INTRO BY KAT VISTI
INTERVIEW BY CAMI LIBERTY
Lead vocalist and guitarist Cleto Cordero, electric guitarist Reid Dillion, fiddle player Wesley Hall, bassist Jonathan Saenz, and percussionist Jason Albers make up Flatland Cavalry. On the current release of their sophomore album, Flatland Cavalry wants to fine tune themselves as musicians and storytellers. While still remaining true to what made them stand out years ago, they also want to expand and grow as a band. A main theme that lead vocalist Cleto Cordero sticks to is the whole reality of growing up and figuring out life. It’s scary and often times a harsh reality, but it leads to life lessons learned and maturation. Flatland Cavalry talks about their song writing process and the evolution of their music in their latest interview with Unclear.
This past January you released your latest album Homeland Insecurity. What was the process like creating this album?
FLATLAND CAVALRY: “We recorded Homeland in waves. The first couple batches of songs we recorded on our ‘off’ days, in between touring. We’d be on the road and come back to Lubbock, TX for a few days and record a song or two at a time over at Amusement Park Studios under the helm of Scott Faris. We soon realized we were running out of time to release the album within the year and our tour schedule was only getting busier, so we decided to block out a few weeks of Studio A at Amusement Park in July 2018. We went in the studio and hammered out the last 6 or 7 songs. That last session really made us a real band, I believe, because everyone in that studio sacrificed their personal lives and time away from loved ones in order to create this new thing. It was grueling having to write and record while being on the road full time but I think we came out ahead as better songwriters, musicians and individuals. It really taught us how to work hard and stay passionate about our craft.”
How would you describe the record in three words?
FC: “Real. Heartfelt. Honest.”
What song on the album would you say was the hardest to create?
FC: “Speaking for myself, I think ‘Years From Now’ was the hardest (and easy!) to create. Hard, because it took a three day fast (no food, only water) to bring out the emotion to write it. Easy, because it poured out like water onto the page and only took 15 minutes or so. After arranging it in the studio we added a super cool long outro and had some of our favorite musicians solo over it. That was something we’ve never tried before on an album. “
Which song was the easiest?
FC: “‘Sleeping Alone’. Our producer, Scott Faris, asked me to run through the song a couple times because he needed to check microphone levels. He lied and was recording the whole time. We ended up using the second take.”
Where do you find most inspiration when creating music?
FC: “I carry around a small moleskine notebook with me and anytime I feel raw emotion, or think of a song idea or just anything really, I try to write down as much as I can and try to capture exactly what I’m feeling at the moment. My surroundings and relationships with other people inspire me the most. I’ve also found that solitude is one of the best ways to fish for inspiration.”
How would you say your music has evolved over the years?
FC: “We have all grown strides as songwriters and musicians since we started doing this when we were 19 years old, but at the core of it all has remained two things: simple melodies and good stories.”
Is there anything else that we can expect from you in the near future?
FC: “We are hoping to release some brand new songs as well as an impactful music video.”