Casey Westcot from the Fleet Foxes gave a very interesting interview to National Public Radio on his band’s approach to music. Most of you have probably heard of the Fleet Foxes, as last year they had one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2008. They not only have great songs but their vocal harmonies could be described as the beach boys from the mountains.
Casey explains that they play with low stage volumes so they can actually hear each other. They play on a myriad of PAs. Sometimes the PAs are good and sometimes, as most musicians will know, they are freaking horrible.
The Fleet Foxes keep their instrumentation as sparse as possible, utilizing only the essential elements. As Casey says this is to “not overwhelm the ear, and pace through the natural density of a song.” All this helps curb the problems associated with hearing vocals in a band.
I love a screaming guitar solo and a drum beat that kicks, but for many young artists it takes too long for them to learn that you need to be able to hear each other. If the guitarist is too loud, turn her down! Make sure the drummer is wailing only if, and when, he needs to be. These are dynamics and these are the basics of music. Although its not always fun to turn down it will help you infinitely.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1tbX_NJn98]
Take Control of Your Music