INTERVIEW: Night Terrors of 1927 find their voice on debut album

Jake Craney

Favorites: Bloc Party, 3EB, Gaslight, Tokyo Police Club, The Kooks, Pete Yorn, Andrew McMahon

Night TerrorsNight Terrors of 1927 is the partnership of The Honorary Title’s Jarrod Gorbel and Rilo Kiley’s Blake Sennett. They recently released their fantastic debut full-length Everything’s Coming Up Roses and they’re currently out on tour with Bleachers and Joywave. GroundSounds recently caught up with Jarrod Gorbel as the tour kicked off to talk about the partnership with Blake, the album, and more. Check it out below along with “Running In Place” from their “Live In The Moonlight” video series.


Tell us about the writing process on your first full-length with Blake

We come in with different ideas or we use a beat or production we created on the computer, or sometimes I’d just drive to his house and think of an idea and bring that to the table and likewise. It was always very different and varying, but always open and collaborative.


Do you guys have a “go-to” spot that you wrote a lot of this album, or did it vary by song?

It was pretty different. We actually wrote some stuff in Mexico on a trip we took. He has a studio at his place in LA – we wrote a lot of stuff there. We worked with different producers in LA and Atlanta and wrote some stuff all over.


My personal favorite from the album is “Running In Place.” How did that song come together and what inspired it?

We started the song in a home studio, basically just jamming out. Where this one is separated from other songs is we wrote the lyrics super fast, off the cuff. Whatever came to the edge of our mind, we just bounced back and forth. He would spit out a line, then I’d spit out a line. We kind of pushed it all together in the end to make it make sense. So it wasn’t so much like a single story or single plot to the track.


How did you guys get hooked up with Tegan and Sara?

We met them a couple of times and had played some shows with them. When we were working on the “When You Were Mine” song – which originally wasn’t a duet – we thought that we needed something to spice the song up a bit. The production really seemed to lend itself to Tegan and Sara’s voice and I just kind of shot the song over to Tegan. She loved it, got with Sara, and bada-bing, bada-boom, that’s how it happened!


At what point did you write the title track and when did you decide to close the album with it?

It was probably one of the last songs written. It was an idea that Blake had for a long time, and we went back and forth with it starting in Atlanta. We tried it different ways, with both of us singing, we did it faster and slower until we settled on the final version. In the end it was really the last song we did for the record, so it made sense to also make it the last song numerically.


You’ve got SXSW, Coachella, and Firefly coming up. Is there one of those that you guys especially enjoy?

Well this will actually be my first time playing all three of those festivals, so it’s hard to say which one I enjoy the best yet. Obviously Coachella’s got the biggest name and reputation, and it’s two weekends, and it’s also close to home in LA, so that makes me most excited for that.


I’ve always thought that you have one of the more unique voices. Did that voice just come out when you started singing or did you have a lot of instruction as well?

I would say it’s 50/50. One half of it is I’ve got this tone to my voice that I can’t hide – it’s deep and a little nasal and rich, so that’s always there. Then there’s all the stuff I listen to – everything from Pearl Jam to Bright Eyes to U2, being inspired by the singers of all those bands. The classes and the education didn’t come until I was singing for a while. I still do it, like at the beginning of this record I took some lessons from a vocal coach that taught me a lot. A lot of it was about preserving my voice so I don’t kill myself every tour like I used to do. The common thread between all these singers that I like and what I do as a singer is just the emotional expression laced in with the song.

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