Interview with A Great Big Pile of Leaves
It seems like every day I’m at shows, one or more of the bands are NYC based and sometimes everyone just blends into each other and don’t really stand out but one band definitely does. That band is A Great Big Pile of Leaves. The intelligence that is clearly seen in their lyrics or musicality is something that becomes contagious among audiences across the country.
Despite their limited touring that they’ve done in the past and their most recent headlining tour being only their fourth tour ever, they are consistently packing shows and touring with greats like Motion City Soundtrack, The Appleseed Cast and Say Anything to bringing out the up and comers like Young Statues and Mansions. Read on for our exclusive with drummer Tyler Soucy where we talk about the ‘Making Moves’ series, being managed by Jesse Johnson of Motion City Soundtrack and their next record which is much anticipated considering the material we saw on the now almost two year old ‘Have You Seen My Prefontal Cortex?’ Catch them in Cambridge next on May 31st, you know I’ll be there!
Artist: A Great Big Pile of Leaves
Title: Have You Seen My Prefontal Cortex?
Release date: 06/22/10
Label: Topshelf Records
A Great Big Pile of Leaves Official Website
Buy at: Amazon
How is this first headlining tour considering it ends tonight?
It’s been awesome! I mean we kind of knew Young Statues and Mansions going into it but getting to know them while on tour, it’s honestly been one of the easiest tours we’ve ever done. Whether that’s because of them. For some reason, there’s less stress. We feel like we only have to live up to our expectations because when you’re on tour with bigger bands, they kind of watch what you’re doing all the time and it’s just a little less comfortable. I mean the amount of kids that have showed up to shows for the most part has been amazing. We were super nervous when they were even talking about booking this tour. We were like ‘Uhh’ because we had toured three times before this so it was a scary thing and especially to be out for a month but yeah I mean it turned out way better then we thought it would. So for whatever reason, we don’t know why, kids are coming out and singing. It’s cool!
Then ‘Prefontal Cortex’. Obviously it’s been almost two years since that record and I was reading your tumblr and saw on another interview how the LP is kind of in progress. Like you’re writing it right now.
Yeah, we started writing at the end of last year and then Motion City’s doing that ‘Making Moves’ series so we kind of put writing on hold and wrote different songs for that series. We wanted to focus on one or the other. So Pete wrote one song specifically for the Making Moves series and then the other two songs. One’s an acoustic. It might be a full band version on the next record and then we might also re-record the second song for the next record but we have like ten song ideas that we’re demo-ing. So as soon as we get back home, we’re going to finish all the demo’s, try to write a few more songs, pick our favorite like ten or eleven to record. Then find a producer hopefully, find a studio, find a label. We’ll see. It will be interesting. I’m really excited. Writing and recording are one of our favorite parts of being a band so it should be fun. Hopefully!
Did the writing process change a lot? Like sound wise? Or is it pretty similar to the past?
I’d say it’s pretty similar. All the songs are pretty different. I mean I personally feel like all the songs on the last record they kind of all stand on their own and they all have like their little different sounds. So I think we always do that but I mean Pete’s been writing a lot on his own and bringing full ideas to the band and then we’ve also been going into our space and fleshing out ideas and making them into full songs. So it’s going to be half and half again as far as writing.
Is that still something that’s going to be in 2012? Do you think it’s going to be pretty soon?
We’re really hoping to get in to the studio at some point in June/July at the latest. So we’re hoping to do it in July at the latest and if we can get a label interested in doing it, then hopefully it will come out in like October or November of this year. So we’re really aiming for that and we want to push to get it out as soon as possible. Come the summer, it’s been two years since the last record. I mean the 7” will be cool. A few songs but I want to get a full length out.
Then maybe how did you get involved with that series? I know it’s Motion City Soundtrack they’re like curating it.
Yeah, so what happened is we played South By last year and Terry who runs the Mad Dragon label at Drexel, they were interested in the band and so Jesse talked to them through the year. It kind of turned into a situation where Motion City had left Columbia Records so they started their own little imprint label to do whatever they want basically. So that project kind of merged into this project and then each member of Motion City chose a band to work with and Jesse is our manager so he was like ‘Hey want to record some free songs?’ So yeah we did that and it was our first time working with a producer in an actual studio so it was really nice and that’s our plan for the full length. So we wanted to kind of get that experience before going in for like a month and doing it. So yeah it was good!
Like you said you’re managed by Jesse of Motion City Soundtrack. Obviously he’s been doing this for so long, how is it having a fellow musician as your manager?
It’s good and I mean Motion City as a band, they’re very like self sufficient. So a lot of the ideas from them, I mean they work very closely with their management, so he works the same way. He knows exactly what we’re going through. I don’t want to stay struggles because everyone acts like they are this struggling musician but it’s not a struggle. It’s all fun to do it. So they just know what it’s like to sit in a van for a couple days. They know when to kind of take it easy and they know when to push us. I think that’s an important part and he’s already in a successful band so I don’t feel like he’s trying to push too much of himself on the band which I see with other managers sometimes. They feel like they want to be in the band or something. Luckily, we have some one that has that seperation.
Seperation because he already has an established career.
Then maybe what’s coming up after this tour? Focus on the record?
Yeah, we’re planning on taking April to finish writing and then hopefully May we’ll find a producer then go into the studio but we have a few spot dates in April. Then we’re playing a festival in May that we’re not allowed to announce but it’s a festival in the tri-state area in May that some bands are playing. So there’s that! That’s what we’re looking forward to but, um, yeah!
"Have You Seen My Prefontal Cortex?" by A Great Big Pile of Leaves - release date: 06/22/10..