An Interview With / Baklavaa

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers filo filled with chopped nuts and…just kidding. Baklavaa is a band from the US. They’ve been around since 2009, releasing two albums and soon will be dropping their third. Sleep Running will become the latest chapter of the band’s discography, and looks to take their sound into a new direction full of potential new layers to explore (kinda like Baklava). In this interview, we take the time to talk about the band’s formation, the new album and their thoughts on Disneyland.

Thank you to Dom from the band for taking the time to answer these questions! You can hear Sleep Running on February 28th, but can hear new single “A Thousand Dinners” below. Check out Baklavaa on Facebook and Instagram.

Hey Baklavaa, how’s it going? Hey Adam! It’s going! I did in fact just eat way too much Korean food followed by a doughnut, so I’d say things are going very very well ATM.

What’s the story behind the formation of the band and the decision to head into the noise punk genre? Baklavaa formed in 2009. We went through a handful of personnel changes until ultimately falling into our current line-up. The four of us have been playing together since 2011, and were friends long before then. I don’t think we made a conscious decision to strictly play any one style of music. Our sound is just the result of our personalities, influences, and ideas.

You’re set to release your third album Sleep Running on February 28th. What can you tell us about the album? We started working on this album soon after our second full length, Dane On (Grimoire Records 2016). Our upcoming release is much softer and more textured than our older albums. The natural aging of the band and ourselves as individuals lead the musical direction to a place of focused intention and introspection, rather than maintaining our earlier sound which was a bit more aggressive. Once we were satisfied with this batch of songs, we linked up with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations Studios in Baltimore. He has worked on a ton of great local and national albums. We are super excited about the final product and eager to share it!

With it being the third record, could fans expect to hear something different compared to your previous records? Definitely. We have intentionally changed our sound over the years, but retained the rudimentary elements that make it Baklavaa. Our first album was made with a strong DIY ethic and has a pretty viscerally exciting sound. We were all in our early 20’s then and playing around with the idea of being a punk band and seeing what weird extremes we could push that to.  A recent publication said our new album sounds like, “Unsane filtered through an even prettier version of Unwound playing shoegaze”. I don’t disagree with that haha. Comparing our first release with our upcoming LP, it is a lot different.

The lead single from it is “Dsnylnd”. How’d you rate Disneyland? Dsnylnd the SONG: It’s about panic and nightmares. The swirling guitars are sort of grounded by the out-of-sync, yet established drum and bass groove. 

Disneyland the PLACE: Weird weird place, but good good candy. They had the carousel of progress, but it’s been gone for a while.

Outside of the new record, what are your plans for 2020? Playing out of town as much as possible. We love playing in the Baltimore music scene, but it is really refreshing and exhilarating to visit new cities and play for people who have never seen or heard of us. I think the four of us are going to get together soon to watch some movies too. We like to watch Baby’s Day Out and Dunstin Checks In, that kind of stuff.

Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? We are super grateful to be able to write and record music with each other. Even more grateful for the people that support us. Thanks for dropping us a line about the interview!

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