Fans were excited when Louden Swain announced last month that they were releasing new music. A new single was released on March 12, “Basement of No Hope,” and the news that the band would be releasing a single a month, until it completes a full album.
In a year where touring and conventions came to a halt, this was a breath of fresh air for so many. Louden Swain is a band that has been together for over 20 years, and their last album, “Splitting the Seams,” consisted of fan-favorite songs that were rerecorded acoustically.
We got the chance to talk to Louden Swain a little about the decision to release new music. Michael Borja answered questions on behalf of the band and gave a little insight to their plans and how they made music during quarantine.
Check out the interview below!
Nerds and Beyond: Congrats on the new music! Were the songs something that you’d already written before quarantine and had time to fine-tune them during 2020? Or were they written during quarantine?
Michael Borja: About 1/3 of the songs we have in the bank right now were written or developed prior to quarantine, and the remaining 2/3 are ideas or parts of songs in the conceptual or close to finish stages.
Nerds and Beyond: How did you come up with the idea to release a song a month until a full album release?
Borja: All of us in the band have mostly been working and recording remotely exchanging parts and ideas via texts/emails. The only times we’ve had the chance to play together was when we had StageIts to perform. As the pandemic grew longer and longer and our library of song ideas grew, the band decided we had enough material to release a single a month with the goal to release an album of all the singles released. And quite honestly, the release of a new album from us was long overdue. The last album we released with all new songs was No Time Like the Present four years ago.
Nerds and Beyond: What has the writing and recording process been like now since it’s harder to meet up during these times? Were you able to be in a studio together to record, or did you all record separately?
Borja: We’ve done a little bit of rehearsing as a full band but most of the recording has been done in our respective home studios. Song ideas among the band members were exchanged using Dropbox or via email/text to one another. As songs got closer to completion, Norton would lay down drums, usually followed by Rob’s guitar track and vocals, and Billy and I would add our parts. But not all the songs so far have been recorded necessarily in this order.
Nerds and Beyond: Has this time influenced the way you write or the style of the music made this year?
Borja: The pandemic has definitely changed our way of writing and recording songs. All four of us are working in vacuums right now with little to no interaction with the other guys when we record our parts except at the end. In general, we really miss jamming and writing together.
Nerds and Beyond: What’s been the most challenging part of making the songs for this new album?
Borja: Not being together in the same room has been challenging. I know I said this before, but working in a vacuum on each of our parts has been tough. We are all recording in our home studios alone. When we are together in the same room writing, Billy and Rob feed off each other’s guitar playing and create harmonizing guitar solos and catchy riffs. And when Norton and I are in the same room, I know where to place my hits with his bass drum and when to play a melodic bass line. And Norton just knows where to place that pivotal drum fill. We definitely feed off each other’s energy when we are all together in a room during the writing process. “Basement of No Hope,” “Letter,” and “Comeback” were knocked out during the course of a couple of three hour rehearsals before the pandemic. But, I can tell you, the energy and performances are definitely there when you hear these new songs as if we were in the same room.
Louden Swain just announced their next single, “LETTER,” will be released on April 16. They’re also doing a Zoom meet & greet on Friday, April 9th at 6:00 p.m. PST. Tickets are limited, but you can purchase them here while they last.