Almost two years back, Leisure Birds made their own bid for the masters of the universe reigning championship title with one of our favorite albums, Globe Master. Once again, the Minneapolis group lead by Totally Gross National Product manager Jake Luck prepares to bring us above the sky to those familiar final frontiers with the June 17 slated album, Tetrahedron for TGNP / Moon Glyph. And just like how “Silver Runner” rewrote the odysseys of Arthur C. Clarke, our following premiere of “Waveforms” breaks the glass ceilings of the galaxy through the employment of interstellar hyper-drive operations.
From the very start, oscillating sound wave formations, spawn primal drums, and key clusters beep and blink like the circuitry of a control deck panel. Leisure Birds take flight on “Waveforms” by providing an entire experience to showcase the electric-audio-alchemy properties of spectrums provided by templates of calculated compositional space craft considerations. Everything is in here; from the sci-fi cinematic that exalts the experience of making new galactic discoveries to the rites of breaking on through to new phases of enlightenment and expanded consciousness. Jake commands all the song's alliterative prose like, “mother of the mountain of the sun, of the sun”, or, “guide the path that leads us to the dawn, to the dawn”, to the titular chorus ritual chant of, “lift up from the ground, toward the light, toward the sound, all around… waveforms.” Like the astrological alignment of constellations, guitars clang against urgent synthesized loops, as astronautic choirs provide endless dimensions that span the far reaches of outer space's weightless atmosphere.
Frontman Jake Luck offered thoughts from the Leisure Birds studio on the making of their upcoming album Tetrahedron.
How do you go about selecting the wildest keyboards and synths for a cut like, “Waveforms”?
Really, on a song like “Waveforms”, there aren't that many synths. There are, but there aren't. I'm sure that at some point, there were probably at least five more layers of synths on this track that at some point were removed. We usually just start putting tracks down and stick with what works. Most of the time, if you have a definite idea of what keyboard will work for a song, there's something else that will work better.
Then, how do you make a track with the formation and arrangement, like “Waveforms”?
In this case we tracked the drums and bass first without an actual sense of what the song was. The pieces didn't really fall in place until Cole and I laid down synth tracks. The whole thing really happened in the studio. We've found that the only way to push our sound in new directions is to experiment in the studio and then figure out a way to play it live after the fact.
Thoughts on vintage synths versus new synths?
I'll take both if you have them. Like anything else, there are vintage synths that are great and vintage synths that are terrible. The same goes for new synths. I think the key is being able to differentiate a good synth from a bad synth.
How do you find your own style has evolved from Copper Scroll, through Globemaster, to the upcoming Tetrahedron?
I don't think our style has changed all that much. I think that what has changed is the ability to match our style with our output. Most bands have an idea of what they want to sound like, but it takes time to actually figure out how to do it. Everyone goes through it. Each album isn't an evolution as much as it is a further honing-in on certain ideas.
What informs your own approach to carving out what everyone is calling, 'psych of the future?'
Lillian Schwartz. Disco. Dune. Uncle Hugo's. Phaedra. Modular Lifestyles. On The Nile. Stanislaw Lem. Is Yeelyel. Bebop and Rocksteady. Escape From New York. Robin Hobb. John Whitney.
How do you juggle your music and managing matters at TGNP?
It keeps me busy. Juggle is definitely the key word.
What are you listening to these days?