Q&A: Young Widows

Young Widows: In and Out of Youth and LightnessYoung Widows: In and Out of Youth and Lightness (Temporary Residence, 4/12/11)

Young Widows: “Future Heart”

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Though not a strict departure from previous material, the new album by post-hardcore outfit Young Widows displays a different phase of the band’s career. Calling it a “progression” might apply regressive traits to its first two albums, but In and Out of Youth and Lightness turns down the Cro-Magnon wallop and continues the band’s history of accomplished noise rock.

Its last album, Old Wounds, was a mostly live recording by Kurt Ballou (Converge, Coliseum, Pygmy Lush). In contrast, the new album was produced by the band and Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket) at The Funeral Home in its hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Guitarist and vocalist Evan Patterson joined us to answer a few questions about the band’s songwriting process and what bands people should check out.

How do you describe your music?

I don’t, but if you were a clerk at a gas station, I would tell you that we are a rock band. That’s as far as I can go.

On the new album, there’s a bit of a weird blues influence — less Jesus Lizard pummel and more of a Liars atmospheric vibe. What did you want to do new or different? What did you want to keep the same?

Music has to progress. There are no specific influences. The goal with this album was to find my voice, and that was wholeheartedly achieved. Lyrically, [they’re] the heaviest and most affective songs that I’ve created. Old blues has that same effect on me. It speaks to me. The bridge between modern rock music and blues is a short one, and it’s inevitable that those characteristics will be riding in the same vehicle to achieve certain goals.

How do you write songs? Are songs brought in by individuals, or are they worked out through collective rehearsals?

Most the songs are created through one part — whether it being drums, bass, or guitar — [and] we jam the ideas until the song comes together. It can be a single rehearsal or 30 rehearsals, but the mood of the song is the deciding factor of if we are going to keep a song around to document or ditch it.

Based on the live recording, the songs on Old Wounds must have been fully worked out before they were captured. Did you do more writing “in the studio” with In and Out?

We don’t write any music in the studio. Maybe a minor change, but the songs are as close to complete as possible when entering the studio. Lyrically, the songs changed quite a bit in the studio. Our excessive stage volume doesn’t lend itself to being able to audibly hear the final outcome.

How would you compare the state of the band during your most recent recording compared to the past?

Open and focused.

What other current bands should we paying more attention to?

My Disco, Phantom Family Halo, Flying Horseman, Helms Alee, Cave, Kings Daughters and Sons, Bill Callahan, Mick Harvey. On that note, someone needs to do a piece on Crime and the City Solution.