An interview with Free Throw
It’s been nearly a week since Tennessee emo band, Free Throw, released their fourth album. Vulnerable, moving and a nod at a new chapter in their story, our Piecing It Together review is available to read. For now though, we chat to guitarist Lawrence – Larry – Warner about how the pandemic helped them shape the new record and more.
Words: Renette van der merwe
First and foremost, congratulations on your fourth album, it’s brilliant! How does it feel putting your name to another one?
Thank you so much! This one was a lot of fun to write and record. If I can speak on the behalf of the band, we’re all very excited for everyone to hear this.
Piecing It Together is ultimately a message of self-acceptance and fulfilment and it’s funny that something so positive came shortly after a really negative year. What role did the pandemic play in the message of this album?
Not that many have the experience of enduring a lockdown for such an extended time, we had to assume there’s two options with what you can do with your time. One being nothing at all and the other using creativity to ground us during a terrifying ordeal. We chose to take advantage of a period of time we wouldn’t have had otherwise, considering touring, and used it to keep us sane and looking to the future.
There must be a real sense of freedom in giving up the music industry politics that can sometimes take over and just do it for the music instead?
The pandemic gave us a nice reprieve from music industry politics in the sense that we were able to take hold of our own creative fulfillment and distribution. It was a cool experience turning Free Throw into a business with it’s own office space. It allowed us to have as much of a connection with our fans as we could during quarantine.
What is one thing that you want people to take away from the album when they’ve finished listening?
Life is all about balance, there will be highs and lows, times of control and lack there of, and there’s a way to appreciate both sides. Collectively and on a global scale we have all experienced loss and isolation all while still living our respective lives. We wanted this album to be able to bring people back to themselves even for just 40-something minutes and remind them that life comes in a wave form that should be valued regardless if the period is a crest or trough.
We’ve gotta ask about the ‘Ocular Pat Down’ video. What was the experience of working with Jez Pennington like? Why do you think the video ended up so sentimental and heartwarming?
The fact that we got to work with Jez was awesome. The first work of theirs I saw was Early Humans’ video for “Creator” and they knocked it out of the park. We knew we had to work with them when we saw their ability to grasp the sentimentality of the lyrics in the animations. It was nice that we were able to use our platform to show the detrimental effects of the pandemic on the music venues we cut our teeth at. It’s incredibly important for our community to see those venues thrive.
Lastly, how did you celebrate the album release? Zoom pizza party or what?
Actually, we decided to celebrate in the form of a live stream. There’s nothing that makes us happier than playing the songs to our fans so the livestream came out last week Friday – June 24th – for everyone to celebrate with us.
What’s the first album you owned?
My dad had Dookie on cassette which got it all started. The first CD I ever bought with my own money was Greenday’s Nimrod.
What’s the last album you purchased / streamed?
The last record I bought was Early Humans’ A Wave which I recommended everyone delve into. The last record I steamed was Manchester Orchestra’s latest record The Million Masks of God.
The best album to drive to?
Taking Back Sunday’s Louder Now. All of the dueling vocals and Fred Mascherino’s solos are perfect for air guitar in the van.
An album that never gets old?
I could never get sick of You Deserve Love by White Reaper.
An album that reminds you of summer?
Happiness Hours by The Sidekicks is the epitome of summer.
Settle the argument
Vinyl or Spotify?
Both! As someone who collects vinyl I see the appeal to having the art in hand and being able to read through the liner notes but you also have to love the accessibility of a billion songs at your finger tips. The main thing is to support the artist you love in any form.
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