Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears of Priory met while living in a flophouse, sold everything they had (including their own blood), built out a studio in an old cement factory and made a record that sounds like it was done in a million dollar studio. The guys dealt with family illness, friends dying of drug overdoses, and other hardships, but they wrote these incredibly positive, catchy songs out of their experiences. You can hear part of ‘Put Em Up’ too in this little mini-doc they did with Lance Bangs.
In its first week at radio, their single ‘Weekend,‘ made the band a Billboard ‘Emerging’ artist and debuted on the Alternative chart.
Their forthcoming album will come sometime later this year and Ghettoblaster recently caught up with the dudes to chat about it. This is what they told us.
When did you begin writing the material for your forthcoming album?
Brandon Rush: Kyle and I spent a solid year writing and recording these songs. If we come up with a good idea we would record it that moment. This approach gave us the ability to critically listen to the songs elements in context. This process works for us but is often tedious because we are continually reevaluating and re-recording elements. I’m sure from the outside the way we operate in the studio would seem Schizophrenic. But we have acclimated to our version of crazy.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
Kyle Sears: Most of our basic song ideas come together fast. It’s getting the arrangement right that takes all the time. The song “Big Love” was probably the most troublesome song from beginning to end. The song has a cool Motown bass and percussion vibe in the intro that was lost at some point in the process. While in London we played Spike Stent the early demo and he basically told us to go back and start from that point. We took the song back to LOUDWAR Studios and brought it back from the dead.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Brandon: That would be a song by the name of “Call To Arms.” The song started out very sprawling with three breakdowns/bridges, a horn section, and a twenty four bar outro. It was interesting, but really did not have a good cadence or continuity with the rest of the album. We worked with Spike Stent on this one as well and it really took on a new life.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Kyle: We called in many favors throughout the making of the album. We had some of our favorite string players from Portland lend their talents. We also had some of our friends from the Portland Gospel Choir come in on the song “Mother Mary” and B side “Tawdry.” A very talented horn player named Kelly Pratt (Berut & St Vincent) came and added some sonic textures to a few songs.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Brandon: Kyle and I perform, produce, engineer, and record almost everything ourselves but we are always open to working with people we respect and get along with. We had our friend, Joel Little (Lorde and Broods) hang out with us for a week and he contributed some cool ideas. We also had Spike Stent co-produce two songs on the album, which was an incredible experience. What a BAD ASS!
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Kyle: The album is about the survival of our youth, and overcoming oppressive forces in our lives. We wanted to talk openly about our insecurities and failures and the way we cope for better or worse.
We are planning on touring throughout the fall and into 2015. We hope to see you out there!
(Visit the band here: http://www.prioryband.com/.)