Interview: The Voyces’ Brian Wurschum discusses Let Me Die In Southern California
The Voyces‘ new album, Let Me Die In Southern California, is aural light-years away from the quiet little surf classic “Relate To Me” (Jack Johnson’s Thicker Than Water) that started it all.Â I have already listened to their new record, from start to finish, probably over a hundred times. To put this into perspective, I usually can’t make it through an entire CD once anymore.Â So, needless to say, I was excited when I got to talk to singer/songwriter Brian Wurschum about the long and winding highway into the Wild West.
Q: Let Me Die In Southern California is, in a lot of ways, a hard rock album. What would you say about thisÂ cd to the people who only know you from the Jack Johnson film/soundtrack (Thicker Than Water)?
A: Well, there are a lot of songs on this one that are under the same musical umbrella as “Relate To Me.” It’s just that they are better.
Q: The new cd has a lot of heavy guitars. The title track has such a rocking, catchy riff. As does “Finest Hour” and “The Speed Of Fear.” What is with the new direction?
A: It might seem like a new direction to our fans, but it really is just my heavy metal roots finally being presented in the right way. Live, we have always been a rock band. Our previous albums haven’t ever really shown this.Â Angels Of Fun is kind of like satanic-folk. Kissing Like It’s Love is forlorn pop. But this record is a perfect representation of our musical sensibilities.
Q: Why did it all come to a head now?
A: I worried. I realized that we didn’t have any albums that I thoroughly loved. So we went about this one in a completely different way than we had in the past. It was really thought out from beginning to end. Intensely. I was on a mission.Â About a year of writing and planning and pre-production, and two weeks to record.
Q: Do you thoroughly love this album?
Q: That must be a good feeling.
A: It is incredible. If someone were to tell me they didn’t like it, it would be like someone telling me they don’t like my eyes. Okay, there’s nothing I can do about it. They’re my eyes. Ya know?
Q: It really only took two weeks to record?
A: Yeah. We were prepared. And our producer, Bruce Driscoll, is always prepared. He made it feel simple. Bruce is a genius, too. That helps.
Q: Clearly, you have a lot of affection for the golden state. You are from California, correct?
A:Â I grew up in Newbury Park, California. Pretty lucky if you live there, I think. You’re close to the ocean, the mountains, and Hollywood. Plus you forget all about the sky when you live in New York City.
Q: Would I be right in calling Let Me Die In Southern California a concept album?
A:Â I don’t think you’d be wrong. It isÂ a story, for sure. One story. You know how it goes…that old threadbare notion of finding one’s home.
Q: Jude Kastle sings lead on “King Of Castle.” It’s beautiful. Any plans on having her front the band more often?
A:Â It’s my favorite song on the album. Jude and I never made any rules about our music. “King Of Castle” just happened. Whenever it feels right, we’ll do it again. She’s a better singer than I am.
Q: There are a couple of short acoustic instrumental songs, “La Lomita” and “and The Trickling Sun.” They help sew the songs together nicely. Can you tell me anything about those tracks?
A: They are a couple of short instrumental songs.
Q: (Laughter) So, is that a no?
A:Â I don’t know what to say about them. They sew the other songs together nicely. Don’t you think? No, I mean…I don’t know what to say. I guess there would be lyrics if I had something to say about them.
Q: “It Whispers” sounds like a summary of the entire album. I especially like the line, “yesterday, tomorrow, real, or nothing like it seems…” And the cd starts with an alarm clock. It’s really like you are saying that the whole story might just be a dream, and not reality.
A:Â Yes. True. Time will tell.
Q: Where can people buy the record?
Q:Â Any tour dates yet?
A:Â We have people working on that ’round the clock. Highly paid professionals. Several of them are Italian.