In a time when it feels like doomsday is only moments away, rock outfit Picturesque are teaming up with AltPress to offer you something else to give your “ATTN:” to with a bright and electrifying new music video.
Along with the new single, the band are also announcing details of their upcoming full-length, Do You Feel O.K? The record is their second LP and comes three years after the quartet’s debut album, Back To Beautiful. The name is inspired by the band checking in on each other through the stressful writing and recording process, and it’s set to drop later this spring.
Whereas on their first album the Kentucky-based group focus on emulating late-2000s post-hardcore, their new endeavor is a journey into the band’s own creativity. “ATTN:” is one of their more outgoing tracks and has one of the tightest guitar solos guitarist Dylan Forrester has put out to date.
Kings of genre-mixing, the group get their influence from everything from pop and country to metal. Though playing a different cadence since what they created with their first release, guitarist Zach Williamson and frontman Kyle Hollis are the first to tell you that their new record was made just the way they wanted.
Kyle mentioned that the meanings behind your past singles revolved around a breakup and the current dating culture. Is that theme something we can expect throughout the rest of the upcoming album?
KYLE HOLLIS: The way that we write, everything is always time and place. Whatever I’ve been going [through], if [there’s] some strong emotion in it that I can write about… It just tells the story of the time and place.
ZACH WILLIAMSON: Some of these songs were also written two years ago. The band are constantly changing, Kyle’s living life. I would say this is our most diverse as far as topics go, but there’s a lot of dating turmoil because he was going through a lot of dating turmoil.
With the releases of “Swipe,” “Crimes,” “Necessary” and your most recent cover of the Weeknd’s “Heartless,” it sounds like the band have been exploring mixing genres such as trap, rock and post-hardcore. What reasons, other than growth, influenced the change?
HOLLIS: We all listen to different types of music. Dylan listens to anything that’s just straight guitar-driven. Then all I listen to is pop and hip-hop. Whenever it all comes together, it’s this new thing that is Picturesque. Honestly, I fully believe this record is heavier [with] the guitar tones and some of the riffage.
WILLIAMSON: That’s one thing I was proud of actually. The recording of it is different, but when we’re writing a record, we have no rules on the writing, but we have creative boundaries in the recording. We won’t do double bass, for instance, just because it pigeonholes us into a very specific genre. But when we’re writing a song in the demo phase, there are no rules… I mean, I don’t know if it’s growth or a recession. We just didn’t pay a lot of attention to it.
Our other stuff was recorded in a big facility, but I think “Pray” is one of the heaviest tracks we’ve ever done. We’re conscious about which ones we put out. [Artists] say one of two things: “We wrote a record that we wanted to do, and if nobody listens, we don’t care,” or “We wrote this one for the fans.” We wrote whatever songs we wanted, [and] then we picked whatever we thought people would like. We weren’t trying to grow. We weren’t trying to do anything other than write a bunch of cool songs.
Do you think genres even exist in 2020?
HOLLIS: They absolutely exist. We just aren’t sticking to one.
WILLIAMSON: We have a lot of stuff that sounds like Back To Beautiful on the second half of the record. We, on purpose, wanted to see how many hate comments we could get on “Swipe,” so we dropped it first. In my opinion, that and “ATTN:” are the most obscure. We were literally fist-pumping every single hate comment that came across. That means we don’t sound the same anymore. We didn’t want to drop Back To Beautiful Part II. We didn’t want to gear everybody up for the same thing.
Musically, “ATTN” puts a lot of focus on the guitars, but it’s not common that you have features like that. Was that a conscious decision or something that just happened?
WILLIAMSON: Kyle had the idea for the chorus. I play the role of middle man and producer in the band, and I heard it and was like, “Ah, this sounds so sick. We have to use it.” We were writing it, and [when] we got to the bridge, we were like, “What are we going to do for our bridge here?” We said, “Let’s get on a sound library and find the most obscure sound we can possibly find, and that’s the bridge.” We found the [vocalized bridge] thing, and it was in key, and we’re like, “The only thing that makes sense here is a guitar solo.”
It took three months to convince Dylan to leave the guitar solo in there. We demoed it in, and he was like, “That’s not staying.” All the way up until the point we were tracking the song, [he said], “OK, we’ll actually write a guitar solo here. We’ll put a real guitar solo in.” That’s how the song came about. He’s always really shy from the limelight, but that [solo] makes the song.
For the music video, all attention is on the band, whereas in “Swipe,” it was all on Kyle. Is there a different type of pressure between those shoots, if there’s any pressure at all? Do you approach performance videos differently than those that are more plot-based?
WILLIAMSON: I wrote the treatment, and then we actually brought a director on board who’s doing all of our stuff, JT Ibanez. He and I are just usually on this creative wavelength. For this video, I didn’t have a super-strong idea, but he said, “I think I want to do a performance thing.” And I was like, “Well, what if we do this cool live video?” He sent me an invoice that he had already been working up of a light backdrop. It was just another instance of us being on this wavelength together. I wouldn’t say there was any different pressure as far as performing. We had some major technical difficulties on the day of the shoot and almost didn’t get it shot in time. All of the live shots in the video happened in the last 45 minutes of the shoot.
It’s always fun to go back and look at the music videos because it’s the first interpretation we’ve ever had [of the track.]. We don’t learn the songs ahead of time, typically. When we’re in the studio, we don’t remember these songs. The first time we have an opportunity to move or dance to them, really just play them ever and see what we look like playing them, is on set.
HOLLIS: The pressure for me is very different. I know that with “Swipe,” it was a full-day shooting, and [with] that one I had to learn at double speed, like two weeks before. That shoot [had] a lot more going on as far as the pressure of it and keeping it together while some woman is grinding on me for 10 hours… It was a lot. The live stuff is pretty simple, what we would do at a show. We feel it out pretty quickly and know what we’re going to do.
Do You Feel O.K? is set to drop April 24 via Equal Vision Records and is available to preorder here. Picturesque hit the road joining Scary Kids Scaring Kids on the second leg of their reunion tour this summer. More info and a full list of dates can be found here.
Check out the premiere of “ATTN:” below.
What are your thoughts on Picturesque’s latest single “ATTN:”? Let us know in the comments below!