A month ago, a photo leaked that caused quite the stir amongst the scene (no, not the Wentz/Simpson divorce papers). As confirmed later by the band, former Dance Gavin Dance vocalist Kurt Travis had joined experimental post-hardcore group A Lot Like Birds. While the band is hard at work writing and recording the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed debut Plan B, guitarist Michael Franzino and vocalist Cory Lockwood took some time to talk about the excitement.
Mind Equals Blown: The word is out: Kurt Travis is now a part of A Lot Like Birds. Give us the back story.
A Lot Like Birds: We had initially been considering the possibility of having Kurt make a guest appearance on a song from our sophomore album and had even gone so far as to ask him about it. Our bassist, Michael, had a recording class with one of Kurt’s friends at the time, who relayed the message that Kurt might possibly want to do more than just a single. We called him up and asked him about it, which led to some hugely productive practices and songwriting. It all just kind of fell into place naturally.
MEB: Everyone found out about Kurt’s addition through a leaked photo, linked on AbsolutePunk.net. Any idea how it happened?
ALLB: We have absolutely no idea. We had JUST taken promo shots as part of our plan to release the news, I think the week before it leaked. For all we know, somebody hired a team of hackers to infiltrate the internet Swordfish-style and find some proof.
MEB: Ideally, when and how would the band have announced it?
ALLB: We had hoped to finish up our 5 song pre-pro-demo (which we are currently in the process of completing), so we could announce his addition with a local show, playing exclusively new material. Apparently the online world had different plans in store for us.
MEB: You’ve promised a new demo w/ Kurt’s vocals in the next few weeks. What can we expect from the track?
ALLB: Haha, we didn’t intend to promise a demo with such a rapidly approaching deadline, but we’re doing our best. As far as what to expect, people should keep in mind that Plan B, an effort crafted by both Michaels (guitar and bass), was an exploratory venture and our more recent musical direction has been the culmination of six different member’s input. If we achieved what we’ve been working towards, it should sound much more focused and with an obvious new and strong feature, Kurt’s vocals. We’re not even really sure which song we’ll be showing. The whole demo has a numbering of wildly varying sounds and feels to it, so no one track stands out as better than the others. Regardless, it is just a demo and as excited as we are about giving people a preview…it is just a preview and we’re even more excited to put out the actual CD.
MEB: Rumors say that you’ll be re-recording some or all of Plan B, your debut record. Any truth to that?
ALLB: We’ve definitely added some new parts to older songs, vocals where they didn’t exist before and etcetera. We haven’t really decided if we’ll rerecord any tracks from Plan B, or if we do, which tracks they would be. It’s not out of the realm of possibility though.
MEB: Is there a timetable or master plan for releasing the next record?
ALLB: None of us ever learned our times tables.
MEB: In 2009 you released Plan B, your debut album. Will the new material be in the same vein, or will we hear a completely different ALLB?
ALLB: As stated previously, the new music is composed with six brains instead of two. Plan B was an experiment, and the artists on it were initially intended as guests. It was also written and performed by an actual live drummer/one of our secret weapons, instead of the programmed beatz featured on Plan B (written by a guitarist). I can say that the new music is being arranged with our live shows in mind, building upon our strengths and straying from our weaknesses that we have learned over our first year of playing with each other.
MEB: What are your upcoming touring plans?
ALLB: We are holding off on seeking management/label backing until this demo is done, but if all goes well we intend to tour as much as humanly possible.
MEB: Anything else you’d like to add?
ALLB: We’d like to thank everybody who has come out to our shows, purchased a CD/shirt or just been generally supportive of us in the past year. It’s easy for people to listen to artist after artist, while being unaware that the 30 or 40 minute CD that they’ve just enjoyed was a mixture of blood, sweat and tears that took months of endless, unpaid work to create. Even the shortest thank you means a whole lot to us and we’re indescribably grateful for the people we’ve met who have shown us love in any form.