New Orleans-based indie rock outfit Generationals released a brand new album this year and it is truly fantastic. Heza is a delightful blend of peppy electronics, gritty guitars, and lofty vocals. The record features memorable gems like “Put A Light On” and my personal favorite “Spinoza”. The Generationals- Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer- recently blew through Denver and I got the chance to bombard Joyner with questions. The talented artist filled me in on his memories of the Hi-Dive, the band's fluent songwriting process, and the importance of having clean socks while out on tour.
How do you like performing in Denver?
I've always enjoyed playing in Denver. I remember in the green room of the Hi-Dive there are hundreds of band/food puns that people have written on the walls. You could sit there for hours reading them all. Oreo Speedwagon and Tame Empanada are two I remember.
You recently released a great new album, Heza, in April. What was your goal for the record?
Basically the same for every record which is to take all our ideas that have been building up and kind of distill them down to one record.
Are there any songs on there that you were maybe initially wary about releasing, maybe because it pushed you in a new musical direction or didn't seem to fit with the rest of the songs?
Not really. We're never too worried about that I don't think. Most stuff that comes out of us I think tends to go together well. If we like it and think it’s good, we put it on there.
Talk to me about the songwriting process.
It changes a lot. Songs come together in different ways. We generally just bring each other ideas and just work to see where they go. Some come together really quickly, others take a while and evolve a lot before they're finally recorded. I sometimes wish it could be a steadier, more predictable process but the truth is it's always different. But that’s also the fun of it.
What's the strangest thing to inspire a song?
The name of a swim coach that our friend had as a kid.
What's one thing you can't do without when you're on the road?
Clean socks I guess. When you run out of clean socks, your life starts to fall apart. Also Marc Maron's podcast.
Do you have any pre-show rituals, something you must do every night before you hit the stage?
Not really, we kind of just hang out and drink whiskey and talk about life.
You're given a large amount of money and told to create a reality television show. What is the show called and what is it about?
I'd like to see a workplace reality show about the people who work at the Hadron Collider. Called Hadron Knows Best? Collisions of the Heart?
If you could have anyone in the world as the #1 fan of the Generationals, who would it be and why?
If Socrates was a Generationals fan I think that would be pretty cool. Actually he'd probably be into jammier stuff.