Occasionally, we all find a band we emotionally connect with instantly, feeling like you’ve found a soulmate in the lyrics intertangled throughout each song’s melodies. Bootstraps is one of those bands. The self-titled debut album was in sync from start to finish and left you emotionally calmed yet unsettled at the same time, and now, with a new album titled Homage, Bootstraps has given a track list of unique covers you may never feel the same about after your first listen. We sat down with frontman Jordan Beckett to learn more about ALL THE FEELINGS:
KISMET: Tell us a bit about the formation of Bootstraps and where your unique sound comes from.
JORDAN BECKETT: The first record was made under a lot of time and money constraints. Overthinking it was impossible. Also, I’d never recorded with a band in a studio. I wish I could say the sound was a carefully crafted premeditated thing… in truth, we got super lucky and found something organically without being too self-conscious.
K: Your debut album seems to touched upon traveling and being on the road. What story were you guys trying to tell?
JB: The story of a troubled man who gets in his car in L.A. with one CD and drives up the 101 to clear his head and find solace. He observes a California that is in stark contrast to its telegenic facade. If that sounds too heavy, I assure you… the next record is a party album… more like a man gets in his car and drives to Ibiza.
K: The track “Sleeping Giant” speaks to us, and we’ve wondered what inspired the lyric, “We left our love a sleeping giant.”
JB: A sleeping giant by definition is something powerful that lives dormant and unrealized.
K: For your second album, why a literal Homage instead of originals?
JB: Many reasons, some of which are dumb legal and label issues I’ve had. But mainly I’ll say this:
I used to feel that covers were kind of a cheap, gimmicky cop-out for a musician. And actually, my label and ex-manager were so concerned with how ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ would be perceived they refused to release it. But when it aired on TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, I started to get these amazing messages from people all over the world. And truthfully, the response was beyond anything I expected or hoped for. This shifted my perspective.
Whether you act, direct, paint or make music, you aim to take people somewhere that feels inspired, period. If I felt like I could do that with a track of dolphin mating calls, I’d get scuba lessons ASAP. The point is, good songs performed honestly win.
So, regarding Homage: I remember after we tracked ‘At Last,’ I felt like we’d stumbled on something special. And for whatever reason the covers felt alive like we’d caught a wave that should be ridden out and that’s done now. We may never record another cover, who knows? But Homage was absolutely meant to happen in that season.
K: What went into picking the some of the covers that made it on the album?
JB: When my sister had her first child, I remember hearing the song ‘You Are So Beautiful’ in line at Sbarro Pizza at the airport. I was thinking about the way she looked at her beautiful new daughter and what she’d been through to bring her into the world. The lyric, ‘You’re everything I hoped for’ became something else for me—and I wanted to retell the story from that perspective. However, I regret my decision to eat at a Sbarro…
K: Who are some of your major musical influences?
JB: Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Massive Attack because I’m working on a side-project with some of those guys. Also, this electronic artist Bonobo.
K: With Homage just dropping, do you have plans for a tour soon or any shows coming up?
JB: I viewed Homage as a collection of songs, not an ‘album’ per se, cause some of the songs were previously released. Our priority right now is the next originals record that will be released later this year.
*The Bootstraps debut album is best served during a long drive along a coastline near you.