Interview with drummer Ricky Mazzotta | By Miriam Usmani
What was the inspiration behind this album?
I think it would be impossible to pin down a direct inspiration for this record. The band was pretty set on creating an overt rock record, getting back to the basics of a five piece group. With the past few releases we kind of were testing the waters of other styles and sounds and ultimately were drawn back to something that was familiar to our roots. As for Aaron, I really do not like to speak for him because I am not entirely sure if there is a direct message in this recording. I also don’t want to misinterpret his lyrics, however, some of the themes that have come to the surface lyrically are death, nuclear fallout, family, memories, survival, deception and the deserts of a future world that he is navigating in his own ramshackle kind of a way. It’s definitely one of those albums you have to listen to a lot to really pick up on what Aaron is putting out; so many words in such a short amount of time.
Which album of your own would you say is most similar to this upcoming album?
Pale Horses definitely feels like it is on it’s own plain. I am tempted to say it is just a mewithoutYou burrito of all the previous albums but that wouldn’t do it justice because it feels like new territory for us. Only because I am trying to answer the question accurately will I say it is musically closest to Catch/BrotherSister and vocally closest to AtoBLife/TenStories. There are several aspects that might make it feel reminiscent – heavy drums, more guitar riffs and Aaron’s shout talk frenetic vocal delivery.
How has working with Run For Cover Records been?
Run For Cover has been great to us so far. I only have really ever met the team once in person but their business is fair and equitable and they are really supportive of what we are doing. Looking forward to catching up with those guys on our next tour.
I know you guys have switched up record labels a few times, going from Tooth and Nail to being independent, back to being signed now. What made you want to be signed again?
Our last record was about as independent as you can do it barring a small distribution deal. All of the work was in house, all of it a new experience and there were a lot of kinks that eventually got ironed out. We felt successful on all accounts of what we did with Ten Stories and really felt like we extrapolated everything we could from that situation. Being that we aren’t a label and had no real idea of what we were getting into, it did have a its limitations. Ultimately, we really believe in this record and felt it would be advantageous to team up with an actual team. We had a lot of great offers, some we hated passing on but it found it’s way to Run For Cover and we are all stoked.
How was working with Will Yip?
Anyone who has ever met Will knows that he is the man. Like, he is the guy behind the guy. He brings an energy and positivity that facilitates the creative process, plus he works out of the amazing Studio 4. We can be an inclusive bunch when it comes to band business, sometimes making it hard for outsiders to get in. Will had no problems just joining up the team. It’s crazy that we live in the same city and have a ton of mutual friends and it took this long to get us together! But yeah, he is a spot on producer with a great ear, great gear and lots of patience. Already itching to get back in there or at least hit up a Phillies game with the dude.
Your last album, Ten Stories, came out in 2012. Was there any reason for the small time gap between the two albums – Ten Stories and Pale Horses?
Time is pretty irrelevant to us in regards to scheduling records, though, Ten Stories feels like forever ago. When we started writing the basic tracks for Pale Horses it just seemed like the natural time to convene musically. We aren’t getting any younger ya know. While there is still life in this band, we want to create and keep putting out worthwhile albums and products. I can’t say if there will be another record but after the whole process with Will, RFC and the people who seem to endlessly support us, I really hope we can keep doing this.