We Sat Down With Rock-N-Roll Band, The Living Statues, To Talk All About Their Creative Process
The Living Statues is a band that proves rock-n-roll can still exist, and it’s awesome. With their latest releases, “Valicity,” “Blackout,” and “All My Girls” grabbing the attention of the music industry, band members Tommy Shears, Chris Morales, Alex Thornburg and Zak Rickun are ready to show the world what rock-n-roll in 2015 really means. Described as “edgy, dangerous and unpredictable,” The Living Statues likes to think of themselves as “a band from The Great Midwest”. Sure, we love their humble Milwaukee pride, but this dynamic group of musicians gives the same vibes as fellow rock bands the Strokes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and even the Arctic Monkeys, plus they have a cosign from Mayer Hawthorne. The Living Statues is sure to have a powerful 2016, so we sat down with the band members to talk all about their artistic process and what projects to expect next.
Are you day or night workers?
Alex, Chris, & Tom work the9-to-5 grindwhile Zak is finishing up college. So our ability to ‘work’ as musicians really thrives at night. Exhaustion mixed with some form of alcohol is usually a good combo for making music. Gin is preferred. Whiskey a close 2nd.
How do you get inspired?
Constantly listening to other music, from the classics (The Kinks, The Replacements, The Police) to the contemporaries (Arctic Monkeys, Drake, Arcade Fire), is the best way to be inspired. Going to shows, studying what they are doing, what works, what doesn’t work—always lights a fire. That, and of course, women.
Are you always proud of what you make?
Absolutely. We wouldn’t keep releasing music if we weren’t proud of it. The same can be said of the songs that don’t get released, the ones that remain as home demos. The songwriting gets stronger and the composition gets tighter with every track. It’s all about growth. And you can see that progression over the course of a year as we’ve released 3 unique tracks, the most recent being “Valicity.”
What has performing taught you about yourselves?
One of my college professors once told me, “Never make it to the stage and pretend you aren’t supposed to be there.” And he was right. Writing a song is one thing; performing the live show is where it really counts. We are, after all, entertainers. And for us, the live show is where we really let loose. There’s nothing like playing a show in front of people and watching them singing along to something you wrote. It’s humbling and empowering. It keeps us hungry for more.
What are some of the emotional tolls of your work?
Pleasing the newer generation who don’t like to buy music.
Pros and cons of working on one creative project with multiple band members?
The toughest part is having the same vision for a song. There is a lot of give & take that happens, which is just the nature of 4 dudes working together. But at the end of the day, it’s all about making good music. If it’s not good, nobody is happy. If we can’t picture ourselves personally listening to the songs we make, then there’s no point in forcing something out of nothing. We all need to be on the same page, including the producer in the studio.
If you weren’t doing this, if you had a day job, where would you see yourselves?
Alex is a civil engineer, Chris is a biologist, Tom is a copywriter, and Zak is still a student studying entertainment business. We see our day jobs becoming music – touring, writing, recording. We want to be able to walk up to our respective bosses and say I’m going to be on tour for a few months, peace out.
How do you keep yourselves artistically free and open while tending to your career?
It’s easy to get comfortable. It’s easy to sit down after a day of work, and not grab a guitar, not grab a pair or sticks and play on a pad. Comfort kills creativity. It’s the enemy.
What are you working on right now?
We’re working on a music video for our newest single, Valicity, with director Cody LaPlant. Then, we have a handful of new tracks that we are looking to record top of 2016 – perhaps EP #2?!
How was Mayer Hawthorne an influence on this project?
In playing a few shows with Mayer Hawthorne, we’ve seen first-hand his super-polished stage show. Watching him kind of informed us of where we’d like to take our own live show. We like to teeter the line between polished & gritty, clean dress attire, with a punk attitude/aesthetic on stage.
What’s your favorite memory from recording your project?
Recording our debut EPKnockin’at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, New York. We had 4 days to record 5 songs. Worked hard during the day and explored NYC at night. It was our first time there as a band, as well as our first serious recording project, and we really made the most of it. Met a lot of awesome people, had some great food, and left with a handful of killer recordings.