The Letter Yellow, sky blue Brooklyn
Interview with RANDY BERGIDA
1.0 – What’s the best thing about The Letter Yellow’s WALKING DOWN THE STREETS?
I really connect to these songs. They were extremely natural to write and being that the majority of the songs were written one after the next in a span of a few months, there is a continuity that weaves
throughout all the different feels and colors of Walking Down The Streets. I also love the freshness of the songs on the record in that we had never performed prior to recording tracking. The idea was that the songs had a well rehearsed touch, but they hadn’t been overanalyzed and over structured. If a section wanted to extend through the live tracking portion of the record, we went with it. The
spirit is in the recording and beyond all the fancy things you can do post production, it’s the spirit that lives in the performance that I’ve always connected to on a record.
The sound of the record was largely inspired by the 8×8 studio we
rehearsed in. It’s hard to imagine 3 people and all our instruments
in this room, but it’s possible. The limiter on the iphones was also
something that evolved our sound. Hearing everything in a tiny room
with a big limiter compressing the music to the point that everything
sounds good gave us much hope. When we were tracking with Quinn
McCarthy at The Creamery, we went ahead and recorded all the vocals
through the voxac30 as we would rehearse. In the end, Joel Hamilton
at studio G took the clean mike and gave the essence of the amp with
his military grade compressors (no joke).
3.0 – Do you consider branding & image as part of the artistic process?
I think of it more as just letting your personalities come out.
Pretty much the same way I think with clothing. It’s superficial yes,
but at the same time it’s nice for people to have an idea of who you
are just by looking at you. All I want is for the music and the image
to be an honest representation of us. I would give credit to image
being a part of the artistic process much like when I write, I think
about how the songs will translate live.
4.0 – When did you start writing songs and what was your first?
My first! oh my, I try to forget those songs, hahaha. I started
writing when I started playing the guitar around 10 or 11. I wasn’t
writing the same way I do now. I was just trying to get better at
playing the guitar and I wasn’t so fond of playing other peoples songs
quite yet. Plus I was so curious about theory that I would write
something and then try to analyze it. So I wrote little things that
challenged me. I never performed them. I think my first official
song I wrote was called “One/People Get Ready”. Of course both Curtis
Mayfield and Bob Marley have a song with that title and I’m honestly
not quite sure if they are the same. That always confused me.
Yes, when it comes grab it. I have these moments of creativity and I
just know that these are my good songs. But I have to be organized
and make sure to write things down and record ideas. I have to
complete the lyrics before I can move on as coming back to lyrics
never works for me. They are there in that moment and it’s my job to
write them down then and there.
6.0 – And what about the stage and playing live?
I love it. It has always fueled my well being I feel. And it’s addictive.
I suppose growing up in Indianapolis, it was a bit stagnant, but
getting out into nature was always fun and always lifted my spirits (I
never knew something like NYC would have the same effect on me).
8.0 – id you have to work at it or does it come naturally, or both?
Overall music came naturally, but I certainly have and still do work
9.0 – What’s your favorite record of all-time?
That’s the heavy question. As I’m playing through my music library on
shuffle, all these great songs are coming on “Side with the Seas” off
SKy Blue Sky by Wilco, Curtis Mayfield, Live at Bitter End...The Best
of the Wailers (which is not a compilation oddly enough)…And then
theres my Billie Holiday Collection on vinyl that just blows my mind.
Nonetheless, if you were going to leave me with only one of these
songs/albums with the trapped on an island metaphor, it would have to
take the The Best of The Wailers. I’ve known those songs my whole
life and I still get happy every time I hear them.
10.0 – What was the first concert you attended and how did it impact your
life if at all?
The first concert I ever saw was John Mellencamp…he’s Indiana born
and bred like me. It was actually pretty awesome. After all, it was
my first concert and the venue, Deer Creek, is a really special venue
as it’s outdoors and country all around. I think this year was the
year of my favorite concerts…I saw Radiohead which pretty much blew
my mind…I’m usually ready to let my ears rest at the end of a
concert, but after there 2 hour plus performance, I wanted more!