At the end of this week, Ridgewood New Jersey’s Prawn release their new album ‘Run’ via Topshelf Records. Their third full-length, it was recorded in just two weeks at The Barber Shop Studios, a lake-front old stone church in Lake Hopatcong, NJ, and sees the band delving deep into the human condition, and how difficult it can feel to really connect with those around you.
“A lot of what came out was the sheer difficulty of truly relating to one another,” says vocalist Tony Clark. “I felt like everywhere I looked at relationships in my life, there was some feelings of alienation and isolation. I tried to go further than my personal relationships and analyse how I was relating to ideas or communities I partake in.”
Listen to ‘Run’ in full below, and find out more about it from Tony after the jump.
Hey Tony, what’ve you guys been up to since the release of ‘Kingfisher’ in 2014? Any major life changes?
We’ve been keeping busy. We’ve been touring a lot, wrote the new record, released a split with Moving Mountains, etc. I don’t think there have been too many major life changes, but definitely changes. We’ve brought on new touring members which has changed the dynamic up a bunch. I think we’ve had four different touring bassists since the release of Kingfisher. That keeps the dynamic fresh and exciting.
We were lucky enough to tour with some of our favourite bands, including Tiny Moving Parts, Free Throw, Pup, and Hey Mercedes. We also played a few shows with Jimmy Eat World, which was pretty surreal.
What frame of mind were you in when you started work on its follow-up?
If I had to pick an adjective to describe the mood we were in, I’d say relaxed. We knew we wanted to take our time with this album and didn’t really feel any outside pressures. We wanted to create something different with this record, and I think we achieved that. It’s more of an upbeat, punky record, which I think captures how we perform live. I also think the bands we’ve been touring with have had a load of influence on our writing this time around.
You’ve said that ‘Run’ was in part inspired by feeling isolated, how do you think that fed into the music?
Hm. I couldn’t say how much that feeling really entered into the instrumental aspect of the record. The feelings of isolation surrounding the record were based around my personal introspection. The themes of alienation and isolation aren’t meant to be taken negatively. I tried to set those themes in terms of a healthy self-examination process. Rather than just feeling certain emotions, I tried to ascertain why I was feeling those things. I think the majority of the lyrics on this record act a documentation of what I was feeling during those times.
How did you come to call it ‘Run’? It sounds a bit disconcerting. Are you running away from something?
We were between a few different album names. ‘Run’ came to the forefront because we all felt like it describes the many feelings on the record. We thought by naming it ‘Run’; it’s open to many interpretations for the listener. There’s the feeling like you mentioned of running away from something, either consciously or subconsciously. There are also sentiments of being content and happy with doing an action just to do it. There’s a lyric “You run, just to run again,” which sums those feelings up. It’s about being and living in the present.
Do you have a favourite track on the release?
I can’t speak on behalf of the other members, but I can’t pick one. It’s my favourite release we’ve done, so I feel like all the songs hold a special place with me. We took a long time writing and re-writing these songs, so every song is a time stamp for me over the last three years. Like I can still remember exactly where we were or what state I was in when writing a specific song. So in that sense, they’re all my favourites.
What would you most like listeners to take away from ‘Run’?
That’s tough. It’s up to the listener. I’ve always thought music should be up to individual interpretation. I think I’d just want the listener to know what I was aiming to write about. The aim was to examine relationships and how I interact with the world. What I found wasn’t great and brought up feelings of isolation. However, they weren’t always negative feelings of isolation. They were just kinda “there.” I think the lyrics are pretty heavy on this record, but the music is more fun than previous works. So I guess in a nutshell, it would be you can still have fun while still dealing with shit and trying to make yourself a better person.
You’re touring the UK later this year with The Flatliners – is there anything you especially like doing / eating / seeing while you’re over here?
Yes! Touring in Europe is one of our favourite things to do. We’ve had such great experiences in the past touring the UK. We’re all very excited for some English Breakfasts and ale. We’re excited to watch football matches at normal hours, rather than waking up at 7 am on a Saturday. Excited to eat some Nando’s. Excited for it all!
It’s part of a massive run of dates, isn’t it – are you ready for such a long stint on the road? How do you prepare?
We don’t really have any preparations. We don’t take these touring opportunities for granted and are just so damn excited. The only serious thing we prep for is making sure all the logistics are taken care of like van rental, merch, and work permits.
Do you have anything else coming up that we should know about?
We have a bunch of cool stuff coming up. We just wrapped up a music video over the weekend. We also did a live studio session last week that were jazzed about. We’ll be on the road a lot the next year as well. Oh, we are also brewing a Prawn beer and having a listening party the weekend before we fly over which should be a blast.
Prawn’s album ‘Run’ is out 22nd September. Pre-order your copy here.