Interview by Jessica Pascarella. Photo by Winnie Surya. A lot has happened this year for This Century. With a member leaving the band and the vocalist getting vocal surgery, things have not been easy. Nevertheless, these obstacles did not stop them from completing their third album and touring this past autumn. In this interview, vocalist Joel Kanitz spills everything you need to know about their upcoming LP, tour, and the future of the band.
Can you describe the sound of the new album without revealing too much?
Well, I would say it’s a little closer to the sound that we had on our first record, Sound of Fire; it’s a little more organic band-sounding and a little less digital like our record Biography of Heartbreak was, but it certainly doesn’t sound like Sound of Fire in my opinion.
Sounds really cool! Looking forward to it. What influenced the sound of the new album?
I think just us getting older and our taste in music changing, and experiences that we’ve gone through; it’s kind of directed where we’ve been wanting to go with this third record. I don’t know if there’s anything specific that I could put my finger on but it’s just a collective of things, you know, life and just our taste is maturing.
How will the new album sound different than any of your previous ones?
The new album is going to be darker, I think. People are going to see the side of us that they haven’t. We’ve written a lot about relationship stuff but this kind of goes past this stuff and a little bit more self-reflective; the battle that goes on within itself and I guess a little bit darker so that’s obviously different than previously, and there’s obviously a contrast in between Biography of Heartbreak and this new one but it’s still going to be the same This Century vocal-melodies and that kind of stuff.
How has the writing process changed from Biography of Heartbreak?
It didn’t really change much. I mean, the biggest different was that we had a lot less time. We intentionally limited ourselves with the amount of time. We gave ourselves two weeks to write the entire record so we got together at Ryan’s place back in January/February and we just spent two weeks everyday just in a room writing songs and working things out. So that was kind of interesting and probably was the biggest difference, and the other one we obviously don’t have Alex [Silverman] in the band anymore so it was a little bit different in that sense but it didn’t feel too much different.
Since you mentioned Alex, are you guys going to move forward as a trio or will you guys bringing a new forth member?
I don’t think there is a plan to bring in another member at this point. It’s a really complex thing to be in a band and to actually make it work. Playing music is probably the easiest part and going on tour is easy. Then dealing with another personality and so- we’ve been doing this for a long time and we kind of figured out each other’s personality so if you threw a new one into the mix, that’s actually a part of your band and they’re going to be around all the time. It’s like picking a family member; if you don’t know the person really well, it can go south pretty quickly but I don’t know for now, I don’t think we’re going to do any kind of replacing. It’s just going to be us three and we’re probably going to get people to help us out on tour- we might have a touring “member” to help us out, play some of the parts we wrote.
Any plans to tour anytime in the future? Perhaps summer tour or international tour?
As now, summer- that’s a long time away. Right now, we’re taking things one step of a time mostly impart due to vocal issues I was having so we’re in the process of getting everything back together so we’re just looking forward to recording this album and finishing it and then we’ll see what happens after that so that’s the only goal right now.
How are things after the surgery?
Things have been good. It was a long summer and I’ve kind of had some ups and downs but thing’ve been holding up quite well. I’m very happy to be singing again.
Why did you chose to release “Talk to Talk” first?
“Talk to Talk” was one of the songs we wrote when we were writing for the record and Sean and I talked about doing something before this tour to kind of show people that we’re still here. “Talk to Talk” would sound really cool if we stripped it down and gave an acoustic version of it; like the piano version so we just did it- booked some studio time and just went ahead with it and kind of finished like in a week’s time. We have a buddy named Troy who helped us out with piano so, yeah we finished it in a week and just released it. It’s not really a single or a big statement. Here’s a song- because we’re still here and doing stuff.
How’s the fans response with the song?
Amazing! I thought people would be like “oh, so slow!” for the song but not really; people really liked it and were really happy that we’re releasing music again so it’s been a really good response and a lot of people have been saying that they’re excited for the record to come out.
How was the collaboration you did with Julia Lauren?
Julia is the girl that Sean had worked with a couple months back. He wrote with her for her latest release. So the plan originally was to have a female vocal on “Talk to Talk” but we weren’t so sure who would do it.So we’re kind of wracking our brains and [Sean] was like “hey I can have this girl to do it or this girl” and it kind of fell through and then he said Julia [Lauren] could do it too. I mean, she’s got a really great voice and it went really well so it worked out perfectly. So we just hit her up and she was like “totally”. She recorded it in New York or something and kind of tracked it and sent us the audio file and we just put it together.
Are you guys planning to do any more collaboration for the album?
No, not really. We haven’t really thought of collaboration. Maybe I think it’s because of the time limit; it’s like us three writing this record and focusing on that. I think that could happen- that things could happen if we had things laid out like “oh this sounds cool” or if we feel like something is missing. As if now, nope, it’s just us.
If you could do collaboration with anyone, who would it be?
It would be Brandon Flowers from The Killers.