Pier Vol 1 Interview: 3rd Alley

Pier Vol 1 Interview: 3rd Alley

The Pier: So you are looking for an Antidote on this new track. What are you suffering from?

Zack (guitars/vocals): It’s not me that’s necessarily suffering, it’s just the antidote for the butt-hole virus. You may be asking, “What’s the butt-hole virus?” It’s not an anally transmitted disease as I’ve already been asked, but basically people being butt-holes and sucking the life out of each other, just being buttholes.

I lived in a house with five other people and it was going on all over the place and I was like, “Why can’t people just fucking mind their business and not suck, steal, lie, and everything else that comes along with narcissists?” I figured out what the antidote is though, and it’s weed picking (not to be confused with cropping). I want my garden of friends to flourish with flowers and succulent shrubbery, no weeds. So I’ve been weed picking like a madman! Forman is like the orchid of the garden, btw, when I get in a situation, I say, “WWFD, – What would Forman do?”

Forman (sax/keys): Well y’know, I thought I was the cauliflower.

Zack: He’s also a family doctor and has been treating the band for various illnesses for years.

Forman: So one part of the song is to get more treatment, more antidotes.

Zack: Are you high?

The Pier: What was the musical inspiration behind Antidote? It has a way cool beat to it.

Zack: I was reading an interview with Robert Smith (The Cure) and he said he writes a third of his songs using an acoustic guitar, a third with piano and then a third based around beats. I thought it was a great idea to play with because generally I write on my cheap little Tijuana special nylon acoustic guitar and then take it into the band and we build from there. So, I gave it a shotsky.

I did write the song Hit Mix completely off of sampled windshield wipers. That was on our first album. The guitar on Antidote is actually an Italian influenced picking thing, which probably sounds nothing like Italian influence. Kind of like what I did on Galileo on Shiny Shady People with no pick, it’s just plucking.

Forman: One thing that I heard early on in the beat is it had a Count Basie type swing to it. The way we brought that out was to add a clap here and there on a downbeat. Also, Nick, our engineer/co-producer came up with this sick sample beat that we snuggly placed into a couple bars of our chorus. This provided a nice distinction from the other beat.

Zack: Distinction is a big word, maybe you’re not high after all.

The Pier: I know the band recorded the song specifically for the compilation. How was the recording session?

Zack: It was great! We went down to Costa Mesa studios did everyone’s part in three or four takes. We wanted to have a lot happening on this track so there is a lot of added samples and effects from our MV-8800. I sang the vocals heavily intoxicated while standing on a piano bench. I can believe I didn’t fall backwards into the grand piano or forward into a drum kit, could’ve been painful and expensive.

When we were done, we sat in Jack’s (Hale – drums) G-ride equipped with woofers and stuff and bumped it, we all looked at each other with grins and that was it. It was Jack’s first recording with us and he just killed it.

Forman: Nick’s studio is amazing. I believe Green Day did most of their last album in there. It’s sick and Nick is so cool helping us out with it.

The Pier: Are you constantly writing songs or do you go through periods where you take the time to specifically write a bunch of material?

Zack: I like to picture songs as children. So I have this switch that I turn off and on kind of like a contraceptive because I don’t want too many at the end of the day. When I turn it on, the songs pour out and then when I need a break, I shut it off. But then again, sometimes songs just come out of the nowhere, the inspiration hits you and it just gets downloaded and boom. But, a lot of the time, it simmers in my head and just like a zit, pop it and it all comes out.

Forman: All up to Zack’s genius creative inspiration. We’ve got four-six tracks we’re actually working on right now.

The Pier: What else does 3rd Alley have planned for 2009?

Zack: Well, we’re going back to Europe in October for a two week tour with the Bandgeek Mafia and we’re extremely ecstatic about that. But for the rest of the year, we plan to continue writing songs in crops of two or three, record them, and then hopefully have another album by the end of the year.

We’ll be doing some regional touring as well off and on. We have a bullpen of bassists between Tyson and Matt Brein and are looking for the right guy to be our permanent member. We’ve been auditioning bassists, but are in no hurry to make a decision until the right fit clicks.

Forman: Word! We’re pumped about the new songs and the new direction! Keep posted for new songs as they will be poking their heads out soon.

3rd Alley MySpace