More Betterness: An interview with Park

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After years of lineup changes and years of honing their sound, Springfield, Illinois’ Park are ready to take their craft to new heights. On their third and most recent release, it is pretty evident that Park have once again fine-tuned what they are good at: delivering a captivating brand of rock. Singer and guitarist Ladd Mitchell recently took some time out of his schedule to explain to Sound the Sirens the maturity and growth of the band, the approach the band took on their newest album and how proud the band is of Building a Better _____.

From the time of your last release, It Won’t Snow Where You’re Going to the release of your new album, how much does the band feel you have matured in terms of growing as a band?

Mitchell: We got more simple on this album. It’s a little less riff oriented and more about song structure. A lot of bands these days just cram as many parts into a song as possible whether or not it needs it. We wanted to get away from that on this album and approach it from more of a songwriting point of view.

Has any of that maturity in your opinion trickled into the sound of the band’s music?

Mitchell: Most definitely. Like I said, we just approached [things] from a simpler point of view. Writing less parts but trying to make them a little cleverer.

You had some down time before this album came out. Was it a conscience effort on the band’s behalf to keep things pretty low key until just before promoting the new album?

Mitchell: No, it just kind of worked out that way. We needed some time off to write and didn’t feel the need to keep posting the obvious on our Web site.

Cameron Webb, who produced your last two albums, worked with you guys again on your newest release. Is there a sense of comfort there that he gets you guys and you guys understand him?

Mitchell: We have always clicked well with Cameron. It’s a very laid back atmosphere with him. The more comfortable you are around someone the smoother things go. I don’t think we’ve spent more than 12 days to track everything and I think that’s due to the comfort level we have with Cameron.

Was the writing and recording process any different this time around?

Mitchell: We have always had to ‘rush’ things a bit, but I feel that this one [album] we were more prepared than the previous two. We spent a lot of time demoing the songs back and forth and when we got into the studio the changes we had to make were minimum compared to the last two albums. I carried a lot of the weight of writing which stressed me out to no end, but everyone always does as much as possible to help me out. I was worried about the outcome of the album due to the fact that I wrote most of it. But, I think in the end we have a good product to sell to our fans.

Building a Better ______ sounds and feels moodier and has more depth to it than your previous releases.

Mitchell: I wasn’t nearly as angry and upset on this album as I was on It Wont Snow. I had more sense of were I wanted the songs to go. Granted there were some issues I was dealing with that sprung up on me last minute, which I thought, made the album.

Do you feel that these songs translate well on stage?

Mitchell: You can never do everything you want to do during a live show that you feel does the studio recording justice. Studio and live are two totally separate entities. We try and do everything possible to make it sound close to the album; from an artist’s point of view, you’ll never accomplish what you want to live.

Are you guys proud of Building a Better ______ the most?

Mitchell: There are parts of all three albums I am proud of. I like the rawness of No Signal and the lyrics of It Won’t Snow. But I love the simplicity of Building a Better_____.

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