Live Well's Paul Masbad Talks About Beginning Again on Their Debut Album, "Perfectly Temporary"
Formed just in 2017, New York emo punk outfit Live Well might be a relatively new project, but their debut album, Perfectly Temporary is proof that they were meant to write music together. Filled to the brim with vulnerable, personal lyricism, Perfectly Temporary finds the band shining a light on their past and ultimately moving forward in the end.
Recorded at Lumber Yard Recording under the tutelage of Ace Enders (The Early November) and Nik Bruzzese (Man Overboard), Perfectly Temporary is a spectacular debut full-length from the band and paves the way for a bright and exciting future. Listen to the album and read what vocalist Paul Masbad had to say about the recording process and future of the band now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Live Well for anyone who might be hearing you for the first time?
The only thing new listeners need to know about us is that we’re a band full of jokers. We just like having fun. But not that, “oh let’s get wrecked and party and maybe do something irresponsible” fun. It’s the “I’m at a sleepover with my friends and their dad just told us to go to bed but I can’t stop giggling and making my friends giggle” type of fun.
You guys just released your debut album, Perfectly Temporary! What are you most excited for fans to hear on the album?
I (Paul “Mad Dog” Masbad) am most excited for people to just hear it. Before the Mad Dog, before Live Well, I had written these songs and they’ve kind of been sitting on my bandcamp doing nothing. The 12 songs we put on the album are a real good depiction of who I was in my early-to-mid 20s. I’m really just excited to share that.
It being your debut full-length album, was there anything you wanted to accomplish with Perfectly Temporary?
I think recording it and putting it out was the only thing we set out to accomplish. I don’t really do a lot of high-level or macro-level thinking. In a way, it’s like my goal was microscopic. Just to do it. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but I know that’s what I set out to do. Whenever we get to play shows (or even do interviews like this one), it really feels like a bonus. Or like, when you’re at a fast food place and they give you extra fries. I only wanted the one size, but extra is always nice.
You’ve mentioned that the album focuses on moments in the past - was it cathartic at times to work on these songs and have a little bit of self-reflection?
Definitely. I’ve totally shed some tears listening to the songs on the album. Like I said earlier, Perfectly Temporary depicts a large part of my 20s. So, hearing it back really put me in a... “place” so to speak. Not in a negative way, though. I feel like I had the opportunity to put a piece of myself to bed. I’ve held on to a lot from my past, and I’ve always wanted to “begin again”. With that being said, the hardest part of starting over is letting go of the things (or people, whatever) that are holding you back. With the album out into the world, I finally feel like I let go and now I can truly “begin again”. And I feel so fortunate and lucky and blessed that I had the opportunity to do that with these songs, this band, and this album.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of the album?
With my last answer in mind, I feel like I’ve finally moved on and can write about the stuff that worries me now. I turned 30 about a week before the album came out. And with my late-20s to my now early 30s, I’ve found myself with a plethora of different issues floating around in my brainpan. The more personal things are like: “Will I be a good husband to my wife? Will I be a good father? Will I even be able to support a family and build with someone else? How long do my parents have left? Will I continue their legacy in the right way, or in a positive way?” And then there are other things like: “As a Person of Color, am I representing my community in the right way? Or on a micro-level, as a Filipinx-American am I representing my people in the right way? As the lead songwriter, am I allowing my other bandmates of color tell their stories and share their experiences?” So, with all that being said, I feel like I can comfortably start writing about those issues and topics moving forward.
What was the most rewarding or exciting part of the writing and recording process?
I think working with everyone at The Lumberyard. It was such a great experience for me. This is the first full band I’ve ever been a part of, so learning how to be a lead singer from Ace Enders and Nik Bruzzese was invaluable. Being in their studio also allowed me to... I guess, let myself live a bit of a dream I had as a kid. I never thought I’d get the opportunity to record in a place like that. All of it was rewarding and exciting. I’m so grateful for them.
What would you like for fans to take away from the album?
Not to sound cliche but maybe just that everything is actually perfectly temporary. The album, to me, is a collection of events from my past when I wasn’t the greatest kind of person, so to speak. And like I’ve said multiple times during this interview, I finally got the chance to put it to bed and feel like I can finally move forward. But even with that said, I don’t feel like I’m the greatest person now. I’m getting there though, and I’m happy with that. So, if you’re someone struggling with any kind of issue — whether it be addiction or mental health — know that it’s temporary. With the right support system, and the right wellness plans in place, you can really give yourself the opportunity to change and be better. But it also takes a lot of work. For me, it was working on this record. It allowed me to really focus on myself in a way that I wasn’t able to in my past. So, for you, reading this or skimming it or whatever, maybe there’s something that will help you self-actualize. Maybe it’s work or a creative outlet, I don’t know. But everything will pass. Bad times don’t last. Not forever. It takes work, but everyone can get through anything with the right mindset. I guess, and I hope, people take that away from the album. Or at the very least, maybe they’ll feel less alone with their feelings.
With Perfectly Temporary out now, do you have any other big plans for 2019?
I’m actually on our bus in the midst of a short run of shows in support of the album. This, although short in length, may be the biggest plan we’ve had for this year now that the album is out for everyone to enjoy. Past that? I’m not sure. I know I want to keep playing music with my best friends (Max, Neil, Luis, and Donald) in this band. I know that I’m going to keep writing songs. Maybe those two things will coalesce and we’ll record more music, I don’t know. I usually don’t think to far ahead in advance. I like to try to stay in the moment, even if it means I’m bad at making plans. But, like, even though I don’t know what I’m going to do next, I know that I’m going to do something. And that’s all that matters to me.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for these questions. If there’s one thing I’ll add, and Max has said this in an interview that he had done a while back, if you’re a person of color, start a fucking band. That’s it. Just do it. I was so lost in thinking that I’d never be able to be a frontman or a lead singer because I never saw anyone like me on stage at an emo or pop punk show. But feeling that way is bullshit. Get your friends together, have fun, tell stories that are true to you, and get up there. We need you. The scene needs you. And I’d like to play a show with you sometime.