New Slang recently caught up with lead vocalist and chief songwriter, Matthew Long, of the formally Lubbock-based, and currently Denton-based experimental folk band voltREvolt. It was just last December when the band went in and recorded their raw, lively and yet, very honest and warm debut album. In those recordings, you know Long really has something to say and isn’t just up there at the microphone rambling on with monotonous drivel. And as for the music, think of The Black Lips with a more folky side. At the time, it was really a giant, albeit brief, breath of fresh air for the Lubbock music scene.
Luckily for fans, Long and company started working on their yet-to-be-titled sophomore effort recently.
You guys just recently played Denton’s 8th Annual Harvest fest a couple of weekends back. How did all of that go?
Well, this was the first time I have ever played a show where the entire band was ill. I was really looking forward to hanging out with everyone all day and checking out all of the events. But, we just had to play, then go home and go to bed and watch too many movies. We still had fun for 40 minutes though. And, there was a pretty new crowd that I was happy to play for; not a bad set all-in-all.
The band moved to Denton roughly a year ago. How has that moved effected voltREvolt?
Drastically. We were unable to play but a few times and really unable to make any future plans for the band during that time. Our drums and trumpet stayed behind, and it was a lot more difficult to find replacements than I had hoped. We have only been a band for roughly 18 months, which we were off stage for 12. The beauty of voltREvolt, for all of us, is that we don’t stop being a band at any time. We see each other regularly and encourage each other to consistently better ourselves as individuals and as a group. Denton is a great place for us to do that. The members of voltREvolt have really found a beautiful community of musicians and friends that we can support and find support from. Now that we are getting involved again, we are seeing that it is really helping us back on our feet.
Last time we spoke, you mentioned that you guys were recording some new material. How long have you guys been recording? What can we expect from these new songs/album?
We actually just had our first recording session last Saturday (Oct. 1). We are tracking all of the drums with one of our friends from Midlake. He has been generous enough to help us do this in their space. When we get the drums finished for the full seven songs, we will finish the rest in a studio where we can take more time in and really hash out the sounds that we want. This is something we didn’t get to do in our last recordings, which we went in and came out eight hours later with 12 tracks and that was that. I still want the live energy, but with a focus on quality. This album is going to be pretty energetic and “anthemic.” I think it is the natural progression of the band and my songwriting right now. It’s just rock and roll and the overall vibes work well with the voltREvolt philosophy for this album, which we won’t discuss here.
Do you currently know when we can roughly expect the album?
Hah, I am shooting for late December/early January. But you know how making an album works; as long as we don’t hit a real road block or add any songs to the lineup, that’s the goal.
How has the recording and songwriting processes been compared to your last album? What growth have you noticed, both in the band and the music?
[Last time], I wrote two or three tunes just before we went into the studio, but for the most part, the last album was really the band playing some tunes I had written a while back. We just [had] played a couple of shows and then decided to record the songs. When I wrote this album, I really had voltREvolt in mind. The personality of our band is really presented in these new songs. We’re not just playing songs like we were as much back then. The new album is more of a deliberation of what I want to achieve with this specific opportunity.