Contributor’s Note: I feel so lucky to have been able to sit down with Equipment and talk about how they met, how their music feels like a throwback, and their new album. Enjoy!
Fans can find Equipment at the following locations:
Tell us a little about yourselves? How did you all meet?
A: This whole thing started as a solo project, so to play live I had to recruit whatever members were down to play at the time. I’d basically have two bandmates for a few months at time until they would have to dip out to focus on their own stuff. However, I started getting into this other Toledo band called Woodpecker’s Pass, and their lead singer Jacob Scott ended up becoming our bassist. He then introduced me to Jake Pachasa by taking me to his practice space at the time. Since then, we’ve been at it as a unit for nearly 2 years. We’ve also had some homies fill in for rhythm/synth but at its core, Equipment is a three-piece.
Your music has a deeply personal feel to it. What inspired the song SPF 5000?
A: That song kind of blurs the line between being anecdotal and metaphorical. Half of what I describe in the song are just events that happened, while I also sprinkle in commentary on what was going on behind the scenes. It’s a bit of a statement on the use of “facades” as well; watching a tourist spectacle on a vacation can only divert so much attention from the fact that you have communication issues. Also, the last verse describes my realization that I have a tendency to pen myself as the “supporting cast” or as an “extra” in other people’s lives, finding too much gratification in living through other people rather than valuing my own character. Writing hyper-personally is typically the easiest way for me to write, it’s my main outlet for my uglier thoughts.
You seem to be making music that feels like it would have been right at home when I was in high school (circa 2004-2008), are you concerned that you’re music will feel dated?
A: Nope! I think there’s a niche for everything, and I think especially now people are going back and realizing that that time period in music had some really special elements that aren’t as present today. I think that’s why bands like Oso Oso and Save Face are killing it right now, they’re bringing back some of the appeal that older bands like Say Anything had. That kind of sound mixed with the honesty of today’s indie/emo scene is something I really enjoy, so I definitely don’t mind writing music like that since I think it sounds cool.
Where did you record this album? Why did you feel now was the right time to put something out?
A: We recorded this between 2017 and 2018 at a small studio called The Master Bedroom in Toledo, Ohio. It’s a space that my buddy Steven Warstler runs. On top of producing us, he also plays drums in the band Secret Space. The songs themselves were finished being written over a year ago, and the recordings themselves have been through countless iterations of themselves, so the time between the album being finished and being released was actually really minimal. I wanted to get the songs out ASAP since I was so excited for people to hear the record. I’m glad that we had so much time to sit on the songs, though, since I think it turned out to be the best record it could be.
Who are some of your biggest influences on the album?
A: My favorite part about the record, at least sonically, is that the apparent influences are so all over the place across the board. That probably sounds self-obsessed to say! I just listen to a lot of music. The big ones would have to be Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, Say Anything, Andy Shauf, anything Jeff Rosenstock-related, Car Seat Headrest, and hell, even Blink 182. It’s definitely the amalgamation of my teenage listening palette, a proper bookend to my actual teenage years. That’s not even to mention any of Steve’s influences
What’s next for you guys?
A: In the grand scheme of things? No clue. We have some smaller runs planned, but we did quite a bit of touring and promoting this past summer so we’re taking a breather. Our bassist Jacob has his project Waving and Waving Goodbye that we all play in that will probably be doing stuff. Equipment is also rolling out a bunch of smaller releases over the next 6-8 months (including a Christmas song?) that I’m really excited for. This album felt like such a commitment so I’m excited to go back to putting out more immediate, newly-written material, at least for a little while. For the time being, I’ll be going back to school and probably playing more video games
And there you have it! On Thursday, September 6th, Equipment will be performing with Warm Thoughts, No Culture, Farseek, and Mover Shaker. For tickets and further information, click here.