INTERVIEW: Ariel View
By Thomas Rodriguez
Not a lot of bands (or power plants) can bring the energy quite like Ariel View. A recent signee to Epitaph, the California outfit has seen fit to have their first debut album released this October. Every track from the all-female group is a kaleidoscope of rock color, from white sandy beaches to gray rainy days.
We had the pleasure to get to know them in our latest interview, and ask them about the lives they live, the inspiration behind their work, and all the new information surrounding Until My Lungs Are Cleared, their rocking debut album!
First of all, congrats on your recent signing and success? What’s it like being signed to a label as renowned as Epitaph? Has it created any new expectations for yourselves or your recording process?
NADINE: It’s pretty fucking great. It feels surreal—like, Weezer signed to Epitaph; it’s huge.
HARMONIE: At first it scared us but we try to remember to still be ourselves even though this label is pretty big. We’re really grateful to be with a label that has a bunch of our favorite bands on it.
MIRANDA: I feel like I’m still getting used to it. Everything we’re doing now feels more legitimate than we’re used to.
HEAVEN: I’m still in shock, it doesn’t feel real. Like when you release something yourself, you don’t want to let yourself down but now I don’t want to let them down. I have to hold myself to a higher standard
Your most recent single under Epitaph, “Friday Nights”, has such a vibrant energy to it, but has a very personal edge as well; how do you manage to maintain the energy and emotion on your studio sessions and venues?
HARMONIE: I don’t think we try to manage it, it’s just always inside us. When we have to release it, it comes out naturally.
NADINE: The stage is where we get to express ourselves and our emotions
What has been the most memorable moment throughout your various performances in Cali?
MIRANDA: We just came back from our first tour and had a great sold-out show in Seattle. It was the last show of the tour and we finally got to bond with the other two bands [Girl Friday + The Beths] we were on tour with. We just stayed inside the venue until 2 AM hanging out while our manager slept in the van.
HEAVEN: Canada was really dramatic, we got out of the van and immediately got on stage and had to play. It was like you see in movies how bands head straight to the stage, plug in, and play.
NADINE: One of my favorite memories is when we used to play the Elks Lodge in Riverside. Harm would stage dive with her guitar still on and keep playing and be crowd surfing then somehow make it back to the stage. I’d just be in back watching in horror for her guitar’s health
California is home to some of rock’s biggest founders and superstars; do you guys seek to join the legacy of exceptional surf rock, or push forward to a new direction in the future?
HARMONIE: I don’t really care about being a superstar; I don’t think we’re trying to limit our music to any genres in the future.
NADINE: We’re a little surf rock but a little pop-punk, a little emo. It all depends on how we feel.
What is the one difficulty in touring you wish you could snap out of existence?
MIRANDA: Having to call first dibs on the shower, keeping track of your phone charger, not having any alone time.
HEAVEN: When we party with people after a show, they just invite themselves into the green room or our hotel as if we’re not exhausted from being on the road. We love our friends but sometimes random people just hang out backstage and help themselves to our snacks.
Your new record is titled Until My Lungs Are Cleared. What do you have to say about the title in relation to the album; how did you settle on that, considering it’s actually the name of a song on your previous self-titled release?
MIRANDA: It’s the song that stood out to us the most, it’s about the process of going through something but you know it’s going to get better
HEAVEN: Until My Lungs Are Cleared is like waiting for the bad to pass, it was really the theme of the whole album that tied everything together.
A bulk of tracks on the album consists of excellent re-recordings of some of your older tracks; for example, “Succubus” sounds punk as hell in its new form. Did these re-recordings bring to light anything you didn’t realize about your past work or yourselves?
HARMONIE: When we used to record our music by ourselves, it was really important to each of us to keep our individual parts intact. We didn’t learn how to edit until we met our producer Joe [Reinhart].
NADINE: We learned a lot in the studio and had to think about our band as a whole instead of our individual parts. In the studio all together we became more of a team
What would you tell day one fans about the upcoming record? Your projects have gained a nice reputation around Bandcamp.
HEAVEN: They’re all songs from when we were 14 so they’re raw, intense in the moment emotions
HARMONIE: We didn’t leave any of our emotions out of the songs when we re-recorded them. It bothered me that the quality on the old recordings wasn’t good so now that we’ve had a chance to polish it feels good to us as we’ve gotten older
NADINE: We love our fans and they mean the world to us. This is all their doing, we were able to have all of this success and we owe that to them.
The tracks “Summertime” and “Friday Nights” deal heavy in the throes of a neglectful relationship. What kind of emotions came out when you created these songs?
NADINE: Harmonie didn’t want to show us ‘Friday Nights’ because it was too hard for her to sing, it started as a slow, sad, country-folk song. But we dealt with it the best way we knew how and made it something to dance along to.
HARMONIE: ‘Friday Nights’ was written on an acoustic guitar but then I brought it to Nadine and told her it needed a heartbeat.
Until My Lungs Are Cleared deals with a lot of dreams and heartbreak in its lyrics; “New York” opens up with a desire to move into the Big Apple. What tends to inspire your subject matter when writing?
HARMONIE: My life. I’m not someone to talk about my feelings to other people so I write songs by myself to feel better.
Would you guys actually want to move to NYC, if possible? It seems like the West Coast would definitely miss your presence.
MIRANDA: I’ve never been to New York but I feel like there’s more of a community here for music, especially for the kind of music we make. It seems like a lot more ‘suit and tie’ people going to 9 to 5 jobs there.
NADINE: I would never live in LA because it’s too crowded, I want to live on a farm. I feel like I’d hate New York
HARMONIE: It seems like it would be harder to make it in a band in New York because it’s more competitive. I don’t think there’d be as much community there.
The surf rock vibes are immediate on the album; the instrumentals here are impressive in their complex-yet-pleasant sound, like on “Midnight”. What would you say is your biggest inspiration for your playing style?
MIRANDA: When I joined Ariel View, I was totally out of my normal musical comfort zone so it made me stretch myself into a better musician.
NADINE: We all come from different musical backgrounds. I try to be like the heaviest kind of emotional force in my playing. When I listen to music, I feel a lot of the drum builds and hits are what drive the emotion of the song. When I play the drums I want you to feel it
Are there any particular favorite parts of yours on the album? A song, or maybe a line or instrumental moment?
MIRANDA: During the bridge in Midnight when I get to shred
HARMONIE + NADINE: That’s my favorite part too! [they said this in unison]
HEAVEN: My bass line in ‘Until My Lungs Are Cleared’, that’s my favorite song on the record
What do you ladies hope to achieve with Until My Lungs Are Cleared?
HARMONIE: I hope our fans can relate to our music and I hope it means something special to them because it means something special to us.