"Every song tells a story from our lives" – hmv.com talks to American Authors
Ahead of the release of their debut record Oh, What A Life, we chatted with American Authors' mainman Zac Barnett to talk through the making of the album...
Your debut album's due on March 17th, how are you feeling ahead of release?
"We're really excited. We've known each other for over seven years, so long and we're finally getting around to putting out our debut album, we can't wait to show it to everyone."
"We've been out touring for the last few months and playing a lot of the songs live to people and they've been going down fantastically well, so we're excited for people to hear them on the record. We could not be more excited."
So when did you actually finish the album?
"It was around May time, we recorded and worked on the album from March through to May. We worked on it right up until we went out on tour, so we've been sat on it for a while."
Obviously with it being your debut album you've had pretty much your whole life to work on the record, do some of the songs date back a long time?
"Not really, I started working on them last November (2012) so they aren't super old or anything. The first two songs we wrote as American Authors were 'Believer' and 'Best Day, literally the first two things we wrote."
You worked with Aaron Acetta and Shep Goodman on the record, what they like to work with?
"Really great, they brought so much experience to the recording, they've worked on everything from Hall & Oates to N'Sync, so many bands, they've got a really good ear for pop music and rock music and they know how to stay relevant and how to stay one step of the curve."
Where did you record the album?
"We rented out this huge room in the middle of West Chester county in New York, it was in the middle of the woods, very beautiful, we live tracked a lot of it there. We used a lot of different instruments, things like banjos and accordions and melodicas, it was very diverse process. We just had fun with it."
What kind of album is it lyrically?
"It's a very personal record, every song tells a story from our lives. This album is our story, the title 'Oh, Wait A Life' sums it up, and it's about how crazy this life is. A lot of the themes and ideas relate back to the idea of a struggle and sacrifice and how you deal with that."
Where did you take the title from? Was it a difficult decision to decide what you were going to name the album?
"It was actually really easy, it's the last track on the album and when we sat down to decide what to call it, everyone was pretty much on the same page. It was totally unanimous, it totally sums up the album and what it's all about."
So what's the plan for the rest of 2014?
"Just touring, touring forever, we're excited though, especially about coming to UK for the first time. We've also got this big tour with OneRepublic and The Script in the US."
Are you going to keep on writing?
"Absolutely. We're on the road, but we've been able to keep going and we've already got a good amount of stuff together."