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Reptar + Joyful Noise = <3

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Among a spate of new signings to local label Joyful Noise Recordings in early 2015 is Reptar, a joyfully poppy quartet out of Athens, Georgia. Their new album Lurid Glow dropped last week in accompaniment with a tour that stops tonight at the Hi-Fi with support from Icky Blossoms. I checked in with the band last night via email about RFRA, grandmas and their brand new label. (PS: If you're underage — or just prefer afternoon shows — Reptar will stop in at LUNA Music for an in-store today at 4 p.m.)

NUVO: How did you get connected with Joyful Noise, and how is your time with the label thus far?

Reptar: We are all pretty much completely in love with Joyful Noise Recordings. The other artists they work with are some of our longtime favorites but most importantly the people at the label are some of the most incredible we've ever met. Not to take away from anyone else we've worked with — we have been lucky to work with some great people — but the Joyful Noise folks are so much on the same page as us.

Getting signed up with them was pretty natural, we had a mutual friend that put us in touch, then we played a show in their super cool show space in Indianapolis, then had a mutual declaration of love over breakfast the next morning and that was pretty much it. We started pressing records and working on artwork months before actually getting around to signing a contract.

Watch Reptar's Joyful Noise announcement signing video, complete with an appearance by a very cute dog named Gravy.



NUVO: If you're familiar/kept up with the Indiana Religious Freedom Bill, did you ever consider canceling your show here, a la Wilco?

Reptar: I don't think there's much I can say about the actual bill that hasn't already been said, but I am glad people have a strong response to the potential for discrimination and are doing something about it. I think our band has much more to offer the conversation by coming to Indianapolis and creating as accepting a space as possible, and trying to engage people in conversations. It's possible a huge band like Wilco can add to the political impetus to change the bill by canceling a show — that is a lot of money and it gets a whole bunch of press coverage. We aren't close to big enough to generate that amount of attention so we're looking for other ways to help.



NUVO: How does the history of the Athens scene inspire/influence/affect you as a band? Any particular favorite locals?

Reptar: On one hand, we aren't consciously thinking of Athens music history when writing or recording music. On the other hand, we do know and love and listen to way more AThens bands than if we didn't live in Athens. We constantly run into and hang out with all these incredible people who are in amazing bands that we listen to a lot. It's impossible to overstate how much we love newer bands like Grand Yapids, New Madrid, Nana Grizol or older bands like Pylon, The Glands, Love Tractor and everyone else we know and love.

NUVO: What's the most difficult part of adapting your recorded material to a live show?

Reptar: There is a lot of sequenced synthesizer stuff on the record. We wanted to figure out how to reproduce that layered sound but still have most of the tracks played live. Also the energy of the record is pretty dynamic and goes into some places that don't always fit well in a high energy live set. We haven't been playing all the songs off the album. Most of the songs are pretty easy to translate though, since we were trying to make the record a little more reflective of what it's like for us to play in a room to people and we tried to focus the sound a little more on this record.

NUVO: Your album is what ... a week old at this point? Happy one week anniversary, Lurid Glow. Any surprises with the release thus far?

Reptar: I think it's going great so far. We're so excited people finally get to listen to the record and get a little familiar to the songs we're playing before they see them in our set.



NUVO: Y'all mentioned a "bleakness" that pervades a lot of this record — can you expand on that?

Reptar: Thematically, most of the songs in some way reference and struggle with the effect the omnipresence of technology, especially the Internet and social media, has on humans and their relationships. It's not a concept album or anything but that's always more of a background noise or subtext for the songs. There has always been some bleakness in the lyrics of our songs, but I think this time we had more fun exploring bleaker soundscapes and textures.

NUVO: What's your go-to tour album to listen to right now?

Reptar: It's not an album but we have been listening to Welcome to Night Vale a lot. Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Yo La Tengo have all made recent sonic appearances as well.

NUVO: How do you explain the type of music you make to your grandmothers? (I don't know why, but I find this a hilarious question. Probably because I just got off the phone with my grandmother.)

Reptar: We actually stopped by grandma's house just yesterday! She had pizza and beer for us. It was wonderful. I think the best way we've found to tell any and all grandmas what kind of music we make is "weirdo rock and roll electronic stuff for people who want to dance."


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