Eddie Rascal's progressive doom pop is a melting pot of contemporary styles. "Little Johnny" begins with lead singer Mac Hunt as a carnival barker for a postmortem wasteland as he sings: "welcome to the age of the whack emcee". What follows is an imaginative narrative full of catastrophe, prescription pills, and the Sex Pistols. Mac Hunt joined me to talk about a few things from their record. You can buy Esoteric Meandering here.
SC: I love how you blend genres in "Little Johnny". Can you tell me a little about the process of writing it? Were you intentionally meshing genre, or was that a natural part of the process?
MH: Thanks! The creative process behind "Little Johnny" was a real landmark period for us as a band. We were in a transition period, with a new lead guitarist, Yaar Hosseini, who had written these really heavy rock and roll guitar parts that were different than anything I was used to singing over. I've always been a hip hop fan and when Danny came in with that driving bass line I could hear the opportunity to try a more rap inspired vocal approach. We're stoked on how it came out and we're exploring that sound a lot more on our upcoming EP.
SC: Your songs are place-oriented—how do you view place in your narratives?
I think with my lyrics I try to set a stage for a specific moment and bring anybody listening into that moment with me. I'm an Atlanta native, I love the city. It played a big part in my formative years and I think that comes through in the pictures I try to paint in our songs. We as a band are very involved in the local music, art, and film communities, and our experiences in Atlanta are definitely reflected in anything we create.
SC: How often do you write? Do you keep a songwriting schedule? Or do you wait to be inspired?
MH: Our songs come to us in so many different ways, but I can confidently say we have no set schedule. Sometimes I write a skeleton of a song alone and bring it to the guys to be developed, like in "Hospital" but other times, like "Little Johnny", songs come as a result of someone pitching a catchy part in practice that we spend months turning into a full song together as a band. Those moments when we can all write something together are the best, and typically are when we write our favorite songs.
SC: How does your community of songwriters influence your writing?
MH: Our local community never fails to inspire, we are constantly surrounded by talent, but I think I draw more of my inspiration from the rich history of rock and roll songwriters I grew up idolizing. The mystique of the rock community caught my attention at a young age and was really what drew me to pick up a guitar and start writing songs in the first place. Now we have all fallen in love with the Atlanta music scene and all the bands and venues we've become so close to, but when I shut myself off in my head and write I still find the majority of my inspiration coming from remembering how I felt as a kid discovering bands like Nirvana or the Ramones for the first time. It made me want to write songs like that, play guitar like that, and be in a band like that. Of course my tastes have changed as I've grown up, but the inspiration is still there.
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