We spoke with James Weir of NE-HI about their new album Offers and upcoming tour.
You guys are set to release your sophomore record, Offers, in February. Who's putting this record out? Who recorded it? How does it differ from your first release?
Grand Jury Records based out of NYC. Couldn't be more excited to be a part of the GJ family - they've treated us really good thus far. Our man, Dave Vettraino, who actually recorded our first record also runs a studio called Public House Sound Recordings and has certainly mastered his craft in Chicago over the past few years. If you're making music in Chicago, Dave's the guy to work with. With the last record, we just got in his studio and ripped out about 9 tunes and that was that. This second record was a more calculated process. We recorded it in two different week-and-a-half installments at Minbal Studios in Chicago. We were lucky enough to have a pretty sweet advance from GJ, so we took a lot of time in the studio and a few of the tunes actually came about from rearranging old ideas and writing new stuff in the studio. Overall, it definitely carries on the vibes that people loved from the first one, but is a little sharper in terms of musicianship and production.
What were your inspirations during the writing and recording of Offers?
A lot of R.E.M., Velvet Underground, Replacements, Wire. Chicago Winter. Mostly though, cans of La Croix & Chicago style hot dogs. (This is very much so, a Chicago record, ha).
You guys are based in Chicago. What are some bands from the city that you are excited to watch in 2017?
Deeper, an angular guitar rock band that takes a lot of influence from the likes of Women, Death Grips, 80s post-punk stuff. This is our brother band that has a record coming out in 2017 and we are super stoked for them!
You guys are playing a show in Asheville, NC at The Mothlight. One of our favorite record stores in the state is Harvest Records in Asheville. If you go, what are some records you'll be looking for?
I'm always on the lookout for old soul records. If they have anything Allen Touissant has worked on, I'll be there.
Have you ever played Asheville?
So, back in the summer of 2015, we had just bought our beautiful van (The Bong Van) but she was having some troubles getting up and running (feel free to chat with us in person about van troubles) and we had to cancel our show at The Mothlight because we were stuck in Richmond, VA for 3 days. We've only heard great things about that venue - very excited to make it to Asheville.
We know you're La Croix fans. What's your favorite flavor?
Anyone who doesn't say Pamplemousse is obviously not a connoisseur.