Builders is currently a two piece rock band based in San Francisco, CA. The lineup currently consists of Sawyer Fox and Josh Pearlman. After warming up with their debut EP, “Makeshift Seams” in 2013, the band produced, recorded and mixed their first full length LP, “New Lungs” entirely on their own and released it on August 1st, 2014. Enjoy our interview with Sawyer of Builders below.
Entertwine: How did the two of you meet and began creating and playing music together? What are the advantages of being a duo? What about the disadvantages?
Sawyer Fox: Josh and I started playing music together when we were both in high-school. We were in band with a couple of other friends and then once we all graduated, Josh and I kept on making music together and things have just sort of rolled on from there.
We aren’t a duo because we want to be. That is just sort of how it has worked out so far. For me there are advantages in the sense that I have freedom to do what I want with each instrument, but that is also somewhat of a burden. I enjoy the collaborative effort of a larger group, and find myself missing that at times. Hopefully someday in the not so distant future, we will add more members that will help our sound evolve and also help us get our live show sounding more consistent instead of having different people playing with us all the time.
What is the music scene like in San Francisco, California? What are a few of your favorite venues or locations to hear live music or perform at?
SF: I haven’t been up in San Francisco for very long, but even in the small amount of time I have been, the city has proven to have a thriving music scene. There are venues for any genre you can imagine and crowds that flock to whatever it is they are into. Hopefully in the next year or so we can start expanding into playing more places and getting to know the scene a little more personally.
ET: What was it like growing up in Thousand Oaks, California? What type of impact did the area have on the two of you, both personally and musically?
SF: Growing up in Thousand Oaks is like growing up in a giant bubble. It is just big enough to not have a small-town feel, but also small enough that it feels pretty isolated. I think the biggest impact that the city had on us is that it almost forced us to find something like music to cling to, just because there really isn’t a whole lot else to do. It’s a city full of white, upper-middle class families and once you reach a certain age, you better find something to keep you occupied or things are going to get pretty boring. I think for us, that one common thread was always music, whether it was playing it, or going to shows, we always seemed to be on the same wavelength, so to speak.
ET: What life experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your latest album “New Lungs”?
SF: Without sounding too pretentious, I think “New Lungs”is derived from an entire lifetime of experiences, rather than a few specific ones. This is the first time we were able to really put forth a large group of songs all at once. Even in our highschool band, we would only put out three or four songs at a time. Taking on this album was something that we have wanted to do for a long time, and therefore I think the songs cover a lot of ground in terms of what influenced them.
As far as the recording process goes, we were determined to do it as much on our own as we could. Sure, we are your stereotypical broke musicians who probably couldn’t afford to hire someone to do our entire album for us, but we also relished the fact that we could use this as a learning experience as well. What started out as what seemed like an impossible task, ended up becoming more rewarding and satisfying than it ever could have been if we didn’t do it on our own.
ET: What are the main differences between your debut EP (“Makeshift Seams”) and your first full-length (“New Lungs”)?
SF: The differences between the two are there, but I think they can also be intertwined pretty easily. “Makeshift Seams”was the first time we put anything out just the two of us. It was uncharted territory and at the time, we really weren’t sure where it would lead us. With “New Lungs”, we knew what we wanted to do and I think that is reflected in the product. With the release of a ten song album there is a larger sense of permanence.