An Interview With Carrier
The latest album from carrier brings out a wonderful combination of lovable rock genres from grunge to alt rock and so much in between that it gives the album such a well-rounded and flavorful style from beginning to end.
The When New York Is Drowning album bears a lot of a garage toned Style but it's built off of classic pop rock and you get such a tasteful set of songs that have these anthemic and melodically catchy sections which all draw you in further and further with each new track.
One of the coolest things about this record is the fact that it almost feels like a live performance as the players sound like they're feeding off of each other's energy the entire time and that's something that's really hard to capture on record the way it's done here.
Layers of harmonizing tar lines over fuzz tone riffs that burst into full cord verses and choruses have a way of wringing out in your head long after songs have ended.
There's times where this record makes me think of old school Weezer and it comes through with this sort of vastness that has a way of wrapping itself around you and keeping you right where it wants to.
A lot about this record hits with such a gigantic sonic frequency that it gives the record this added edge and drive that creeps up on you throughout its playthrough.
You also get those old school '90s underground alternative rock influences peeking through from time to time as well along with some psychedelic and experimental sections which also feed into that almost live performance aspect as the energy is so alive and breathing throughout these parts.
It's also cool to hear a record that's built off so much Melody and still manages to get heavier when it wants to or come to these climactic buildups that kind of hit you like a sucker punch to the gut.
It's just such a cool combination and really works wonders for showing you that these guys aren't afraid to do things the way they want to do them.
And in turn, that gives the whole record this freeing feeling and then it becomes welcoming and you end up wanting more and more.
Really quite a cool approach and it's very refreshing to hear so much heart and love for the craft go into an album like this.
With the release of such a cool record, we wanted to have a sit-down with Carrier to find out where this all actually came from and what might be coming up next for the band.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the When New York is Drowning album! This record was massive and vast but also had this garage and indie rock tonality! How did this album come about?
When New York Is Drowning is very much a record born from the thought, "I need to make an album before I die." I'd had several of these songs kicking around my head for most of my 20s before it suddenly hit me that if I was ever going to make it happen, it needed to be now (this is Adam by the way). So, the record was, in many ways, conceived over eight or nine years and needed, at least in my mind, to encapsulate that entire period of my life. And because I'm a child of mid-2000s suburbia, the way I knew how to convey emotions that had been festering for years was with massive, home-run choruses and big, spacey bridges.
Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you guys as a band?
Carrier started around early 2019 after I began searching for members with like-minded musical interests. Greg, our drummer, is the only one who remains from that time but those early shows, in hindsight, were kind of adorable. I felt like I had to make up for lost time and prove that not only were we good, but we'd also been playing for years, which simply wasn't the case. Eventually, Bart, our guitar player, joined the band and I think he provided both some perspective and a set of skills that helped shape what Carrier became, with his knowledge of theory and jazzier style of playing. We hopped into the studio at the beginning of 2020, and making When New York Is Drowning carried us through the pandemic.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
When New York Is Drowning is an exorcism in a lot of ways, so the record has a ton of very specific memories put into the lyrics. With few exceptions, all of the songs conjure a very specific time and place that I was in at some point in my life. For example, you can hear a very important breakup in my life in some of these songs, the summer I was into cocaine, and a trip I took back to my hometown.
In some ways that makes the record a little embarrassing for me, like reading an old diary. Nowadays, I'm focusing more on my skills as a storyteller, and the songs we're making now are about different characters, but there's always something I'm bringing from my life into my songs, and Bart and Greg are contributing songs to our next record as well.
Buzz Slayers: This album has some great styles combinations on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
Because When New York Is Drowning was conceived over such a long period of time, there's like, a decade's worth of bands I was into that made their way into the songs. Off the top of my head, Japandroids, Bomb the Music Industry, The Strokes, Weezer and Jets to Brazil. But nowadays, there's a lot of Fountains of Wayne, The Pillows and Joyce Manor, to name a few.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I'm a pretty decent Super Smash Brothers Ultimate player, but three of us our married and our new bass player Melissa is engaged, so there's a lot of family time for all of us.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
I am deeply into K-pop, and as much as I can hype up my indie cred in my influences, I'm always finding new compositional tricks or things I want to implement in K-pop. Currently, songs from XG, Fifty Fifty and NCT are dominating my 2023 K-pop playlist, but when I'm not keeping up with the latest comebacks, I recently put together playlists of Sonic Youth's chill tunes and Azealia Banks.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Yes! We have shows April 19th at Bar Freda in Bushwick and May 11th at Arlene's Grocery.
Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
We recorded at Vitruvian Sound in Bushwick with Stephen Kurpis. It's a small studio but he was able to expertly capture the sound we wanted and has continued to be a huge help to the band in the years since we worked together.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
LP2 is written and we are working out how we're going to record it now. I'm incredibly proud of this new batch of songs, and I've felt us level up in terms of songwriting construction, lyrics, and most importantly, teamwork. When New York Is Drowning was very much my baby, and now that it's done, we've really become a unit. I have faith that LP2 will help bring us to new heights, and I can't wait to go on that ride.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you for following us this far, and strap in, because we're only getting better from here.