When Bleeding Heart from The Dig’s latest Release, Bloodshot Tokyo popped up on our “Discover Weekly” it was love at first listen. But – was this the same ambient, surf rock quartet that we had listened to back in 2012? The Brooklyn based indie group had exchanged mellow guitar riffs and percussion shakers for synth and uncommon vocals. A change, that we over here in Denver can definitely get behind.
We had the opportunity to chat with keyboardist, Erick Eiser about the new release, their upcoming show at Larimer Lounge on the 27th and got the 411 on what goes down when a band’s secluded on a lake creating an album. Spoiler alert: movie scripts about ominous kayak killers and skinny dipping are a given.
Grab tickets here!
Keep reading for the full interview.
First of all, congrats on your new album! I can say that I am a huge fan of the release and love the direction your sound has taken. What was the initial inspiration behind Bloodshot Tokyo?
Well I guess there was a lot of different inspirations. We went away a few times and wrote a lot of songs for the album and then we eventually ended up picking songs that we felt kind of were grouped together in away that made this cohesive album. We kind of found out that while we were writing there were group of songs that went well together and captured a certain vibe and aesthetic that we thought was good to release in this way. At first we just started writing… we just wrote a bunch of demos then we realized we were tapping into something more cohesive like the last time we went away to write.
So where was the album created?
We did a lot of writing in Brooklyn but went away to Connecticut and stayed at a lake house and did that twice for a month and then went back and did another two weeks and did nothing but write. For the most part it provided a place away from any distractions from personal lives.
So no skinny dipping in the lake?
We did some skinny dipping. We also wrote a movie out there called the kayak killer, David Baldwin had an idea for a guy who paddles around the lake and kill people with his kayak ore.
So very productive stay at the lake?
The first two albums were back to back and this last album you had a 4 year gap in between. Why was there such a long hiatus compared to the first two releases? Did you guys do something on this album? Was it recorded differently?
We had a longer hiatus because we wanted to make sure that we got out of what we were doing before.
Like the ambient?
Yeah, I think so. We were exploring genres for a while and I think that at the time we were making the album we felt like we were developing something new. So I guess we were just kind of going until we had that sound.
Have you guys ever played Denver before? What venue was it and how was your experience?
We have and it’s always a blast. Denver’s one of our favorite cities to play. We opened up for Portugal The Man and Ben Kweller. Played venues like the Blue Bird, Ogden, Lost Lake, Larimer Lounge, Hi Dive.
Bloodshot Tokyo is way more high tempo and funkier than the other two albums - was this a natural progression for you guys?
Well it was pretty natural, but we wanted to make something a little more dancey and fun. More so just fun overall. We had that mindset while we were writing songs. While it was natural progression for us, it took some time to perfect the sound.
When you click on related artists on Spotify, bands that are similar to you guys are Yellow Ostrich, Surfer Blood, and Rubblebucket. Do you agree? Do you like those bands? If not, what have you been playing in the van?
To be completely honest, we don’t listen to those bands. But obviously those are great bands. But they’re not necessarily bands that influence us. I don’t see how that relates stylistically to us. Well, I don’t see the connection personally. Maybe that’s just what comes up for other people. We listen to a whole array of different music. Harry Nilsson, Neil Young, a lot of the instrumental surf rock, Duane Eddy. I can list only a few examples because there are so many different classic song writing influences, rock and roll, soul music a lot of different artists.
West Coast, East Coast? Where would you say you get the most musical inspiration from?
Well we definitely travel a lot and we all have family on the west coast. I’m from palm springs originally… Oh I don’t know that’s always a tough one for me to answer. How does where you live influence your music? I kind of feel like we would have made this album no matter where we were... Especially in this day and age like accessibility to any type of music is there. It’s tough to classify us based on geography.
Well then, tell us this: Tupac or Biggie.
Tupac because of my West Coast routes. But love biggie.
As a keyboardist, which song is your personal favorite to play? What about as a guitarist?
Probably the most fun song for me to play in terms of playing guitar is Let Your Lover Know. I like primarily playing keyboards but that song has some cool riffy stuff. For Keyboards, Simple Love is one of the more fun songs to play.
How has Bloodshot Tokyo been received since the release in February?
We have fans that definitely love the first album and we’ve been playing a few of those songs. But we’ve been surprised to see people singing along to the new stuff too. It’s been a smooth musical transition which kind of surprised us.
Anywhere in particular you’re excited to visit in Denver?
We don’t really have too much time to explore the city. Once we came through and spent a day at Red Rocks and went hiking and acted like a bunch of goof balls. Being outside, being outdoors. That’s not something we get in New York city. We appreciate about Denver for that.
Is it on your bucket list to play Red Rocks?
Definitely, I think that’s every bands bucket list.
Hope to see you there soon!