|Ragged Lines by Kelsey Ayers|
Asbury Park's Ragged Lines began as a songwriting project for Carter Henry following the dissolution of his previous band, Monterey (who we interviewed here way back in 2015). Henry soon recruited lifelong friend, Lucas Dalakian. Following the release of the band's 2017 EP red lights, your ghost, Ragged Lines evolved to its current 3-piece configuration with Henry on guitar and vocals, Dalakian on bass, and Matt Viani on drums. With an assist from part-time member Ally Rose, Ragged Lines are moving closer to the release of their debut full-length, recorded by the prolific and talented Erik Romero.
Today, Ragged Lines released the second single from that upcoming record in the form of "Keep Talking." In its short, energetic minute and a half, "Keep Talking" contains an important message that feels especially appropriate for our current situation. That, simply, is talk to people and don't be afraid to tell them how you feel.
I talked to Ragged Lines over email about "Keep Talking" and to see how they've all been doing during quarantine.
Check that out below. "Keep Talking" is available now via your favorite streaming outlet.
First of all, how are you doing? How are you holding up during these strange times?
Carter Henry: I've been fortunate to be able to keep working through all of this, and that's definitely kept me sane. And luckily my family and friends have all stayed healthy. Just have my fingers crossed that we'll be able to return to some sort of normal this summer.
Matt Viani: At first, it was very hard to get used to. I'm a pretty social person and saw my friends every night, so not being able to do something as simple as that really sucked. Working every day plus writing / demoing new music has helped the most.
Lucas Dalakian: Holding up! So far my family and friends have been healthy and safe. Lucky to be busy and well and appreciating the people close to me.
What have been your favorite at-home activities over the last couple of months? Have you become expert bakers? Video gamers? Something else?
Matt: I've been using the extra free time to practice demoing new songs, and it's definitely come a long way.
Lucas: I'm a big gamer. I've been stopping by Icarus to get beer every other week and making my way through a lot of video games. I also watched Breaking Bad front to back. I had never seen it. Also I cooked salmon for the first time, I’m not a cook at all.
What do you miss most from the pre-social distancing days?
Carter: Definitely miss going to shows and going out to restaurants / bars with friends.
Matt: I miss making fun of Lucas to his face, but especially playing shows and seeing my favorite people.
Lucas: My friends, hugs, and bars.
You're releasing your second single, "Keep Talking," today. When was this song recorded?
Matt: "Keep Talking" was the first song we wrote for this record which was about two years ago. It's evolved a bunch since we first started writing it, but when we finally recorded it last August with Erik [Romero], it felt perfect.
"Keep Talking" is a short, power poppy track that encapsulates the "freak out" energy in the lyrics. Can you talk a little bit about what the song's about?
Carter: This song is literally about talking things out. Whether you're upset, in an argument, or in a really beautiful moment, I think we often hold back or pull away when things get intense and I think it's important to continue those thoughts and those conversations. At least for me it feels good to say the things that are sometimes difficult or awkward to say. The words that we find hard to say are usually the truth, and the truth always matters.
How does it feel to be releasing new music right now? There have to be some challenges in promoting it.
Lucas: It feels very very good to be releasing new music right now! We feel very fortunate to have an entire album in our back pocket at this time, so the timing worked out right. I feel awful for bands that can't get together, or had recording plans cancelled. Promoting has actually been nice. We all have a little bit more downtime to get our plans just right, and we feel like it's not the worst time to be releasing music in the world, we want our songs to be a little light in the hard times everyone is experiencing. Luckily we have great friends with blogs like you who are willing to support!
It doesn't seem like you'll be able to play the new songs out any time soon. Do you have any plans for livestreams or music videos?
Carter: Actually we do have a livestream coming up this Sunday [5/24], hosted by our friends in Cold Weather Company. We'll be posting about it on our social media, but it should be starting around 3pm if anyone would like to tune in! We’ve got a few ideas for music videos in the works right now as well. One of our ideas is to have people submit random video clips of their day to day routines during quarantine and piece them together. If anyone is interested in collaborating or being a part of it definitely hit us up!
How, if at all, do you think live music will be different on the other side of all of this?
Lucas: I'm hopeful that live music will see a return to normalcy. With any large world event, I think there will be a “new normal”, less touching, more cleaning supplies at gigs and things like that.
What keeps you motivated right now? Do you have any advice for people who may be struggling to find their own motivation?
Carter: The thing keeping me motivated lately is just focusing on the future beyond this pandemic and ways we can come out stronger from this, not get left behind. There's always something we can be doing to improve our circumstances and the lives of the people around us, and I'm trying to just focus on my vision for those things. My advice to anyone struggling out there right now would be to reach out to other people. It's ok to be vulnerable and talk about what you're going through. Everyone has been affected by this in one way or another and we need to all lean on and support one another.
For more info, you can follow Ragged Lines on Instagram or Facebook.