Boy Scouts is the project of Taylor Vick from San Francisco. We featured some of her demos last year, and now she’s released her debut full-length, Homeroom Breakfast, with the folks at Mt. Home Arts. Our review of the album is still in the works, but until then we had the chance to ask Taylor a few questions about her recording process, influences and the partnership with Mt. Home Arts. Enjoy!
Hi Taylor, thanks for chatting with us! How is life now that your debut album, Homeroom Breakfast is out in the world?
Hello! Yes, having that out in the world has been real nice. It’s always a good feeling to finish a project, ya know, and this is my first time having physical copies of my music so I’m super stoked about that aspect! An amazing artist/pal named Nora Einbender-Luks did the art and it’s so cool to have kind of created something with someone else.
Your Bandcamp page says the album was written and recorded in both Brooklyn and San Francisco. Was there a reason for this split? And what’s your recording process like?
My last semester of college was in Brooklyn and that was the same time I started working on this album – so the first few tracks I wrote and recorded were done in my apartment there, and the rest were recorded in my apartment in San Francisco once I moved back after school.
I kind of write or at least add to songs as I’m recording, so the recording process for me is a lot of trial and error and is so much fun. I often have just the basic structure of a song when I go to record because I mostly hear new parts as I’m listening back to it rather than while I’m playing or writing it.. I use garageband, a borrowed mic + interface from my friend Rose or my iphone built in mic, and whatever instruments I can get my hands on. Luckily I have lived with/know a lot of musicians so I’ve been able to use a lot of other peoples stuff and it’s been great!
Who/what would you cite as your main influences?
Woah! I love thinking about this. My brother Travis Vick and my friend Rose Droll are for sure my main influences. They both are incredible musicians, performers, people. Also my brother got me into really good music at a young age so I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always had a strong connection to Rose’s music and now we’re friends and are each other’s #1 fans so it’s really rad and powerful – both Travis and Rose inspire the heck out of me!
I feel like a lot of people immediately put artists in your genre into a sad/lonely box without much thought, so I’m going to ask you outright – Do you consider your songs sad and lonely?
I don’t think so. I think because I’m not sad or lonely, I can’t consider them as that even though others might (which is fine). My songs might have glimpses of sadness or whatever, which is because the best outlet for me if I’m sad is to write a song or a lyric or something. So I understand why people might think that. But yeah, I think other feelings than sadness can be felt when listening to a song that might be deemed as sad so I try not to write off an artist as being sad/lonely because sometimes connecting over something sad can feel really good… if that makes sense.
The album has been released on cassette with Mt. Home Arts. How do you feel about releasing it with them and how did the relationship come about?
Mt. Home Arts is so awesome and great! Releasing an album with them has been so cool, I feel very lucky and happy to have had the opportunity. I emailed for a long time with Tim Woulfe, one of the founders of Apollonian Sound (who has since merged with Mt. Home Arts!) about releasing my music with them, we ended up doing a few shows together on the east coast last month and I got to release my album on their label. It all feels very good. They are great people.
Your debut release was self-produced and released. Do you have any advice or sage wisdom for other people young or old who are thinking about grabbing a guitar and recording something at home?
Oh man! Some of the best advice I’ve heard and think I also read once on an Alex G AMA was to make music that you want to hear. I would also say to not think that you’re limited because you’re recording at home or by yourself. I still don’t know much at all about recording or mixing, but that’s what makes experimenting so fun. You can do whatever you want and can create this audible, invisible thing, it’s so awesome. Experiment and share what you’re excited about with someone, or everyone. Do what feels good.
Finally, what 4 or 5 bands/artists have you been listening to recently? They can be brand new or a hundred years old, whatever you’re into.
I’m recently very into Andy Shauf’s albums The Party and The Bearer of Bad News. Also Diners’ album Three. WHY? is probably my favorite band ever so I’m still always listening to them and also to Elliott Smith for forever.