Turnover – Austin Getz, Casey Getz, Eric Soucy and Danny Dempsey – have created a mosaic of illusory, intangible, and yet familiar imagery. With the band’s latest release, Peripheral Vision, the Virginia Beach natives lend themselves to a rip current of dreamlike compositions. Musically, there are fingerprints of early 90s shoegaze, but Turnover also works on a canvas of modernity and confessional courage. It’s a balancing act that unearths buried emotions, frayed memories, and uneasy truths. In advance of the band’s show at the Irenic on August 20, we interviewed guitarist Eric Soucy about songwriting, the immediacy of Spotify, and the importance of a good stage presence.
Rob Patrick: Turnover’s lyrics are revealing, immediate, and expertly articulated. There’s an authenticity and accessibility to the content. When writing a song, what are some things – words, structures, themes – that are important to you?
Eric Soucy: As a band we definitely hope to connect with listeners and to write music that is enjoyable to listen to in all settings. We don’t have a certain goal when writing any song except to enjoy it ourselves and to make the best song we can.
In an interview that DIY Magazine conducted with bassist Daniel Dempsey, he was quoted as saying that ‘Peripheral Vision’ was the band’s “first release as adults.” To you, how did the album redefine Turnover, both aesthetically and sonically?
Peripheral Vision was the first album any of us made with no boundaries and no expectations. We didn’t feel like kids playing in a band anymore when we wrote the album. We felt more mature and more serious about everything that goes into making an album. We just all have grown as people and musicians and we hope to continue to grow and learn more.
When reading about Turnover, there are a lot of genres thrown around – emo, shoegaze, dreampop, et al. – and yet I feel like the band’s sound circumvents and reinterprets all of those styles and, in turn, becomes something all its own. Creatively, how has re-imagining your sound helped Turnover as a band?
I think that re-imagining the sound of the band is something that happened organically. It has helped us gather new listeners and things have definitely been better. The new sounds has opened doors for us that never existed before. We never changed the sound on purpose though, it just happened as we wrote together.
What are three songs that changed the way you looked at music?
“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “At Your Funeral” by Saves The Day, and “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
The music video for “Humming” is great, and has all of these monochrome, ethereal vibes. From the outfits to the disposition of the protagonist in the video, I get all of these images in my head of Saint Etienne, The Sundays, and The Innocence Mission. What was your compass when crafting the look of the visuals?
We knew we wanted a different video that felt natural but yet strange at the same time. My brother Rob did the video as well as our “New Scream” video. I would say the video was mostly his creative vision. He took the audio and made a visual for it that we loved.
Would you ever be interested in providing the score for a film, and if so, what actors or filmmakers would you want to work with?
That is something we are interested in and we hope to be able to do this in the future. Personally I would love to work with Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Scorsese, Tim Burton, Emma Watson, Jack Nicholson, and Will Smith.
“New Scream” is absolutely fantastic in its use of tone, lyrics, and presentation. There are shades of Sparta’s “Wiretap Scars” and Ride’s “Vapour Trail”, but, once again, the sound lives in its own distinct, inimitable, world. As a snapshot of the recording process, what was it like putting together this particular song?
New Scream was a song that was really fun to write. Everyone loved the idea right from the beginning and all the parts sort of flowed out naturally. We all mutually liked this song the most when the record was finished. This song also was one of the first songs for PV that we all knew was definitely going to make the record.
Spotify has been a constant beacon for discussion among musicians, fans, and journalists. As an artist, what is your take on the platform?
Spotify is great in terms of the fact that you can have your music exposed to so many people. Obviously it hurts sales when people don’t buy the album, but I think reaching listeners is cooler then the sale numbers.
Turnover has a great, seamless, and powerfully orchestrated stage presence. In your opinion, what is something that makes a good performance?
I think stage presence really depends on the band and the artists themselves. For instance, we don’t really rock crazy on stage because we’re not those people and our music doesn’t fit the vibe. However when Turnstile plays, the energy of the music is wild so the band acts wild on stage. I think good stage performance should just not feel fake and over done but should fit the songs.
What is something inconsequential, that your band mates don’t know about you, that you can reveal here?
The first show I played with the band I filled in on guitar and didn’t know the songs as well as I said I did.