On their third full length record, Los Angeles five-piece Froth shifted styles from their usual garage psych fare to gamble with a studio-centered album. The resulting Outside (briefly), released back in February, is the sound of a bet that payed out big; A Love That’s Sound spoke with bass/synth player Jeremy Katz about when studio experiments go right, regional differences in shoe-gaze and touring with the Desert Daze Caravan.
DL: With Outside (briefly) the band had a different approach to the studio. Can you describe how the process of this last album was different than your second record?
Jeremy Katz: The first two records were more live, we just write songs and then play them live because we were playing a million shows, and then just go in and record them the way that we had been playing them. On this one, we never played any of the songs before we recorded them so they took form in the studio then we learned how to play them after we recorded them. It’s kind of backwards from how we usually did it.
DL: The first song on the record “Contact” sets a strong tone for the album. When did the band decide on that song as the opening track?
Jeremy Katz: “Contact” was the first song that we wrote after Bleak came out in 2015. We were playing it for a bit and we stopped playing it because we didn’t like it anymore but then our friend Julian Ruiz from the band Holy Wave told us that we had to put that song on our album. We re-worked it two or three times and finally once we recorded it we thought it would be a good opening track for a record.
DL: Songwriting is not a usual focus within most shoe-gaze inspired rock. What influences lead Froth to have such a song-writing emphasis on Outside (briefly)?
Jeremy Katz: Joojoo was listening to a lot more of Elliot Smith and the Beatles rather than the shoe-gaze bands we used to listen to. We still listen to those groups, he wanted to have more of a song-writer-y style and we would put our textures over them once he had the structure of the song.
DL: Despite the restraint and electric tone of the record, there’s a few fiery jams. What was different about your instrumental chemistry on this album?
Jeremy Katz: If we all tried to get together in a room and write a song it would never work out. Lately Joojoo will write songs and me and Cameron will join in. Consciously we wanted to have some longer instrumental songs but it happened really naturally.
DL:How do you feel about opening up for Ride in a few weeks?
Jeremy Katz: We are insanely excited to open up for one of our favorite bands. It’s just crazy that they have even invited us to go play with them.
DL: Shoegaze is heavily associated with the UK and the East Coast. What is different about being in a West Coast shoe gaze group?
Jeremy Katz: I don’t know what’s different besides that there aren’t that many. There’s not many in LA, that’s for sure and I think that people think that there’s a certain sound from California that we have. I’m not sure I agree with that but that’s what people tell us.
DL: What was it like performing as part of the Desert Daze Caravan tour?
Jeremy Katz: It was great. Night Beats are a band that we’ve become friends with. They helped us out a lot in the beginning, we’ve become huge fans. Whenever they came through LA they would ask us to play with them. We are always super excited to play with them. Having the lights from the Mad Alchemy Liqht Show takes the show to a different level. It makes it more interesting for people on and off the stage, it adds another element to the show and makes it more of an experience.
DL: the song “Petals” is a standout on the record as a slow burning introspective number. What did Joojoo write that song about ? Why does the band like this song as a closer?
Jeremy Katz: That song is funny because it’s one of the songs on the album that we wrote as a group and it was actually way faster, it was more of a garage-y song. When we recorded it, the producer Thomas Dolas, when we heard it on tape, he was like “hey guys” and slowed it way down. The lyrics I think he wrote after the song was completely written so I’m not sure what it’s about. It’s more of a come-down song so we like to play it last because it’s more emotional and closes out the set.
DL: What sort of music does Froth listen to in the tour van?
Jeremy Katz: We found this band from Seattle called Versing. They are incredible, we played with them the other night and they totally blew me away. It’s funny because most of the time in the van everyone has headphones and is just listening to their own thing. Joojoo is really into this guy called Dean Blunt, kind of more hip-hop sample based stuff. I love the new Slowdive record, i’ve been listening to them a lot. Lots of podcasts, we’ve been on tour so long we’re at a point where we are out of music and are just trying to stay entertained.
DL: What’s great about the Los Angeles music scene right now? What’s not so great?
Jeremy Katz: It’s always great there because there’s tons of bands playing all of the time. There’s always a band touring that’s playing in Los Angeles. The worst part is that the DIY community is dying, there’s all of those warehouses and places that we used to play, they are gone now. I think that it is probably harder for new bands to find places to play. I think that’s probably the worst part.
DL: What are your thoughts on playing Levitation Vancouver?
Jeremy Katz: We have never had a bad show in Vancouver, it’s always amazing. Honestly, I think it’s one of the best music scenes in North America, it’s always really fun. People come out and have a good time. If every city had a scene like this, it would be really fun to tour in the US. I really wish it was like this everywhere. And Canada has the nicest people.
Artwork: Marie Ingouf
Photo/Interview/Web: David Lacroix.