Punchline recently released Thrilled, their first album in three years. Check out what Christopher Fafalios had to say about the release and what’s coming up for the band in 2016!
What inspired the band to do a new album after silence for 3 years?
Three years was entirely too long. It was never the plan to take that long. We went through a rough patch, but I really think we came out of it with our best album. Steve and I have both played in this band together for so long that putting out new albums is not even a question anymore…it’s ingrained in us. This band is our lifelong project, and that won’t change anytime soon.
Your sound has definitely evolved over the years. How did you end up with a more electronic vibe for Thrilled?
We didn’t necessarily set out to write a more electronic album – that element of the songs just developed pretty naturally. We wrote the songs and they just so happened to lend themselves to that particular style of production. We wanted them to sound huge, and we wanted to make something that we would love listening to ourselves. If the next batch of songs we choose to record would sound better with no electronic feel whatsoever, then that’s fine…we always just want to do what’s best for each particular song.
Where did you record the new album and what was the process like?
It was fun, experimental, and different than albums before. With me in Pittsburgh and Steve in Nashville during a portion of the writing, we sent song files back and forth, adding our individual ideas. We tried things for fun just to see if they would work. For example, Steve said to me, “Hey, I’m going to just tell you a key and a tempo. Just write ANYTHING, and I want to plug it into the song and see if it works.” I did just that, and it ended up working perfectly, and becoming the chorus to “No Stopping Us.” We got together and wrote in person as well, and that’s where we really got down to business. The songs came quick and really flowed out of us nicely. I don’t think we overthought anything – we have been writing together for a long time now, and we know if we have something or not. Maybe it was the 3 year break, and we just had these songs built up inside of us, but it felt so good to be in a room and write together again. We went to Chicago to record with Marc McClusky, who had done our previous EP. He completely knew what we were going for with this album, and really helped us make our vision come to life. He really is a phenomenal producer with an amazing ear, and an all around awesome dude.
With the album coming out at the tail end of the year, what are your plans for early 2016?
We plan on doing some more touring and making another music video or two, but most importantly, we plan on doing tons of writing. There won’t be another 3 year break. We want to keep writing, recording, and releasing music. We both truly believe that that’s what a band should do. You can’t release a 10 song album and then make people who like your music wait years. I’d imagine that would be just as frustrating for us as the.
It seems like you’ve been gaining some new fans, myself included. Do you think the new sound has contributed to that and allowed you to reach fans of multiple genres?
Thanks so much! I’d like to think that our sound is a little more accessible and not so niche with this new album, but I’d also like to think that we’ve really grown as songwriters (I hope so anyway!) It’s all just a matter of taste, but if we didn’t think that each album we released was better than the last, we’d have stopped making albums a decade ago. As a music maker, I’ve learned to embrace criticism as much as praise…I’d much rather someone express a negative opinion than none at all…at least that means that they gave us a listen! Luckily, we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the new album so far, which is such a great feeling. Knowing that people enjoy your music is the best feeling in the world.
Where can our readers find the band online?
Punchlion.com is a great hub for all our STUFF. Obviously Punchline.com was taken, but we’ve really embraced Punchlion.