Interview by Brenna Kischuk
Barkhouse is back with a new EP, Neverdays, and the music stays true to their unique style of rock and roll: haunting, harmonic, and lyrically sound. Never afraid to push the limits of what a song is capable of, the band (Will de Zengotita – guitar and vocals; Jay Mort – bass, keys, and vocals; Olmo Tighe – drums) continues to evolve with each release. Read on for more about their new album, and don’t miss their upcoming show May 15th at Mercury Lounge.
Neverdays feels both like a departure and a homecoming. How would you describe the album?
These songs have a tragic quality that bind them. They are for the lonely listener.
Can you speak a little more to how the album differs in sound from previous releases?
This one is our grittiest. As with all of our releases, there is a lot of variety from song to song. But these have something of a bared soul and bared teeth to them. We’ve worked with Jim Bertini as our producer before and we always love what he does – with Neverdays, he really gave the tracks a haunting feel.
How were the songs influenced by your creative and songwriting processes this time around?
Olmo in particular has delivered some of the most arresting lyrical content we’ve ever dealt with. On the title track specifically, matching those lyrics to the musical content and creating an arrangement around the unification of those two elements was some of the most interesting writing work we’ve ever done.
As a band, how do you ensure you evolve as an artist without losing what is most important to your work? Or, another way to put it might be: how do you know what risks to take, and do you know when you are taking them?
You hope that losing what is important to your work is not something you have to worry about, or at least that you’d notice right away if it started happening. You also hope you’ve been creating work that has something important to it in the first place! As for risks, it’s more about what sounds good than what is or is not a risk. Boring risks are no better than playing it safe, and being comfortable can sound just as good as pushing one’s limits. During the making of this record, there were moments when we were conscious that we were doing something we hadn’t done before. And of course, some of the experiments didn’t make the final cut. But there was definitely something different in the process, and we think that comes through in the end result. It’s been fun reading the reviews and seeing which ones strike a nerve with people, one way or the other.
Do you have a favorite track on the album?
It depends on the day, but ultimately, that’s not for us to pick.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We hope people will give these songs a close listen. And for those in the New York area, come help us celebrate the release on May 15th at Mercury Lounge!