Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are preparing to release their new album, Fly By Wire. The album’s lead single, “Nightwater Girlfriend” has been a staple of our summer playlist so it was pleasure to talk to Phil Dickey from the band. We discussed their new album, their songwriting process, and what Russians think of the band.
You recently completed a trip to Russia on invitation from the Boris Yeltsin Foundation. What was that like?
Craziest week of our lives. We ate borsht with Boris Yeltsin’s friends, had a meeting with the US Consulate in a warehouse designed for raves, went to Tolstoy’s house in Moscow, performed Boris Yeltsin’s favorite song on national tv, and played a show with 10cc. I’ll never forget the parts I can still remember.
How has reaction been to your band name in Russia?
Mass confusion. Everyone kept asking us why and it never felt like they were satisfied with our answer. I think it’s the equivalent of a Russian band naming themselves after Gerald Ford.
Mostly circumstance. We wanted to make our second album there back in 2008, but there were new neighbors and they always called the cops. I posted a picture on Instagram of a letter they sent us. Anyway, they finally moved out and the new neighbors didn’t mind the noise. I think everyone on Will’s street has heard the new album a hundred times. The windows were open most of the time.
How do you think the recording location affected the album’s sound?
I like albums that sound like they were made for one person. It’s harder to get that sound when you’re in a fancy studio with perfect microphones and guitars. We wanted to make an album that sounds like you’re listening to it on Kevin’s Talkboy from Home Alone 2. The attic was perfect for that.
What was the songwriting process like for this album?
Will and I both made a ton of demos on our own. Then we’d play them for each other in the attic and help each other with parts and arrangements. My wife helped me alot with lyric ideas and guitar parts on some of my early demos.
We have already heard (and loved) “Nightwater Girlfriend.” Do you know what the second single from the album will be? And why?
The first song on the album—“Harrison Ford.” It sounds like a hit to us. It’s more ethereal than “Nightwater Girlfriend,” that’s for sure. Basically we tried to make the production sound like Lyndsey Buckingham joined Depeche Mode in the 80s. But Depeche Mode kicks him out and this is the only song they ever recorded. The record label refuses to put it out for legal reasons and someone sells the rights to Berlin. It’s about Bladerunner.
Finally, after the release of the album, what is next for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin?
Tons of touring this fall. Japan, United States, and Europe. Also, we made a music video that involves opening an SSLYBY theater in Branson, Missouri. So we might have to move to Branson when we’re done touring.