Trade in Your Pieces, the new self-produced album from year-old experimental rockers Articles of Separation, is scheduled to drop on Wednesday, November 25. AOS will be joined by fellow Alamo City acts Deer Vibes and Pygmaeus that night for the release event at the White Rabbit. The $10 admission fee includes a copy of AOS’s full-length debut. We talked with lead vocalist Tim Warlow about the album, his love of all musical instruments, and SA’s growing indie-rock scene.
How do you feel about the new album?
I think that the album is an honest reflection of our love and passion for music. We were tired of going to studios and not being a big part of the end product, so we just decided to go all out and put in all our time and effort to make this exactly what we wanted it to sound like. There are always things you can think could be improved, even with something you spend this much time on, but I just mark those as lessons and let the flaws speak for the honesty in our youthfulness.
What was different about producing the album yourselves? Do you think it benefited from this approach?
It gave us the freedom to make choices in the sound of every song. I don’t think any of the songs sound forced or over-produced. We had a vision for the album and were able to fully carry it out by putting our own money into it.
What was the inspiration for so much emotion in both instrumentation and lyrics?
During the writing of some of the early songs I was going through a tough time, obviously a relationship that wasn’t going to last regardless of the efforts. This album was honestly the realization for me that things in life are always changing, and while the past has its purpose in our lives, we can get stuck on it. The final song, “Carousels,” reflects that exact feeling. Musically, we are influenced purely by passion and honesty.
What was appealing to the band about employing less conventional rock instruments such as horns and strings?
I started music with the trumpet in sixth grade or so, and that’s the instrument I relate to the most. I brought it with me to the studio just in case, and it turned out to be very fortunate. We had access to a bunch of different instruments — an organ, a Rhodes, piano, marching-band drums, and all kinds of amps — and used every single thing in that studio to make it blossom. It’s more interesting to hear a variety of sounds on an album.
Do you feel the local music scene has been receptive to AOS’s style?
There are a lot bigger crowds for metal shows here, but I think the indie scene is definitely growing. There’s some really talented bands out there, and a few of them are playing our release show. There have been a lot more indie bands coming through here after the opening of the Ten Eleven — that place has really helped change things. We know that it’s hard to survive these days, but we love what we do and probably won’t stop till we’re dead. •