The Inner Party to celebrate new album ‘Darker’ on Friday

The Inner Party / Courtesy

Fayetteville band The Inner Party will celebrate the release of a new album this weekend.

The band will debut their second full length album, titled Darker, at a release party set for Friday, Aug. 10 at Smoke & Barrel Tavern. Locals White Mansion, also set to perform that evening, will also be release a new EP at the show.

We last checked in with the Inner Party before the release of their last album, The Inner Party Makes a Mess back in 2015. Let’s just say a lot has happened since then.

We got in touch with the band this week to find out more about what they’ve been up, the new record, and the release show this weekend, and they were nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Last time we checked in with you guys, you were putting out “The Inner Party Makes a Mess” a couple years ago. What have you been up to since then?

Dave: I’ve been doing all the interviews for the band mostly, so I’m going to let some of the others do this one.

Bob: Since “The Inner Party Makes A Mess”, the band has had a long odyssey of line-up changes, finally settling with current members Jacob Arnold on drums, Sean Johnson on lead guitar, and Bob Icon on keyboards, in addition to the classic Keith & Dave songwriting partnership.

Keith: I can’t speak for the group. But as for me personally, I’ve been getting far too good at being poor. And trying very hard to find the time to plan shedding some of that skill; for good. I’ve also been attempting to turn myself into the human equivalent of a mobile phone — no wires, no moving parts, all functions held internally and digitally, while at the same time increasing the number of possibilities for meaningful output.

Tell us a bit about the new record. Where’d you guys record / how many tracks, etc.

Bob: The new album is titled “Darker.” The album has sixteen tracks, and clocks in at around seventy-five minutes. Initial drum tracking for the album was done at the Let’s Talk Figures Studio [RIP], and then in Lincoln, Nebraska. We recorded a substantial bulk of the instrumental beds and vocals at FUSE Recording – after this, continued overdubs and vocals were done at the LTF Studio and with Keith’s home recording setup.

Keith: We recorded in several places, as Bob said. At FUSE Recording in Lincoln, NE, at the LTF studio in Fayetteville where a very large number of tracks were put down, at my house on HAL9000 which is the name I gave my computer when I first built one back around 2001. I just now realized that. Somehow that has eluded me this whole time; that it was 2001 when I built it and started calling it HAL. Anyway, several things that I did on the album were recorded there. Some were tracks from the original demos. Some I recorded and/or programmed, or cut up and assembled, during the weeks before the mixing began. On some of these songs we wound up with a very large number of tracks. I was given the job of collecting all of the tracks for each song and making sure they all lined up and whatnot.

Sounds like you guys pulled in some special guests on the new record. Who will we hear on the recording once it comes out?

Keith: I have to defer to the other guys on this one. I mean I can list some people. But most of the extra instrumentation added to the album happened without me there. So, I only have a nebulous idea of who did what. I would like to say thank you to everyone who donated time and talent to this recording. It greatly added to the final product. And it would not have been possible to do without each of you, individually. There was an element of chaos or randomness that was brought in by all of the individuals and by each person’s different take on what they heard in the basic set of tracks. The resulting sets of tracks were almost too much. But that allowed for a lot of possible directions for mixing. I hope to explore those possibilities sometime soon with a bunch of experimental and alternate mixes of the songs.

Bob: This album has the most guest features of any Inner Party album, with over thirty musicians and artists contributing. Most of the talent from local record label Let’s Talk Figures appears on “Darker”, with musicians from LTF bands like Youth Pastor, S H Y T VV N S, Open Fields, The Jackson Jennings 5, and Goldfish Waterslide. While we were in Nebraska, we were lucky enough to get both Jordans from the band Universe Contest to record tracks for us, too. Jordan Elfers killed it on drums for several songs, and Jordan Ellis did incredible work on acoustic and electric violins, as well as a little viola and theremin. We also have Robbie Locke from Farmikos (Ozzy, Metallica, Bad Religion) singing back-ups on our “metal” song. And Dave is good friends with author Linda Tirado and she also did a reading from her book “Hand to Mouth – Living in Bootstrap America” on a track. If you’re not already familiar with her, you should read her book and check out her appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.

In addition, in advance of “Darker”, we released a maxi-single of remixes of the final song on the album, “Weimar”, as well as a few other stand-alone tracks that didn’t make the final album cut. Contributing remixes to “Weimar Mixes One” are some of the hottest names in the Vaporware scene, like PZA, g.Raptor, and Terror of Evil. We’re really excited to have so many different musicians on “Darker” – it’s definitely the lushest and sonically-“fullest” album the Inner Party has ever done.

What have you been listening to lately?

Bob: I have been listening to a lot of French impressionists [Debussy, Satie, etc], Bossa nova like Anton Carlos Jobim, and the depths of Gucci Mane’s back catalogue – mixtapes “EA Sportscenter” and “Chicken Talk” are highlights.

Keith: People at work telling me to come in earlier than the last time, which was earlier than the time before that, and balking at my response. The loud hum of my computer’s cpu fan. Dimensional People. Right now, I’m listening to the sound of rain on a metal carport roof.

I remember reading you had several different languages spoken on the new record. What’s the story behind that?

Keith: We took the number of fans we have as a whole and figured the percentages that had different first languages and added precisely that percent of time in those languages to the overall time of the album. Hopefully everyone feels included. I was surprised to find out about the fans who speak Latin as a first language. It’s a crazy world, you know?

Dave: Okay apparently I am going to answer one question, since this is pretty much all me. I’m a big fan of Easter eggs – not the things you hunted for as a kid, the modern day Easter eggs. I think having some lyrics in other languages kinda turns a song into a treasure hunt for people who get really into it. I’ve always been particularly fascinated with Latin. It’s the language of scholars and forms the basis of so many English words. We’ve used bits of Latin before, so it’s not really new. The others, however, are. There’s Spanish on “Djingo Unchained”, which is a song about Trump. If you can’t figure out what we were getting at with that, we’re probably not the band for you. German is a significant part of the song “Weimar”, and if you’re up on your history you can probably figure that one out as well. Probably the biggest curve ball is our usage of Russian, but again, read a newspaper. I’d like to add that my friend Kristine who did the Russian bit is also a prolific producer of weird but awesome electronic music on Soundcloud. Look up “rigasraganas” which I believe translates into “Witch in Rigas” (she lives in Riga, Latvia) – hopefully we’re going to do a full on collaboration in the future.

Tell us about the album release party coming up. (When/where/who’s playing/how much) Will you have physical records available?

Bob: We are playing at Smoke & Barrel Friday, August 10th, with Crash Blossom and White Mansion, both extremely talented local bands and very dear friends of ours. There will be a $5 cover, and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. We will unfortunately not have any physical copies of the record in time for the show, but it will on our Bandcamp that night and Spotify, iTunes, etc. on August 31st. However, White Mansion will have their new EP “Everything In This Room Falls” on cassette, so be sure to grab a copy – limited edition!