Texas outfit Close Your Eyes have just wrapped up tracking their new album which is looking like an October release through Victory Records. Whilst they were in the studio, we caught up with guitarist Brett Callaway to have a crack at our On The Record questions, whilst they were recording. Expect to hear new music in the coming months. In the meantime, expand this post to take a read of what you can expect from the new full length from the band.
Tell us about the release title.
There were a few working titles for the new record, I honestly cannot remember them now though. We have settled on ‘Line In The Sand’ for the album title. The title is based upon a speech given by William Travis toward the end of the battle of the Alamo where he read letter from General Santa Anna of the Mexican army demanding surrender. The legend goes that he then pulled out his sword and drew a line in the sand and told all the men there to cross the line if they wanted to stay and fight even though defeat was almost certain. It is said that all but one man crossed the line and chose to fight (and eventually die). This title was picked because a lot of the album is about freedom and courage and standing up for what is right even if the odds seem hopeless.
Tell us about the artwork.
The artwork is not yet completed. I do know that we are going with a more “classic” look this time rather than the “cartoon-ish” covers we have had on the last couple of albums. We presented a few ideas as a group to the artist. The album art is being done by Sam Kaufman.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
It will be released in CD, LP and Digital.
Who will it be released through, and when?
It will be released through Victory Records and I believe we are looking at an October release.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We are recording at Maple Studios in Santa Ana, Ca. Basically we chose to record here because we wanted to work with Cameron Webb again and that is his studio.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Cameron Webb is the producer and we chose to work with him again because we really liked the recording experience from the last album. He really just lets us be ourselves while at the same time challenging us to be better. We are a band that writes all of our own stuff and we have never been interested in going with a producer who would be writing songs. I know that some bands really like that, having a producer that will program a lot of parts and things like that, but that is not us. We always want to be real and Cameron just facilitates that while that the same time challenging us to be the best band we can be!
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We went into it the same way we always do. Write good songs and songs that we like… nothing more really. We never go into it with the idea that we want to write a “such and such” sort of album. We just write songs we like and make them the best we can.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
I have been listening to a lot of Johnny Cash lately, so I guess that, then a bunch of hardcore like Madball, Agnostic Front, Terror, Sick of it All and With Honor and punk rock too many bands to mention really and rock and roll like The Who and Queen and newer stuff like the Foo Fighters. And I listen to a bunch of country and Americana as well.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
I don’t think so. Not a concerted effort anyway.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
We are actually currently in the studio. We have been tracking for about 12 days now.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We spent a pretty good amount of time together before we started tracking just jamming in a room together and working out all the songs to make them as strong as we could. Making sure they all flowed well and were energetic and exciting. Then we just started laying it down.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
The first record was different, mostly because the songs were written over like 3 or 4 years rather than about a year. But this record process has been about the same as the last. There was a lot more sharing of ideas via email during the initial writing process of this record than the last one. But I do not really think that has really had a big impact. It just facilitated us being able to work effectively.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
I think there are going to be. But the parts are not done yet, so I cannot really commit to anything.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Drums are all the same stuff we use live except for we used a few different snares. The bass is actually an old ernie ball music man of mine that we do not use live (we use a new music man live). For guitar I am using my Gibson Les Paul Custom that I use live and for my main tracks I am using my Voodoo modded Mesa Dual Rec. Then there are a few other amps we are laying in different parts.
Any memorable studio moments?
Well, Jordan makes us laugh a lot. Just the random stuff he does daily. We recorded an acoustic set for Hurley the other day and we got to go pick out a bunch of Hurley merch. Which was AWESOME! We were all running pretty low in the wearable clothes department.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We are recording extra tracks. We have not figured out yet the track listing or anything.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
We have been playing a song called “Sleeping Giant” live (at least that is the working title). It has gone over pretty well and has been a lot of fun. There are a couple other songs that I think will be a lot of fun, but they do not have actual titles yet, so it is kind of impossible for me to say the others I am looking forward to.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Well, the album is not done… so that is hard to answer. But I can say that I think the songs that we came into the studio with are the strongest set of songs we have ever come in with. I really think this is going to be the best record we have ever released.
Anything else you want to say or about the release?
I am really excited for everyone to hear this! Like I said, I think this has the strongest set of songs we have ever put together.
Keep an eye on the band’s page [Here] for updates as the release gets closer.