They released their first album back in 2005 and in a few days they will be releasing their sophomore one, The Struggle With Light. I highly recommend checking it out. The guys in the band (Josh Wheeler, Phil Kinney, Nate Sjogren and Al Brown) were nice enough to share the 12 track, guitar driven album with us and I've already listened to it a lot over the last few days. It's just catchy enough, but not so much that it's annoying.
I was able to ask Phil Kinney and Josh Wheeler some questions about their new album and their upcoming show. See what they had to say:
HipInDetroit- So you guys have a new album coming out, the first one since 2005. Tell us a little about what it was like getting it together. Any reason you waited so long to release a new one?
PK- In 2007 I moved to China for a 3 year work assignment that was extended to 4 years. I continued to write songs hoping we could pull things back together in the future and when I returned in 2011, everyone was still interested.
JW- Phil came back from that hiatus with something like 30 new songs for us. We've spent this last year sifting through them and working on our favorites in bigger chunks (recording them in my home studio as we went along), and by this Summer thought we had the 12 songs that had a cohesive thread/theme to bundle together and release as our 2nd album.
HipInDetroit- I've been listening to the new album and really enjoy it. What is your process like when writing songs? Do you each write or just one of you? How does it all come together?
PK- Typically I start with a guitar part and then try to put a melody to it. This will usually result in lyrics. Once I have something that feels “whole” I will record a basic version and send it to the rest of the band. We will then spend a few rehearsals fleshing it out and then head into the recording studio to solidify the “final” version.
JW- Everything starts with Phil, and the rest of us (who have all had some form of "composer/arranger" roles in other bands) work together and flesh out vox/guitar arrangements and turn them into "Paper Sound" songs. I've run a studio out of my house for the last 9 years producing and engineering a lot of local artists' records (The Handgrenades, Citizen Smile, Rocky Loves Emily, Woodward, The Hadituptoheres, etc.), so I've taken on that role and end up "producing" the recordings that come together for us.
HipInDetroit- The Paper Sound is a little different from the kind of music some of you played in your other bands. What made you make the switch from the other genres to indie rock?
JW- Phil and I cut our teeth on "older indie rock" stuff since we were roommates in college in the late '90s (Sunny Day Real Estate, Pedro the Lion, old Death Cab, Guided by Voices, The Weakerthans, etc.), so that's always been where our hearts were. But we've all been involved in different projects and bands over the years. A lot of what you listen to and play when we're 18 doesn't match up to what you're interested in when we're 33 :). But we're really happy with what we're playing now.
HipInDetroit- Are you pumped for your album release show on September 1? Tell us a bit about the night. Who is playing with you? How much? Will we be able to purchase the album at the show?
JW- We'll be at The Berkley Front in Berkley, MI on Saturday. Doors at 9, music starts at 10. $5 at the door. We'll be joined by DL Rossi, a great local singer/songwriter friend of mine that just got done finishing up his own record in Nashville. He's been a drummer in bands of some notoriety (that you may have seen on TV once or 100 times), but is a great frontman in his own right and will be backed up by a full band for the first time. The Bends, another great Detroit band who we're looking forward to seeing, will close the night out. We'll have the album at the show (assuming those friendly guys in short brown shorts from UPS show up on time), for just $5. It'll be a great night and we hope to pack the place out.
HipInDetroit- We like to ask people we interview what some of their favorite places in the Detroit area are. Favorite venue, restaurant, bar, etc.?
PK- It’s hard not to love the Eastern Market. Too many great things there to list. For venues, I’d have to say probably PJ’s Lager House.
JW- To play, we like any venue that has a decent soundsystem and soundguy :), but are partial to PJ's Lager House, New Dodge and Berkley Front. To see shows, I've been to so many good shows at the Magic Stick complex and St. Andrews over the years to count. So many favorite restaurants in Detroit, but the shortlist would have to have Xochimilco, Vincente's, Roast, Suppino's and the Astoria Bakery on it.
So head to the Berkley Front, one of my favorites, on Saturday for some good music and get your copy of The Struggle With Light!