So in case you hadn't heard yet, Spraynard is back! Following a long tour in support of "Funtitled" back in 2012, the band decided to call it a day. Or to go on an extended hiatus. But then they started playing shows again. And then there was a new song. And now there is a new album called "Mable" which is out now on their new home, the recently revived Jade Tree Records. And well, you simply need to hear it. It's that good. Here's an email interview we did with vocalist/guitarist Pat Graham.
PRT: Let’s dive right in… when you called it a day in 2012, it was largely due to ‘a severe lack in open communication’. Did you talk about how to prevent a similar situation this time around?
Pat: After going through that riff in our relationships with each other, we are certain that situation won’t happen again. We’ve all been friends for so long that we kind of forgot how to openly communicate with each other. We were all so invested in Spraynard that to think about anything else was blasphemy. Now that we’ve seen each other succeeding in other parts of our lives, I think we can all respect our separate interests and focus on Spraynard in a more healthy way.
PRT: For people who missed out on you the first time around… if Spraynard was the lovechild of two other bands, which bands would have had sex and which position were you conceived in?
Pat: We once walked in on our parents Plow United and Osker making love doggystyle.
PRT: You recorded one new song for the “The Mark, Tom, and Patrick Show” collection and then announced two shows. When did the idea for a new album pop up?
Pat: We started writing new songs before the reunion shows even happened. Once we all started playing together again, it was too exciting to NOT write new stuff. Mark, Dos, and myself just click musically since we’ve been playing together since high school. It was a really natural writing process. Once Jade Tree approached us, we kicked into high gear and got the record done fairly quickly.
PRT: Unfortunately that Mark didn’t feel like being in the band anymore because he was too busy and he has since been replaced by Hold Tight’s Jake Guralnik. What was it like having a new guy in the band after all those years?
Pat: Introducing anyone into a family can be a little awkward and strange, but honestly Jake is the best possible person we could have picked. We’ve known him for years through touring and hanging out in Richmond. It’s been a really easy acclamation for us. Jake probably now realizes how terrible we are, but it’s too late for him!
PRT: What about NONA and Martin? Will those bands be put on the backburner now or will you guys try and juggle those bands alongside Spraynard?
Pat: NONA officially broke up a few months back. With Spraynard gearing up and other scheduling conflicts, all the band members kind of lost interest in the project. It wasn’t on bad terms, but things just didn’t work out. It’s a shame because NONA was an incredible band. Martin is on the back burner for sure, but I don’t doubt that we’ll play a few shows here and there in the future. I might be alone in that sentiment considering our drummer Stefan is currently on the west coast and our bassist Todd is working like a million hours a week… but I hope to see it happen!!
PRT: When you first started out you had funny lyrics, funny song titles and funny onstage banter. I’m not saying you’re not funny anymore, but the new album does sound a little darker. Is that simply the result of growing up?
Pat: I hate to equate it to just “growing up,” but I guess that’s definitely the simplest way to put it. Tonight, we had a long conversation about our mid-20’s with our friend group. It’s just been a fairly shitty time for all of us. There are really good things about life right now, but the sudden freedom of making every choice completely on your own has us all terrified and a bit lost. It’s nice being able to choose what you do without influence, but it’s also completely nauseating. We’re still super funny, but we just try and focus our energy on being a bit more real and less unapologetically positive.
PRT: As for the album title, I’m guessing Mable is the dog on the cover. Can you tell me a little bit more about where that idea comes from?
Pat: Mable was our friend Sean’s dog. We grew up with Mable. In every facet of our group of friends, Mable was in the background. We watched her grow up. While we were writing the record, she passed away. This pushed Sean to make the move to Philadelphia after years of resisting it. Her passing away was kind of a realization that we’re all moving on and things can’t remain utopian forever. This record is all about coming to terms with that shit, so what better name to give it?
PRT: The album will be out on the recently revived Jade Tree. How did you end up with them and what does it feel like to be on a label responsible for a ton of awesome releases?
Pat: They reached out after some mutual friends told them we were working on a new record. Jade Tree is easily our collective favorite label of all time. We grew up listening to Kid Dynamite, Strike Anywhere, Paint It Black… anything punk they were releasing we were eating up. It changed our lives. To be releasing a record on Jade Tree is a dream come true that was before now completely unimaginable.
PRT: The album is coming out in just three days. What’s up next for you guys?
Pat: TOUR TOUR TOUR!!! We tour the whole U.S. in August, UK in December, some stuff in the works for October… We’re trying to keep as busy as possible.
Also, I’m ready to write another freaking record. Let’s do it.
PRT: You’ll be touring the UK in December. Any chance you’ll get to the rest of Europe as well anytime soon?
Pat: We’re trying! It hasn’t quite made sense yet with all of our schedules, but we’re dying to get over there again soon! We’ll keep you updated!
PRT: And just for the hell of it.. if there is one thing you would still love to achieve with this band, what would it be?
Pat: Play with the Bouncing Souls. Years ago we wrote down our “band bucket list” and put it in a time capsule. We each wrote a thing, didn’t tell each other what it was until it was stowed away, and did our best to accomplish them. I know “play FEST” was one of them… I can’t remember the other… but play with the Bouncing Souls is the only one we haven’t accomplished yet. COME ON, THE PETE!