INTERVIEW: Culprit Discuss Their New Album, "SONDER" & Growth Over The Years

INTERVIEW: Culprit Discuss Their New Album, "SONDER" & Growth Over The Years

LA ambient-rock band Culprit have been through quite a few changes and obstacles throughout their years together, but they've learned to roll with the punches and make the best out of any situation and their newest release and first full-length album, SONDER is a direct reflection of that. The album centers around the realization and knowledge that each person is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, something that the band knows quite a bit about, having gone through a few member changes throughout the years. SONDER finds Culprit at a high, and they plan on riding it out as the year winds down. With the album out now, the band is working to bring their show on the road soon. 

Read more about Culprit below and pick up SONDER now.  

Interview by Dom Vigil

Can you tell us a little bit about Culprit for any readers who might not be familiar?

Yo! We’re Culprit, a progressive rock band from Los Angeles, California. For fans of: Brand New, From Indian Lakes, Circa Survive, Emarosa & Thrice.

You guys have been together and hard at work creating music for over a decade now. What do you feel are some of the biggest changes you’ve been through or obstacles you’ve overcome as a band?

Some of the biggest changes or obstacles that we’ve been through would probably be the amount of changes we’ve had at the 2nd guitar position. Going through 3 different guitar players over the course of 5 years (all with stints of about 2-3 years) has been a bit challenging in the way that we’ve had to reimagine that band each time, some times less convenient than others or right before the release of our first full-length album. That’s life though and things happen. We’re still great friends with all of those dudes and have just learned to roll with the punches. Eddie Rosales (formerly of Back Pocket Memory) has been with us over a year now and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board. Other than that, we’ve definitely dealt with the typical van struggles, etc. while on the road, haha. But we always make it through somehow. 

How do you feel you’ve grown or evolved since first forming or even in just the past few years together? 

We’ve definitely grown a lot in the last few years as we’ve strived to complete this full length album (SONDER) which has been out now for a few months. I feel that we’ve become a much more dynamic band and our writing process has evolved as well, with songs stemming in new and different ways than before.

Recently, you released your new album, SONDER, which you spent some time working on throughout 2015 and 2016. What were some of the highlights of working on this album?

Well they’re all highlights really, haha. We had the best time working on this album even though it took quite a bit of time and patience, because we got to work with our good friend turned incredible producer Anthony Reeder. When we met Anthony in 2011 on tour with Happy Body Slow Brain and The Paper Melody, he was yet to begin his recording career in LA. Fast forward a few years and everything came full circle when we ended up living together in Reseda, CA and got the opportunity to work with him on our full-length. In addition, some additional highlights would be credited to the time we got to spend at Grey Area Studios in North Hollywood. 

Were there any challenges you came across while writing and recording SONDER?

There were a couple yeah, but those challenges were really just having patience / being able to wait for a good time to track, and finishing up the recording without a 2nd guitar player (Steve Cheung at the time, who helped write some of SONDER). Other than that, I wouldn’t say we had too many challenges.

Like you mentioned, for this release, you also worked with Erik Ron and Anthony Reeder. How do you feel they impacted the album? 

They definitely both impacted the album. We’ve been good friends with Erik ever since he produced Analogue for us in 2011, and that definitely set the pace and standard for where our sound would be headed as we started to take the band much more seriously back then. Erik allowing us to use his studio with Anthony while he was away or working on another project, was an incredible display of generosity and one we’re really grateful for. Anthony had a huge impact on our sound for this album because of the R&B influence that meshed so well with Travis’ vocal influences, not to mention our joined love for bands like The Receiving End of Sirens that so tastefully introduce other orchestral elements in their music. 

Did you have any major goals in mind or messages you wanted to convey when working on the album?

I think the message of the album is to look outside of yourself (a necessary part of collaboration especially in a band setting) and realize that everyone else in the world leads such an intricate life with each their own complex story (the meaning behind SONDER)… Even though the songs each have their respective focuses, this idea or message just really resonated with us and we thought it was a fitting theme to convey through music.

Now that SONDER is out, do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017? What can fans expect next? 

We’ll be trying to set up a 5-7 day tour to support SONDER, however we don’t know when exactly that will be. Nothing longer than that has been talked about for now, but it depends on what kind of opportunities present themselves. We’re definitely open to the idea of opening on a national tour for one of our favorite bands ;) … Hey THRICE!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

Thanks so much for taking the interest in us and the time to ask us questions. Much love!

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