It’s been almost five years since American Authors released their first label EP, and it’s been four years since they released their debut album, Oh, What a Life for Island. The band dropped another album in 2016 called What We Live For. Since then, they’ve released four single, including their most recent release ‘Deep Water.’ Alternative Addiction caught up with American Authors’ Zac Barnett about the new single, playlists, and what else the band is working on right now.
“There are times we’ll get together as a band to talk about concepts and ideas for songs,” said Barnett when prompted to talk about the most recent American Authors’ single ‘Deep Water.’ “We’ll also talk about what’s been going on in our lives. We were all talking to each other about how we each had these moments go on in our lives where you kind of feel like you’re alone. When that happens, when you’re at the hardest of times, you have that loved one next to you that won’t leave your side. That’s what ‘Deep Water’ is about. For me, that’s my mom. My mom had breast cancer a few years ago, and that was tough. We’re close. It was just me and her when I was growing up in a house, and we’re best friends. The idea of those loved ones in our lives and being in the deep water and having someone watch your back is what that song’s about.”
Barnett also noted how quick the song came together once they took it to the studio and really started to form it.
“We had a concept and we brought it into the studio and we instantly had it. The chorus just popped out and the rest of it wrote itself quickly, basically in that day. What you hear now is what came out the other week. It’s what came out the first day in the studio,” added the American Authors frontman.
How quickly the song came together is crazy, but that’s part of how American Authors has developed and something they’ve learned to do over the years.
“I think the important thing now is to not have any expectations. It’s always cool to come in with an idea of how something should sound, but you always get the best stuff when you go in and you’re free with the idea of letting what happens happen. It’s being really open to new ideas and new arrangements, new sounds, and new styles of music. I don’t know if we would have ever stumbled on the sound of ‘Deep Water’ if we weren’t being open minded about our sound and where it should progress to.”
“Deep Water” is the fourth single the band has released since last year. In 2017 they released “I Wanna Go Out” and “Good Ol’ Boys.” So far this year they’ve released “Do My Own Thing” and “Deep Water.”
“It’s cool. It’s where the industry is. It’s a singles-world. It’s tough for bands to keep releasing albums with people wanting more music quicker. If you’re dropping singles every couple of months, it keeps peoples’ attention span a little more. We still love doing albums, this song marks the first chapter of the next album process. But releasing singles and keeping people engaged has been fun. A lot of the singles we’ve been releasing have had a purpose to come out. “Wanna Go Out” was a song that got placed in a trailer and then that forced the song to get released. Then, a few months ago “Do My Own Thing” got placed in an ad campaign and the thought is, ‘it’s going to be out on TV, we might as well put it out too.’ You do that, and you give people more to listen to.”
It’s not just the general populous that consumes music on a single-to-single basis with the help of playlists; it’s musicians too, Barnett confessed that he doesn’t dive into as many albums as he used to, but there are some perks to that.
“It gets tough for me to listen to albums because so many albums are released every week. I save an album but then I get so wrapped up in listening to playlists and singles and I forget to listen to the album. It kind of sucks, but I’m guilty of morphing into the modern music listener. I listen to a lot of playlists. That’s how I find new music. That’s how I listen to stuff. I’m more likely to listen to album if I add every song off an album to my starred playlist. I will say that when an artist releases an awesome album, I’ll be hooked and that’s all I’ll play for weeks at a time.”
Hopefully we’ll all be able to get obsessed over the new American Authors album sometime in 2018, it could happen this year judging by how the band has been working, but we’re still on the wait-and-see approach with the next album from the group.
“We have so many songs right now It’s crazy,” said Zac when asked how the new album is progressing. “We’ve been writing for a good year and a half. We have a ton of songs and we’re still writing stuff and changing stuff. That’s our process. We don’t stop writing until the album is out. Even then, we still don’t really stop. For us, if we write an amazing song a week before the album comes out, we’ll do everything we can to get that song on the album.”
Is there an ETA for that next album?
“No clue. We’re excited about ‘Deep Water’ and we’re excited to follow it up. It really could come at any time. That’s the good thing with where we’re at right now, even though we don’t have set dates, we feel really prepared and we feel good about it. We have so much material it could really come at any time.”-aa