Q&A: It’s Always Sunny in Restorations


When you flip on LP3 from multi-dimensional Philadelphia rockers, Restorations, you don’t get the Restorationsvision of happy guys writing songs in a relaxed atmosphere: you picture hoodies, lots of five o’clock shadows, lyric sheets with blood spots and lots of moody conversation.

That’s not to say that Restorations are a depressing band. However, the sound the guys – Carlin Brown (drums, percussion), Dave Klyman (guitar, vocals), Jon Loudon (vocals, guitar), Ben Pierce (keys, guitar, vocals), and Dan Zimmerman (bass, vocals) – create is just so damn intense that you can’t help but think that smiles are not allowed in the room while songs are being crafted.

Turns out, that assumption couldn’t be any further from the truth, explains a jovial Loudon while in conversation with Riffyou.com.

RY: This isn’t meant to be a negative, but LP3 sounds like a very serious album. When you guys are making an album of this sort, is the vibe equally as serious?

Jon: “[Our process] is really fun, actually. It’s very loose and not such an intense thing, but it winds up sounding serious. After we finished recording it, I remember saying to Dan, ‘This is a heavy record.’ But it was a lot fun to create and it’s a ton of fun to play live.”

RY: Do you get that a lot though – people thinking that you are serious, intense guys? 

Jon: “Yeah, but we’re not wearing all black clothing and looking super sad in our van or anything,” {laughs}

RY: Even if that is a misconception, do you think people have trouble viewing you guys in a lighter way?

Jon: “Everyone seems to interpret things differently, depending on who it is and what their background is. But, it’s a little all over the place as far as perception goes.”

RY: You released a few albums ahead of LP3, so was there something different that you wanted to zone in on with this one? 

Jon: “It wasn’t a deliberate thing, but the goal of this album was to have more fun with it – it was a very relaxing experience recording it. This was the first album where felt like we could hang out, be ourselves and make an album without worrying so much about the technical aspect. We felt, “Great, we get to go into a studio with a close friend (producer Jonathan Low) and record.’ So, everything was laid back and the usual factors that make putting an album together pretty stressful were removed this time around.”

RY: So you work better with minimal stress? I’ve heard of some bands that need stress in the studio to perform better.

Jon: “There’s tons of personal pressure, but we like to focus on our craft and that gets us over the hurtle. If you’re under a tremendous amount of pressure, you begin second guessing yourself and start focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter. Once you get outside of that, it’s a healthier environment.”

RY: I know people continually try to guess what or who Restorations sound like. How amusing is it for you to observe that?

Jon: “It’s hysterical, I love it! Because it’s so dramatically different from person to person. It’s cool, because we listen to a lot of the bands that people bring up (Fugazi, Crazy Horse, etc.), but the range of things is funny. I like that we are interpreted differently from person to person.”

RY: What is the most ridiculous comparison you’ve heard?

Jon: “It’s not a beef or anything, but we get The Gaslight Anthem a lot. They’re probably the least of an influence on us, but I like that band.”

RY: It’s pretty amusing how important people find it to determine who a band sounds like, versus what a band sounds like.

Jon: “When you’re in a band, you think “We’ve found this sound,’ but it doesn’t turn out how you planned, at all. You always feel like it’s this big, heavy thing, then people say, ‘It sounds like Tom Petty, relax.’”

RY: Speaking of sounds, you guys are from Philadelphia. Would you say that there’s a Philadelphia sound? And do you feel like much of your music reflects where you’re from?

Jon: “I think so – and maybe that’s because part of our problem is that we are too stubborn to give up. We are very Philadelphian like that {laughs.} I always use a sports analogy: all of our teams are terrible, they’re always losing, but we make the best of out of a shitty situation.”

-Adam Grant

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