We talked to Corin Roddick about their music, influences and success.
How have you guys been? Are you on tour at the moment?
We actually just got home from tour 2 days ago, right now we’re in LA, we just finished a full European tour for the last month.
Congratulations on your latest album Another Eternity, it’s been quite a big year for you guys, being on Kimmel and blowing up so quickly, how’s that been?
Thank you yeah it’s been pretty amazing, we didn’t really know what to expect at all, but I guess that’s always how it is though, you just have to make music that you wanna make and then hope for the best.
Is it a big experience coming from Edmonton in Canada? And getting the recognition so young?
Oh well I don’t feel young I’m 25 now, I feel like we were young when we started the band so now I feel like an old man (laughs) but in a good way. The town we’re from in Canada isn’t super small, it’s definitely a city but it’s a very isolated place. And there was not much was coming out of the city but now there’s been a few bands coming out, like Mac De Marco’s also from Edmonton and a few other acts, but for a for a long time the idea of making music for a living and being from Edmonton was completely a crazy idea, I’d never heard of anyone ever doing that before.
I’ve seen that you’ve said for this latest album you’ve made more of a collaborative effort. Do you share any roles in the song-writing process, like do you write any of the lyrics or does Megan have any hand in the production?
Generally our roles are pretty separate, I don’t write any of the lyrics and Megan doesn’t actually do any of the production but we give each other so much feedback that we end up having a lot of influence over the other persons parts so I think that’s a pretty good way to work because it’s nice to have a second opinion, especially when you’re doing so much stuff on your own, someone else to bounce ideas off can really change a song or shape it.
Your band has a very cool aesthetic, what are the influences for the aesthetic? Does it come from movies or art or just music?
It comes from all sorts of stuff really, for me I’m a huge sci-fi fan, I’ll watch pretty much any sci-fi movie even if it’s terrible (laughs), I just love the aesthetics of them, like usually if it’s a terrible sci-fi there’s one moment in there that I’m like “oh that looks really neat” and that definitely influences me, there’s a few visual artists that I appreciate and I watch a decent amount of anime which I think probably influences our aesthetic also.
I also read somewhere that Megan actually creates some of the clothes used in your stage shows; do you have much of an interest in fashion also?
Yeah Megan creates all the clothes but I’m definitely interested in fashion as well, I can’t make my own clothes but I know what I like and Megan and I have worked together so much that at this point when she makes something for me it’s just gonna be exactly what I like, so for me fashion is really important, and the fact that Megan is actually able to create clothing from scratch for us I think is one of
the greatest things about our band.
The way the sounds are built on your albums is quite fascinating with all the different layers and beats. What’s your song-writing process like?
The song-writing process is really different every time, we don’t really have a formula that we stick to. Sometimes it’ll just start with a weird sample of something that I recorded and I’ll stretch it around and pitch it up and down and make a weird loop and that might turn into a song which eventually Megan sings on.
Or there’s times where she just comes with a vocal melody and nothing else and we’ll record that and I’ll build something around it, when I’m just making music on my own I don’t start with drums every time or synths every time, it just can be anything and I think that’s a good thing to keep doing. I found that working with Megan, pretty much anytime I find that we’re falling into a habit or routine then we immediately panic and try to switch it up.
You’ve said before that a lot of your beats are hip-hop influenced. Who are some of your hip-hop influences, like different producers and artists?
There’s a lot of producers that I admire, I think 40 – who does most
of the stuff for Drake is really incredible, he’s just kind of created a whole new genre of hip-hop production. And also guys like Mike Will (Made It) who have just from year to year made whatever’s fresh and it somehow always stays ahead of the curve which is pretty special.
You’ve worked with rapper Danny Brown in the past also, are there any other hip-hop artists in particular that you would want to work with?
Yeah there are definitely a handful of rappers that I would love to work with at some point. Kendrick (Lamar) is I think one of the best rappers of our generation so to do something with him would
Yeah that would be an amazing collaboration..
..Yeah so I’ll say that for now. In general if it’s an artist that I like and they’re willing to work with me directly then I’m pretty open to it, I try to avoid the other way that things happen where you have like song-writing sessions with a bunch of different producers and writers and you’re just trying to write catchy songs and pitch them to whoever, I’m more interested in working one on one with the artist to create a piece of music together, that way it just feels more like something natural rather than trying to create results in a test tube or something (laughs).
So Purity Ring are playing at Laneway Festival here in Auckland in February, what can your fans here expect from that show?
For the Laneway show we’re definitely going to bring the whole lighting production experience that we have been using lately, it’s kind of hard to describe without seeing it but try to imagine a few thousand little floating lights and stuff that kind of work in an almost holographic sense together, and then mixed in with the light crystal instrument that I play most of the melodies on. Yeah can’t wait!
Interview by Chris Smith
Images sourced online