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Interview: Pillars
Posted October 11, 2017 by Brett Alderman
WRITTEN BY
Brett Alderman
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October 11, 2017
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Founded in 2015, Pillars, Indy’s genre-blending four-piece, is on the cusp of releasing their first full-length album, Of Salt and Sea on In Store Recordings. The band, comprised of Marc Ertel, Justin Williams, Nason Frizzell and Zach Frizzell, released The Great Divide earlier this year on the label.

Before Pillars takes the stage at The White Rabbit on October 12 with Pelican, Jay Jayle and more, I spoke with Zach Frizzell about the creation of their upcoming release.

 

Brett Alderman: How long have you been working on the new album?

Zach Frizzell: Of Salt and Sea reached its culmination after two years of songwriting, practice demos, restructuring of themes and movements. Dozens of songs were considered for our first full-length, but the nine songs selected for Of Salt and Sea are the best representation and most accurate sound of Pillars to date.

BA: Will it include the two tracks from March, “The Great Divide” and “Memento in B”?

ZF: The songs from our Great Divide sessions will not appear on Of Salt and Sea. The Great Divide was our first release when we signed to Indianapolis indie label In Store Recordings in February 2017 and was our transitional album from our independently released album, PILLARS [ep], back in 2015, which encompassed a more traditional indie rock sound. The Great Divide offered one instrumental track, "Memento in B," and the second track, "The Great Divide" had vocals that were used merely as a backdrop, rather than an integral part of the song. This two-song opus was inspired by the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that plague many today. The Great Divide was a journey that explored the current treacherous social landscape, using history as a light to guide us through the darkness. Many of the themes of The Great Divide continue on our forthcoming album Of Salt and Sea.

BA: Do you consider your new material as an evolution or departure from your previous EP?

ZF: Of Salt and Sea is a continued evolution of The Great Divide and all other previous material. The PILLARS [ep] included three songs, all of which had vocals. The Great Divide had less vocals and more emphasis on instrumentation. Of Salt and Sea marks our most complete release to date, while also marking our first entirely instrumental collection of songs.

BA: Having worked together for over two years now, do you believe this album more represents Pillars as a band?

ZF: Of Salt and Sea accurately represents the overall sound and atmosphere that we have attempted to portray to date. Hundreds of hours of rehearsing, passing along ideas, and sharing recorded demos are the result of finally finding a sound we are all very pleased with at this time.  

Of Salt and Sea album art

BA: What was the recording process like? Where did you record? Did you record live, or track instruments individually?

ZF: During the Of Salt and Sea sessions, we spent a lot of time perfecting the sounds of each instrument and were very intentional in showing the engineer the overall sound we were aiming for. We tracked each instrument individually, so that we could have even more control over the final sound we were anticipating. Of Salt and Sea was recorded and mixed by Cortland Foxworth at Melt Audio Studio. Digital mastering was done by Gordan Wantuch. Mastering for the vinyl pressing was done by Adam Gonsalves (who has also mastered albums for Pelican, Elliott Smith, Neurot Recordings, and Epitaph Records).

BA: Did you write the songs collaboratively or do the four of you create individually?

ZF: Our writing technique is fairly common; Justin and Marc (guitars) bring an idea or a demo to the rest of us and we start collaborating on the idea or theme. Each member comes from various musical pasts and this diversity has fostered a unique sound that is realized during our rehearsals.

BA: What should the audience expect at The White Rabbit show?

ZF: A distinct mesh of musical colors on full display, as we will take the audience on an aural voyage, full of thoughtfully crafted peaks and plunges with a rejuvenated post-rock sound that pushes the boundaries of the genre to stratospheric new levels…

…Or simply, a loud band with a questionable amount of pedals being used, and a drum set that is almost guaranteed to be bigger than anyone else’s.

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