a chat with The Academic

Recently, I got to talk with The Academic about their newest singles, their up and coming EP, + so much more!

Listen to their newest EP "Community Spirit" here

Hi! Thanks so much for answering my questions, how have you been doing?! We’re doing great thank you! It’s getting closer and closer to the release date of the EP so we’re all feeling the new music buzz! You guys recently released your next single ‘Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)”, I love the song and it seems you guys are going in a new direction which is so exciting! What was the inspiration and musical influences behind the track? The interesting thing about ‘Kids’ is that it’s one of our oldest songs, one of the first ever songs we ever jammed together as a band! It never quite seemed to suit us when we were teenagers, but when we revisited the song last year it made perfect sense all of a sudden! I think it’s more mature than anything we’ve released previously. In the studio we were constantly referencing Springsteen tracks, you could say that this is our version of that sprawling, storyteller style of writing. I know a lot of people are probably asking you guys this, but what was it like creating and writing music during a global pandemic? Did any of your usual writing and creative processes change? It definitely changed at first. We found ourselves apart at the start of lockdown, so everything became about what we could do virtually, sending parts and ideas back and forth via email. We’d be lying if we said we enjoyed it too much! As things progressed in Ireland we were able to get back together and make ourselves a little bubble. We were all together for the recording process thankfully! Alongside your newest single, you guys also announced your EP “Community Spirit” which is out July 16th! What was the main inspiration behind the EP, and what can we look forward to with the EP? I think Community Spirit represents a lot of things for us! This will be our first ever entirely self produced release which is incredibly exciting! You can definitely look forward to a newer a fresher version of The Academic, we never want to make the same album or EP twice so this one feels a lot different to our last releases! When writing “ Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)” was the writing process any different from songs like “Acting My Age”? Yeah it was definitely very very different. Acting My Age was written, recorded and released in a relatively short space of time. With ‘Kids’ we were reflecting on lyrics and chords that were years old, so it was definitely more introspective. “Acting My Age” is a lot more experimental it seems than “Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)”, what made you guys want to go into a different direction? That’s a fascinating insight! For us it feels like the complete opposite! Acting My Age was a collaboration with a producer, recorded in a studio, indicative of the type of experiences we were used to. For ‘Kids’ everything felt like an experiment. We were recording in our bedrooms by ourselves, at times just hoping for the best! What was it like to work with Nick Hodgson from Kiaser Chiefs? Nick is an incredible person to collaborate with. We love the way his brain works and feel like we really understands us a band. We’ve also picked up lots of production tips and tricks off him! When creating a song, what comes first lyrics, or music? It’s different every time! Sometimes the feeling of a chord progression can dictate what you want to write about, and sometimes a lyrical idea suggests a certain genre or feel that you want to go for musically. What would be your dream collaboration? We’re all massive Talking Heads fans! Doing anything at all with David Byrne would be a dream. When writing lyrics, is there a certain audience you want to attract? I don’t think so, no. The most important thing is to be authentic and original. You can’t underestimate the intelligence of listeners. People can tell when you’re trying to force something unnatural. Besides your new EP coming out, you guys are also on the line up for Reading and Leeds which is super exciting! How does it feel to be playing an iconic festival? It’s amazing. As thinks stand at the moment, it’ll be our first real gig back in front of an audience. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better show to welcome us back! With these new tracks, you guys have really gone out of the traditional indie band route, what made you want to experiment more with your sound? We naturally want to push ourselves in a new direction for each release! We feel like our first album was a really great modern indie band record, and ever since then we’ve been searching for interesting sounds and ideas to keep things progressing for us as a band. Also self production has meant that we can be completely in control of every little thing in the recordings! In your recent lyricism, it’s been a lot more open and more poured out emotion. What made you want to showcase that type of vulnerability? I think it’s a confidence that builds up over the years. A lot of the meanings in our old songs is buried deep down in the lyrics and they’re very open to interpretation. We’ve made a conscious choice to be more direct this time around! You guys have been able to open up for The Strokes and Catfish and The Bottlemen, what was that like? It was incredible! We’ve been so lucky to tour with and meet so many people we admire. Whether it’s The Strokes, The Rolling Stones, Pixies or Noel Gallagher, we always try to learn something new from each of them. On the first album you guys were very much inspired by The Strokes etc. What bands/artists are inspiring you guys right now while making new music? I think we’re listening to a lot more new wave artists! Elvis Costello, Squeeze & Talking Heads have been budge influences on us over the last while. We love discovering new music here, who are you currently listening too? The listening habits of the band are constantly changing! We’re listening to everything from Beabadoobee to Townes Van Zandt to The Growlers!

Words by Melody

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