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Writer: Band of Brothers



    Writer, brothers Andy and James Ralph, have been quickly building momentum since the release of their Miss Mermaid EP, which garnered them tours with national acts like Cults and Guards. Rightfully so: Their live set is perfectly unpolished, complete with heavy reverberation, analog static and a synergy best achieved through shared bloodline. Their minimalist arrangements are led by percussion -- there's a primitive beat that sounds exposed and rough, swelling with underwater vocals.  

    On their upcoming LP, the aptly titled Brotherface, Andy sings from deep nostalgic vaults, collecting all the swampy artifacts of campfires, biblical characters, mythical sirens and family dinners. "North Park Faires" drifts on like an abandoned carnival, while tracks like "Swamp Fire Lake" have that grimy Southern-rock sound, revisiting places and making imaginative stories around them. Sonically, it's about shedding all the unnecessary stuff, exposing the structural bare bones of a song dressed up by just a few rusty amps and vocals.

    I spoke to Andy just before Writer's upcoming opening slot for the Album Leaf at the Mississippi Room at Lafayette Hotel on Saturday.

    Nada Alic: There's a really unique music community that is specific to San Diego -- what do you attribute that to? Do you feel apart of it?
    Andy Ralph: I feel like we’re apart of an amazing community of musicians here in San Diego. We’ve become friends with some very talented rat finks … all of them interesting and unique in their own way: the smells, the sleeping habits, the crazed dating patterns, the paranoia and the creative exploration.  

    NA: You've toured with Cults and Guards this year, along with performing at a handful of music fests. What has the response been like outside of San Diego?
    AR: Every night, James and I agree that we contrast a great deal from every band we share a show with. I think that’s a good thing.... We shook hands with a lot of new Writer fans this summer outside of Saint Diego.

    NA: Brotherface sounds like you really came into your sound. What was that process like?
    AR: Brotherface … the record we have not released yet! How’d you get your hands on that?

    NA: Do you feel that being a two-piece is musically limiting or a healthy challenge?
    AR: Being a two-piece band means we must be resourceful. We get to figure out how to make noise -- and a lot of it, every day and every night. I think that’s healthy.

    NA: Is it ever difficult to reconcile life on the road with returning to relative normalcy at home?
    AR: Nah.

    NA: What are your plans for the New Year?
    AR:New York.

    Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms.Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.