INTERVIEW- Shameless: Sometime Favorites all about catchy pop
With most of the band members living in the same house downtown, the Sometime Favorites are one of the few bands in the enviable position of being able to rehearse day-in and day-out, a fact that they say helped them whip together their new record, All Along, in a little under a month. "We're lucky enough to live in a house that has a big basement that allows us to play music as loud as we want," says guitarist Adam Long. "Being able to come down to the basement five nights a week and play music together is great."
And once he and singer James East have hacked together some compositional wireframes, the creative magic starts to happen: "We bring them down to the band in the basement and turn the amps up," he says with a laugh. The result of all the hootin' and holllerin' and general racket-makin' is the ten-track CD, which actually turned into a fairly nice little pop record along the way– especially given that it's their debut.
"The overall goal was to make music that was accessible on different levels," says Long. "We're shameless about wanting to write catchy pop music."
The formulas they're working with are certainly tried and true– "Wait Until New Years" will fill listeners with capitalist zen, New Radicals-style, as they're trying on shoes at the mall, and "What You Wanted" is just a guitar overdub or two short of the Daughtry power-ballad, "Home." In most cases, though, the band sways between the safe zone of matchbox twenty and an occasional foray into Pumpkinland as East alternately recalls John Mayer and Adam Levine.
"Can't Stop Fighting It," in fact, echoes the latter's band to an almost eerie degree. "It sounds exactly like Maroon 5," sighs Long, "so we went back and added acoustic guitar and tried to take it as far away from that as we could and make them meld with the rest of the album."
Through it all, he says, they learned the importance of... well, homogenizing. (It's pop, remember.) "In order to make it in this industry– whatever 'making it' is, I don't even think anybody knows anymore– you do kind of have to fit into a box," says Long. "By going back and rewriting the songs and getting them all to fit in a singular genre, by the end of the album, you can say that each one is the Sometime Favorites."
Best of all, though, those 10 tracks-in-a-box will drop with an itty-bitty almost-not-even-there price tag of $5, which Long says is the slimmest margin the band could possibly manage while still covering production costs. "We're making just enough to put out a thousand more," he says. Someday, that will be the only road to popularity that matters.