Nothing Playing!
Loading...
00:00
/
00:00
 
 
Click to enable notifications

Musical Family Tree Store

Speading Indiana Music
 
Loading...
Brother O' Brother Prepares for Release of 'Neon Native'
Posted May 24, 2017 by Brett Alderman
WRITTEN BY
Brett Alderman
ON
May 24, 2017
TAGS

Chris Banta and Warner Swopes, the hardworking gents from Brother O’ Brother, are on the cusp of releasing their latest album, Neon Native. This Friday, the band will take the stage at The Hi Fi to celebrate the new full-length with Indianapolis’ Service and The Maness Brothers from St. Louis.

The band’s previous album, Show Pony, was a split release on Fonoflo Records and the band’s own Romanus Records. Neon Native will be their first full-length album exclusively on the up-and-coming label, which currently has a total of 10 bands under contract. They’re also getting attention worldwide for their unique, custom-made vinyl albums.

Banta took a break from making all that crazy wax to sit with me and answer some questions about how they created this album.

 

Brett Alderman: Is there any meaning behind the name Neon Native?

Chris Banta: Something that we have always done… it just needs to sound good. We can craft a meaning later. You can have the most, well meaning [title] on earth, but if it sounds stupid it’s just not going to have the impact. [Neon Native] morphed into this idea of “neon,” [it’s] just bright, outstanding, you can’t miss it and with “native,” I think given the cultural climate we’re living in, how as a human we should all interact with each other. What should be our native ways to talk to one another? What should be our default? So the idea of Neon Native, the album was trying to talk about what it’s like to live a life of excellence in the world. At least that’s what we think.

 

BA: Brother O Brother does a ton of touring. Did that make the writing process easier or more difficult?

CB: Each year we keep upping the amount of dates. Last year, we did 84 and this year we’re trying to hit 110. We both have full-time jobs. Being on the road a lot not so much because we’re not a big practice band. Basically, what we’ve always done, we book a time at Threshold Studios, where we record. “Alright, we know we need to have three songs by this time.” It keeps us accountable, that one way or another we need to make time for that. Being on the road doesn’t really change anything. Sometimes it’s easy, because maybe I’ll have a little riff or something, maybe all the lyrics won’t be flushed out yet, but they don’t know that. They’re just to see. We’ll just try it off the cuff, live and see if it sticks. A lot of times for us, live is where we can tell if something is as good as we think it is. [We] can play a song by ourselves and think it rips. Live you can sense the energy in the room. “Are people really engaged right now?”

BA: Do you generally try a song out live before recording?

CB: I’d say every one of the songs on this new album has been played at least once live. It may be just once or twice. There’s no rhyme or reason to when. We just need to know if this is worthwhile.

BA: How long did it take to complete Neon Native?

CB: Part of it, with Show Pony (Fonoflo/Romanus), we wanted to let it breathe. The response has been great. We’re on our third press of the album on vinyl, which just blows my mind. That’s hard for us because we like to write. When you’re willing to play new songs live, it doesn’t really stop you from saying, “Hey, I want to do something different with my new set.” That’s a real freedom. It took about a year, but it’s pretty relaxed. It wasn’t like I was pouring over these songs for a year thinking, “What do these people need to hear?” We set a date. It was natural. It makes it way less stressful when you do it like that. When you’re getting close to release time, you’re comfortable with the songs.

 

BA: How did you decide to host the album release at The Hi Fi?

CB: I think right now, there are so many great places to play in Indy. I think five to eight years ago that wasn’t the case. Right now there are so many great spaces emerging. I think right now, I’d say it’s the most “it” place to play. We just love the people there. Josh and Spencer are just good dudes. It’s the right place to be.

 

BA: Anything special planned for the release show?

CB: Yeah. Vinyl wise, we should have a couple of liquid filled copies there that will be exclusive. Online, they’ll disappear in a minute. We’ll have some screen print posters on holographic foil paper that I’m gonna do. Just blowin’ out the vinyl.

The bands we chose are the people we wanted. The Maness Brothers, are on our label [Romanus], out of St. Louis. Service is here from Indy. We make no bones about it; we think they’re the best sounding thing in Indy. The lineage of all the things they’ve done shows why they sound so good.

 

BA: Do you feel that Neon Native is different from what you’ve done previously?

CB: Definitely. I think our sound is getting much faster and heavier and grimier. I think that’s a reflection of the stuff we’re into. I went and saw Ty Segall the other day. That sound, we just eat that stuff up. This album is definitely the most we’ve had of that to date. There’s no break. There’s no rest song until like track eight.  

comments powered by Disqus

Welcome to MFT!

Supported By

With support from: Arts Council and the City of IndianapolisIndiana Arts CommissionNational Endowment for the Arts

Recent Blog Posts

8/22/20
by Grant McClintock
08/20/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
E & AJ, from ELE Fest, guest-hosted:https://www.elevatedfest.com/1. Among the Compromised - Elev...
8/15/20
by Grant McClintock
08/13/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
08/13/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FMChris Banta, from Romanus Records, guest-hosted:1. Sm wolf &ndas...
8/8/20
by Grant McClintock
08/06/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
08.06.2020 MFT radion show on WQRT: Jeff Nordyke guest-hosting:The Brothers Footman - BangO.D.D.I.T....

Donate to MFT

Help us spread Indiana music, and we'll give you special rewards as our way of saying "thanks!"

 

Recent Blog Posts

8/22/20
by Grant McClintock
08/20/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
E & AJ, from ELE Fest, guest-hosted:https://www.elevatedfest.com/1. Among the Compromised - Elev...
8/15/20
by Grant McClintock
08/13/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
08/13/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FMChris Banta, from Romanus Records, guest-hosted:1. Sm wolf &ndas...
8/8/20
by Grant McClintock
08/06/2020 MFT Radio Show on WQRT FM
08.06.2020 MFT radion show on WQRT: Jeff Nordyke guest-hosting:The Brothers Footman - BangO.D.D.I.T....