Saddles Frontman Charles Barth Talks About Discovering His Acoustic Side, Tonight's Set at Open Source Project

Did you get that memo?

Not the one about the TPS report, but the one that says fluorescent hues slowly drain the light out of your eyes and that desk jobs are hazardous to your health. Saddles frontman Charles Barth did not did get that memo, but he was recently fired from his office job. He says it's the best thing that has happened to him.

The last time we spoke with Barth he was talking about his self-effacing tendencies. Today he's discovering an inclination towards playing acoustically and using words like, "pop sensibility" and "upbeat," to describe his upcoming album.

Saddles is performing an acoustic set tonight at Tempe's fledgling collaborative workspace, the Open Source Project, along with Grace Bolyard, There There, and Beni Benavidez. The show starts at 7 p.m. and it's just $5 at the door. Keep reading to hear what else is good with Barth.

Up On the Sun: So what's new man?

Charles Barth: Just playing more acoustic shows like this and working on a full length album right now. I realize more people seem to respond to my acoustic side.

There seems to be like two separate kinds of fans. Some that only care about the acoustic side, versus the ones that prefer my full band sound.

What about you? Do you have a preference between playing acoustic versus performing with a full band?

I'm starting to see the benefit to both sides. I used to really be pro full band. Even in my acoustic performances, I wanted it to feel like a full band performance. I wanted it to feel different from the coffee shop singer-songwriter. But I'm starting to learn that there are a lot of people that really respond to that, you know. If you do that side of it well you'll find a willing audience. Playing with a full band is just fun. Everyone just has such a good time. So I'm trying to be really good at both.

Right on. Have you been to Open Source Project yet?

I haven't been there yet but I've heard good things about it. I like what the promoters are doing. They're starting a label called Aggregate Records and they seem to be doing good things. Putting shows like this together is definitely good for people like me, so I want to support them and keep them going.

So how's the album coming along?

It's about halfway written right now. I'm at the point where I'm trying to latch on to a theme. It's all sounding good though so far. It's definitely going to be the best that I've come out with for sure. The first half of it right now is more upbeat. There's a pop sensibility focus going on with fewer ballads. I've always been trying to write that epic album closer, but with like every song. But I'm not interested in that anymore. I'm trying to move on to making an album that has its own ebb and flow and progression. Songs that are more upbeat are the key to that.

That's kind of a change from when you performed "The Weekend's Water" for us. Did you have a recent change in your life or is this just a part of your musical growth?

Well I used to work in this stuffy office and I recently got fired. And it's kind of the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. I was constantly unhappy there while I was shackled to my mouse and keyboard, so that's been the biggest change.

Well right on man. Anything else you want to add?

There are physical copies of This Is Ridiculous Luxury available at Stinkweeds and Revolver Records.

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Anthony Sandoval
Contact: Anthony Sandoval