WATERS recently performed at Outside Lands.
And photographer Matt Benton caught up with the band to shoot some pics and ask frontman Van Pierszalowski some questions.
As a band from San Francisco, what does performing at Outside Lands mean to you?
“It’s an amazing feeling. Having lived in the Bay for so many years, I’ve always dreamed of playing OSL. Not just because it’s in our own backyard, but also just because it’s such a well curated festival every year in such a beautiful setting.”
What do you always want your audience to take away from your set?
“I want the audience to feel like they were a part of the show. As a performer, I know how important the crowd is to the performance. We always like to get them involved in the show a little more, either by having them scream along to certain parts or –in the case of our set at OSL– have them rip open pinatas and throw candy all around the crowd.”
What is the biggest difference between your last album, Out In The Light, and your new album What’s Real?
“They are very different records. What’s Real is definitely a bigger sounding record with more pop hooks while Out In The Light has more of a garage-y feel. I would say the production and songwriting are the most different aspects of the two records.”
Do you agree with the frequent comparisons to ’90s alt-rock acts?
To some extent, yes. The bands that made me want to play guitar in the first place were Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, The Cranberries, etcetera and I definitely drew on those influences more for this record. That being said, I think there’s enough modern production elements to make this record stand out from that pack.
How did you meet and recruit What’s Real‘s record producers Ryan Rabin and Carlos De La Garza?
Ryan is in Grouplove and I knew they were fans of my old band Port O’Brien. And we had a few mutual friends so that came together pretty naturally. I kept hearing Carlos’ name come up and I really loved the sound of the records he was behind.
When can we expect new music from you and your former keyboardist Marte Solbakken’s project Elskling?
“Soon! She is finishing up some recordings now with Sune [Rose Wagner] from The Raveonettes. I’ve heard a couple of the mixes and they are some of my favorite songs ever. Keep your eyes and ears on high alert.”