We are very stoked to be featuring Pears Self-Titled album as our "Album of the Month"! This is a record that we're big fans of. It's a chaotic, epic, heavy, anthemic and beautiful mess of a record. When choosing an "Album of the Month", we select an album released this year that we can't get enough of, a record that's killer from front to back.
We spoke with Pears drummer, Jarret, and he gave us some insight about the album. Check out our interview with him below:
Pears Self-Titled record was released on March 6th via Fat Wreck Chords
HU: As with your other releases, the tracks on your Self-Titled record have very unique song structures. What was the writing process for this record like? How did it differ from Green Star?
Pears: The writing process for this one was pretty fluid and easy. Just as with Green Star, the basic process was Brian (guitar/back up vocals) and Zach (lead vocals) come up with some basic ideas, demo it out, and then we all fuck with it. It usually changes a lot from demo to final song. This time around the writing felt more deliberate. The Green Star songs were written spanning different times - some just from a few riffs when we were home, and some while we were on tour. Brian was hammering out some demos a few times while we were in the van, and he did one or two while we were on the ferry going to the UK from France.
Maybe it's because we consciously knew we were writing a follow up to Green Star, which we are all really proud of. This time around it just felt more purposeful. Like we were more comfortable with ourselves and trusted one another. Like we were going to make something that we felt really defined sort of what we had grown into. We have just grown a lot since Green Star, and I feel like that evolution shows in the material. There are two major differences though. One is that every other record we did, Zach had the lyrics written when we went into the studio. This time he had nothing written until at least the drums, bass and one guitar track was laid down. He wrote them on the fly, during the instrumental tracking, and it was super impressive to see him churn them out. The second is that for the first time ever, we had written a few songs all in a room together from scratch. Zero Wheels, Rich to Rags, and Funerals were written in just a couple days, and it was the first time we went into the practice space, all four of us, and were like, "okay let's write some songs, go".
HU: Any reason you decided to go Self-Titled for this album?
Pears: We knew we wanted to eventually have a self titled album one day. We wanted to wait until we had a record that was just so unabashedly us. It just so happened that it was this one. We had discussed it along with some other title ideas, but once everything started to come together in the studio, we just knew it made sense.
HU: Choosing singles can sometimes be really tough, how'd you end up deciding on "Comfortably Dumb" and "Cynical Serene"?
Pears: Once we heard Zach's vocal melody for Comfortably Dumb, we all kind of just knew that it would be the single. It was just the catchiest and it made us all happy. Same with Cynical Serene for the second single. We just knew. I wish I had a better answer but that's the truth. We all just felt it and then it was so.
HU: How was the recording experience for this album?
Pears: Recording was great. We flew to Denver to work with Chris Fogal at Black In Bluhm Studios, and it was just a really cool experience. Green Star instrument tracking was done in like 6 days, and we had every song completely written before we set foot in the studio. This time was different. We had maybe 7-8 songs pretty close to where we wanted them, and the rest were still bits and pieces. Our philosophy going in was we were going to trust the process and trust what was going to come out of being in a studio setting. Everything just came together. We had never done that kind of writing in the studio before, it was a really cool experience. Naptime and Traveling Time didn't even exist until the day before we recorded them. We wrote those two completely in the studio.
The actual recording itself was smooth as hell. Chris was really great to work with - as an engineer and as a producer. He learned our individual quirks and styles very quickly and had a lot to contribute. We can get in our own heads about stuff, and it helps when there's a third party person there to tell us what objectively sounds better. He was such a huge asset, we really had a great time with him.
HU: Was there a theme behind this album?
Pears: I'm going to do my best to speak for Zach, without speaking for Zach. I know that lyrically this was a more personal album for him. One of the many, many things I love about Zach is his prose. Historically, his lyrics are Shakespearean and biblical and metaphorical and full of imagery. He still definitely uses those devices on this album, but they feel more grounded this time around. Green Star was epic. It was narratively conceptual. This one wasn't as conceptual. Each song kind of lives on its own as contained within the album, as opposed to each being a chapter in the story of the album like it was with Green Star.
HU: A personal favorite from the record?
Pears: I really love Worm. I really enjoy playing songs that are just non-stop the entire time. As much as I love our entire dynamic range as a band, sometimes it's just sick to play a song like Worm. Those fills are fun as hell. From a drumming perspective, Pepaw to me is one of the most interesting songs on the record. My non-drumming perspective answers are Zero Wheels, because it has some of my favorite Zach melodies, Sympathy Cone, because of Brian's hand in the metal break in the middle of the song, and Killing Me because the demo title for that one was called Erich's Son.
There you have it! You can listen to Pears Self-Titled album on any streaming service, or pick up your vinyl copy at the Fat Wreck Store
Pears - Comfortably Dumb