Thanks to Isaac for answering these questions for me and to Libby who helped set this all up!
What is your name and what do you do in the band Acute?
Isaac and I sing and play guitar.
I know you, Colt, and Patrick were in well-known bands. Can you tell us about how you guys got together to form Acute?
My old band Poulain was about to go on tour and we needed a drummer to fill in. Ozma was on hiatus so we asked Patrick to come along. He was nice enough to do so. Shortly after both Poulain and Ozma broke up... and Colt, Patrick and I started writing music together.
What's one thing new listeners should know about Acute?
We're like G.I. Joes.
Tell me a little about Arms Around a Stranger. What are your views on it and are there any stories/themes present on the record?
Lyrically, the songs are about friends... and people I know. And in that there are some related tales - not necessarily obvious ones... The approach Jason took with the string a horn arrangement was a bit filmic in the sense that within a typical film score there is a theme that recurs throughout in various form and arrangements. Similarly, on Arms (and this is really subtle) there are a few musical themes that appear via different instrumentation throughout the record.
What are some of your favorite songs from the record and why?
I'm really happy with the way “SAINT” turned out. The "Good the Bad and the Ugly" feel wasn't something I envisioned when I wrote it - but it turned out to be a really nice touch. I also really like "You Could End Up In Love". Z Berg from The Like sings on it and I've always been a fan of her voice....
What was it like recording with Dave Trumfio?
Pretty magical. He's a terrific songwriter/producer and engineer. We've all been a fan of his for some time. So, we feel very fortunate to have been able to work with him. He helped shape my band and trim the excess...
What do you think is the most difficult about the recording process?
It is tedious. And in some cases you find yourself playing the same part over and over again. It's important to take some time and pace yourself - get some perspective - not get too caught up in one thing and be able to persevere. Also, you're on a time crunch (usually) so you really have to know exactly what you want to do.
In what areas do you think you have grown from your EP to your full length?
Those songs were all recorded at the same time actually. But as a listener I think the songs that didn't make the EP fit better in the context of a full-length album... With the EP it was a bit loud and up front - the LP, I think unfolds like a satisfying meal.
Are you guys planning to tour in support of the new release?
Yes we're going out with Jesse Malin in a few weeks. It'll be our first time playing in Canada, which is exciting. My Mom has some family there -- so I guess their my family too - that'll be nice. We're looking forward to getting back out and listening to Jesse every night.
How was SXSW? Any crazy stories while you guys were there?
It was fun! We got free shoes and cologne. But I spent most of the time sleeping, so, I don't really have any crazy stories.... We ended up driving straight from LA and the second we got in I went right to bed. We all did actually. But when I got to down town I heard some of Oh No! Oh My!'s set and the Good The Bad and The Queen too... We also got to eat at Trudy's... always a treat. I think it's a small chain local to Austin and they have these margaritas which I didn't have this time, but apparently - they're so potent that you're restricted to 1 a night... or something. I was looking forward to seeing a movie at the Alamo Draft House too but didn't get around to it. People go to Austin/SxSw to see bands - I go with hopes of seeing a movie. Ha. Oh well...
What kind of self-satisfaction do you get from playing in a band?
It's a good way to keep sane and balanced. Sometimes it's cathartic and sometimes it's just plain fun. I find that when I'm not steadily playing music I get frustrated and turn into a scrooge.
I see you are hitting the road for a couple dates with Owen as his guitar tech. Is this one of your hobbies?
Haha. Um, not exactly. We became friends last year when we were on tour together with the Appleseed Cast and Copeland. Mike just invited me to come hang out for a few shows... I'll restring his guitar if he wants me to though.
What do you like better, living in Florida or California? And why?
California has better weather but Florida has my family... Family trumps weather any day. At least mine does....
That's all the questions I have! Is there anything else you want to add?