- What's up, I'm Gabby Wilson for MTV news,
and I'm here with The Internet.
What's up guys?
- What's good.
- That's Syd, Steve Lacy, Chris Smith, Patrick Page II,
and Matt Martians.
- You guys are getting back together
after Ego Death came out, what, 2015?
And you each had solo projects.
Why did you guys want to get back into the studio together
and make something new?
- Uh, we never broke up.
When we first started working on this album,
we were all on different pages musically.
So we were trying to make stuff.
We were havin' fun making stuff,
but it just wasn't it, you know what I mean?
So we realized, cause Steve was already working
on a solo album, Patrick had already put out a solo EP.
We were like, let's just, you know, let's go on
do our things, and then after that we'll get back to work.
- Yeah, and what, did you guys have a conversation
at some point when you decided to get back together?
- No, it was just like,
"Yo, I'm 'bout to get a studio for us."
No, matter fact, cause the first time we worked
I think was in London.
We had two weeks in London.
We had a show and then we did some press or something.
And during those two weeks we decided to get a studio
just to see, just to vibe out, you know?
See what happens.
And that's where we made the first few instrumentals
for the album.
- [Gabby] What was that session like?
Like how did it go?
- It was fun, it was chill.
I think I came late, 'cause I had something.
Oh yeah, I went to see my aunt or something.
But yeah, when I got there they had already started vibing
on the first track on the album, actually.
That's where we started that one.
- Is that "Roll", or no, okay.
So, album doesn't start with " Roll".
- [Syd] No, it doesn't, it doesn't.
- [Patrick] It's real early on though.
Roll is early on in there.
♪ Listen to your heart ♪
♪ Listen to your heart ♪
- Well "Roll" is the first single off this album
and it's dope.
I'm so excited.
It's just very striking, and very upbeat
versus the kind of more mellow vibe of Ego Death
the last time that you guys all got together.
Talk to me about how that song came together.
Where were you guys?
- [Patrick] We were in Burbank.
- I read in the liner notes that you were in an Airbnb?
- We wrote it in an Airbnb.
- You wrote it in an Airbnb?
We wrote the lyrics in an Airbnb--
- Okay, set that scene for me.
- In Agora Hills.
Yeah, we did half studio, half Airbnb.
It was a beautiful house, oh my God.
There was a grape vineyard in the backyard.
- They had grapes and figs and stuff.
And bunnies in the backyard.
- Or bunnies.
It was amazing.
I set up, like I have a portable studio
that me and Matt invested in.
I set it up on their dining room table basically.
It's like an open concept
Very Moroccan, bohemian decor in the house.
I really love interior design.
And set it up in the dining room area
and we were just, we spent, what, like five days there?
- It was like five days.
- Yeah, about five days.
- Yeah, I think it was like the last day or something.
'Cause the first few days we didn't do anything
but play laser tag.
- Yo, the laser tag was crazy.
- Yeah, we played laser tag,
Earl came through for a couple days,
Amina came through for a day.
We were just hanging out for the most part.
And then the last two days or something
was when we really started nailing down melodies
and lyrics and stuff.
- Is that typically how your writing
and recording process goes?
You kind of like, vibe for awhile
and then the last couple of whatever segment of time
you guys have, then you like pop out?
- Yeah, we don't force anything.
- I think it all varies.
- You guys sample "Sing Sing,"
which is like a beloved hip hop sample.
How did that find its way onto the track?
- It was in a, it was like,
I have this whole folder that I got from another friend
who shall remain nameless
- And that was just one of the ones.
Like, sometimes you know you just go through different
drum loops and I was like, "Ooh, this is hard."
("Sing Sing" by Gaz)
And I started playin' bass over it
and then I was like, that was one of my main concerns,
too, from the beginning.
I was like, damn.
- Yeah, he was like, "Are we good on this?"
- I was like, "Shit, we probably not gonna clear this."
- Are we gonna be able to clear it?
- [Patrick] Yeah.
- [Syd] I was like, it'll be alright.
- Well I love the video, too.
It's really exciting.
What were initial conversations about that treatment like?
'Cause it's pretty interesting.
You start not really seeing any of you,
and then there's a reveal.
- [Syd] Did we even have a treatment?
I don't think we even had a treatment.
- [Steve] We didn't have a technical treatment.
I was inspired by the Jackson 5
"Blame it on the Boogie" video
and how simple it was,
and how it really focused just on the band
and the people in the song.
- [Syd] And "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire.
- [Steve] Yeah, so I think, and of course Jamiroquai
is a huge influence on us
but they didn't directly influence any imagery,
but just, I just always loved how free they were
in their videos.
And how, like, it was just about the music and him
or the band, so.
A lot of the stuff, the blanked out faces,
was stuff that was added last second.
- [Syd] The director's idea.
- [Steve] Yeah.
- [Gabby] Got it, 'cause I wondered if it was intentional.
'Cause I remember, I think that like
some of the first reactions to the video were surprise
that Steve was the lead on the track
'cause it's like,
oh, the longest time since The Internet put out a track
and instead of it being a Syd led track, it's Steve.
I didn't know if that was intentional.
- It just happened.
It's just, that's just what sounded better.
He came up with that melody,
so the initial reference song version is just him going,
"Listen to your heart."
And I was like, listen to your heart.
Yeah, sing that.
- Right, right.
I heard you, I heard you.
- I would say I think it's cool that we can do that.
To have songs that,
You know, we could have songs
where Patrick is rapping or singing.
And I think that's the beauty of our band
is like, anybody could be that person on any given song.
Now most of the album is definitely Syd,
but there's little glimmers of, you know, you've got people.
Like I said, Patrick's rapping on the album
and he's never rapped on any album before.
- [Gabby] Yeah, does everybody get to the mic on this album?
- Matt does, everybody but Chris.
- [Gabby] Why, come on, we love Loud.
- He's doing more production on this album for sure.
He's handling a lot more production and writing
on this album than he has before.
I think we all just exploring new things
and trying to, you know, definitely doing the solo albums
is definitely giving us a lot more confidence to step out,
you know, into those realms within the band.
- [Gabby] Right, since doing solo projects of your own,
how do you think the dynamic shifted
within your creative process as a band?
- People are more sure of themselves when they submit ideas
as opposed to being like,
"Ah, like, I don't know if this is gonna be good."
Cause when you put out a solo album
and you get, you know, it's scary
because you think it's gonna suck
'cause you don't have your band to back you up.
You know what I'm saying?
You don't have the excuse of, "Well it's not just me."
You know what I'm saying?
But when it's you, it's like, if it's trash, you're trash.
So it's like, you know, the fact I think we put solo albums
and they were received very well,
I think it gave us some sort of confidence to be like,
okay, maybe this idea isn't so crazy
because it's worked before, so yeah.
- What are some specific examples for you guys.
Like, Chris was there a moment that you felt like,
"Oh maybe, like, two years ago I wouldn't have spoken up
in this way but."
- Oh yeah, I didn't speak up
during the writing process of Ego Death.
I just did what I normally do,
and was like sitting back and was like,
alright, that's y'all job.
- [Gabby] And then how did that change for this one?
- Well, you know, I mean with that,
with doing the solo projects it was just like,
I didn't have, I didn't ask nobody to help me write.
So I just started just shooting off ideas,
and whatever sticks, sticks.
And you leave it at that.
And if it don't stick, it don't stick.
- So it sounds like the creative process
for making this album took you guys kind of like
all over the place.
It doesn't have roots in any one particular place.
Talk to me a little bit about that creative process
and how you tie all those different strings together.
- We were kind of traveling a lot
in the beginning when we were working on it,
and so, matter of fact,
we made like three new songs in Australia
our last time in Australia.
We were missing a vibe from the album.
We didn't know what, but we booked a few days
at this beautiful studio down there called Golden Retriever
and we just was kickin' it and jammin'.
Yeah, we made three new songs there.
But, you know, it was just natural.
Like, we kind of just, we were traveling,
but we had to work on the album
'cause we knew we wanted it out around the summertime.
Just 'cause it feels like that kind of vibe.
It's very like this.
- Yeah, it's very upbeat.
I've only listened to like,
"Come Over", "La Di Da", and "It Gets Better".
But what I've been able to glean from just those tracks
is that it seems like it's gonna be much more upbeat
than maybe like something that we've heard from you guys
in like the recent past.
Would you say that that's true for the rest of the album?
- We think so.
I don't know if the world will agree,
but for us, it feels more energetic.
- Yeah, intentionally we tried to like,
that was Matt's main thing, was speeding up the tempo.
- Why is that?
- 'Cause I would go to festivals,
and I would notice the certain tempos that casual fans
would be more drawn to.
'Cause I don't think it's necessarily
compromising the sound.
I think it's a certain tempo that you can hit that
if somebody's walking by your stage,
they hear that tempo, and if the beat's okay
they're a little more attracted to it than the normal BPMs.
Our other songs, like you said, they're a lot more vibey,
a lot more groovy.
I say this album has a lot more attitude with tempo.
I'd say those two things mixed.
So yeah, we just wanted to speed it up
'cause we wanted our shows to have a lot more energy
than they did.
- [Gabby] Is that something that excites you about
being able to perform, too?
- I think as a performer, you have to be able to perform
as if no one's there.
'Cause it's your music.
You have to enjoy it, you know?
So we try to enjoy performing our music, regardless.
Just enjoy it with ourselves.
We be in rehearsal like, "Ah."
- How would you guys describe the sound
of this album in particular?
- First thing that comes to my mind, personally,
I say funk.
- Funk, yeah.
- It is a little funkier.
It's funkier than Ego Death, for sure.
- It's more mature.
I think it's more mature than Ego Death.
I'd say this, I won't even say subject matter,
but just all around it just feels a lot more grown.
- What ways were you challenging yourselves on this album?
I know that you've talked a little bit about the funk sound
and bringing different things from the solo projects,
but what, in what ways do you feel like you grew
individually from this project?
- I'd say no features.
I think that's how we've grown.
I think, we didn't necessarily depend on features ever
but I think we would, to be safe, kind of,
sort of a safety net get people that people
are familiar from to draw to a band
that we felt like people weren't that familiar with before.
And I feel like with this album,
the challenge was doing it ourselves.
So, I think that's the biggest challenge
was really just doing it ourselves
and trusting that we didn't need extra people
to really make people pay attention.
- I mean, you have five solo artists.
That's what we were going for.
- Well thank you guys so much for coming through.
I can't wait to listen to the whole album.
- Thanks for havin' us.