Fences Reflects on Writing "Failure Sculptures": "Making Music Is Always the Simplest Part"
Seattle-based Fences, the alter-ego of musician/songwriter Christopher Mansfield, celebrated the release of his latest album, Failure Sculptures earlier this summer. Arriving five years after the release of his sophomore album, Lesser Oceans, Failure Sculptures serves as the perfect snapshot of Mansfeld’s life over the past few years - it doesn’t feel rushed or forced, but rather floats easily through your speakers. As Mansfield puts it, there weren’t many challenges when writing the album itself, and that can be heard throughout the album’s ten tracks.
With Failure Sculptures out now, fans shouldn’t expect Mansfield to necessarily rush onto his next project, but they do have a bit to look forward to, including a book and a podcast. Catch up with Fences, read more about the album and listen to it now below.
Earlier this summer, you released your third full-length album, Failure Sculptures. Now that it has been out for a while and you’ve had some time to reflect on it, what are some of your favorite things about the album?
I think it has a great warmth to it. It sounds like a desert sunset. The guitars were recorded in a specific way that make them sound sort of drunken and wobbly. Not necessarily drunken on substance, perhaps love or environment.
You’ve never been one to rush from one project to the next, so it wasn’t a surprise when Failure Sculptures came five years after the release of Lesser Oceans. How do you feel you’ve grown between the two albums?
I care more and also care less. I feel at peace with my work and have less expectations. I don’t want to sound like a defeatist but rather just realistic. I don’t think about the audience, I just try and make the most beautiful thing I can.
Was there anything you wanted to touch on lyrically on Failure Sculptures?
I was very revealing. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at the time because I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that anyone would hear it. I was totally free.
What was the most rewarding or exciting thing about the writing and recording process of the album?
Patrick (the producer) and I got very close. He’s like a brother to me now.
Did you come across any obstacles or challenges when working on the album? If so, how did you overcome them?
Not really, it was easy to make. It was an emotional time and that wasn’t always easy but making music is always the simplest part.
What would you like for listeners to take away from Failure Sculptures?
I couldn’t possibly begin to think about that on a large scale but I will say I just wanted to make something sad and pretty. Hopefully they feel something.
You recently released the video for “Paper Route” as well. What inspired the video?
Ryan Enkema wrote the video. Nostalgia seemed to be his guiding light. The town it was filmed also has lots of spirits.
With the album out now, do you have any other big plans coming up? Any shows or tour dates in the works?
I’m writing a book and starting a podcast.