Over the weekend, Philadelphia’s Restorations released their third full length ‘LP3‘ locally through SideOneDummy / Shock. You can pick it up on CD [Here], Vinyl [Here] and digitally [Here]. This week the band took the time to answer our On The Record questions to tell us more about the album. Expand this post to take a read of their answers.
Listen while you read.
Tell us about the release title.
It’s sequentially logical. Self titled debut full length, LP2, and then LP3. The idea of naming a record or song can be an inherently silly exercise, so this cuts out that process. It leaves the slate open for the listener to make their own decisions on what, if anything, the music means to them.
Tell us about the artwork.
Our friend Danielle Spradley (www.danielspradley.com) is an immensely talented artist. She’s also very welcoming to us any time we roll through her hometown of St. Louis. One of the times we were there she had the painting hanging up in her studio and all of us individually were struck by it. If it looks great as a record cover (it does!) imagine it full sized hanging on a wall. It’s an incredible piece. When it came time to decide on LP3 cover art, we all agreed Danielle’s work was perfect.
What format/s will LP3 be released on and how will it be packaged?
LP3 is available as a 12in vinyl record, a dig-pak cd, and, of course, a digital download.
Who will LP3 be released through, and when?
It’s officially out on October 27th via SideOneDummy Records in the US, October 31st through Shock in Australia / NZ. Poison City Records in Melbourne will be receiving an exclusive vinyl colour as well.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We’ve been going to Miner Street studios in Philadelphia since the mixing of the Self-Titled record. It’s an amazing place that’s really conducive to the necessary mix of creativity and productivity. It also happens to be the working space of Jon Low (Twin Sister, The Menzingers, The National). Low is an old friend of ours who also happens to have an incredible aptitude for musical engineering along with an indispensable feel for aesthetics.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
LP3 started when we actually had some time off and could get back to a more organic way of writing and exploring songs as opposed to feeling like there was a deadline, specific sound, or audience. That’s not to say that the process of LP2 was rigid or totally rushed, it just didn’t afford us the same space, both scheduling and mentally speaking.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
We all listen to a fairly wide array of music. It’s hard to figure out what might be the influence at any particular time, especially with the songs that are born from straight practice space jams. The ones that start and end that organically would have only subconscious influences. Songs that start with a particular part, riff, or direction in mind have been culled from ideas established anywhere from many years ago to the day of a practice. That’s a long time between in which to claim particular influences. This isn’t to say we’re so original that influences don’t matter. Far from it. It’s just hard to remember all the things we’ve ripped off over the years.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
We’ve referenced from Young Widows to Third Eye Blind. There were nods to airy snyth rock as much as there were to punk and rock. It’s always hard to remember that you’re supposed to be referenceing for sound quality and not band or song quality. There are a lot of records that we love that sonically sound terrible, but would be considered a direct influence. Conversely, there’s so many records that sound incredible that you wouldn’t assume your favorite band referenced while producing a record.
How long did you spend in the studio recording?
A little over two weeks? Not a lot of time by some standards. Since we had a more relaxing setting in which to write, we were more prepared to jump into recording. It always feels short because it’s always a lot of fun.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Our recordings start on tape then get bounced to digital after tracks are recorded. Bass and drums go together and everything else comes separately after that. Ambient and obnoxious noise days are always popular.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
We have a fairly standardized approach to the basics. The fun is in the details, the spots where something is improvised or an idea becomes something else entirely. Those deviations are an integral part of a record coming together. Not everything that was planned for in the practice space translates to sounding good on a recording. And not everything that sounds great on record translates to a live setting. That give and take, those little discoveries are what keep the process fluid and engaging.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
We had the unbelievably talented and crazy busy Benjamin Lanz (Beirut, The National) added trombone to a bunch of the songs. His additions are beautifully varied and layered, providing the sort of background feel that really makes a song whether you fully realize it or not. Take a listen to “Misprint” and “The Future” and you’ll hear the difference that sort of playing can make. Jon Low also had a hand in the fine details with some piano, synth, and sub-bass!
Any memorable studio moments?
It took a while for some of the guitar tracks to get to a place where they sounded natural. This was one of those times where it had to be through the live setup, cranked as loud as a live show. While this session was happening, we received a message from a friend that they could hear the guitar from many blocks away.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
There was one song idea that was barely organized by the time we got to the studio. It’s a slow burning, builder of a song. It really could’ve gone somewhere interesting but after some tracking it became clear that it wasn’t going to be a priority so it became the one to work on if we had time at the ends of sessions. It’s still twisting in the wind somewhere. Will it come back? Who knows? Probably not. We’re a band that tends to move on pretty quickly.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
We’ve had a chance to road test the majority of LP3 at this point. It’s been great. The past couple shows have been closed with the last song on the record, “It’s Not.” It’s one hell of a fun song to play and has received a great reaction so far.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Sound wise it’s more expansive. Jon Low really outdid himself this time around. He’s always made us sound better than we have any right sounding. We definitely approached LP3 with more confidence and made a record that reflects that. It’s more cohesive and goes farther to the edges of what we are capable of as musicians and a collective. Next step is to push those edges even farther and see where it takes us. There’s a whole world out there to explore.
RESTORATIONS – ‘LP3‘
Available now on SideOneDummy Records / Shock.
Order on iTunes [Here], CD [Here], Vinyl [Here].