By Kieran Webber
The Nashville-via-Mississippi band The Weeks recently shared news of their new album ‘Easy’ (available April 7th) named so because according to frontman Cyle Barnes “We called it Easy because every time I make music with these guys, it’s easy. It feels good.” this is reflective through ‘Easy’ as it is a collection of songs created by people who genuinely love what they are doing.
Listen to the single ‘Talk Like That’ here:
After getting out chops around their album we were eager to chat with the hip-swinging rockers about their forthcoming release, a weird shoe licker at a show and everything else inbetween.
CLUNK: Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! How have you been and what have you been getting up to?
TW: Hey we’re just happy to be here. We’ve been great – really excited to be gearing up for a new record and touring again.
CLUNK: What was life like growing up in Mississippi?
TW: Mississippi honestly was a really conducive environment to grow up for an artist. There’s so much essential American culture that originated there it’s hard not to pick some up along the way. It also forces you to embrace your weirdness in a way other states would not. We were the black sheep of our tiny little town for sure. We grew up about 10 miles south of Jackson, MS though and when we were kids the music scene was really special. From the age of 12 we were sneaking into shows and getting our rock n roll fix.
CLUNK: How did you all meet and did The Weeks come to be?
TW: The twins met in the womb, the rest of us met at shows in Jackson. All our favorite local bands seemed to break up within 6 months of each around 2006 and we saw a void so we filled it. We had shows booked before our first practice and just hit the ground running, playing anywhere that would have us. We were between 14-16 at the time but we still play some of the songs that we wrote in those first few weeks of playing together. Even at that age we knew we had struck something special.
CLUNK: What or who influenced you to start making music in the first place and why?
TW: Again it all goes back to the Jackson music scene. Bands like Champagne Heights, King Elementary, Colour Revolt, Living Better Electrically, The Rockwells… The list goes on and on. National touring acts always skipped Jackson so we had our own surrogate versions. Those bands taught us everything we ever needed to know about what it takes to write good music and entertain an audience.
CLUNK: What has been the highlight of your journey so far?
TW: Honestly the highlight is that we’re still firing on all cylinders. There’s so much pressure these days to have a hit out of the gate and sell 10,000 tickets a night that a lot of people give up and start over with another band. We exist to play music with each other. No successes or failures will deter our eyes from that fact.
“There’s so much pressure these days to have a hit out of the gate and sell 10,000 tickets a night that a lot of people give up and start over with another band”
CLUNK: You guys have played a lot of live shows at this point and toured around the world (which must be amazing!) do you have any funny/gnarly/weird stories to share?
TW: We’ve always seemed to find ourselves in particular strange settings but the one that we always go back to is Jesse the Shoe Licker in Ybor City, Florida. He showed up around load in, offered to help us get gear inside, asked one of us about our shoes then grabbed our shoes and licked that sole heel to toe. He then proceeded to get the rest of our shoes. You’d think he’d get cholera or the plague or some shit but maybe his immune system has micro-dosed on every disease so much that he’s never sick? Maybe Jesse has it right?
“He showed up around load in, offered to help us get gear inside, asked one of us about our shoes then grabbed our shoes and licked that sole heel to toe”
CLUNK: What is your 5 most essential items to take with you whilst on tour?
TW: Through the years we’ve worked with some brands that have become totally essential to our every day life on the road. Willett Bourbon out of Bardstown, KY is #1 with a bullet. Frye sneakers during the day then the Frye boots on stage. Early travel days in the van with a hangover is pretty much an everyday deal so our Proof Sunglasses come in clutch. Personally I always bring a little parlor acoustic guitar to get some writing in wherever we can. A company called The Loar out of San Francisco sent one over that now I can’t live without. Lastly, FIFA 16. The only video game we ever play.
CLUNK: Your forthcoming album ‘Easy’ hits the shelves April 7th what feelings do you have prior to this and what are thoughts on the finished piece?
TW: We’re especially proud of this record. We were on the road constantly for about 5 years, with writing and recording all taking place between tours and in remote location sometimes in the middle of tours. With this record we wanted to take a step back and write at home for once. We got the band house outfitted with a rehearsal room/studio and took about 6 months to write about 30 songs. In the past our records have hit a lot of different genres but we wanted to do a more concise straight forward rock record. Southern rock with a lot of glam rock influence.
CLUNK: Did you do anything different whilst recording this album?
TW: With our last record ‘Dear Bo Jackson’ we really wanted to throw the kitchen sink at it; horns, singers, pedal steel etc. With this record we wanted to focus on live tracking in the killer A room at Ardent in Memphis, TN. Not a lot of overdubs, no tricks. We were listening to a lot of T Rex, Big Star and ZZ Top and I think that cuts through on ‘Easy’.
“With this record we wanted to take a step back and write at home for once”
CLUNK: Do you have personal favorite tracks on the album? (Mine is ‘Bottle Rocket’)
TW: “Don’t Be Sad” probably takes the cake for me. Cyle sang it to me one day at the studio, we popped in the tracking room and played it one time and that’s what’s on the record. We didn’t even do a second take to make sure we got the one. We knew it before we even listened back. There’s something special about the listener being able to hear on record literally the first time the song was ever played.
CLUNK: Lastly, what can we expect from you from 2017 and beyond?
TW: We’re gonna be hitting the road extra hard all year and tracking the next record too. After 4 years between albums, we’re gonna be releasing a lot of music over the next 2 or 3 years.
Follow The Weeks on their socials:
‘Easy’ will be available via Lightning Rod Records April 7th and you can pre-order here.