After a trip to Barcelona, King Of Prussia’s Brandon Hanick returned as a new man of sorts. The time he spent there resulted in 20 songs that the band turned into a double album that is titled Zonian Girls…And The Echoes That Surround Us All. The album comes out April 8 and will be the band’s first release on Minty Fresh.
The band also have an east coast tour lined up for April (dates below).
Ghettoblaster caught up with Hanick recently to discuss the endeavor. This is what he told us.
When did you begin writing the material for Zonian Girls…?
I started in 2009 or so and wrote these songs and others while living in Spain. It’s always strange to me that the albums are always released a few years after the songs are written, but I think that’s just the nature of not doing music full-time yet.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
There’s a song called “NYC (Took my Girl from Me)” that just seems cursed. It’s an electronic song that started playing in my head while on the metro after a long night and it came to me in a flash. The recording, on the other hand, still hasn’t happened, mostly because we’re just not electronic musicians. This time around, we even had Fred Schneider from The B52’s do some spoken word about living in NYC. That makes me extra bummed that the song didn’t happen. Next time we’ll enlist the help of Kylie Minogue’s producer or something. I’m sure he could make it happen.
Which of the songs on the LP is most different from your original concept for the song?
Probably 1,000 Leagues. I really envisioned that song as being a Cure-esque pop song, but it turned out to be something else. It’s still cool, but not at all what I had envisioned when I wrote it.
Was this always intended to be a double album?
Not really. I just had these 20 songs and about half were about broken hearts and parting while the other half were about those early moments of unspoiled love and whitewashed afternoons. It’s a rare thing for me to write a completely happy song. I think this is the first time I’ve pulled it off en masse. But balance is always good and tends to happen naturally, so each light song on the album has a darker cousin on the other half. The double album thing was born out of necessity really. It’s expensive as hell to release an album properly, so while I wish these could have been two separate but related releases, it just wasn’t feasible money-wise.
How did you come up with the idea to have the songs on Zonian Girls connect to the songs on And The Echoes That Surround Us All?
It happened naturally.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Oh yes! Lots of friends, old and new. Mike Mills played piano on a song. Members of Elf Power and Powerkompany as well. Our friend Patrick Burke recorded a bunch of parts remotely from Chicago and we recruited University of Georgia School of Music students to play some strings and horns. Over 20 people played on the record.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yes, we’re playing quite a few songs from the new album on our current tour. “From the Vine” always seems to get a great response, which is a little strAnge to me because it’s the saddest song I’ve ever written. But I suppose it’s a nice break from the other rockers we play. We’ve had really tough looking dudes come up to us after the show and tell us how moving that song is. It’s pretty awesome.
(Catch the band live here:
April 2, 2014 – Washington D.C. – The Velvet Lounge
April 3, 2014 – Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar
April 4, 2014 – New York, NY – PIANOS
April 5, 2014 – Brooklyn, NY – House Show
April 6, 2014 – Harrisburg, PA – Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center Stage on Herr
April 7, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA – TBA
April 8, 2014 – PIttsburgh, PA – Howlers Coyote Cafe
April 9, 2014 – Cleveland, OH – Wilbert’s
April 10, 2014 – Toledo, OH – Frankies Inner City
April 11, 2014 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Yellow Barn
April 12, 2014 – Chicago, IL – Hideout Inn
April 13, 2014 – Davenport, IA – Daytrotter
April 14, 2014 – Springfield, IL – Black Sheep Cafe
April 15, 2014 – St. Louis, MO – Foam
April 16, 2014 – Nashville, TN – Springwater Supper Club
April 17, 2014 – Knoxville, TN – The Pilot Light
April 18, 2014 – Asheville, NC – Emerald Lounge
April 19, 2014 – Atlanta, GA – TBA)