Interview with Joe Lacy from Boston’s THE WEEDS; Releasing super limited cassette via No Sleep Records on 2/26.
Boston, Massachusetts 4-piece The Weeds are definitely doing something right with their free time… How about you? Boasting an impressive lineup featuring former members of Transit, Late Night Wars, Defeo, and Sleepsick, The Weeds play an emotive brand of pop-punk/indie rock that’ll undoubtedly catch the eyes and ears of scenes nationwide… Tight, poppy jams flooded with vocal harmony and rhythmic changeups to get the crowd bouncing and lurching… I’m diggin’ it. And damn… Justine is cute!
The Weeds are getting ready to release a new EP on February 26th. Titled Roots/Routes, the digital portion will be handled by Catskull Records, and No Sleep Records are selling a very limited (300) cassette-only release, that is currently available for preorder HERE. I got in touch with guitar/vocalist Joe Lacy prior to the drop date to talk about the band’s beginning and how they came together, the tracks on the forthcoming EP, and where the group hopes to go in 2013.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Introduce the members in the group… Who is everyone, what do they play, and where does everyone come from?
J- I’m Joe Lacy and I play guitar and sing. Justine also plays guitar and sings. There’s Jarek, who plays bass, and John plays drums. We’re all from the North Shore, MA area.
G- Right on. So, how long has The Weeds been a group thus far, and when did you first get started? Do you remember the moment that you really felt the group “click?
J- We got started this past summer in August, so about five months. I thought we really clicked when we found Jarek and realized we all wanted to do something serious, and not just jam.
G- Wow you guys are really new! Looks like we’re onboard from the get-go… Score!
So, tell me a bit about where you are from… How is the scene and how are the responses at your shows?
J- I’m from Stoneham, MA. I grew up going to a lot of hardcore shows where I saw a lot of the bands that influenced me to be in a band. My old favorite venue was the Stoneham White Church where I grew up playing and going to shows.
The Weeds hasn’t played in Stoneham because that venue shut down, but we play around the area and the responses are pretty good, seeing as we just started playing shows.
G- You are just about to release a new EP, Roots/Routes, and I was hoping to get a bit of insight on the songs (which are very good, btw.) Where did you find the inspiration behind the tracks, and how long did it take to get them hammered down?
J- The first song, “Sunset Eyes (Beautiful Life),” and sixth song, (a bonus song “Stranger Than Fiction,”) are the two last songs that we wrote and put together as a band collectively on the spot. I think that this is the key to writing a great song. The other four songs are songs that either Justine or I had or worked on together beforehand, which also works. But, we practiced all six of them for about two months and changed a ton of different things, and basically made them perfect in our eyes. And then, we recorded them.
G- Can you tell us where you recorded the EP and who was behind the boards for you? How were the sessions, and how do you feel about the finished product?
J- We recorded our EP at The Office Recording Studios with Mike Moschetto (Aviator/Long Lost). He was great to work with and he put together a great record for us. There was lots of stuff that he made me see and I think we showed him a lot of cool stuff as well.
The sessions were fun and I felt comfortable the whole time. I think, at the end of it, all of us we were sure that we had something that we all loved, including Mike, which made us feel a lot more confident.
G- What is your writing process like, and who in the band typically comes up new music? Do you have a primary songwriter, or do you write music more organically through jamming during rehearsals?
J- Justine and I write all of the guitars and lyrics, but we love just jamming riffs at practice and hearing what John and Jarek come up with. So, I guess it’s just a bit of both. But all of the lyrics are written between Justine and I at home. We plan on writing more organically together for our next release.
G- Can you give us a few examples of any bands or artists in particular that influence your style? Who do you typically like to listen to, and are there any acts you think we should know about?
J- The Appleseed Cast, Saves The Day, The Early November, American Football, Title Fight, Nirvana, and Tigers Jaw are the bands that influence me and that I typically listen to, among a lot of other things. I think you should know Somos, Hostage Calm, Adventures, Allison Weiss, and The Kid Crash’s New Ruins LP.
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written, or if you were to give only 1 song to someone who’s never heard The Weeds before, what track would you offer them and why?
J- “Sunset Eyes” is probably my favorite song that I have ever written. It took me forever to get those lyrics the way I wanted, but I took about two months, at every practice, rearranging them and making them perfect. The riffs are super heavy, but Justine’s leads make them sound much more full and less drony.
G- What should your fans, both old and new, expect of the performances when you guys hit the road? What should some of the first time listeners expect to see when you take the stage?
J- We’re very emotional and put our all into every performance, including practice.
G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could pick out 3 bands to go on tour with, who would you want to join you on the road and why?
J- Man Overboard would be fun! Those guys are some of my best friends and I’ve toured with them before, so I’m used to the little weird things we all do on the road.
Balance And Composure for the same reason, and because they’re one of my favorite bands ever to watch.
And Title Fight, just because they are one of my favorite bands and some of the greatest guys I know. They always make me laugh a lot and know all the great places to eat.
G- Lastly, as a new band that is currently in build-mode, what advice can you give some of the other young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
J- I’d tell them that I have been all around this country playing music and watching bands play their first shows or their last shows and every time I’ve watched a band that’s opening and kills it, it just shows me that it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or if you’re playing to 2,000 kids a night. You just see that people love music and they know it truly makes them happy.
I always want my band to be that band that kids listen to in their room and makes them happy when they’re sad or angry; The band that really changes your life and brings out the best moods ever, and that’s usually my motivation. So, I’d tell them to think their band can do that one day.