Tucson indie poppers, Roll Acosta recruited John Vanderslice to produce its forthcoming debut full length album, This Dreamt Existence. Vanderslice's touch can be heard in the album's intricate instrumentation, which falls somewhere between fun.'s acrobatic melodies and Cold War Kids' strained funk, giving these catchy songs have plenty of get-stuck-in-your-head potential.
"A lot of the themes are the concept of dreams...dreams that define hopes and desires and what you would like to happen. That carries through a lot of the music, that's why we named it This Dreamt Existence, there's a lot of allusions to that idea," says vocalist Jake Acosta. "Every song is a different story or talking about 'what if this happened?' or 'I really hope this happens.'"
See what Jake Acosta has to say about the new album, working with John Vanderslice, and making raps about pickles after the jump.
Up on the Sun: Why did you guys decide to have record release shows in Phoenix and Tucson?
Jake Acosta: We like the scenes in both cities and we value a lot of the local music from both cities, so we wanted to show that we are really involved with Arizona in general, that's part of the reason why we are doing a Southwestern tour when we get back from our West Coast tour.
How did your Tucson show go?
The Tucson show went good, we had a lot of people show up. It was a lot of fun to have extra musicians, and we're going to have those actually for our CD release at Yucca Tap Room. We have two great bands playing with us, Madera Strand and Sun Ghost.
What are the extra musicians going to be doing?
When we recorded the record, being a three piece, we added a lot of extra stuff, so we added a lot of bass, keyboards, piano, and stuff like that. Our extra musicians are Wayne Jones and Phillip Hanna from Tugboat, believe it or not. They're going to be doing that job, they're going to be bass and all the keyboards that we have on our album.
Yeah, actually one of my questions was going to be about the instrumentation on the album, particularly on a song like "Anchor."
You hear a lot of John [Vanderslice]'s production style in our music. He's really big with space, creative instrumentation, [especially with] the hi-hat and the drums.
How did you get in contact with him?
When we started looking at where we wanted to record the record, we originally contacted John to help us find a producer. Believe it or not, John wanted to be our producer. We had recorded with John over the summer, we did a song there at Tiny Telephone and we decided "why don't we work with John." He's the one that seems to help us out, anyway. Let's see if he seems interested in producing our record, and luckily he was really into the idea and we got to use a lot of his influence.
The last time we recorded was at Tiny Telephone, just kind of doing a fun thing in the studio. He was actually there during the whole time, so that was cool, we got to talk to him, we got to meet him, we got to meet a lot of people there, and we just really liked it so much that when we said he wanted to produce the record, we were pretty excited. We didn't think that somebody like him would be ready to do something with Roll Acosta, so that was a really awesome experience for us. We're really glad we got to have his touch on all of our music.
Tell me about the title, This Dreamt Existence.
We write a lot of music in Roll Acosta, and there's a lot of times we'll play a song and it might not go all the way through the recording process, but we have a lot of ideas. A lot of the themes are the concept of dreams. Not necessarily apparitions or subconscious dreams, but more like dreams that define hopes and desires, and what you would like to happen. That carries through a lot of the music, that's why we named it This Dreamt Existence, there's a lot of allusions to that idea. There's a lot of stories on this album. Every song is a different story or talking about "what if this happened?" or "I really hope this happens."
When is the official album release date?
Right now the album is being sold primarily at the CD releases. July 1st, we're going to go to iTunes and Spotify and all those other big, mainstream digital outlets. Right now, we're setting up the link so you can buy it from your Facebook or from our website. By buying from us, you're actually buying it from the band. Going to Amazon, they take like six dollars of your budget.
Right now, if people message us, they can get that link before most people. Until July 1st, we won't be on a digital market. We go on tour from July 1st to July 14th California up to Seattle and back. It's going to be a really awesome tour. We're going to San Diego, LA, and San Francisco. We've got a lot of shows in Portland and Seattle. At least 8 or 9 shows are coming up for that. We're doing all of those on our own, we are playing a lot with some of the friends we have in those cities.
[Note: Roll Acosta had a mad libs caption contest on its Facebook page, where I wrote the word "Gherkin"]
We liked your work the most, I didn't even know what a gherkin was. So, we tried to do something, and it ended up being a rap song.
Have you made other songs like this?
We have four Mad Libs videos right now, so if you actually go to our YouTube, you'll see all the different ones we've done and the kind of stories that I have to make up every week on the spot.