Bay Area trio Covet - Yvette Young (guitar/vocals), David Adamiak (bass) and Forrest Rice (drums) - are back with their second album ‘technicolor’. Having already mastered the art of atmospheric math-rock instrumentals, their new material sees them push themselves to bold new places.
Are you guys all self-isolating? How are you spending your days, do you have any favourite at-home hobbies?
We for sure are all self-isolating. Personally, I've been actually so inspired by this time home... I know I haven't really been "home" properly for an extended time in months, and with things being cancelled, it kind of feels like I suddenly have all this freeform time to play with (which used to be such a luxury!). So I've been using this time to teach myself how to record and work in Ableton, and learn other random new skills. I've also been just writing music for fun! I've just felt a new wave of energy and inspiration despite the grim outside circumstances.
What's the feeling like in the Bay Area at the moment?
I'm not too sure because I have been purposely keeping home and not going out. I still see people going for walks. It seems peaceful around my neighbourhood, at least!
How long have you been working on your new album for, then? Where did you write and record?
We have had some of these songs for around a year or so, but most of the album came together the last month before we went to record. Most of the songs start with me writing out the whole song and structure in my living room at home, and then I bring it to the band. We recorded at Vudu Studios in Port Jefferson with Mike Watts and Frank Mitaritonna! Some of the tracks were actually finalised there as well.
How did you find the process of putting it together compared to your debut, was it a very different experience?
I think this time it felt a bit more deliberate. We all knew what tones and structures we wanted going in, and I think we knew better how to achieve the sound we had in our minds. Last time, we decided a lot of what gear to use in the studio and this time, we came armed with our boards and the exact amps we wanted. However, when I use the word deliberate, I don't mean that there was no room for happy accidents, improvisation, and outside suggestion. There was certainly a lot of that "studio magic" as well!
Did you utilise any new or interesting bits of gear?
David got a new bass from F bass, and Forrest used Evans UV2 heads, which are his favourite! He's super grateful to Tama and Meinyl. I got to try out a new seven-string outfitted with single coils from Ibanez which was so fun. I also got to play out of my favourite Vox ac 10 amp, which felt awesome because I'm really familiar with how all my effects interact with it.
What were the main challenges you came up against during the creation process?
I think the main challenge was time. We had only had around a month and a half of time to record the full-length and also make six different videos! It always is a bit nerve-wracking being creative on the clock...especially when lots of money is involved, but personally speaking, I work well under time pressure, and I think sometimes it can force you to make decisions and keep moving forward. It's easy to want to dwell forever on perfecting all the minutiae, but sometimes that can make you really myopic and detract from the big picture. I think at the end of the day, the time limit lit a fire under our asses and kept us moving along, and I don't think any of the last-minute decisions ended up feeling like hasty ones.
It's interesting that you've experimented with lyrics on this one, what prompted you to make the leap?
My rule is that all my creative decisions at the end of the day, must serve the music. I won't ever actually rule anything out if it's what the music needs! When I wrote those two songs, in particular, I immediately heard the vocal melody over it, so I had to include it. The lyrics came later! I feel like I wanted the lyrics to match the mood of the melody. One felt optimistic ('Parachute'), and the other felt like a departure or goodbye ('Farewell').
Are lyrics something you're likely to bring in more in future, do you think?
If the music calls for it, then definitely! I don't want to ever include something for the sake of doing it because that's an easy way to clutter a song, but I have a feeling that vocals will definitely happen in the future.
What are your plans for the next few months, it must be difficult to firm up any plans at the moment?
I think everything is somewhat up in the air! Right now we are all focusing on just getting this album out and also working on our respective solo crafts. I've been trying to practice playing these songs fluidly to get in "live performance" shape! I'm just taking everything one day at a time at this point.
Taken from the June issue of Upset. Covet's album 'Technicolor' is out 5th June.
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