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We chat with US band Mobilities about their incredible debut EP

If you haven’t already listened to Mobilities’ latest EP Something’s Right, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it now. The EP is a dynamic collection of alt-rock sounds, and we’ve had it spinning on repeat ever since we first laid ears on it.

We recently caught up with Eric from Mobilities to chat about the brilliant Something’s Right and the future of their sound.

We caught with Mobilities to chat about their incredible debut EP Something’s Right. Full of thoughtful insights and diverse texture it’s one hell of a listen.

HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

ERIC: After kicking off the summer with our PNW tour, we have been taking time to gather inspiration for our next album and start the demo recording process. With exploring, seeing live music, singing songs in the woods, it has been hard to pin all four of us down at the same time over the last month and a half or so, but we’re now looking forward to getting back to playing shows. We are charging back onto the streets of our hometown, Portland Oregon, next week, and we’ll also be romping around the rest of the pacific northwest this fall and winter as well to play shows while we record up the next batch of songs.

HAPPY: We’ve loved ‘Something’s Right’! How does it feel having it out there in the world?

ERIC: It feels great, and we are really proud of this one. There have been a couple times throughout my musical career when I have completely exhausted my excitement about an album or EP–whatever it is at the time–during the recording process, just from overplaying or overthinking it. But I’m genuinely stoked to promote this EP, and I know I will happily continue to jam to these songs. To me it represents a great time in the life of Mobilities, steadily gaining momentum and just being excited about the music we are writing and playing.

HAPPY: How was your experience moving from a garage to a studio?

ERIC: As a band we have always been perfectly comfortable in the garage, and I think it helped us to translate our grittier, experimental style in a more controlled setting.  We always start our writing process by recording demos in the home studio, so by the time we headed into dB Nation Studios to record “Something’s Right,” we had everything mapped out and even had a massive document listing all the post production soundscape design ideas that we wanted to try.  It was great working with an engineer like Sean Gillies who not only helped us achieve our crazy ideas, but also came up with a few of his own.

Our garage tones were actually featured on the EP, on the track “The Nothing Box.” We went into the studio with the demo for that one and decided just to keep and use all of the original recording stems for the album version.  It turned out to be the only way to preserve the emotion we had captured–an emotion that could only truly come out of the garage.

HAPPY: Which is your favourite track on ‘Something’s Right’ and why?

ERIC: Ah that’s a tough question, and we each might have a different opinion on this; for me it’s ‘Son of a Gun.’ The song draws from some of my favorite styles of music–punk/ ska/ hip-hop/ psych-rock–but it came together very naturally during the writing process and I didn’t feel like we were forcing anything.  My favorite part of the EP is the very end of ‘Son of a Gun’ from the last vocal verse through Adam’s ripping solo–get’s me everytime. One of those little pieces of ear candy that we sprinkled throughout the album can be heard at the end of this song: the thunderous strike of an 808 drops right at the last slow down to signal the grand finale.

HAPPY: Where do you see the sound heading?

ERIC: Since we started playing music together we have been working to showcase a consistent sound, but it can be difficult when you want to play a bunch of different styles of music. We have reached the point where we have enough songs to choose from, so we can curate a uniform sound for the audience. And we are now gravitating towards heavier sets with brief jammy interludes here and there. With our next album we are making a conscious decision to keep developing on our heavier influences of punk and psych rock.  We are putting together a roster of some heavy hitters. Also, we aren’t holding ourselves to putting every song that we develop onto the next album; we are only looking to include songs that fit a cohesive heaviness and psychedelic-ness. But we’ll never be able to help ourselves from throwing some silky smooth jams into our recordings.

HAPPY: Were there any particular artists you were listening to that inspired the sound of ‘Something’s Right’?

ERIC: Just from listening to the EP it can be difficult to pin down the overarching musical influences.  Collectively, some of our main influences are: The Mars Volta, Portugal the Man, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Wand, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, White Denim, Suicide Machines, Streetlight Manifesto, and Queens of the Stone Age, but there are many others–it’s hard to narrow it down!

HAPPY: There seems to be a lot of philosophical themes in the EP. Particularly in ‘Satellite’ and ‘The Nothing Box’. Is music for deep thinkers?

ERIC: I think that most deep thinkers have a deep appreciation of music.  I don’t know if the same can be said about shallow thinkers. But I also think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself and not always take things too seriously.  I have always liked lyrics that poke at some sort of bigger question while still leaving the interpretation up to the listener and not trying to preach. Questions like: what is morality? How can we love more and better? Do you know yourself? What makes you happy? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when you die? How can we stay motivated to make cool shit with all the other pressures that we put on ourselves?

HAPPY: How important is it for musicians to experiment in new genres and styles?

ERIC: Well, I believe that most musicians would agree that music is a life-long passion, not something that can be easily pushed aside.  Music evolves as an expression of who you are at a point in your life. I think if a musician is content to stay within a certain genre, and they feel they have enough freedom within that genre to express the range of emotions they want to convey, then power to them and keep on rocking! For me, what I find beautiful, in life, as well as in music, is a mixture of the comfort and familiarity of something that you already know you enjoy–something you may have heard or seen before–mixed in with a good amount of the unknown twists and turns that bring you to unexpected places–maybe even places you never knew existed or even thought possible.

HAPPY: Tell us a bit about the music scene in Portland.

ERIC: There are so many creative people here always scheming on how to get good local music out to each other.  I have seen many pop-up DIY festivals put together by hard-working musicians and music supporters, as well as larger scale festivals like PDX Pop who host mainly local Portland acts; a thriving scene of house venues who each put in a lot of effort–adding lights, stages, bars, projectors, firedancers, etc.–to create a unique and intimate show-going experience;  a huge variety of different venues and bars that host bands; local radio stations, magazines, blogs, podcasts and other media outlets that specialize in supporting local Portland bands; and a growing population of people who enjoy getting out to jam together. I also appreciate the variety of different musical styles that are represented in Portland. Since starting playing shows here, we have gotten to play with surf-rock bands, metal bands, experimental jazz bands, psychedelic bands, rock-n-roll bands, gypsy punk bands, pop punk bands, psych-rock bands, thrash bands, and others in between.  I look forward to watching the music scene here continue to grow.

HAPPY: What’s next for Mobilities? Any other exciting plans in the works?

We are moving into a nice string of shows this fall, focusing mainly on Portland, but also continuing to branch out into the surrounding pacific northwest (Seattle, Bellingham, Eugene, Corvalis, Boise, etc.).  We’ve also begun developing our next full-length album which does not currently have a release date. Something I’m really looking forward to with this next batch of recordings is really taking as much time as needed on production.  We all agree that the sky’s the limit with this next album; bring on the hand drums. Saxophone? Cello? An orchestra of guitars? We’ll see, but the momentum keeps going. No stopping now.

HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!

ERIC: Thanks. Great talking with you!

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August 14, 2019