I Know You Are But What Am I? - A New Adventure with the Antarcticats
After much anticipation, Antarcticats, the four-piece surf rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, has debuted their first full length LP I Know You Are, But What Am I? Including recent singles “You’ve Got Something,” “Back by Midnight,” and “Teeth,” I Know You Are expands on the bands previous EP Irregardless and finds its home amongst other great spring albums coming from the local scene. I talked to Andrew Joyce (guitar/vocals), Lisa Rossi (guitar), and Chad Miller (drums) about the new album, support from other locals, and what’s next for Antarcticats.
Your album dropped March 27th, and guys…it is so good. So, you guys recorded with Toast and Jam Studio, right? How was that experience? They’ve come out of the blue within the past year and just dominated the scene, so how was it working with those guys?
Andrew: So, we actually started out [doing] a live session with them, because we had seen how they had been doing a lot of sessions and working with a lot of our friends. After we did the live session we just had such a good time—we liked the people, we liked the studio, we liked the vibe—that we decided to track the album there. It’s a really nice space, a beautiful room, and everything sounds really nice. It was the perfect vibe for us to sit down and record the album. We recorded live—both guitars, drums, and bass.
It’s a great venue; I really like that location. Since you just said you recorded the album live, does that mean that the three singles were re-recorded for the LP?
Andrew: “Teeth” wasn’t re-recorded. We used a recording we already had of that. What we mean by live recording is instead of recording the drums separately, and then adding the bass and guitar on top of it, we recorded all of the instruments at the same time. I just wasn’t singing. It was almost like we were playing it live. We have a different energy to our live shows, and we really like to try and capture that when we record, so we really tried to nail down the base of the album, except for “Teeth”, at Toast and Jam, and then we recorded vocals later.
So you guys didn’t record vocals at Toast and Jam?
Chad: No, we actually did that at Chris’s apartment. He does recording and has a mini studio there.
Oh Cool! That’s such a great resource to have. I know people have talked about the change since Irregardless. It’s been three years since that’s come out, so what do you guys as musicians feel has been the biggest change going into the LP?
Chad: I think we’re better songwriters overall.
Andrew: We’ve definitely gotten in our groove with this album. Also, having Lisa on board with lead guitar duties has allowed us to do a lot more interesting things with the new songs.
Chad: On both Short Stories and Irregardless, Andrew would record a lot of overdubs in order to get a really full tone with him alone. It doesn’t quite cut it live when we’re trying to get the same full sound as the record. So typically, Andrew would record three or four overdubs per song, which is impossible to play live, so we definitely weren’t as good as we are now because we just couldn’t do it live.
Andrew: Another big difference has been our influences. We’ve tried to retain the surfy sound, but I know I personally have been listening to a lot of Twin Peaks and Mac Demarco: more indie rock and indie pop, not as much surfy. That has had a huge influence on our sound. We try to keep a little bit of our roots in there, but we’re focusing more on catchy, memorable songs.
Something that I see you guys talk about a lot is how important other local bands are to your journey. We’ve all got a lot of friends in the scene, so I’d like you to talk about that. What is the importance of having those connections in the local scene?
Andrew: When we were doing our release show, we joked about putting the perfect bill together. We had to get all these people out, because it’s not just about us…we’ve found our niche recently with bands like Pinkest, Lunar Vacation, and The Callous Daoboys. Even though we’re from different genres, that’s where our spot has been. IF we were to do a show by ourselves, we’d have people come out, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near what we saw at our release show. It’s really all about working with these other bands—mixing the fan bases. You know, their friends meet us, and we meet them. They’re our close friends, but it’s also like a collaboration. I’d rather play with my friends that I’ve known for so long than play with a band we don’t know or have never met.
Yeah, those are a bunch of great dudes. It’s got to be great sharing a stage with them. Lisa, how was it for you jumping on board an already established group and bringing your new sound to it?
Lisa: It’s been pretty interesting. It was lot smoother than I think it would have gone in a different situation, because I’d played in a band before with Chad and Andrew, so we were kind of used to playing together a lot. Trying to jump on board was just a lot of learning, trying to learn the songs that already existed, and then going from there. It was really natural trying to fit in with Andrew’s sound guitar-wise and song writing-wise.
Okay, so we had the LP drop and the big show…what’s coming up next?
Andrew: The big thing we have on the docket is a tour this summer. Chad and I have been doing a lot of booking for that. We try to tour every year if we can—you know, meet new people, go outside of the city—and we’d like to do a tour to support the LP. We’ve been writing a little bit, not really heavy or focused, but I’ve got a few ideas—maybe a one-off single we record in the next year. I definitely don’t want us to become one of those bands that releases a lot of music and then disappears for year, but I also know we’re kind of known for our live show. We want to balance not disappearing off the face of the earth while still producing new music.
We can’t wait to see you guys on the stage and hear anything else you’re giving us!