In their five year history, Brooklyn indie funk five-piece Ava Luna have played three record release shows within the confines of Silent Barn, a DIY art/music space initially shuttered in 2011 and revived last spring. When they play there tonight for Electric Balloon's NYC record release show, they'll once again play for friends. This time, though, it comes at the tail-end of a 35 date national tour and on the heels of a two-week stint abroad. We chatted with singer/guitarist Carlos Hernandez about conceiving their latest album, playing their brand of punchy, R&B-laden art-rock across the country and why they're playing a fourth record release show at Silent Barn.
Metro: How has the tour been? Carlos Hernandez: It's been great… it's over now. All really good shows of various stripes, and we sold out of records. We've toured a number of times now. We've been blown away in the past — we've been to so many places. It's quite familiar in a funny sort of way. [Next month], we have an international tour booked.
Metro: After touring alongside the album, do you have a different perspective on the songs off Electric Balloon? C.H.: The songs feel a lot more comfortable. Musicians bitch and moan [about playing songs over and over], it's one of the classic tropes. On the contrary, I'm quite enjoying playing the songs.
Metro: Electric Balloon, and your debut album Ice Age are composed of unique, intricate, experimental cuts. What is your songwriting process like? C.H.: For the previous album, I was writing the album and conceiving all of the songs. This one was much more open and collaborative with contributions from other band members. [To record Electric Balloon], we went upstate to a friend's family's home for two weeks. We had a couple of sketches and demos, but we would just play… it's much looser, an open feeling that thrives under a volition to jam.
Metro: You're playing the NYC release show [tonight] at Silent Barn, when you could have easily played a bigger space. I know that you and Julian spend lots of time there recording other acts. Why did you guys choose Silent Barn? C.H.: You can talk about it in theory… on a pragmatic level, we spend every day there. If there's any setting [for our release show], it's there. Playing release shows [at Silent Barn] is almost superstition at this point. The very first one was in the basement of the old Silent Barn space. The second one was upstairs. The third was a Silent Barns presents show at a German beer hall in Ridgewood. The old Silent Barn was my favorite place.
Catch Ava Luna tonight at their record release show at Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn).
This column is part of a Metro Boston and Metro New York music feature called Locally Amped. Follow us on Twitter @Locally Amped and on Facebook at Locally Amped.