On the Record: Hear/Say on Their New EP

St. John's best, beloved rap-rock group discuss their new album ...

Hear/Say are St. John’s best, beloved rap-rock group, and they’ve just released a new EP, called Make a Friend. Here’s the band talking about the album and music in general.

If I made you pick a favourite song off the album, which would you pick? Any reason why?

We’d have to go with “Much More.” Not only is it a lot of fun to play live, but it’s also the first thing we wrote together when Keith and Whitney joined the band.

And if I let you pick another favourite?

A close second would be “Love Collided,” which flirts a bit with Motown and expands into a reggae section. It’s also the most upbeat track on the album, and people seem to dance the hardest to it. It’s a lot of fun to play.

Is there a song on here that’s a little different for you, or that you questioned including?

“Still Kickin’” is probably the most out-there song on the record. Former member and great pal Josh White (White Hot Mess, if you haven’t heard his RPM stuff) came to us with the skeleton for this piece, and Megan Warren (Repartee) layered some great vocal tracks on the chorus. What we ended up with was not what we primarily envisioned, but it ended up being one of our fan favorites.

Which one of these songs came out the hardest or was the longest in the crafting? Why?

“Still Kickin’” for sure. It was outside the box for us, but after the work was put in, it really paid off.

Share a random fact about one of your songs on this album, or the album itself.

“Love Collided” was inspired by the documentary Standing in The Shadows of Motown,  featuring the Detroit based band, The Funk Brothers.

Name one influence on your approach to songwriting – whether it be a musician or a goal you have in crafting a song.

Our first priority is to write songs that are dancable. We’ve written as a group in a room together, with Keith laying down a beat, and the rest of us writing parts around certain tempos that Adam (Martin) is interested in rapping over. Other times, one of us will have ideas and riffs for all the instruments, but one thing is for sure, we know we’re doing something right when Martin starts dancing!

And if I lit your album collection on fire, what’s one album you’d think to save first?

We all listen to very different music, so we’ll have to answer this one individually. Heff is going with Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s Are Black Star, Martin with El-P’s I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, Whitney with Beck’s The Information, Keith with Lettuce’s album Rage!, and Robbie with The Pokemon Soundtrack, Vol.1.

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