Hailing from Ridgewood, New Jersey but based in Brooklyn, Real Estate specialise in sun-bleached psychedelia, driven by jangling guitars and swoon-some harmonies. Their sophomore long player, Days, was released by Domino earlier this month and, like everyone else, we’ve fallen hard for its breezy, surf-pop charms.
The lads kindly made time for a quick chat with us! You can see what they had to say below.
Congratulations on Days! For the benefit of those who’ve yet to hear it, can you explain a bit about what they can expect?
You can expect a natural progression from our first record. We’ve matured as a band musically and emotionally, and the new record reflects the change. That said, it’s not a massive departure from our first record – there are more melodic harmonies, interweaving guitars etc.
Your debut album was a home recording: how was the experience of working in the studio this time round?
It was great. It took us a few days for us to shake the jitters of being in a hi-fi studio – we were not used to it... But as soon as we realised we could have more control over crafting our sound, we got really excited and creativity started to take hold.
Why did you choose Lucky Pierre's Kevin McMahon as your producer and what did he bring to the album?
We’ve known Kevin for years so it was an easy and obvious choice, really. He brought a level of professionalism that we hadn’t ever experienced before – he had high standards for the quality of our performances. He’s also just a super-cool dude.
Can you pick an individual song or moment that you’re most proud of on Days?
.Matt’s guitar solo on "Green Aisles" gets me every time.
You got some pretty rave reviews for your debut – did you feel pressure to match that with your sophomore effort?
Sure, but you try not to think about that sort of thing. It’s best to tune out the outside pressures and distractions. That way you can be true to yourself and make an honest record… If you allow the creativity to come from an honest place, the music almost always turns into something worthwhile.
Most of you guys are also in other bands. Is there ever any sense of competition between the bands?
We’re like one big support group, really. Our mutual success is beneficial to everyone, so competition would be counter-productive. Plus, we're friends and fans of each other’s outside projects..
You had day jobs when you wrote your first album. What’s the best thing about now being full-time musicians? And what was the worst job you ever had?
Playing music is fun! It's a dream come true to be able to do what you love. I had a really cool job once sorting photos of kitties and puppies for a page-a-day calendar. Only the cutest kitties and puppies could make the cut.
Which bands have been most influential on Real Estate’s sound?
Aside from your own record, what’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
You’re going to be touring for the majority of the rest of 2011. Are there any dates you’re particularly looking forward to?
We’re really looking forward to our London show with Twin Sister at The Garage: it’ll be fun to play in London with friends from home. And ZDB in Lisbon may be my favourite venue in the world.
What do you miss most about the US when you’re touring Europe? And if fans were to bring a gift to your gigs, what would be most useful present to receive?
Watching the New York Giants play American football every Sunday. And [for gifts] probably black socks and clean towels.
Finally, what’s been your career highlight to date and what do you still hope to achieve?
The highlight would be opening for The Feelies in New York City. And we just want to keep making good records.