how did you come up with the name of the record?
There's a song on the disc, the heaviest song maybe, and the chorus goes "little birds, pelting down, punching holes in my balloon heart." My sister Monica (bass) was listening to rough mixes of the album and made some art. The heart/bird imagery grabbed her, and her work that day became the album cover. So, Balloon Heart.
Overall, the songs have a lot in them about household objects: telephones, lamps, beds, lawns, fruit, sprinklers, dogs, etc. None of that really lent itself to an album title, and I was a little stumped. So I'm glad Monica latched on to that more fanciful metaphor.
It's a good title though, too, because this is admittedly my heartbreak album lyrically. I've always tried to avoid writing about luuuv. It seems so easy to veer into that awful, cliche, whiny territory. Plus, I think it's cool for a woman to sing about something other than romantic relationships and waiting around for the rebel in the leather jacket or whatever. (I'm in the Motelles, too, and some absurd percentage of our cover songs are about waiting around for guys with good hair to walk us home.)
But last year my love life consumed my attention whole, and I was only peripherally aware of things like working and eating and whatever. And it's all I could write about or think about for many moons, so that's this disc. But I tried to keep it specific, and write about those angles that you don't hear about in songs constantly: the disassociated heartbreak, the ghosts on the lawn, how you can do your best and still fail.
I promise this album is pretty rawkin' though, too. It's not all weeping household objects.
how long did this record take to write/produce?
Since the dawn of time. A variety of elemental and environmental factors had to align just so to produce these people who made this album.
No, it's hard to say. I think we started recording a year ago, but we write continuously. We write as a band, so it's a long process, but I think that's what makes us interesting. Our divergent musical tastes create a tension that becomes our sound. I should note that on this disc, Monica did some really excellent writing. She has an amazing ability to build chord structures. We certainly all participated, but she did great work.
and where did you have it recorded?
We recorded bits in Carlos' (guitar) living room, some in Jarvis' (drums) bedroom. I did some tracks in Carlos' closet. We did one take live in the lobby of the Alibi. Manny Retinger of Ubik Sound let us set up camp in his studio for some of my vocal takes as well. The impressive thing is that the album sounds whole, and it sounds good. Carlos did an fan-farking-tastic job recording, mixing and mastering the thing. DIY, baby!
with all the bands you are in, when do you find time to practice?
People always ask me that, but there's time. Some weeks, I have band practice every day after work, and multiple shows each weekend. But I don't have kids or pets, and I only kind of like watching TV.
Some of the projects: Milch de la Maquina, Death Convention Singers and my(Bigawatt) only play out a few times a year. Others—Ya Ya Boom, The Jeebies and The 5-Star Motelles—practice and perform more regularly.
Really, though, how can anyone NOT be in 10,000 bands. I'm in a ton, and I have ideas for 20 more. There are so many great musicians out there to work with. I can just see them, these pending bands, you know? Before they exist, I can imagine them, and then after a lot of visualization (and coordinating everyone's schedules and drinking beers together), they are made flesh.
you're also playing the low spirits super awesome acoustic nemesis show. have any songs picked out?
Yeah. I knew what song I would have to do before I even signed on. "" by . It's so damn misogynist, and it's sung by my least favorite kind of human being: the d-bag dude who wants to psychoanalyze and degrade his ex-girlfriend to prove his intelligence and masculinity. I HATE the song so much, I tried for two hours to find a song I disliked more just so I wouldn't have to do it. Nickelback is in that particular genre of soft rape rock that people who buy pre-torn jeans unite around.
We're also doing "Like a G6" and atrack. My sister hates that G6 song, but I love hip-hop and would (not so) secretly like to be a rapper, so I don't mind it.
other than at shows, where can you buy the record?
Well, it will be on CD Baby, on iTunes and in all the local shops. We just got it in Wednesday, so it won't be there yet. Give us a week.
what do you think about digital music downloads?
Awesome. And if you make a good enough package, people will want your CD and merch too. But really, at this level, I just want people to hear us. As many people as possible.
Since myspace isn't what it used to be, what social network site do you're fans respond to the most?
FaceSpace, of course. But I think that's on its way out, too. Give it a couple more years, and then we'll have something else. Maybe direct friending and IMingimplanted in your eyeball.
The drink tickets are mainly for the specials and well drinks, what do you get with yours?
Cape Cod. Or vodka and soda with lime and bitters.
Any plans to go on the road anytime soon?
Hell yeah! We went out some last year, but we'd really like to do some extensive touring in 2011. 2011! We're good on the road. It's a fun time. And it's the best way to travel.