Issues have returned with what might just be their most ambitious record yet, the wide-reaching ‘Beautiful Oblivion’. From battling personal struggles, to studio tips and a secret “baby love”: the band tell us more.
The studio almost burned down while we were recording. We were recording at Howard Benson’s studio in Calabasas during the wildfires in the summer of 2018, and we had to stop working and evacuate. The house we were staying at got evacuated and blocked off, so we had to find a back way in too.
AJ had a mental health episode and disappeared around the same time. The details are his to tell, but he disappeared and drove to Vegas in the middle of recording, and we had to track him down. Josh found him in a Wendy’s parking lot with an empty liquor bottle and a knife. This spurred a big change in him, however, and he’s really been open about his struggles and what he’s going through to ease them. It got real dark, but we’re really happy he’s still with us!
We wrote 50 songs and cut out everything but our favourites. Everything started when I went to LA and wrote ‘No Problem’ with Ivana from Van Jess and ‘Here’s To You’ with Jesse Boykins iii. Those two more RnB jams set the tone for everything else, and we went from there.
The vocal in Tapping Out is pitch-shifted. We struggled to find the right key for this song because any lower and the guitar didn’t sound right, and any higher the vocal sounded too anxious, so Tyler had the idea to record himself in the lower key and pitch shift him up to match the guitar in the higher key. This gives it a really airy, fluttery sound.
‘Downfall’ contains the lowest note we’ve ever recorded. The bridge and ending of ‘Downfall’ is on a low C#, an octave under what people usually call drop C#, and my bass is an octave under that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a recorded note lower than my bass note, but if it’s out there, I need to find it. Good on my signature Spector for handling that tuning!
There’s a “baby love” somewhere on every one of our albums. There’s one on Beautiful Oblivion on a song that almost didn’t make it. Try to find it!
Taken from the November issue of Upset. Issues’ album ‘Beautiful Oblivion’ is out now.