I first met EAR PWR when they set up a show for me in their hometown of Asheville, where Devin was studying experimental music in college (for real). Devin and Sarah turned the place into an outrageous dance party, then gave me sugary pastries for breakfast and gave me a CDR of sugary electro-pop songs that I listened to probably 10 times in a row in the car, and which I'd hear in my head upon waking up for a few weeks.
Since then they put out a record on Carpark Records (Super Animal Bros III), moved to Baltimore, toured the world, and moved back to Asheville. They're about to put out their second record for Carpark which promises to delve deeper into their adult emotions. I don't doubt that EAR PWR honestly love Sparkly Sweaters or the other things they sing about on their last record, but maybe they love the National Parks (which they sing about on their next album) in a slightly deeper way - and the music is sounding deeper to reflect that.
In fact, they're making a music video for their "National Parks" song and are raising the funds to pay for it with Kickstarter. My feelings are slightly mixed on bands using Kickstarter, but I can't argue when the rewards offered are worth the price regardless. For example, just $5 gets you a download of the new album. Donate here, http://kck.st/h8IWmH
I sent some interview questions to EAR PWR, which Sarah answered below. Hit play on this new track, "Baby Houses," and read on!
How is the new album different from your first album?
We dug deep. Worked harder. Got more personal. Added live drums. Also, Devin composed most of the songs on paper this go round.
At one point you told me you were going to be incorporating live drums. Has that happened and how has it/did it work out?
Oh yeah, it has happened. Devin plays drums and mans the electronics. It’s a lot for one person to handle but I think it works out pretty well. I guess the drums kinda took the place of the megaphone in a way. They’re both hype machines.
How was life in Baltimore and why did you decide to move back to your hometown of Asheville?
Life in Baltimore was great. Cost of living was super low and we were always surrounded by the best people. We had so much fun that we became pretty unproductive. We needed to get back to nature and our roots in order to move forward with ear pwr.
Do you think going to Baltimore was a good career move? Did it help you hook up with your label?
Well, we hooked up with our label about a year before we moved to Baltimore so it didn’t help in that instance. I guess being “from” Baltimore carries clout and people take more notice of bands that are Baltimore-based, but other than that I don’t think it was a good career move. It attached a stigma to us that wasn’t really accurate and lumped us in with a group that we didn’t belong to.
Do you think being on a record label helps small bands these days, or is it just as effective to put things out yourself?
It is just as effective to put things out yourself.
What is the most awesome place you've gotten to travel to and play at?
Wroclaw, Poland. Absolute insanity.
You said you got some bad press and bad vibes from haters after your first album, which to me seems weird because you're such a positive poppy band. Why do you think anyone got upset by EAR PWR?
I can’t really tell you why but I guess that unhappy buttholes are always looking for something to hate and being that we’re happy and posi, we’re a pretty easy target
Did you get any harsh but valid criticism that's helped or informed what you do?
Most definitely. When we made Super Animal Bros. III we just churned it out without a lot of thought. It served as something people could take away from our live show to remember the insanity that occurred. We weren’t thinking about people listening to our album who had never seen us live. This time we took that into consideration.
Why make a big production (relatively speaking of course) music video?
National Parks is really important to us. It is simple lyrically but it evokes a lot of grand imagery. It deserves a fancy video, anything less would not do it justice. We’ve always loved making wild videos for our songs, we just hadn’t hooked up with anyone who had the means to make our wildest dreams come true. Until now.
Lastly, could you hype up your upcoming stuff? When is the new album out? Next shows? Tour?
Album comes out May 24th. We’re playing ATP curated by Animal Collective in May and doing a little UK tour around that. I think we’ll be playing in NYC in June. Look out!
EAR PWR's Kickstarter project ends this Friday night at midnight, so donate NOW if you're gonna. They're 3/5 of the way to their goal.