Boston’s fiery vintage rockers Aloud is releasing their new album It’s Got To Be Now exclusively on Infectious Magazine, and to compliment their album release, MEB staffer Maria Gironas sent some questions to the band talking about the new album as well as what to expect in the coming months following the release.
MEB: First question, how did you guys become a band and what has influenced your sound together?
JEN: At its inception, Aloud was myself and Henry. We’ve been writing together since we were in our teens and grew up on a lot of the same music. We moved to Boston from Miami several years ago and formed a band with a couple different lineups before meeting Charles and Frank. We’ve written and recorded every album in a different way, and mainly it’s to keep ourselves interested. I’d say that, above all, keeping things interesting for ourselves has been the main influence.
HENRY: If there was ever an overarching goal with Aloud—apart from avoiding boredom at all costs—it’s been to try and change with each record, so our influences are all over the place at this point. We’ve got a lot of older influences like the Beatles and Motown, but there’s a lot of contemporary music we’re absorbing too. Books inspire and inform a lot of our songs. The impact of working with Charles and Frank as long as we have now can’t be understated. We’re not afraid to let things get a little chaotic and weird. Also, Oasis.
MEB: Before meeting each other, how did each of you get your start in music?
JEN: Home was a musical place. Mom had loads of records and my grandmother played piano. I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house picking out melodies on her piano every day. So they started me on lessons, and at about thirteen I decided I wanted to learn guitar. I taught myself a few chords and started writing songs.
HENRY: I have memories of my mom and dad’s records being within sight at all times. There was a piano in the house, my mom played a bit, and I have uncles on both sides of my family who play guitar. It was only a matter of time. I took a classical guitar class when I was eleven, but that only lasted a year for whatever reason. After that I started learning chords by obsessively listening to Beatles songs. It wasn’t long before I started writing the most awful songs.
MEB: It’s Got To Be Now comes out so soon! Can you explain the process of the album?
HENRY: Writing for the album took up most of 2012. We really wanted to take our time on these songs to get them right. Once Jen and I had a song or two ready, we’d take it to the rehearsal space to bang out the arrangements with Charles and Frank, then took it on the road to tighten things up before getting feedback from our producers Charles Newman (a.k.a. the other Charles) and Benny Grotto.
JEN: For this album, we decided to go back to the stuff we grew up on, mainly 60s rock and soul, and after recording a couple of tracks live in the studio, decided that was the way to go for this album. We’ve always felt we haven’t been able to capture the live show on record, and that was the aim with this one.
MEB: Any tracks that were particularly special to you guys?
HENRY: They’re all my special little snowflakes, but “The Wicked Kind” is a personal favorite. It’s probably the oddest song in our catalog, and every part of that came together blindingly fast. Lyrics, music, arrangement, everything. It’s also fun as hell to play at shows. Probably as close as Aloud will ever get to guitar wankery AND we kept that shit down to three and a half minutes. I hope you’re paying attention, Phish. You could learn a thing or two about succinctness.
JEN: I suppose “Complicity” I really like as it sounds a bit like The Zombies to me. It has this head down swing your hips 60s vibe and it’s got a film noir element to the story.
MEB: If you guys could do a collaboration with another band or artist, who would it be?
HENRY: Scott Stapp. I love charity projects.
MEB: Can each of you described yourselves in one word?
HENRY: I am vast. I contain multitudes.
MEB: How about your favorite Boston eatery?
JEN: Probably Cafe Beirut in JP. Best falafel in town for my money.
HENRY: This was a clever ploy to get me to talk about Tres Gatos in JP, wasn’t it? If the tapas there weren’t fantastic enough, it’s also a record store. They’ll be carrying It’s Got To Be Now, incidentally.
MEB: What is your favorite part of music? The recording, writing, or performing part of it?
HENRY: It all comes in waves at different times. I’m all about hitting the road right now. There’s so much that can go wrong on a given night. I find the chaos attractive.
JEN: I don’t really think I have a favorite. I like all those pieces of it pretty equally, but I like each one more than the other at different times. When I’m tired of writing I want to record. When I’m sick of recording I want to hit the road.
MEB: This question is to Jen, so what’s it like being in a band with all boys? Do you ever need girl time away from the band?
JEN: I don’t think it has much to do with it, really. Everyone needs some time away from each other on the road. Everyone’s got a different personality. Sometimes I like to be quiet and alone. At those points I’ll zone out and read. We all get on though, so it’s normally not really an issue.
HENRY: To minimize tension between the sexes in this band, we avoid watching 1980s standup comedy and anything on TV produced by Chuck Lorre. We also bond by taking bathroom breaks together so we can all pee while sitting down, like equals. We’re forward thinkers, my friend.
MEB: What have been some of your favorite experiences thus far? Music wise.
JEN: Probably that three month tour to California and back. That was pretty exceptional, as well as recording this latest album It’s Got to be Now. Recording it was over in a flash it seemed, but it really let me see how best I like to do things in the studio.
HENRY: I’m all about where we’re at now, but I look back fondly on the year we spent working on Exile. Jen and I were so intent on going off the rails with that album, to make something that we’d never be able to reproduce live, and ended up with this wonderful, strange little record.
MEB: Do you guys have any advice for a band just starting out?
JEN: Figure out early on whether this is a hobby or a lifelong thing. If it’s the latter, you’d better be sure you can’t do without because you’ll have to sacrifice a fair amount for it. Set some priorities about the way you spend your time and keep yourself sane. Remember it’s still supposed to be fun.
HENRY: Beware of hucksters, avoid pay to play situations, don’t be a dick, and be wary of advise dispensed by other bands.
MEB: Are there any future tour plans for the album or anything else coming up in the near future?
JEN: Yes. We’ll be going on tour at the end of April. Down the East Coast and back.
HENRY: And after that, more road!