Over the years the Midwest has given us many influential acts within the emo/indie genre. We’re talking real emo like that birthed from the title of the late ’90s/early 2000s Deep Elm compilation albums known as The Emo Diaries. Polyvinyl was another label pumping out music with similar emotions and vibes during that time frame. The modern band Looming has built their house on top of the foundations laid by such music. Jessica Knight, Brandon Carnes, Mitch Baker, Nick Demarco, and Cassie Staub are carrying on the torch, spreading that Midwestern vibe to other regions of the US on tour now. Is Looming part of the emo revival? They definitely have emo embedded within their DNA but certainly are not defined by it. The band’s newest release Seed is out now, demonstrating a maturity in writing and lyrical content. We chatted with Jessica Knight of the band recently via email.
Allston Pudding: This tour is in support of your new album Seed. What is Seed all about?
Jessica Knight: It’s mostly about moving, being alone, and not being able to find Stag in Texas
AP: The album seems to have a sonic evolution from Nailbiter. Is there a story on the writing of the new songs that may differ from how the previous full length came about?
JK: Well, with Nailbiter we all lived in the same city, so the writing process was more of an in-the-same-room show-me-your-riffs sort of process. But, before we wrote Seed Brandon moved to Pittsburgh, where Cassie lives, and I moved to Austin, while our other members stayed in Springfield ,so it became more of a digital process of sending demos and videos back and forth until studio time.
AP: What is it like to have your producer also play in your band?
JK: It’s been really beneficial because it allows us more time to work with parts in the studio, and it is a lot of the reason we are able to operate from different parts of the country, because we could continue experimenting and writing in the studio and allows us to go back and change things as we decide to.
AP: What are the band’s favorite songs on Seed? Which song would you say shows the most growth as far as songwriting/arrangement for Looming?
JK: We all like all of the songs for their own reasons and we all probably have different answers as to which single is our favorite. Mine changes every day. We tried to write this record as a piece so i don’t know if the songs stand alone as well as they do together.
AP: How are fans receiving the new album?
JK: I think they like it? Do you like it?
AP: How much of your new live set is Seed vs previous material?
JK: It is 70% Seed and 29% Nailbiter and 1% bad jokes.
AP: As originally a Midwestern band, do you find it hard to connect with people on the East Coast?
JK: This is our first tour out there so I’ll let you know.
AP: Are there regions that you prefer to tour more than others?
JK: Depends on the season. I’m partial to Texas because I miss it. Nick says Texas because of the tacos. Cassie likes the cold. Brandon likes anywhere that has Taco Bell. Mitch is not here for me to ask because we have a fill in for him this time around.
AP: Can you share how Cassie and Nick became involved within the Looming camp?
JK: Me and Nick have been in two other bands before (Our Lady and Asthma) and have already toured together in the past. It was really easy to get him involved. Cassie has helped us out since the beginning and has been incredibly supportive, so when we decided it was time to add the extra sounds and third guitar for our record, we really wanted her to come along, because it really comes down to choosing people that you know you want to be stuck in a van with and these two are it for us.
AP: What made you choose to release Seed and Nailbiter on No Sleep Records?
JK: No Sleep chose us.
AP: Can we expect more solo tours in between full band tours?
JK: Yes! I’m going on one in January that should be announced very soon!
AP: What’s it like to be out on your own without the rest of the band backing you?
JK: Sad and weird and terrifying but also personally empowering. I feel better than ever when I finish those tours successfully. I also have been really lucky to hit the road with other bands who become my temporary support system and that is special on its own
AP: What artists influence you to continue to write music?
JK: Check out this playlist No Sleep Records made to answer this exact question! You can probably tell which ones are Brandon and which ones are me.
AP: Have you discovered any new bands or artists out on the road that you think are worthy of sharing?
JK: Constantly! This time we have been really lucky to play with some incredible locals. Stay-In played their first Chicago show with us and it was really rad. Moss Jaw and Oliver Houston in Grand Rapids were great. We always love playing with Choir Vandals. In Bloomington, IN we played with a band called Ghastly. Every night we get to see something new
AP: What is the hardest thing about maintaining a successful and active band while spread out over multiple states?
JK: The organization it requires to pull off practicing before a tour lol. The weeks leading into tour are EXTREMELY hectic for us because we all have to be in the same city for a week prior. But since we don’t see each other as often we are usually pretty stoked to be reunited.
AP: Outside of the band, what hobbies or interests keep the band members balanced and occupied when not playing in Looming?
JK: Nick is a tattoo apprentice and is constantly drawing everywhere we go (seriously go follow nick_knack_pattywhack on ig, his stuff is great)
Brandon screen prints and bikes a lot and him and Cassie play in another band called Night Night Boy.
Cassie likes baths, Deep Space Nine, chopping wood, building fires and going on long walks in the cemetery.
Mitch likes specialty soda pop, VR, whacky potato chips and hanging with his dog Rudy.
I just smoke a lot and watch Real Housewives with my dog.
AP: Would you consider Looming a lover of puppies? Some people just are not “dog” people.
JK: We all love dogs except Cassie. She likes rats and her two kitties. I work for Rover because I love dogs so much !!!!!! Nick has a loaf of bread known most commonly as a Corgi. I have a Morky. Brandon and Mitch both have labs. (editor’s note: we wish they sent us photos of the aforementioned animals)
Get a taste of Looming with this live video below, and check the details for tonight’s show!
Aviator, Looming, oldsoul, Rainsound
Thursday October 19, 2017
55 Bishop Allen Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Doors 7pm | all ages | $10