Culprit are an up-and-coming rock act from Los Angeles, CA. With their latest EP, ‘Analogue,’ the band blends the energy of post-hardcore with catchy melodies and effects.
Rock Edition talked with vocalist Travis Powell and bassist Zach Blumenfeld a week before the release of their new effort. Check out what the guys had to say below.
Your new EP, ‘Analogue,’ is due out in a few days. It must be nice to finally get it out there.
Travis Powell: Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. We pretty much finished our first session in the beginning of 2010 in January. We’ve been sitting on this material for a while. We finished the production in October or November. We’ve been doing all the steps to get it out. I feel like Christmas is next week.
Did you start writing the material for the EP in January too?
Travis: Well, we wrote about half the record prior to heading into the studio. Then, we recorded half the record and wrote more songs to support the songs we already had.
You worked with Erik Ron on this new release. Did he produce, engineer, and mix everything?
Zach Blumenfeld: He did everything — all that good stuff. [laughs]
I hope you got a nice deal.
Travis: He’s actually one of our buddies. He used to be in bands that played in our area. We already kind of knew him.
Zach: We further developed our relationship with him. He’s now become an even better friend of ours.
It seems like more and more producers need to know how to engineer and mix nowadays.
Travis: He was an engineer for a long time for John Feldmann. That’s where he got his foot in the door. Actually, he worked with another producer before that. He did a couple Sparta records. He just kind of developed himself over the years by working under these bigger named producers. I don’t know if we were the first, but we were one of the first few bands that he decided to produce.
Did you have the general concept for the album down before really getting into the mess of recording?
Travis: He had us do pre-production, which we’ve never done in the way he had us do it. We actually plugged everything in and did a live recording. We went through the songs we had already written and he gave us his notes and had us try a few different things — minor things. That step helped us create how the songs are now.
Tell us about the new single “Siren.”
Travis: It’s about a relationship. I guess the easiest way to explain it would be between a male and a female. It references The Odyssey, and how the Sirens’ song will lead you astray. It’s pretty much about a shifty woman, you know what I mean? [laughs]
Is this based on a particular female that you all know? [laughs]
Travis: I mean… [laughs]
That’s a yes! You guys released a stop motion-style music video for it, right?
Travis: Yeah, one afternoon on a Sunday our buddy Ian Flanigan basically came and hung out with us. We went to the bar and drank Bloody Marys all day and just had a good ol’ time. We finished up the shoot a few days later. It took about an hour to finish it up.
So he went around taking pictures of you guys all day?
Travis: He would shoot bursts of photos. On that one Sunday, I think he took 3,500 pictures. He’s done a stop motion video before and we were blown away by it, so we asked him to do one for us. I’m not really sure how he went about it. Ian’s a very special guy. [laughs]
Coming up, the band has a record release show on April 19. I noticed that The Material will be playing the show. I think they’re from LA, too.
Travis: They’re actually from San Diego. We’ve been playing in the same circles of bands for about 4 years. We know those guys pretty well.
Have you guys played the Whisky a Go Go before?
Travis: No, it’ll be our first time.
Tour-wise the band has some sporadic dates, correct?
Travis: Yeah, pretty much. We’re going to do a tour in July. I’m not sure the exact dates. Everything is still in the works, but we’ve been talking to another band about going out with them.
Can you explain to us where the EP’s title came from?
Travis: The meaning of the word “analogue” with the “u” and “e” at the end is like a definition — a defining statement of something. I feel like this record is the definition of us this far. It’s an all encompassing representation of what we’re about.
Anything else in the works?
Travis: We’re constantly writing. We’ve got about three songs worked out and I have a good song and a half in my head already. We’re kind of always working on it.
Pick up Culprit’s new EP Analogue.
For the band’s upcoming tour dates, check out their Myspace page.