Coming off their debut LP, Let’s Eat Grandma learned a lot on the way to making I’m All Ears. Growing up as people as much as they did musicians, the duo’s new music reflects a mix of maturity and individuality, and carries an even wilder sonic punch. We caught up with Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth of Let’s Eat Grandma ahead of their North American tour to discuss their collaborators and what’s changed with them.
Northern Transmissions: How did you want to shift gears from I Gemini to make I’m All Ears a different and better record?
Let’s Eat Grandma: We just focused on the song writing between the two albums and our writing really developed over time. We eventually had tracks for this second album but our sound had changed quite drastically. In that time we got into synths, and technology and started using that with our writing more.
NT: How did getting into software shape this album?
LEG: It affected how we structured songs, because you can see how everything’s laid out on software. You just can’t do that in a standard writing process. Having no knowledge of music theory, I still don’t know what it will sound like until I hear it. You can tell the difference because the new songs are longer and more experimental. We also learned a lot in that time because we studied music production to learn how sounds were made. That really changed how we view music on the whole.
NT: You also wanted to move away from the very symmetrical aesthetic you had on your last album to mature and show your own individuality on this record?
LEG: As we’ve grown older, we’ve naturally got into more different things from each other and we wanted to show that. We still had a lot of differences but being together kind of protects you. Whereas when you’re separated you’re a lot more open to criticism. We also started when we were 14 so we wanted to be more together then because it’s so much more nerve-wracking then.
NT: How did SOPHIE and Faris Badwan get involved with the record and what did they bring to “It’s Not Just Me”?
LEG: It worked really well. We started off writing it with SOPHIE in L.A. and finished it off in London with Faris. Their skills at writing pop music helped us learn a lot. Faris as a storyteller also knows how to use production to enhance a track. I read this thing about game design saying: where you pick a theme for a game and use all the different senses to emphasize. So like a game, Faris applies that to writing songs through sounds and how the story progresses.
NT: On this note what did David Wrench bring as the central producer of the album?
LEG: He came to a lot of our gigs actually. Our label had also recommended him and we got along so well when we visited his studio that we decided to work with him. Because both of us are still learning, it’s really important for us to be comfortable with anyone we work with, and David had the best vibe of anyone we’d worked with.
NT: Was this also why you called the album I’m All Ears to reflect on a more open-minded approach?
LEG: It’s largely a personal thing. We’ve always drawn on a lot of different influences and we never felt like we fit into any group. The title is also about being open to things, which is a big characteristic of this time in our life.
NT: You’ve also talked about feeling like the first record feels nostalgic and childlike, what about it stands out like that for you?
LEG: Music is one of the best ways of capturing a certain time, and it’s inherently a nostalgic thing. We wrote that record five years ago as teenagers, so it’s a significant portion of our lives ago. We hadn’t had a lot of experiences at the time and we view the world a lot more differently now.
NT: How did Yanjun Cheng get attached to do the artwork and what jumped out about them to tackle the project?
LEG: We found her online, and immediately loved it. We had our hearts set on her for the cover and we knew roughly what we wanted already. So we were looking online for digital portraits, and she became our favourite artists. The colours that she uses and the way she captures faces is great. We were so lucky too, because she really gets music and enjoys it, so she knew what we were trying to do. She even listened to the album as she was painting it.
Words by Owen Maxwell
Let’s Eat Grandma Tour Dates:
Thu. Aug. 30- Vancouver, BC, Fortune Sound Club,
Fri. Aug. 31 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival
Sat. Sep. 1 – Portland, OR, Doug Fir
Mon. Sep. 3 – San Francisco, CA, Rickshaw Stop
Tue. Sep. 4 – Los Angeles, CA, Moroccan Lounge
Thu. Sep. 6 – Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle
Fri. Sep. 7 – Toronto, ON, Drake Hotel
Sat. Sep. 8 – Montreal, QC, Bar Le “Ritz” PDB
Mon. Sep. 10 – Boston, MA, Great Scott
Wed. Sep. 12 – New York, NY, Baby’s All Right
Thu. Sep. 13 – Washington, DC, U Street Music Hall