ThrdCoast: Tell us a little about SOFTSPOT. What was the origin of the project and how did it develop into its current roster?
Bryan Keller: SOFTSPOT is a band of four friends who make music together. It started back in 2009 when Sarah had some songs she had written and I helped her fill them out in the recording process. It came naturally to work together, so we continued doing so and moving into a more collaborative writing process. Blaze joined in 2012, a little while after he moved up from Athens, but we had been friends for years before. Jon joined soon after that, following a long time of collaborating visually with us.
TC: What’s influenced your music the most?
BK: We definitely influence each other. Each of us have creative crafts that we focus on away from SOFTSPOT, so our lives outside of the band are inspiring on an individual level, too. Placing an emphasis on process and commitment over time while taking in all different kinds of art and performance is a big influence. Then bringing our own tastes and talents into the practice room to work out ideas is what keeps us moving forward.
TC: Tell us a little about the philosophy behind the new record you're are working on. Are you guys working out any new concepts?
BK: Well, we've finished making the new record, on which lives the song "Habits" that we performed in the Blue Room. We have some new things that we're working on, but no concepts or concrete philosophy has surfaced for that stuff yet aside from the philosophy of just continuing working. With the new record, we made things more concise than they had been in the past. Paying more attention to tightening structure and continuing with illustrative lyricism and lush instrumentals. There were some definite themes that emerged. The record centers on themes of exposition and openness as a means for connection and progression. Recurrences of some elemental concepts like water kept emerging among other things, like aging and relationships to the self and others.
TC: Can you tell us a little bit about the recording process?
BK: I engineered the record at our home in Brooklyn. We practice and have a studio in the basement, which is where most of it took place. Add in some sessions here and there between spaces in NYC and even in NC for some things. Caroline Polachek of Chairlift produced vocals for the last track as well. I mixed it up to a certain point, but then we went in-studio with Jake Aron and he finished the job.
TC: We’re always interested in why people make music. What is it that inspires you to create, either as a group or as individual artists?
BK: You have to do something with yourself with the time and space you've been allotted! Music is a great way for us as friends to connect to one another and therefore connect outwardly by sharing. Plus, it's fun. Creating is just an inherent part of being human—whether it's making an opportunity for you to get a new job or making a song.