You’re releasing your sophomore record in next month, do you think it branches off in a new type of direction or is an elaboration from Forever Whatever?
Craig Almquist: While we’re still using the same instruments it feels like a totally different band. Joe Killian (drums) Alex Luquet (bass) and Max Steen (guitar) have been in the band about three years so this is our first record together. Forever Whatever was a learning experience for me, I was using songs that felt very old to me and we were really swinging for the fences on every song in terms of production, which made it very hard to pull off live.
On Fantasy Du Jour, I wanted the songs to feel fresh going into the studio so a lot of them were songs we hadn’t really toured on, some we were writing a week before going into record. Our guitarist Max and I started writing songs together, which I really think helped breathe some new life into the project which was starting to feel stale to me.
Was there a track that was the most difficult to write or produce compared to the rest of the record?
Craig: No, any song we weren’t vibing on we just scrapped. We recorded over twenty songs and I think there was only one or two that we just said “okay, let’s just move on”. The studio vibe was very chill, just the way we like it.
You recently released the new single “Stayin’ In”, could you tell me about how that song came about?
Craig: Yeah, so we came up this character called King Dingus as a way to detach from my normal writing voice, a way to step outside and write something that I might not normally write. He makes another appearance on the album but it’s a secret track. Max and I had worked on the instrumental but I couldn’t come up with any lyrics. So then one night, instead of going out I pulled up some old demos and the lyrics came pretty quickly. I remember looking at the lyrics and feeling satisfied that there were very few words and it manages to paint a picture.
Yeah, I think that sometimes when a song has more simple, to-the-point songwriting, that can be the best. While recording the new album, have there been any specific records that you’ve drawn inspiration from?
Craig: I mean there’s so many. I’ve been listening to a lot of T Rex, Modern Lovers, Buzzcocks. But then there’s also new artists like Frankie Cosmos, King Krule, Angel Olsen, and Hinds. All time favorite records include Is this it? Pet Sounds, Pinkerton, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain.
What artists have you been listening to lately? Any good recommendations?
Craig: Keep a lookout for Vexxed, its Max’s other band with my homies Zach Sewall and Lucy Stone and they have a sick EP coming out in April on Rare MP3s. I’d also recommend checking out Triathlon, they just put a new record out as well as all the records and bands mentioned in the question above this one.
I saw Vexxed open for Daddy Issues the other night and thought they were great! Yeah, i’ve heard Triathlon’s music recently too and they are putting out some cool stuff. Philly is known for a having a creative, diverse music scene, do you think it’s had any specific impact on the band?
Craig: Yeah, I mean that’s part of the reason I wanted to move Philadelphia ten years ago. Right of the jump, me and my friends had a practice space that we started throwing shows in called the Rathaus and it allowed us to facilitate our own world and for us to grow as songwriters and performers. I mean the rent is affordable, we have the most millenials of any city in America moving here, and on top of that, there’s actually fun and inspiring stuff to do.
Haha, Agreed. Besides the next release, what plans do you have for the rest of the year?
Craig: We’re currently working on a new Cold Fronts album right now but I’ve got a few other ambitions. I’d like to start a label of some sort for friends that have cool songs but don’t necessarily want to start a band/ go on tour. I’d also like to release some type of solo record, I’ve been cataloging some songs that don’t sound very Cold Fronts, so I’d like to do something with those. Other than that the plan is to just tour on Fantasy Du Jour until we’re sick of it.
Fantasy Du Jour is out officially on April 20th via Sire Records, along with their release show at Mercury Lounge in NYC with Acid Dad and The Royal They.
Find out more Cold Front’s live dates here