Ancestors Talk About "Suspended in Reflections," Their First Album in Six Years: "We Made a Beautiful Record as a Team"
In the music world, six years is a significant gap between record releases, but for post-rock band Ancestors, it was the perfect amount of time to spend carefully crafting their impressive upcoming album Suspended in Reflections. In the face of multiple challenges like lineup changes, finances and most importantly, time, Ancestors emerged victorious, and better songwriters and friends because of it. Suspended in Reflections, at its core, is exactly that: a reflection of years of hard work and passion.
With their new album out on August 24th and their latest single, "The Warm Glow" out now, we recently caught up with Ancestors to discuss Suspended in Reflections, the last six years and their plans for the rest of 2018, which will include some shows in the not so distant future! Read more below.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
You guys just announced Suspended in Reflections, your first new album in six years! Take us through the journey that you’ve been through between In Dreams and Time and now. What have you been up to?
We started writing not long after In Dreams and Time came out. Just playing around with some ideas. But a lot of life happened, as it does sometimes, and it derailed us for a while. Lots of personal turmoil, growth and change. We continued to get together periodically to work on music, but it was generally very casual. We would meet in Jason’s bungalow apartment near the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and record acoustic sessions, toying with chord progressions and melodies. Eventually, we started to take it more seriously, and it became apparent that we had a lot of music to work with, so we started to build some complete song structures. We hit up our good friend Gabe Vanbenschoten about recording the new stuff, and we took to his garage to start tracking. Two years later, that garage had been transformed into a beautiful studio and our song skeletons had been transformed into an album… or two.
There’s a lot to talk about, but I want to talk about the stories behind Suspended in Reflections. Going into this release, did you know what you wanted to accomplish? Did you have any major goals in mind?
Our main goal was to make a record that would explain a six year absence! Not sure if we’ve done that, but we’re pretty proud of it.
What are you excited for fans to hear on Suspended in Reflections?
Everything! The other day, we were discussing how exciting it is to finally have a single out, but that “The Warm Glow” on its own just doesn’t have the same impact that it has after having listened to the rest of the album before it.
Were there any challenges you came across when you were working on the album?
Lineup changes, life, lack of money, time, patience, etc
What was the most rewarding part about the writing and recording process?
It was really easy, pleasant and smooth almost the entire time. Cathartic even. No arguing, very few disagreements, no ugly ego trips, no shaming or bullshit judgment. It was just fun. The way it should be. And the album itself is a great reward.
Were there any lessons you learned in the six year gap between albums that helped you to create the best release possible?
I think that we’ve grown as songwriters. We’ve learned to listen to see and hear things differently, and that’s affected the music that we write and our approach to writing it. We also see each other differently, and I think that we’ve grown so much as people in that time, that there is a new and renewed respect for each other as individuals, as songwriters and as musicians.
We tried to step out from behind our respective instruments to write the best album we could. It's not about who plays what, who wrote what, who did what. We made a beautiful record as a team. And it's made us that much more excited about the future of our band.
You also recently released your new single, “The Warm Glow” - can you tell us a little bit about the song?
It’s the last song on the record. A musical ellipsis, if you will.
With Suspended in Reflections out soon, do you have any plans to hit the road?
Yes! We’re heading to Europe in October with Elder. Definitely going to do a record release show in LA in August or early September. We will certainly be playing more. Nothing else on the books yet though.
Do you have any other big plans for 2018?
We’ve got our own record label called Dune Altar. We’ve got some amazing releases slated for the rest of 2018, so we’re pretty excited about that. As a band, we’re just looking forward to the album release and the tour. Beyond that, we shall see!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nope, thank you!