Catching Up With Overseas :: The AD Interview

This summer, old friends David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, solo), Will Johnson (solo, San South Gabriel, Centro-matic), Bubba and Matt Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year) released a record together. Called Overseas -- the band and the record -- the foursome cannily resists the baggage that comes with the “supergroup” tag. There is no extensive credits list detailing who played what, or who wrote which lyric. That isn’t to say that the ten songs collected, culled from sessions stretching back to 2009, don’t betray their creators’ trademarks: the coiled guitars recall Transaction de Novo; the drums occasionally reach Control-level bombast; and Johnson’s sandblasted voice and Bazan’s throaty croon are distinct and clear. But the parts add to a unique whole.

“This record was built from the ground up,” Johnson says. Though both he and Bazan brought rough songs to the table, the band also created spontaneously in the studio. Even at its heaviest and most terse, it sounds like guys stretching out. For a record created by “slo-core” vets, its pulse is powerfully discernible.

“A lot of it evolved from what we refer to as thin air jams,” Johnson says. “It’s essentially jamming out a song over the course of three or four hours sometimes, until it materializes into something with enough compelling components to keep us engaged, until it turns into something like a complete song.”

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