December in Red’s Del McGeachy Talks ‘The Way Out’ Album, ‘Send Me a Postcard’ Single + More
December in Red are ready for their turn at the spotlight. After issuing their self-titled debut a couple of years back, the band has made a solid jump forward with their sophomore set, The Way Out. The disc has already spawned the single "Send Me a Postcard," which is climbing the charts.
Loudwire recently had a chance to talk to December in Red frontman Del McGeachy, and he discussed the creation of The Way Out album, developing their sound and their friendship with (hed) p.e.'s Jahred, who makes a special appearance on the track "Hadouken" on the album. Check out the chat below.
First of all, congrats on the new album The Way Out. I'm sure you're very happy to see the positive returns so far. Did you had an idea of how you wanted to approach the disc going in and how that evolved by the time the album was completed?
We really felt that we had an opportunity to put together an album that truly represented us as we are now. When we made our last album, we felt that we were still really defining what we wanted to do musically. We had gone through a transition in our lineup and had also been hitting the road relentlessly since we finished that one. The new album is a great representation of where we’re coming from currently.
Already having an album under your belt, what was the biggest thing you picked up from that first recording experience and how has it helped you move forward as a band?
The Way Out is our second album. The first was a self-titled album that we released ourselves. That one was made over a much longer period of time. We would go into the studio when we had time individually and work on our own parts. We had tons of time to listen to mixes and revise ideas for what we ultimately wanted. That leisurely approach was comfortable and we had a good product in the end, but the energy that was created in the short time we had to track this album was such a key element to the vibe that we were able to create. I think the album sounds like it ebbs and flows along a storyline from beginning to end and keeps your attention much more because we practically lived in the studio during the making of it. We were neck deep in it the whole time.
What was your experience like getting a chance to record at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, where no doubt likely some of the bands you grew up on recorded as well?
Recording at Robert Lang Studios has always been something we’ve wanted to do. Coming up as musicians in the Pacific Northwest, it was amazing just to have Robert tell us about his own experiences and show us around the place. It’s one of the most interesting places that I’ve ever been with all of the stories and interesting things to look at. So many of the bands we were inspired by had created so much legendary music within those walls.
The single "Send Me a Postcard" is starting to gain some momentum. Can you talk about where that song came from in the recording of the disc and what inspired the track?
"Send Me a Postcard" was something that we had on the back burner and didn’t originally plan to put it on the album. It only came together while we were working on demos of the other songs. I intended to use it in demo form to work on finishing my parts but it was one of those ones that just came right out.
The song’s about expecting to continue on forever living in one way or another while routinely doing things that make it more and more unsustainable. It can be taken a lot of different ways and I want the listener to relate to it however they like to but the lines are about the Earth itself and the people that live on it.
The video is also doing well in our Battle Royale Video Countdown here at Loudwire. I know you shot that around the holidays. Can you talk about the experience of what it was like shooting on what looks like a pretty cold night and share you thoughts on what it was like seeing the final video for the first time?
We shot the video right after Christmas and it was freezing cold for most of it. This is the first video of ours that isn’t only performance. Having the storyline adds so much more work to the process. It was still a lot of fun because we had some friends and family there being in the video. Some of the scenes had to be changed on the go because of scheduling problems or having a location not work out. Even though it ended up changing so much, it was very cool to see it for the first time. Avast Productions is the company who we worked with on this. They do a great job and they’re fun to work with. They also did our video for "Hadouken."
Listening to the album, you have a distinctive sound yet there is a variety in what people get to hear on the disc as a whole. What, in your opinion, makes for a good December in Red track and can you talk about the group creative process?
We each have different musical tastes in what we listen to regularly and get inspired by. I think we do a pretty good job of switching it up. Some of our best tracks came together just over a few practices when someone brought an idea in and we started building on it. The last track on The Way Out, “Don’t Look So Surprised," was only finished the day we were recording it at Robert Lang Studios. It was very organic and it’s just what came out after spending the day into the late night creating an atmosphere.
I saw the shout out from Jahred from (hed) p.e. on your site and he's on one of the songs on the album. Can you discuss that relationship and how Jahred came to appear on "Hadouken"?
We’ve all been fans of theirs since we were teenagers and came up being inspired by their music. As December in Red, we opened for them a few times in Seattle. Scott McKinley, who owns Cavigold Records, hooked us up with Jahred to collaborate on a song for the album. Since then, we did our first tour opening for them which was a pretty amazing experience for us.
This should be a great disc for the concert stage. Now that the album is out, what songs are you most interested in incorporating into the shows and seeing how they go over live?
Every song from the album gets played live frequently right now. At first we weren’t putting “Don’t Look So Surprised” into the set because we thought it would be too soft and slow for most of the shows. It was during the (hed)p.e. tour that we tried it out and it killed. After that it became a staple.
I also saw a shout out to Yessica Marquez and her artwork. Can you tell us a little bit about being inspired by her visuals for the album art?
She is an amazing artist and we’ve all really been impressed with her style. When it came time to work on the album art, we asked her if we could incorporate something from one of her paintings. She was very kind and let us. The eyes on the front cover of the album are from one of her many impressive ones. We all love the eyes looking out as they are on the cover. They look optimistic and surprised. Marc used that idea to shape all of the art for The Way Out.
2015 is going to be a big year for the band. Wanted to give you some space here to share what's on the horizon and your hopes for the remainder of the year.
We’re getting ready to get back on the road to support the new album. It looks like we’ll have a lot of touring for the remainder of the year. Other than that, we’ll be working on new material.
Our thanks to December in Red's Del McGeachy for the interview. You can pick up their album The Way Out now via iTunes. And be on the lookout for December in Red coming to a town near you. Their tour dates can be found below.
December in Red Tour Dates:
5/22 -- Saginaw, Mich. -- Red Room
5/23 -- Hillsboro, Wis. -- Rocking for Heroes / The Bullpen
5/24 -- Chippewa, Falls, Wis. -- Every Buddy's Bar
5/26 -- Cudahay, Wis. -- The Metal Grill
5/29 -- Springfield, Mo. -- The Outland
5/30 -- Wichita, Kan. -- Crown Uptown
5/31 -- Tulsa, Okla. -- Vanguard
6/2 -- Tucson, Ariz. -- The Rock
December in Red, "Send Me a Postcard"