Fight Amp on ‘Birth Control,’ Riffs That Won’t Die and Getting Electrocuted
Fight Amp's Birth Control is out now, and it's a killer indie release on Translation Loss. It's the New Jersey band's third album. Both of the power trio's previous releases were produced by Kylesa s Philip Cope, but for Birth Control, the band chose to self-produce with the help of a studio pal.
Vocalist/guitarist Mike McGinnis gave Noisecreep the scoop on the new album, especially how Cope's influence extended int this album even though he didn't twiddle the knobs. McGinnis also told us about the riff that won't die and that had been haunting him for years and how finally executed it. He also revealed he's been electrocuted.
You switched gears and decided to self-produce. What was the biggest difference and biggest benefit of doing it yourself?
I'd say the biggest difference was having to keep a schedule and set the pace ourselves rather than have someone keeping us on time with everything. It wasn't necessarily easier or harder, just a bit different. We always go into the studio with set goals and a plan for how to achieve those goals, so whether it's us producing or someone else, it's just a slightly different path that we take.
On previous records, working with Philip Cope, one of the biggest things he always brought to the table was getting us to see songs in a light that we may not have seen them before, and taking them out of our perspective and trying to get us to see how a fan listening to our record might hear them. We learned a lot from Philip and used a lot of the methods he taught us when recording Birth Control.
Also, working with our engineer Steve Poponi at Gradwell on this record helped a lot. He's an old friend of ours and he basically co-produced in that he offered a lot of third party insight and helped us shape certain parts of the album. That's actually him playing slide guitar on "Fly Trap."
Watch Fight Amp at Saint Vitus
Pick one song on Birth Control and give us an inside story about writing or producing it.
One that stands out to me is the song "Goner." It's the one instrumental song on the album, and features a riff I wrote probably six years ago. We had tried using this riff three different times in songs and it never worked out; we always ended up throwing the song out as it neared completion.
The riff that won't die...
We tried writing it with each drummer we had and for some reason it just never stuck to us. This time, our new drummer joined, and he brought a fresh perspective to the riff and we were able to form it into a song we were really happy with. So that may be a brand new song, but that main riff has been eating away at me for years and we were finally able to get it out there. We're excited for people to hear it; it's a little different than most of our catalog and probably one of our more mellow tracks.
Any non-music skills or hobbies you can tell us about?
Well, parents will be pleased to know that our drummer Dan is busy corrupting the hearts and minds of their children as a substitute teacher every school year.
Jon and I have both dabbled in electrical work off and on, and we've both been electrocuted with 277 volts while on top of ladders. Thanks a lot Burlington Coat Factory for not letting us kill the lighting circuits while working on them.
What's exciting that's on the horizon in 2012 through 2013?
We're headed out on a record release tour in October and November and playing The Fest 11 in Gainesville and a couple other fests along the way that we haven't announced yet. Nothing solid yet, but we plan to tour as much as possible throughout 2013 to promote Birth Control.
Fight Amp's new album, Birth Control, is out now via Translation Loss and is can be puchased directly at this link.