Fresh off of releasing their debut full length album “Feel Something,” Southern California rockers, Movements, has seen an incredible reception to the record, especially with new songs that they’ve played live as direct support on Knuckle Pucks Shapeshifter Tour.
Robert Sherman sat down for a conversation with the guys before their set at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit to talk about the new record, progression in writing and maturation of their sound with Feel Something.
Robert Sherman: I want to say congratulations on the album release. I’m really liking it so thank you for that. It’s (Feel Something) is a little bit heavier, so was there a conscious decision to make that different than the EP (Outgrown Things)?
Patrick Miranda: Yeah, there was definitely a certain degree of us wanting to progress as a band. The EP, we were still so young, and trying to figure out what we wanted to do and what we wanted Movements to be, and I think that shows on those six songs because each of them are pretty different from one another. The styles are kind of mixed in. One song sounds one way and the next one after it is completely opposite.
PM: So, we wanted to make the full length a lot more cohesive over all and just a little bit more mature sounding and especially more maturely lyrically. As far as the heaviness goes, I don’t know if we necessarily made the decision to go heavier. If anything we wanted to establish ourselves as more of a “rock band” than an “emo band” or anything else other than that. We don’t want to get pigeonholed into a certain genre. I made the conscious decision to stop screaming as much, because I really don’t like doing it and I like showcasing my ability as a singer. But I agree with you, there are parts of this record that are heavier than what Movements has ever been. I think “Under the Gun” is the heaviest song we’ve written.
RS: The first one I noticed when I listened to it the first time was “Suffer Through” was completely a lot heavier.
PM: Yeah, “Suffer Through” was one of those ones where we tried to mess around with different song structures. On the EP there wasn’t a single song that had three choruses and on this record, 75-percent of these songs have three choruses. I mean, it was an overall decision that we wanted to make our music more cohesive, more mature and establish that persona of a “rock band.”
RS: You guys have been around for, I don’t want to say a while, but you’ve been around for a while. But, this is your debut full length album, so having put that out, how does it feel to finally get a full piece of work out?
Ira George: It’s awesome. I don’t think any of us have really put out like a full length record before, so the process was a lot longer and a lot more challenging that we thought, but we worked really hard and we’re really proud to actually have a full length that we like every single song on.
RS: That leads into my next question, what was different between Outgrown Things and Feel Something, what were some of the challenges that you guys ran into while writing this record?
IG: While we were writing the EP, we would all go into the room and everyone would write their own instrument. I wrote bass, Patrick worked on vocals, Spencer would just do drums; so it kind of came together like that, so it wasn’t as cohesive as this full length was. On this one, we wrote a song, went back to go over it and comment on each other’s parts and stuff, and help each other out in that kind of way. It was a lot more collaborative.
PM: Absolutely. On the EP, I feel like there wasn’t that feeling of a group effort as there was on the full length. Obviously we still worked together, and wanted to make those songs as good as we could but for the EP, all the songs that we recorded were all written and done when we went into the studio. They didn’t really change very much, some of them didn’t change at all. Going into this full length, having so much more time, we had more time with Will Yip, to fine tune literally every single piece of each of these songs and make sure that they were exactly what we wanted them to be.
IG: We were very positive towards each other, and were able to give each other constructive criticism and I think that was huge. Patrick wrote guitar parts, he’d bring it to me and I’d be like “That’s cool lets go with this,” or Pat would write a vocal melody and Spencer would be like, “Oh, maybe we should change this melody to this.” Everyone was super positive, and I feel like that went such a long way.
RS: So, dipping a little bit into the content, there are a couple themes that run throughout the album. Having written and composed the record, what were some of the themes that you guys set out to explore?
PM: Everything that I right are very personal to me. All of my lyrics have to do with things that I’ve gone through or dealt with. Whether it be mental illness, or going through a breakup. There’s a song on this record that has to do with family members that have Alzheimers or Dementia, that sort of thing. I think that’s always been a really big part of what Movements is. Talking about the heavier things. So much of music these days seem fake, and gimmicky, for lack of a better word and we’ve never wanted to be that. We’ve always wanted to be the band that speaks honestly and truthfully about our experiences to put out things that are real. I think the fans can appreciate that because it’s stuff that they can relate to. Ultimately, I’m just a kid, who is listening to this music and I feel like the people who listen to us can pick up on that. Making sure that no matter what it was that we were writing about, that it meant something, and that it literally made you feel something.
RS: This is one of the last dates of the tour, so what has the reception been to some of the new songs?
IG: Surprisingly awesome. For the record being out for less than a month, we’re playing four new songs on this tour and it’s been amazing to see the response. Compared to how long it took the EP to catch on, it just blows my mind to see how cool the crowds have been receptive to our new songs. It hasn’t even been a month.
PM: When the EP came out, it took a solid three or four tours until we had crowds that were really poppin’ off. It took a long time. To see hundreds of people every night, screaming back songs that came out not even a month ago.
IG: It’s crazy. It’s so crazy.
RS: You guys tour a lot, you’re a heavy touring band. Last time you were in Detroit, I believe was with Senses Fail. And now you’re out on a tour with Knuckle Puck. What have you guys learned from touring with bands like those?
IG: Every tour that we’ve done, whether it’s a band that has been around for ten years, or two years, I’ve noticed that we’ve always gained fans. I don’t really know if there’s a difference touring with bands that are vastly different like that.
PM: We learn something new on every tour that we’re on. Whether it be from these other bands or not. It could just be a life experience. For instance, this time around, when we were coming back from Canada, they got all mad at us at the border because we didn’t have proper documentation for our trailer. Something that they have literally never asked for in the past. So, you learn new things every time around. For me, no matter what you think you know about going out on tour, you never are prepared for everything. You just have to be ready to roll with the punches because tour is a crazy thing.
IG: With the lifestyle, you just have to be very flexible and no matter what comes your way, you have to get it done.
RS: Well thanks for taking some time out before you play to speak with me, safe travels guys!
PM: Yeah man, thanks!