I got something nice and rather “Softspoken” for you today. I got the chance to have an interview with Softspoken, a post-hardcore quintet out of Florence, Kentucky. They appear to have influences that show across various other genres and/or spectrums, such as alternative and punk. Using carefully and purpose-filled lyricism as well as soothingly and yet powerful melodies, Softspoken brings something fierce to the table. So, I had to get in touch with the band and see what is going on with them. I was luckily able to do so, and with that, I now present to you the interview held with Softspoken, courtesy of Carry The 4 PR.
- What got you started into being the band known as Softspoken? What inspired the name?
‘Softspoken’ was Chris’ idea and described him as being soft-spoken or reserved in his nature. The meaning behind it is to take pride in who you are and how you conduct yourself and don’t lose who you are for the sake of someone else.
- What are some influences that you believe shaped Softspoken?
The post-hardcore/hardcore scene in the mid-late 2000s, in general, was a big influence. We were all teenagers when bands like Underoath, Saosin, As Cities Burn, Oceana, Glass Jaw, Circa Survive, etc. all came out and started making names for themselves.
- Paradox was very interesting, what led to its creation?
Thanks! In regards to the musical aspects of the song: What sparked the idea behind the lyrics was when we began writing for the new album and discussing whether it was best for us to make a conscious decision to write music that fits into the sort of “pop-core” trend that’s sweeping through post-hardcore and other heavier genres at the moment, or whether we should just write what comes naturally to us. We decided to go with the organic and natural approach, knowing that it would feel better to us but also, paradoxically, might make it harder for us to be noticed if we’re not “in” with the trend. (Nothing against any bands that are doing that, though). That’s where the title and lyrical content came from, and the song as a whole touches on the struggle to know what’s true and what’s right when “truth” can often time be perceived differently.
As for the video and visual aspects: We decided to go with something abstract to tie into the whole idea of perception. The designer and videographer we worked with were both great in listening to what we wanted, and then also applying their own artistic interpretation of the music to the visual assets. We wanted art and a video that were different from the norm, and we’re happy with what we got.
- What is the goal right now for Softspoken if there is one? (short term or long term)
The main goal (which I guess is short term) at the moment is to just reach as many people as we can to spread the word about our upcoming album “Deaf Perception”. Being an independent band, we want to make the biggest impact we can with this album so that we can set our band up for even bigger and better things in the future. Long term the goal is to keep doing this the way we want to do it; being true to ourselves, writing what we love, and sharing it with people who enjoy it for what it is.
- What was it like working with Glow in the Dark Studio in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as working with Gem City Studios and West Side Music?
We actually didn’t go to Glow In The Dark; that was the name of Matt Goldman’s studio in Atlanta, but he’s since relocated to the new location – Gem City Studios – in Jellico, TN. We were his first project at the new location, which was pretty cool. The studio was still kind of being set up with all of Goldman’s gear, so we helped him organize and set it all up which was cool, to have that sort of hands-on involvement with our first full-length. The studio atmosphere was relaxing; there was a dorm sorta’ room, a kitchen, etc. so we just bunked there for the three or so weeks we were there during recording. It was a great experience.
- What was it like working with Matt Goldman and Alan Douches?
Matt Goldman is a legend to us. He’s produced some of our favorite bands – notably Underoath and As Cities Burn – and he’s always been in the discussion for producers we’d love to work with, so we were stoked to work with him on “Deaf Perception”. He’s a very nice guy, really knows his stuff musically, and is all about making us sound like the best version of us – rather than making us sound like him or someone else. He spoke up about weak parts when he needed to, but he also let us do our thing where we wanted to. One of our favorite “Goldman-isms” we took from our time with him is “That’s not a hill I’d die on” which we still use regularly in discussions.
We didn’t work with Alan in person, all of our communication with him was through email or on the phone, but he’s also a very nice guy and really knows the ins-and-outs of mastering. He listened to what we wanted and had great turn-around time for us.
- Did you bring any elements from Pathways into DEAF PERCEPTION, what in particular?
I wouldn’t say that there was anything specific that we intentionally or consciously brought over from “Pathways”. Chris and Billy do the majority of the writing; they did on “Pathways” and again on “Deaf Perception”, so in that sense, the people writing are the same. To me more than any of the songs sounding like “Pathways” there are parts here and there that I think sound like Softspoken. Billy and Chris have their own distinct ways of writing that we can point out and be like “Oh that’s a Chris part” or “That’s a Billy riff” and I think “Deaf Perception” is a really good look into how they’ve learned to blend their styles together and write together.
- What are your favorites tracks from this up and coming album and why?
We all have a different favorite track, for various reasons, and I think our favorites change week-by-week. I’m going to answer on behalf of everyone, with what I think is right… but I could be wrong.
Sam (me) – “Echo” is my favorite because I think it really exemplifies the ‘soft-spoken’ aspect of the band. It’s a very chill, but powerful song.
Chris’ favorite is “Hands Free”. He wrote most of the instrumentation in that song, and I know he enjoys playing the riffs in it.
Billy’s favorite is “Eclipse”. Billy is the ‘metal guy’ in our band – that’s the musical background he comes from – and while “Eclipse” isn’t necessarily metal, it’s definitely the heavier track on the album so it’s a chance for Billy to be in his true element.
Nick’s favorite is “Breathe You In” because of the power and emotion in the song. In his words, “It’s just a JAM!”
I’m not totally sure about Austin’s favorite, but I know he’s mentioned that he enjoys the groove in “Dissolve”.
- Anything that you have to say to your fans who have been with you since the start, as well as the newcomers? What should they come to expect from Softspoken?
For those of you who have been with us from the start – The Speakers – thanks so much for sticking with us, supporting us, and giving us the energy to keep this thing going. We hope you enjoy the new album that we’ve been working so hard to bring to you. For anyone who is just learning about us, thanks for reading this interview and if you’re curious about knowing more, don’t hesitate to message us on socials or comment to get to know us. Also, be sure to check us out across the web and give us a follow/subscribe if you’re into what we do! Thanks!
If you have not already checked them out, I will have the videos posted below for their singles Paradox and Eclipse, which are both a fantastic listen, by the way. I’m ecstatic to see what future material they have in store for us. Be sure to pre-order their upcoming debut album, DEAF PERCEPTION, which releases on June 28th, 2019. In the meantime, as mentioned before, check out the singles that they have released as I have posted them below. I also have placed links to their social media and website. Thank you, Carry The 4 PR, for giving me the opportunity to interview them!
SOFTSPOKEN – ECLIPSE (STREAM VIDEO)
SOFTSPOKEN – PARADOX (OFFICAL MUSIC VIDEO)