(PCM) Austin based rock group Courrier have just released their sophomore album, Cathedrals of Color, available on iTunes.Cathedrals of Color was produced by Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam) and features the top 50 radio single “Love is a Fire”. The band have also recently revealed a video for the track “City At Night”. Lead guitarist Philip Edsel had the following comments about the track “Every line in ‘City at Night’ is was meant to evoke the imagery of New York City. We knew we had to shoot the video there to capture the intoxicating quality and the sensory overload of the city. We shot the video in one day all over the city, starting in Times Square, and randomly ended up in Brooklyn at 1am on the set of HBO’s GIRLS as they were filming the season finale.”
PCM’s Kristyn Clarke recently caught up with Courrier’s Austin Jones to chat about the band’s stellar new album and it’s many concepts and themes, upcoming touring plans and what just may be misunderstood about the band! Check out the complete interview below:
Q: I am sure you are busy gearing up for the release of “Cathedrals Of Color” due out 3/12! What can you share with us about the recording process for the new album?
AUSTIN JONES: The writing and recording of “Cathedrals of Color” was a long and fruitful one for us. We went into it dedicating ourselves to the idea that every song would be written in its entirety by the band together. No one person completed a song from start to finish, rather ideas were taken to the band in their infancy, and we fleshed out the song together. It meant butting heads more often than we would’ve liked to, but the end product is something we are all proud of and all spoke a lot into, as songwriters.
Q: How did you enjoy working with producer Tim Palmer? Was anything particularly challenging?
AJ: Tim is great, I’m glad to say we’re good friends with him after the process. Tim had a better idea of how the songs would sound in the end than any of us, and he used that knowledge to reign us in as musicians. He’s a funny lad with countless stories, we probably wasted a lot of time prodding him for those.
Q: I know that the concept of theme of “home” is very prevalent throughout this album, can you give us a few details about why you chose to go with that particular them e or concept? Can you share a bit of insight as to where the band was mentally during the recording process.
AJ: You are spot on. If you listen to the record unfold, you’ll dense a central character finding himself amidst travel and change. What brought that on was our first major dose of touring. I found myself questioning what home meant to me, and if I could ever live elsewhere. I love Austin though, and find a lot of peace there and a lot of rest that the road can’t provide.
Q: I love the amount of honesty that is put forth in your lyrical content. How hard it is to put some much of yourselves out there lyrically? How therapeutic is the song writing process for you as a band?
AJ: It’s very therapeutic for me to write emotions out in song for, but it’s also difficult. I suppress emotions and memories; when I write the hard one into a song, I force myself to relive it each time I play the song. I guess it’s healthy but I wish sometimes that songs killed emotions, not immortalized them.
Q: What types of touring do you have planned for 2013?
AJ: All types! We want to go everywhere and play for anyone who would hear us. We’re going out with Marc Broussard in April and I’m sure we’ll have a summer announced soon!
Q: What is your favorite aspect of playing live?
AJ: For me, it’s always fan reaction. I love seeing faces of people who are enjoying the music. It’s hard to play for blank stares, but when the crowd is into it, I get into it
Q: In what ways would you say you have grown and matured as songwriters and performers over the years?
AJ: It’s hard to say for songwriting. The biggest thing I have learned in the past several years is that you can never stop writing. Each day I spend time working on my songwriting, and if I don’t I’m slacking off. You have to give the song a chance to come out of you, so discipline is absolutely necessary. As far as performing, you just have to play a lot of shows, which we have been working on.
Q: How do you feel about the up rise of social media as a promotional tool for artists these days?
AJ: Connecting with fans has always been the most important part of making it as a band (I truly believe that), so anything we can do to better connect with our fans is fantastic. We want there to be no wall between us and the people that love our music, they should be able to tweet us and get a response.
Q: Personally I look at music as a universal language that we can all speak and understand even if we take different message away. Is there anything in particular that you hope your music will say to listeners?
AJ: Absolutely not. Our music should mean a million different things to a million different people. All I would ask is that people go deeper. We didn’t write music just to entertain, we want to challenge people and make them think. I would love it if people would put in the sincere effort it takes to decide what an album means to them.
Q: What would you say is the most misunderstood aspect about Courrier as a band? What would you like fans to take away from the new album?
AJ: Good question. What do people understand of us? I could speculate but I’m not really sure what notion people have of Courrier. I suppose we’re most understood to be a font, maybe after Cathedrals we’ll stand alone.
The band are heading back out on the road this Spring with Marc Broussard, kicking things off with a show at Stubb’s in Austin on March 28th. For a full list of dates and to stay up to date with all things Courrier, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.