Interview: Free Energy

free energy, interviewPhiladelphia band, Free Energy recently released their new album, Love Sign. The album received many critical accolades, including a fairly good review from Surviving the Golden Age. Though through Twitter members of Free Energy took some issue with our assertion of “emo influence.” This lead to an interview to nail down their exact influences and how Love Sign was made.


You have named among your influences 1970s Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac. How were you turned on to 70s rock?
I loved hearing Tom Petty on the radio growing up. My dad played Seger and The Doors and Tom Waits in his truck. Then after college just buying dollar records-Heart, Steve Miller Band, Rolling Stones, etc.

Your new album, Love Sign was your first album released on your own record label, Free Energy Records. How did that change your recording process?
It has allowed us to to spend all of our own money on the production and recording!! Otherwise it didn’t really affect the recording/creative side at all. We’re going to make what we want to make regardless of the label! By creating our own label it feels like there’s room to grow.

What were the writing sessions for Love Sign like?
Lots of different sessions. Some songs were built as demos in our practice space by myself or Scott individually. Some were written together. The songs were always taken to the live band once they were in working shape.

Agnello came down for pre-production and sat with the band to work on further arrangements.

What difference did you see from working with James Murphy on your debut to working with John Agnello on this record?
They are both mad geniuses. Both self-deprecating. Both down for whatever.

We were able to apply a lot of what we learned with James (less-is-more) directly to our working relationship with John. For instance, we were able to articulate what we wanted, where we wanted to go, the sounds we were looking for. John didn’t blink when he sat down to mix our 100 track songs. The guy just works on whatever is in front of him.

Both producers have been incredible teachers.

Finally, you just wrapped up an American tour. What’s next for Free Energy?
We just wrapped up a Midwest tour. There’s a lot more of America we plan on rocking this year!