INTERVIEW: Spirit Animal Reflect on "Born Yesterday" and Discuss Upcoming Shows
Brooklyn indie-pop band Spirit Animal made a striking debut with their 2013's viral smash, "The Black Jack White," and they’ve been gaining momentum ever since. Last year, the band released their debut album, Born Yesterday and now, they’re reflecting on the album with their re-release, REBORN YESTERDAY, which features three new tracks that didn’t quite make the cut the first time around.
Since the release of Born Yesterday, Spirit Animal have been busy as ever and are currently gearing up to head out on the road alongside Theory Of A Deadman. With tour dates approaching quickly and REBORN YESTERDAY out now, we caught up with the band to talk about their latest album and plans for the rest of the year. Listen to REBORN YESTERDAY and read the interview now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Spirit Animal for anyone who might be hearing you guys for the first time?
We’re a four piece alternative pop/rock band out of Brooklyn who do our best to freak out everyone who comes to the shows. In a good way. Super fun, bombastic, catchy music made by four friends with an insanely eclectic palette of music that we’re pulling from constantly.
This month, you released REBORN YESTERDAY, the deluxe version of your most recent album, Born Yesterday, which features three new tracks. Although these songs didn’t quite make the cut the first time around, what makes them special to you? What are you excited for fans to hear?
These songs only didn’t make the first cut because of the cutthroat math that happens to all bands when they look at the babies they made for an album and realize they have to toss a couple overboard. All of us were super excited and jumped at an opportunity to pull ‘em back out of the water, so to speak. HYDR8 for me, especially, was a song I loved and was sorry to see not make that original cut, and was so psyched for its rebirth. It’s just that fantastic mix of smart and fun that I love about this band. Also, the cacophony at the end is probably the wildest thing we’ve recorded, and live it gets nuts.
Now that it has been out for a little over a year and you’ve had the time to reflect on it, what are some of your favorite things about Born Yesterday?
It’s great to see the reaction from people. I mean, we wrote the songs, we recorded them, we agonized over a million little decisions, and we came out the other end with things we absolutely love and are proud of, but in the end there’s always a bit of trepidation about how they’re going to be received. And then we toured our asses off and people got on board, and it just kept growing. It's insane that people are invested in this as much as we are. And though I’d play music regardless, to a room with just my friends and the bartender, there’s an amplifier effect that happens with people dancing and singing all the lyrics. Brings out that hippie in me - all that positive energy. Really nothing like it. Just makes me happy and super proud and gets me so amped to go back out on the road.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of Born Yesterday?
The writing has obviously matured, and I think we’ve gotten into a pretty well-realized space for what we do and how we do it. The songs are lean, mean, party machines. And we were lucky enough to have had a bit of a budget recording, so the sounds and production are almost the exact ideal you had in your head when you started. Better even, because things came out of the process you didn’t know you were capable of, like all the blips and squeaks Steve did on his computer that we were able to integrate, or all the insane sounds Rocky Gallo (our engineer) was able to pull from Cal’s guitar or Ronen’s drums.
You recently released “HYDR8” from the album - can you tell us a little bit about this track in particular? What inspired it?
Cal and Steve were the impetus for this track, and came up with the fundamentals on a writing trip they had gone on in Nashville. The concept of drinking-as-training-regimen was there from the beginning, but it wasn’t until the ride back to NYC where Cal came up with the 80s workout video, Jane Fonda-esque “Jog in place/And clap/And clap” lyric that just tied it all together. Don’t think Cal or Steve stopped laughing about that for the entire ride home.
With the re-release out now, you’re also getting ready to hit the road alongside Theory Of A Deadman. What are you most excited about at these upcoming shows?
We’ve been out with Theory before, so I’m excited about catching up with those dudes. Also hitting a couple new cities, and I always look forward to somewhere new. We’ve toured a good bit these past couple of years and made a lot of new friends and fans (shoutout to the SPANIMALS!) so I’ll be super psyched to see them at shows as well.
If someone is hearing you or seeing you live for the first time at one of these shows, what would you like them to take away from your performance? What would you want the first impression of Spirit Animal to be?
Equal parts elation and confusion - like, ‘what the hell did we just see?’ We love being something unexpectedly positive in someone’s night. Nothing like being at the merch table and hearing a new fan go, ‘holy crap, I had no clue who you guys were when I came, but I was blown away.’ Like to think we have the highest ratio of smiles per fan of any band out here right now.
Do you guys have any other big plans for 2019?
We have some headliner dates on the way back from the Theory tour that’ll take us a bit into November. After that just some R&R until we’re back out again probably early next year.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just a big thank you for having us! And to make sure every checks outwww.spiritanimalmusic.com for tour dates and more info and ways to connect on all the socials.