Q&A with Friend Roulette

– How do you listen to music?  What’s the setup like in your house and do you feel like there’s a big difference between digital and analog sound?

Julia: We love hanging around living rooms and listening to music, analog or digital… at matt’s house we listen to vinyl super slow.   The magic of nostalgia seems to be really turned up on vinyl and tape, and we like dollar bin discoveries, but we will bump the Aaliyah and R. Kelly digital tracks too.

Matt: I have a dodgy record player, a radio and some cheap studio monitors at my house. The record player is funny because its totally busted I often times have to hit it in a weird spot to get it to work, and then when it works it still sound like hell.  I do prefer laying on my couch listening to radio & vinyl than sitting in a chair between 2 speakers in front of a computer.  My great friend Paul Damian Hogan III just released an album called “The House”  & had it printed himself.  Its a Song Cycle, so hearing that  on vinyl really made more sense for the album & of course it sounds warmer.  But in the end, I’m not to picky… i went 6 months listening to the built in speakers on my laptop… i guess that kinda sucked though.


Matt and Julia

– You guys are putting out a new album soon do you prefer touring and live shows or studio albums?  What’s more central to your identity as a musician?

Julia: The identity of our band is a combination of six (and more!) people’s musical souls. we just finished our first tour together and are about to release our first full length, so it’s hard to choose between making a record and playing a show. both are super important ways for us to be able to share our craziness and excitement with our friends and new friends.

Matt: I really love it all.  Being in the studio is really a great time & we always have fun going over the top with our orchestrations. However, I think the live show is much more central to Friend Roulettes identity as a band.  The live show is never exactly the same & we never try to make it the same as the album.  Compared to other bands our live show is rather inconsistent, but not in a sense that we play really well one night or really shitty another… The music is written with a general structure and offers many opportunities to change up melodic & rhythmic parts.

– Can you tell us a little about the new album?

Julia: Our new album tells stories from a few summers ago using sounds and emotions that were captured by our friends and layered just so….

Matt: You know the fucker took 3 years to make?  It’s cool.  There are so many layers going on throughout the album… Most tracks have 2 layers of violins, 3 layers of bass clarinets, 3 layers of EWI (electronic wind instrument)& a lot of drums.  I realised a lot of the songs have a notion about them highlighting the darker side of love, relationships and the debaucherous end results of dealing with it all. I really wish I could sit down and tell you what every song is about.

– How has the nature of being a musician changed since you began making records? 

Julia: No way! The nature of being a musician is accepting the challenge of expressing yourself through sound and breath and beat, and knowing that you will never reach a point where you’ve figured it out, but you don’t ever want to give up trying. That doesn’t change.

Matt: I’m not totally sure what you’re asking.

– Ummmm… In the past when I’ve had writers block I have slept with my guitar. Hey, all I can say is it works! What are some things you guys do to get the creativity flowing?

Julia: Matt can answer this best, but most of the time we just chill, sit around drinking white wine (matt) and rum chata (me) and share ideas until we come up with something that works.

Matt: I had a pretty interesting process with writing most of these songs.  I would often get up early around 8 or 9, make coffee and hit the piano while I was still hazy, faded & basically asleep.  I would improvise in a daze and form things together as I woke up and continue to work on the initial, sleepy ideas, while drinking copious amounts of coffee … & a couple puffs here and there. I’ve been on this weird kick lately of not writing at instruments at all, while zoning out at work and looping melodies in my head.  I’m probably gonna get fired.


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