Q&A with Tim Landers of Off & On

Off & On are set to release their new EP Good Talk Vol. 2 on May 12th via intheclouds Records. The second of two self-produced EPs, Good Talk Vol. 2 marks a progression for New England’s Off & On. We had the chance to chat with vocalist/guitarist Tim Landers about the bands’ areas of growth on the new EP, their defining song “AIKT” and their plans for the future.

Fans can check out the vibrant video for “AIKT” below and pre-order Good Talk Vol. 2 HERE.

Interview by Dom Vigil

How would you describe Off & On to someone who might just be hearing you for the first time?

It’s difficult pinning a genre because we take influences from so many different places, but we’d say we’re a rock band with flavors of electronic and hip hop.

You guys are set to release your new EP, Good Talk Vol. 2 on the 12th – what are you most excited for listeners to hear on it?

We’re lucky because we get to release Good Talk Vol. 1 and 2 all in one pressing. The volumes were recorded about a year apart, and we think you can feel progression. The release consists of 8 tracks that we chose amongst 20-30 others, so we’re really proud of these songs. Further- It’s our first proper physical release, so we’re extra jazzed for people to be able to spin some Off & On vinyl.

Are there any specific areas of growth that listeners can expect to hear on this release? 

Good Talk Vol. 1 was written and tracked simultaneously as Off & On came to life, and Justine wasn’t a part of the band quite yet.  With Good Talk Vol. 2, songs were written with her in mind for sections. We really wanted to incorporate our three different voices and make that something that is unique to our sound [And sometimes (in our minds) it feels like “oh this is the AJ bridge, or this is the Nick Carter verse” and that’s sick]. More-so, since we dropped Vol. 1 we’ve been jamming, recording, and playing shows non stop. Playing Boston and doing some short touring really helped us get tighter, and the live aspect of things really influenced our direction. Being so close and consistently working on our music made it easy for us to understand our sound, push the envelope and progress.

You guys also recently released the video for your single, “AIKT.” Can you tell us a little bit about the song?

“AIKT” is a song with a lot of contrast. Musically, it’s energetic and upbeat while lyrically, it’s a lot of vented frustration. If someone has a problem with you, you want to hear it from their mouth- not passed back to you through the grapevine. We wanted to make the song sound happy, with frustrated undertones.

You’ve mentioned before that “AIKT” was the first step in a musical progression for Off & On – how so? What did you want to be able to accomplish musically with the track?

We started to get really experimental with different sounds while writing Vol. 2, and this was the first track we felt we were on to something new and special. When we started Off & On, we wanted to do something that no one else was doing, so we are always trying to move in that direction. The recipe for “AIKT” was to mix hip-hop-esque beats with some wild vocal sampling, and then sprinkle some Smashing Pumpkins guitar tones on top.

The video for “AIKT” is awesome as well! Where did the idea for the wild colors and animations come from? 

Our friend/director Erik Rojas, whom shot our video for “Madison” as well, had a strong creative hand in the “AIKT” video. He gets us, and he knew we wanted to do something wild. We had tossed around a few similar ideas we all vibed on, then he really knocked it out of the park in post production.

I know you also self-produced the new EP – what are the perks of being able to have control over that part of the recording process?

Thus far, we’ve produced all of our own music and it has been quite liberating. It just leaves us room for 100% creativity. With time on our side, we can be as experimental as we’d like to be. We can track and re-track until we have made something we feel is perfect. I.e. the guitars for “Rust Love” on GTV2 were literally scrapped and re-tracked 8 times. To make something truly honest and fresh, this has been the best means for us so far.

What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the new music?

We hope you want to dance. We hope you want to party, but while you’re at the party, something hits you in the chest and you’re like “whoa that was weird, but I think I’m fine now,” and you brush it off and keep partying.

After Good Talk Vol. 2, what’s next for Off & On? Do you guys have any big plans for 2015?

As we mentioned above, we already have 20+ more jams in the works. We’re gonna figure out the best way to get those out there. We’re going to focus on making more and more music, while playing out and touring as much as humanly possible. Off & On is our love, so we’re going hard in the paint.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for having us- sincerely a pleasure. Follow us on twitter/instagram/daFBook for pictures of us rocking and eating Mcdonalds.

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Good Talk Vol. 2 is out May 12th – Pre-oder it now here!