American high school friends Big Troubles may be children of the 00s, but they’re already on their second album. Romantic Comedy, an album of summery guitar pop, is the follow-up to their 2010 debut Worry. Singer and songwriter Alex Craig spoke exclusively to Gutter ahead of its release.

Before you set out to write and record this album, did you have a clear idea of what you wanted it to sound like?

The only idea we really had going into the writing of the record was that we wanted a bit [of a] cleaner sound than our first record, which had a very harsh aesthetic. Once we’d written songs, and then especially when recording at The Fidelitorium with producer/engineer Mitch Easter, a clearer idea of what we wanted started to come into focus, i.e. the inclusion of organs/harpsichords/synths, 12-string guitars, certain effects, etc.

Where did the title Romantic Comedy come from?

The title is us just sort of poking fun at ourselves. It’s primarily a reflexive joke about the record and the content of our romantic-natured songs.

What did you draw on for inspiration?

Since we were hoping to make a proper studio pop/rock album in the vein of some the of the records we’d grown up with, we did revisit some of those more formative influences like Elliott Smith, Smashing Pumpkins, or Oasis. But more so than that, we were drawing a bit of inspiration from a certain strain of 1980s “sophisti-pop” like Prefab Sprout, The Blue Nile, Aztec Camera and the like.

What challenges did you encounter when working on this album?

One challenge was that Sam (drums) and Luka (bass) were both still in school while we were writing and recording the record, so practices leading up to recording were limited to weekends in a tiny, awful-sounding, closet-esque practice room on their campus. This lack of practice led to us to having to learn some of the arrangements while in the studio. We also tracked the whole record during their short “spring break” week, which forced us to have to work a little faster than we maybe would have liked to, considering our lack of studio experience.

Did you feel any pressure at all in following up Worry?

Not really, though there was a certain concern that fans of Worry might miss the noisier, home-recorded aesthetic of that record. That’s totally understandable too, but it wouldn’t be interesting for us to simply make the same record twice. Our next record will probably be something of a departure from this one as well, that’s sort of the fun of making records.

What do you hope this album will achieve for Big Troubles?

Hopefully the record will afford us an opportunity for extensive touring, we especially hope to be back overseas soon. It would be amazing if this record could help finance a still more expansive studio effort for LP3.

Romantic Comedy is released on October 3rd on Slumberland Records.

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