJ: I like 97% of all of our music. There’s only a few songs out there we’ve recorded that I don’t really care for. I like all the old stuff. When we play shows, we play a lot of old material. “Flavor Of The Week” is one of those songs I still really like. I’ve probably played that a song a billion times in my life, but I don’t get sick of playing it. It’s pretty much that way across the board for our material.
That’s good, because fans will always demand old favorites they came out to hear at a show.
SJ: Yeah, absolutely. I’m the same way. When I go see a band I like, I want to hear songs I’ve been listening to or songs that are my favorites, so I totally appreciate that.
Which of the new songs that you’ve played live have gone over best with fans?
SJ: We’ve only done a couple of shows with the new material. There’s a song called “This Is Low” – that one has been received well. The first single, “Lost”, has been received pretty well. There’s a song called “Acetate” that a lot of my friends seem to really like, so we have a little a gauge on that.
You guys did a video on “Lost”. Could you describe the video and how much interaction with the whole recording process?
SJ: Yeah, sure. There’s a girl named Keeley Hazell who is a famous British model, and she’s in the video. We’re basically performing. We’re not really integrated in terms of the storyline. The thing with Keeley is it just shows her in acts of her being seemingly lost and wondering around the house. It’s a video that has a little bit of sad tone, but at the same time it’s not taken too seriously and we had some fun with it as well.
Why did you decide to name the new album after one of the songs on the disc?
SJ: We thought that song, “Fight The Frequency”, really summed up what American Hi-Fi is all about. That song quintessentially sounds like American Hi-Fi, if there is such a thing. So we thought that it really represented us and where we are right now, so we thought we’d name the album after that.
Tell us about the cover and how it relates back to your debut’s cover.
SJ: This record, for us, is most like our first album on a lot of levels. Sonically it’s like it, stylistically it’s like it, it was made in the same kind of way. It was basically just the four of us in the studio, and when the songs were written and recorded, we weren’t really attached to a record label. We didn’t have a lot of people telling us what they wanted us to do or sound like, and the first album was really like that. We wrote those songs and got them together on our own in a rehearsal space. We felt like this record was, in a way, the follow-up to our first album. So we did a little play on the album cover, which is that the first album cover had a cassette on it. This record has a cassette on it as well but the tape is kind of pulled out and strewn across the floor. So it was a little bit of nod visually, because we do feel that it is sonically very much like that record.
You kind of went over this, but how does the new album compare to previous material?
SJ: I think it’s a lot like a lot of Hi-Fi records. There’s a few different styles on this record. We always try to make an album that has some diversity. I don’t want to just record the same twelve/thirteen songs in a row. I don’t want the songs to all sound the same as the record goes on. We like to check out some different moods and textures, so I think this record does that. But again, still more in the mold of the first album.
When you guys went to write these songs, you said a lot of them have been in the works for years. How did you go about writing the newer ones and going back to other ones to re-tighten them for the new record?
SJ: There were a couple songs that made this record that were demos that have been laying around for a long time, so I re-worked them, wrote a new bridge, changed some lyrics, changed some things. As far as the new, new, new songs, I think I put my personal life into this record a little bit more. A lot of times I kind of just hide behind vague, cryptic lyrics, though I do that a little bit on this album as well. There are some songs that are directly related to me and my life, which is little bit like the first.
Where did you guys record the album and who did you work with?
SJ: We recorded this record in LA in my studio and we produced it ourselves, so it was just the four of us in the studio. It was kind of a cool, new experience for us.
How did the experience compare to when you have worked with others in the studio?
SJ: It’s always different. I like having a producer that is outside of us. It’s nice to have someone that has a fresh perspective on things, but at the same time I’ve been doing a lot of producing over the last few years, so it’s a role I’m pretty comfortable in at this point. So I enjoy the opportunity to produce a Hi-Fi record.
Is there any chance we will see this album on vinyl or any of the old albums?
SJ: You know, I would LOVE to have this record on vinyl. I don’t know if that’s in the cards right now. It’s funny that you say that though, because I’ve been going to Amoeba here in LA a lot recently and buying one. That’s pretty much all I listen to at the house now is vinyl. So that’s something I’d like to do at some point.
Yeah, me and my fiancee are currently on a vinyl binge. It’d be awesome to go back and get the American Hi-Fi albums on vinyl.
SJ: Right on. It’s so hard to convince people to manufacture them these days because there’s nowhere to sell them.
What’s your touring schedule following the release of Fight The Frequency?
SJ: Right now, we’re talking about getting on some tours in the Fall. So we’re planning that as we speak, so no dates scheduled as of yet but in the works.
Last time we talked, you asked me for some suggestions of bands to tour with. What did you come up with?
SJ: I remember that. Right now, we’re looking at a few tours we’d like to get on, one of which is Goo Goo Dolls, one of which is Third Eye Blind, and another one is Lifehouse. We’re friends with the Lifehouse guys, so that would be a fun tour for us. I think just stylistically, Goo Goo would be a good tour and Third Eye Blind would be a great tour for us as well.
*You should head to http://www.issuu.com/lmpmagazine to read this issue!