Realtalk are headed to The Fox and have a lot more in store for 2016.
You may remember Boulder band Realtalk from our feature “From House Parties to Headliners,” where we talked about the group’s transition from playing shows for their friends at CU bangers to playing Denver’s Bluebird Theater. The four-piece has been insanely busy since then, so it’s time we brought you an update Boulder! Here’s what’s up:
Realtalk, composed of Sean Campbell (vocals/guitar), Ara Verbano (bass), Jack Guth (keys), and Julian Kitzmiller (drums), have been back in the studio. They also dropped a new music video (which you can watch below) andddd they’ve got an upcoming gig at The Fox Theatre February 6th with Boulder bands Na’an Stop and Policulture. That’s a sweet lineup of local music peeps! Score yourself some tickets to that here before they sell out! And check out our chat below with frontman Sean Campbell for the deets on Realtalk’s most recent recording experience, how stoked the guys are to play the Fox, and the story behind the track they just dropped a video for, “My Friend.” Keep reading:
So Sean- tell us about your recent recording experience: where did you record, who did you work with, and how did you choose which material to record?
We recorded with a guy by the name of Payden Widner. Payden does great work; we have worked with him once before. The spot was just outside of Denver; a place called Augminished Studio. Payden produced our single “On an Island” last spring and we really liked what he did with that song, so we were very happy to get the chance to work with him again. All three of the tracks were recorded in about six hours, which was a lot of material to lay down in a short amount of time. The way we look at it is, if you’re gonna pay for studio time, you better take advantage of every second that you’re in there. We chose to record “Freddie Gray”, “Running Around”, and “My Friend” because they all have very different moods. The rush that you get from the chorus in “Running Around” is very different than the relaxed mindset of “My Friend.”
That’s awesome! Tell us about the inspiration behind “Freddie Gray.” We know it’s a very personal song for you guys.
Well I’m from Baltimore; I grew up ten minutes outside of the city. My older brother Colin is a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the Freddie Gray case from front to back as it unfolded last April. Most of the marches and protests leading up to the rioting didn’t make national news. Nonviolent marches happened every day for a week. Then some protesters started violently protesting in front of Camden Yards. Rocks were thrown and police cars were damaged, and all of a sudden, it became breaking news across the country. The city sounded like a war-zone for five days after that. Anyway, that’s what inspired the lyrics in the chorus, “It takes riots and violence before we are listening.” It’s seems to be the sad truth for a lot of the injustices that happens in our world.
Thanks for sharing that with us man- that is definitely some powerful stuff. It’s really great that you chose to turn that experience into music. Let’s change gears to “My Friend,” which you guys just dropped a video for recently. What was your favorite part of recording that track?
How it turned out honestly is the best part: It came out with a feeling; a soundscape, which is exactly what we were going for. We were trying to capture a very particular and consistent emotion in that track, and it’s fulfilling to hear it in the recording.
That’s sweet. Any story behind that song that you’d want to tell us more about?
Last summer, we roadtripped as a band to the West Coast to write music and play a few shows. Ara, our bassist, is from the San Juan Islands in Washington, so we set up our stuff in his cabin and wrote music for 10 days. It was the best. It’s a small island and life is simple up there. No distractions; no noisy nonsense. Just a bunch of boys and their instruments. So the lyrics in “My Friend” reflect our 10-day stay on Guemes Island, you know, just taking note of the little things in life like a ferry-ride to the main town to get food and beer or the regular sight of Ara’s parents farming and working in their yard. That trip was the most time we had spent together as a band though, and tensions ran high at certain points. [That tension] is what we’re referring to in the chorus, “I walk away again,” because at times we all needed some space. But that’s part of the reason we’re doing big things together; we push each other to be better. It’s all a balance.
Definitely. That sort of tension can be rewarding- and it looks like that push for you guys has certainly been beneficial. We know that playing The Fox has been on your bucket list since your inception. Tell us about what you’re most looking forward to at that show and how the show came together.
Ahhhh man, where to start! We’re playing with Na’an Stop and Policulture, two groovy reggae bands from Boulder. Na’an Stop’s Patrick Mulholland (trombone/keys) saw us perform at The Lazy Dog back in October and he dug our sound enough to invite us onto the bill at their Fox show. Very stoked about it. I have seen so many sick shows at that venue. Musicians that I idolize tour through The Fox all the time, so it will be a wildly awesome dream-come-true to play a show there! We are getting so ready for this show, it’s not even funny. It’s gonna be off the chain.
Can’t wait! Get tickets. And check out Realtalk’s video for “My Friend” here: