INTERVIEW: Brian Larney and John Radzin of Lines West


Yesterday, I got the opportunity to sit down with Brian Larney and John Radzin of Indie-Pop band Lines West to chat about their upcoming album, The Ghost For You, out on October 17. Having recently done a review for the single “Head Start” off of the album, I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to talk with them.

Your third album, The Ghost For You, is set to drop on October 17. What was your favorite part of making the album?

Brian: I would have to say that – and I think John might agree – I liked the whole tracking process. We did a sort of old school, live setting where we got the band together in the studio to record the album.

John: I definitely agree. We learned songs, rehearsed them, and the whole process created a sort of synergy with band. So I think there’s a lot more of a band feel to to this album, like the album is really produced by Lines West

There has been a long chain of ghost story videos leading up to the release. Can you explain the ghost theme of the albums lead-up?

Brian: We thought it be cool to play off title of the album, The Ghost For You, and tie in to local history a little bit. There are themes of loss, departure, acceptance, return, and redemption on the album, so ghost stories seemed like a fun way to play with those themes.

John: We kept them centered around Connecticut where the band is from, and released one week to actual release date.

What drew you towards ghosts as a recurring motif?

John: Creating begins to perpetuate itself. Early on in production the themes of loss and redemption started to appear in a couple of the songs, and from there we had songs that obliquely touched on ghosts, to sort of tie the entire album together. Neither of us are what you could call ghost nuts – we’re more agnostic than anything else. But the image of the ghost played well with our themes, and really ended up tying the album together.

Did these stories play a specific role in the creation of the album?

Brian: It was sort of the opposite actually. The music and record came before, and inspired the video playlist. There’s no direct correlation between the stories and the album, but to tie everything together and capture the vibe that we imagined for this album.

Is there a story in particular that has a special place in your heart?

John: Since I didn’t grow up here in Connecticut, the Ghost Stories were more about seeing the history of the state and New England, so all of theme were incredibly interesting to learn about and experience.

Brian: I’d have to say the Melonheads. I grew up hearing the stories, so we used to go search for them sometimes, and just drive the roads at night looking for them.

You used photographer Carlos Detres’ “The Anxiety of Love” for the album art. How did you come across it and decide that it was what you wanted for the album?

Brian: It’s a bit funny. It’s a very interesting story. I was in New Orleans earlier this year wandering around the further reaches of the French Quarter, and I came across this curious art shop that I decided to look around. We already had the concept of the album sorted out, so when I saw photograph, it spoke. It was a bit serendipitous, because it fit what we had in mind visually for the album. So we contacted the artist through store owner, and he was happy to let us use it.

Creativity isn’t the easiest all the time. What do you do when you have trouble getting inspired or getting that perfect result?

Brian: When I was younger, I used to get writer’s block and worry about creating. Now, I’m at a point where I know there’s always another song. As long as I’m creating, or making time to create, no matter what I end up working on. I kind of don’t believe in writer’s block anymore.

John: I agree, but I’d like to add that I always have a sort of back catalog of things that didn’t quite fit with a project. So when I’m between projects, in a sort of lull, I still have stuff to pull on. When inspiration strikes – make something of it.

What advice would you give to other musicians who are still trying to get their start?

Brian: Don’t get caught up in a search for success. You’re going to want to do it for love; you’re going to want to do it for the right reasons.

John: There are much easier ways to get money and fame. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that it’s more of a compulsion. We’ve always been playing music and been around music. You know how they say “writers write?” It’s the same for musicians. I’ll always be creating. Also, you may not find your voice right away, but you will find it. It might take some time to find it, but in the end it’s just a case of continuing to create.

The Ghost For You will be released on October 17 of this year. For more information or to buy their other albums, check out the band’s website.

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