X.Y. Spaces is..
Jonathan Ransom - Guitar
Brady Lett - Vocals
Joe Canada - Bass
Alex Hames - Drums
Me, Joe, and Jonathan started this band in May of 2011 under the name "Belial" with the intent to start a band that sounded like early Ceremony. In our six year lifespan, the band has gone through a few different lineup changes, stylistic changes, and as of 2016, we have changed the name of the band to X.Y. Spaces. In this time, we have gone on a good chunk of weekenders and mini-tours, released a few e.p.'s and full lengths and have another one on the way.
The new record
The name of this new record is "The Conductor's Fatal Bow." It will be released on September 2nd of this year and it was recorded, mixed, and mastered with Lucas Smith at Lucky Sound Stuido in Rainsville, AL. Y'all should meet up some time, I think y'all would get along.
Congrats on the new record! Let’s talk all about it
The story behind the record is about a character I call the conductor. He is loved by some, and loathed by most. At a certain point, he had a pretty respectable reputation, but within the timeline of this album, he is working on gaining it back by writing an extravagant music piece and ultimately performing it. However, the conductor is highly dissatisfied with what he's coming up with, and decides to plagarize ideas from a source that he's close with. This turns out to be quite the grave mistake. The last three songs of the album are the main songs that detail this story. A lot of the songs on this album are about personal matters, but are still indirectly about the main concept of the album. There are also a few songs that contain subtle hints about the main story. This character came to me around the time that we were finished recording "You Look Good for Infinity," and I have been working out the kinks ever since. I wanted to tell this story so I could finally try my hand at coming up with a concept album. I had a lot of fun writing the lyrics and everything and it is likely that this won't be the last concept album that I attempt to write.
The unexpected twists that some of the songs have make listening really fun (the horns, bongos, wind chimes, etc). It grabs my attention unlike any other record I have listened to. I L O V E it.
As long as the band has been around, the writing process has been either Jonathan or Joe coming up with or presenting a riff, sometimes a whole song, and everyone writing around it. Despite all of the genre-hopping, we've never shown up to practice with the intent to write something in a particular style. Like, we've never said "alright, today we're writing a southern rock song/pop song/post metal song/etc." That's something I've always loved about the band. The sound that comes out is and has always been completely organic and pretty unique, in my opinion. By the time the writing for an entire album is done, and before we go in to record it, we'll usually have already made plans to include horns, extra percussion, keyboards, or what have you. Fortunately we have a lot of talented friends that have helped us out a lot with coming in and tracking all of the extra instrumentation that we've wanted. I don't think we've ever practiced any of the extra instrumentation parts at one of our actual rehearsals; they just always seem to come together in the studio, which is a testament to how talented the folks in this area are. Shouts-out to Chris Wilson and Alex DeVor; probably our two biggest contributors when it comes to extra instrumentation.
What is your favorite song on the record?
It's hard to say, but it's definitely between the tracks 'This Could Take Forever,' 'Dixie's Bright Idea,' or 'Independent of the Problem.'
I won't give away specific lines yet, but a lot of the songs on this new album have some of my best work to date lyric-wise. The song 'Without Ever Once Breaking Character' is a perfect example of that. That song is about a particularly horrible argument I had with a loved one that made a pretty big impact on me.
This will be our third full length album, which is crazy to think about, I never would have thought when we first started that our repetoire would be this extensive. Alex Powell, Cyrus Patel, Nick Wells, and Alex DeVor were each in the band at certain points throughout the writing of this album, so definitely a special thanks to all of them. And definitely thanks to Chris Wilson, who provided cello on one of the tracks, has completed artwork for the album, and has directed and recorded a few music videos for a few tracks for this album. He has been like a fifth member of the band ever since the band has started. Joe Canada provided piano for a good portion of the album so definitely a huge thanks to him. Our friend Robery Lowery loaned us his synth to use for a few tracks so shout-out to him. Joseph Whitehead provided some brass for one of the tracks. I'm inevitably leaving someone out so I'm sorry whoever you are! And the recording process was great! Lucas is great at what he does and extremely easy to work with. He takes on everything lazer-foused and does everything as efficiently as possible. I came back a handful of times to redo some things and I really appreciate him working with me on that. Very enjoyable experience.
Each member of XY's influences differ from one another a pretty fair amount. Jonathan has always taken classic rock as a big influence to his writing habits. It often melds with influence from metal bands such as Mastodon and Intronaut. This side of our writing will be shown a good bit on our new album, as 4 out of the 10 songs on it are in drop B tuning. My influences as far as vocals go are, and have been for a while, Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, Aaron Weiss from mewithoutYou, Eric Nally from Foxy Shazam, and Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie from The Blood Brothers. All of these bands also influence me on the lyric-writing side of things, but a few more bands that really influence me in this department are Circle Takes The Square and, more recently, The Dismemberment Plan and KEN Mode. CTTS's lyricism is so layered, well thought out and also very macabre. Their music invokes such unsettling and nightmarish feelings without ever saying anything necessarily gruesome. Dismemberment Plan and KEN Mode, on the other hand, write some of my all-time favorite snarky/snotty lyrics. That is a style of writing that I went for a good bit on our new album.
How does X.Y. Spaces differ from other projects you guys have been a part of?
With XY, writing music has always been so seamless and second-nature. I've never experienced this same level of ease with writing with any other band I've been a part of. Of course, that's not to say that writing with any other band I've ever been in was a drag, but with every lineup of XY, I really feel like it's always been a perfect combination of mindsets that's made coming up with quality material a breeze.
While we are on the topic, what other projects are you guys involved with? Where can we find their music?
Our bassist, Joe Canada, fronts a band from our hometown of Decatur, AL called Camacho. They just put out a straight up modern rock masterpiece of an album called "Revival" and I would highly suggest that anyone and everyone looks it up. Joe also works on solo music, so definitely be on the lookout for that. I also play bass in a professional wrestling themed hardcore punk band called Heel Turn with members of Camacho and our good friend Josh Allen; we'll be playing shows before the year is over I'm sure. And last but not least, me, as well as two other members of XY, Jonathan and Alex, along with our friend Daniel Moore, have recently started a podcast called "This Podcast Could Take Forever." It is named after our new album's main single, 'This Could Take Forever,' and we'll be talking mostly about music and things of that nature. By the time this interview is out, we may even have an episode or two out!
August 10th @ SideTracks Music Hall in Huntsville w/ Your Pest Band, Invisible Teardrops, and River's Edge
September 2nd @ The Roach Motel in Decatur. Album release show for "The Conductor's Fatal Bow."
September 26th @ The Roach Motel in Decatur w/ Greyhaven.
Check our social media for updates on our shows! There may end up being a few more album release shows!
It will also be able to be found on all major streaming platforms, as well as YouTube, etc.
You can buy the CD or digital album from our Bandcamp on 9/2.
The CD can also be found here: http://xyspaces.bigcartel.com/