Del Paxton Interview: “I used old yearbooks & lawn care books”

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del paxton interview

New album All Day, Every Day, All Night is out March 3rd via Topshelf Records.

We’re absolutely sure you know this, but Del Paxton was a character in the Tom Hanks musical That Thing You Do. Played by Bill Cobb, Moses the clock man from The Hudsucker Proxy (obvs), Del Paxton in the movie was Tom Hanks’ character’s jazz pianist idol.

That was not entirely relevant to anything, but Del Paxton is also the moniker of a Buffalo, NY trio who specialise in fiery and earnest emo that hits both the brain and the heart. They’re just about to release their second album, All Day, Every Day, All Night, via Topshelf Records and they’re pretty damn excited about the whole thing in fairness.

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We had a good chat with Dylan England (guitar), Greg McClure (drums), and Zack Schoedel (bass) about sketchy motel rooms, musical inspiration, and Donald Trump.

Overblown: Your debut album will be coming out on Topshelf Records. How delighted are you to work with them?

Zack: Absolutely delighted! I think if someone were to ask us what our ideal label to work with would have been when we started off, our answer would have been Topshelf. They have released music from what are some of our collective favorite bands over the last handful of years – especially Toe. And when we learned that they’d be releasing the new Mock Orange LP last May, that was a sort of landmark for us. They are one of my favorites and Dylan’s actual #1 favorite band of all time.

O: Your new track ‘Koolwink’ is about a sketchy motel your singer stayed in while visiting family. What was so dodgy about it?

Dylan: I should put this out there on record: this was the coolest motel I’ve ever stayed at. It was very clean, cheap, and my room was awesome. Tons of 1950’s furnishings and clown paintings. I felt like I time traveled somewhere. If you’re ever in the WV panhandle, look it up, you won’t regret it. Unless you hate clowns….

O: Is this a typical type of thing that inspires you to write songs? Or do you draw inspiration from all over the place?

Dylan: I think the setting definitely helped inspire “Koolwink”. I think if I stayed in a Motel 8 or some shit then I wouldn’t have really felt like writing about it. We all tend to write about personal experiences, but I’m usually drawn to the more mundane or trivial aspects of everyday life.

O: The album is a collection of songs written between 2013 and 2015. Is this a closing of a chapter for you?

Zack: Nope! That’s just the timespan during which the songs were written. Of all of them, the song “Looseleaf” was written the longest time ago – 2013 I think. It was recorded during the sessions for our split with Gulfer but didn’t make the cut it. I think this LP is a better home for it. And to answer the “chapter” question: I don’t personally see it so much as the closing of a chapter as milestone on a continuing path. I suppose it’s the same thing, except “closing chapter” makes it sound like we’re breaking up, and we aren’t.

O: Tell us a bit about the artwork for the album. Who created it? What inspired it?

Dylan: I created the artwork for the record. For the source materials I used old yearbooks and lawn care books. I think it evokes a feeling of isolation but the colors and photos give it a nostalgic glow.

del paxton interview
‘All Day, Every Day, All Night’ artwork.

O: What do you think of Trump’s election as President? Are politics something that concerns you?

Zack: Trump’s being elected as President is absolutely horrifying and absurd in a way that I genuinely struggle to articulate. I”ll never forget how I felt the night of November 8th as the results were coming in and it was becoming increasingly clear that he was going win – a kind of visceral illness – a sick premonition of things to come. I feel as though it’s a truly, especially fucked up time to be alive on planet Earth. With similar far-right movements picking up momentum in Europe and elsewhere, it’s more important now than ever to be politically aware and active. Regardless of what your economic ideas are, global warming and the threat of nuclear war are very real. Now more than ever, sensible and compassionate people have to remain vigilant. But yes – that the U.S. somehow managed to spew out a manchild/neo-nazi/reality-television star as its President deeply embarrasses and sickens me. This is American culture at its ugliest.

O: A song I really like on the new album is ‘Greenhouse’, what was the inspiration behind that song both musically and thematically?

Greg: Thanks! Green House is actually the last song we finished writing maybe 2 or 3 days before we went into the studio. We tried to push the dynamics on this song by making things loud to quiet while changing tempos without being overtly awkward about it. As the drummer of the band, one of my biggest accomplishments on the record was finding a place for a Bossa Nova drum beat towards the end of the track. Thematically the song is inspired by the polarity of a city in “growth.” In particular, I’ve watched elderly neighbors pack up their belongings and move out the same day new homeowners begin renovations. The dichotomy of this sadness in one family and excitement of another simultaneously is something I won’t forget. As I watch things change around me it’s often a reminder of my own impermanence and that I benefit to detach value and my belongings and find more value in who am I am and how I deal with things.

O: Have you begun working on LP2 yet?

Zack: Yeah! We have a handful of new songs in the bag and we’re really happy with how they’ve been turning out.

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