Q&A with Battle Tapes
With a few EPs and a full-length record already out, as well as having some of their music featured in various movie trailers, TV shows and video games, there's a chance that you've already heard LA-based electro synth group Battle Tapes without even knowing it. Since their formation in 2010, the band accomplished quite a bit, but their upcoming Form EP is easily some of their best work to date. A product of both creative exploration and a direct goal for new music, Form can be heard by the rest of the world on July 14th, but until then, fans can get a sneak peek through the band's new single and music video, "No Good." Read what Battle Tapes had to say about the new EP and more below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Battle Tapes for any readers who might not be familiar?
Sure. We are a synth laden quartet based out of Los Angeles. You might have heard our music in such video games as Grand Theft Auto 5, TV shows like HBO’s ‘Girls’ or maybe even one of our remixes for artist like Childish Gambino and Phantogram.
Since forming in 2010, you guys have released a couple of EPs and your full length, Polygon. Now, you’re gearing up to release your new Form EP. Musically, was there anything you wanted to explore with these songs?
I think it was more about exploring who we are as song writers and as artists. We tried to limit our selves to certain perimeters such as only using a couple different synths or limiting the number of tracks we used when recording and see what those limitations allowed us to come up with. These songs were more the result of that exploration.
This being your first release following your debut album, did you have any major goals in mind when starting to work on the EP?
It was important to not just make Polygon part 2. We really wanted to give Form its own identity. From the songs and production to the artwork and visuals. But also not just come completely out of left field. It can be a tough line to walk.
What was the best part about working on these songs?
Though finding the voice and vibe of the EP was a bit of work. I think It was exciting to see it sort of revel it self to us. I went in to it thinking I knew what it was going to be and as it ended up, I was totally wrong. Over time I’ve learned that you can only steer the creative boat so far. Once you start trying to force it you usually end up with something you don’t actually like. Most of the time as a writer you are only really there to help the work become what it wants to become.
The first single you released from the EP was “No Good.” What inspired the track?
The initial idea came from an off hand comment I made to a friend about how sometimes being human feels like a prison. How we are these creatures who’s intelligence evolved and faster than we could shed some of our antiquated caveman instincts. So were stuck with these urges and feelings and sometimes petty behaviors that we are constantly trying to keep at bay. ‘No Good’ is about acting on those impulses and not feeling apologetic about it.
You also recently released a music video for the song. As far as the imagery for the song goes, was there anything you wanted to accomplish?
I knew going in to it that the video for ‘No Good’ was going to be the first thing we put out to show this phase of Battle Tapes. So, I really wanted to use it as a way to bridge the song and sound of the EP with the artwork in a cohesive way and kind of encapsulate where we are as a band artistically. As well as nod to some of the new wave artist that influenced this EP.
You just wrapped up some tour dates with Rococode in support of the EP! What were some of the highlights of these shows?
I’d have to say selling out our first international show was the highlight for me. Going to another country and seeing people sing along with our songs and seeing first hand that you’ve genuinely connected with people so far out of your everyday bubble. That is a really special thing.
With the EP out soon, do you have any other plans to hit the road again soon? What is the rest of 2017 looking like for you guys?
We’d like to do some east coast dates in the fall, in some form or another. We are still trying to firm that up at the moment. We have a couple more videos planned and some remixes. I’m really looking forward to wrapping up the tour and getting back in the studio. Being on tour you have a lot of down time to think and brainstorm about whats next. Im pretty excited to experiment of the things we came up with.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I guess just the usual promo jargon. Check out our new EP ‘Form’ when it comes out July 14, Buy our stuff, follow us on socials, come see us play. Stop playing games with our heart and commit to a meaningful relationship once and for all, damn it. You know, the usually BS. Thank you for having us.