Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New Releases: Division Day’s Beartrap Island

For a moment, picture a world where teenage girls argue about who their favorite member of Division Day is -- while downstairs in the den, their monocle-twirling, NPR subscriber parents discuss the finer points of band’s work and smoke unfiltered, foreign cigarettes.

Division Day not only deserve that sort of attention, they’re one step closer to it today with the release of their long-awaited cd, Beartrap Island … an album which was due out a year ago on a fledgling label that ended up folding, but was since picked up on Eenie Meanie.

At any rate, when lead singer Rohner Segnitz sang about “a dirty kid with insects all in your mouth” on the cd’s title track, he probably wasn’t referring to guitarist Ryan Wilson, but it’s a nice visual, so we’ll throw it out there.

We spoke with Ryan today about the album’s debut and their release party for it tonight at The Echo, and if he was eating any bugs at the time, he hid it well.

Ryan! Beartrap Island is out. Congratulations!

Thank you so much. It's been a long, strange year and a half, but now the album is finally out and it feels so good.

What's new with it? I hear it's been scientifically rejiggered by men in lab coats with degrees and there are some extra songs.

Yeah, it got fully "rejiggered" and it sounds so much better. Actually, back when we were briefly signed to that other label, we had a new mastering job done by Brian "Big Bass" Gardner over at Bernie Grundman that really made the album sound a lot more rich and full. Then, when we signed to Eenie Meanie, they wanted bonus tracks and so we went into the studio over a weekend and banged a couple out (Ricky and Reversible).

Originally we went in thinking we'd tack them on at the end like any other "reissue" bonus tracks, but we ended up liking them so well that we thought they deserved to be on the album proper. Ricky has been around almost as long as most of the tracks on the album, so it's only fitting that it ended up on there.

If you've seen us live in the past year you'll recognize this one - it's our shortest, fastest song. Reversible and Chorisia (the iTunes-only bonus track) are definitely more on the dreamy, elegant side of things. The former is my new favorite song on the record.

Overall, I think we're all very grateful to have had the opportunity to record these new tracks because it breathed a new life into the album for us, having lived with it for over a year already.

It's cool that you guys have recently been releasing covers and remixes each week to celebrate its release. We're about half-way through so far. What's left?

Yeah, we had been talking forever about doing a covers EP. We used to even brainstorm songs in the van when we were on the road. I forgot who actually came up with the idea to give them away, but it was a great one because it forced us to make time to see this project through.

In the coming weeks you can expect my favorite cover, which is (without giving it away) a hauntingly beautiful rendition of an 80's pop classic, and then a surprise treat from 90's alternative radio. If anybody can guess it, we'll give them a prize.

What can people expect from tonight's album release party at The Echo?

Well, probably a lot of music if I had to guess. We've arranged some songs for the live show that we've never done before -- one new, and one old... The Mae Shi and Eulogies are playing, and DJ's Todd & Sylvia will be spinning records. We're hoping that the night devolves into a dance party (aka Steely Dan's Peg on repeat).

What's next for you guys?

We're on our way to NYC after this, playing shows on the way out. Then, we're doing a residency in Brooklyn at Union Hall, followed by touring south along the east coast. We're going to Chapel Hill, NC to play with Film School, which we're really excited about.

It should be a beautfiful time of year in that part of the country. As a California native I'm embarrassed to say I haven't seen many true seasons, so I'm excited to get out there and take it all in.

That's it. Thanks for your time, Ryan.

Thank you. See you tonight!

- Cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence MP3
- Tandemoro’s remix of Ricky MP3
- Cover of Sunny Day Real Estate's Every Shining Time You Arrive MP3

- Division Day Mini-Interview


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