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Interview:
A Geat Big Pile of Leaves rakes in new experiences with second album
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

Much has changed during the three years between A Great Big Pile of Leaves' two albums.

Where 2010's "Have You Seen My Prefontal Cortex?" was more the province of singer-guitarist Pete Weiland and drummer Tyler Soucy, who formed the indie rock group during the late 00s after the breakup of their previous band, Farewell To Arms, the new "You're Always on My Mind" is audibly the work of a quartet that includes bassist Tucker Yaro and drummer Matt Fazzi.

"This album was certainly more of a group writing process," confirms Yaro, 30. "The obvious difference is me and Matt being much more heavily involved and more of that group process coming together and being part of these songs.

"We did a lot of bouncing back and forth of ideas through e.mail, then we would get together a couple weeks later and try some parts in our rehearsal studio in Brooklyn and always wind up creating some new ideas. I think the album really reflects that."

There were other changes afoot for "You're Always on My Mind." It's the group's first since being signed to a national label, and it finds AGBPOL giving up self-production to work with Ed Ackerman, who's worked with the Replacements and Motion City Soundtrack (whose Justin Pierre guests on the album). The latter, Yaro says, was particularly challenging for the group.

"For us, it was a process of letting go," the bassist explains. "What I thought was so cool was Ed was really willing to meet us in a lot of ways. He was so flexible and so interested in maintaining the sound of what we were doing. He liked the aspect of what we had done on our previous album; we were just fooling around back then, but he'd be, like, 'What kind of compressors were you using? Let's use those again...'

"But the real interesting part of the process for us was when he would put his foot down completely. It happened a few times, where he'd say, 'No, we're changing the melody here...because it doesn't make sense harmonically the way you're doing it.' Listening back, I'm really grateful for the battles he chose."

A Great Big Pile of Leaves and the Front Bottoms perform Friday, June 28, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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