Turnover has been going through a deep binge of spiritual rebirth lately, and their journey to enlightenment has not come easily or without change. A band once typified by a revivalist pop-punk sound has transformed into a more modern group defined by dreamy soundscapes, guided by ethereal guitars and driving, melodic basslines. These changes have become a way to exercise some sort of abstract spiritual growth in the mind of singer and guitarist Austin Getz, who sat down with Byline Houston recently to discuss the group’s upcoming album, spirituality in music making, and the day-to-day of the group’s rigorous music career.
Byline Houston: You guys are working on a new album. I would love to hear some info on that.
Austin Getz: It’s going good, man. We have the fun part done with, now we are doing all the other stuff. Well, I mean, it’s all fun, but we are trying to figure out everything. We have some mixes to finish and figure the artwork and everything surrounding the album. It’s coming together, slowly but surely. It’s pretty low key because there is no deadline or anything, which is really good because we get to make sure everything is exactly how it needs to be.
Byline Houston: I guess that makes it more enjoyable.
Getz: Yeah, definitely, because it’s never a good vibe to be like, “Oh shit, we gotta get this done.” Nobody likes to have the stress of a deadline on them.
Byline Houston: Where have you been recording?
Getz: We went back to William again for the fourth LP. We were talking with him, and he said we are the band he has worked with the most at this point. We’ve done four LPs with him now and two EPs. So, at this point, he is definitely the homie. He is based on a studio called Studio Four outside of Philadelphia. We were there all of February. We had some good times. This is certainly the record we have been the most excited about. We should be getting the first mix back from him today.
Byline Houston: What’s the usual day in the studio like?
Getz: Usually, we go in around 10 o’clock and work until 8:30 or something like that. We get into pretty heavy work mode. Most of the time it’s just the three of us. We pretty much go in and start working. This time we did it a little bit differently. It’s been a little bit different each album, based on what the songs are like and how much work we have done going in. This time we did it completely song by song, which was really fun. Because on “Peripheral Vision,” we did lots of songs. We did drums for three songs, and then built those songs up, then did drums for three songs, built them all the way up. This time we did drums for a song, guitar for a song, and bass for a song, which was cool because it allowed us to dial in more for each individual song and have more dynamics. We are in an underground studio for 10 hours a day, so you get in a crazy headspace.
Byline Houston: Touring or recording. What’s the most fun for you?
Getz: Definitely recording, man. I mean, I love touring. I love getting to travel and especially going to new places. I love to meet new people. That’s probably my favorite thing that’s happened through the band, all the people we’ve been able to meet through touring. I think that it’s a little bit easier to get burned on touring because we do it so much more than recording, so when we do go to record it’s a bit more of a treat because it’s like, “Oh shit, we are finally back,” because it’s probably been years.
Byline Houston: Like a little vacation.
Getz: Well, it’s weird. It’s kind of like a vacation, but by far it is the most intensive work environment of the gig of being a musician. I was actually talking to my girlfriend about it because it’s not like most jobs where you are like, “Okay, I’m going to work.” It’s like the next month of what I’m going to do is going to determine the trajectory of my life for the next two years, because if people really like this record it could change everything for the better. If people don’t really fuck with this record, then it could really not work out too well for the next few years. It’s pretty intense, but I feel that most people making music are into it for the making of the music.
Byline Houston: Being on the road so often, it must be hard to find time to write a song. Give us some insight into your songwriting process. Does a lot of stuff come together on the road?
Getz: I mean, I actually write a lot on tour just because touring makes your schedule so strange. You have like little pockets and windows of time where you can’t do much because you have to sound check or whatever the case might be. Especially since we tour in something called a bandwagon, which is basically like an RV. I usually have my guitar posted up in here and my laptop to make electronic stuff. I actually do a lot of writing on the road. It’s also good because we are pretty spread out now. Danny lives in New York City, and I live in Sonoma County, California. Casey lives in Virginia Beach, so like, individually we write stuff and send it back and forth. When we’re all together on the road, it’s a little easier because we are all on the same schedule at the same time. I think it’s pretty cool because it’s a bit of a different energy than when I’m back home. I write more when I’m back home, but I feel I get really dialed into something then I send it over and the guys don’t’ like it. Whereas when I’m on tour, we can all collaborate on it so I feel it’s more efficient.
Byline Houston: You’ve mentioned that Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys were a driving influence for the band’s new sound. What about their songwriting were you drawing from?
Getz: I really was loving that stuff on Good Nature. I had loved the Beach Boys my whole life, but I had never gotten into Pet Sounds. I watched “Love and Mercy,” the biopic, which was incredible, and just read a lot of stuff about that record and about Brian. I just really loved the sound and felt that was the most psychedelic I had ever been at that time, and I think I just loved that aspect of it. The lyrical content I think is a crazy honest reflection of that time period in a person’s life. I think it’s crazy that at this point it’s 70 years old and it feels it could still have been written by somebody right now, and just the way it sounds. It could be a classical music piece. It made me just want to be a better musician, and it pushed me that way. It was a very spiritual record.
Byline Houston: What are you listening to now?
Getz: When I was young, my dad, looking back I thought was so fucking lame. But now, if I would have took his advice, I would have been ahead of the game by, like, 10 years. I’m listening to a lot of jazz. On this new album, I feel I’ve been listening to a lot more funk and disco and R&B kind of stuff, like a Stevie Wonders influence. I’ve also been listening to a lot of old house music, stuff like that. A lot more upbeat tempos, I guess just a little bit more dance. It’s a little bit more dynamic, y’know, than just listening to rock bands.
Byline Houston: Are there any ways that making this record has been different than past releases?
Getz: I think the influences are very different. I think the sounds that are coming out are very different. I tried to make myself a more well-versed guitar player, there are lot more jazzy and intricate chord shapes, just using more of the musical spectrum. Casey and Danny definitely stepped up the drums into a different level, taking more time and they are at a different level. I think just overall we have gotten more collaborative and a lot more skilled as songwriters, and I think the songs mesh together a lot better. We were more sure of ourselves on how to do that. I think I was listening to a lot more classic and modern artists this time around. There’s a lot more percussion on this album, more easter egg stuff. There’s a lot more key parts than the other records. I’m doing a lot of stuff different vocally, too. The album’s really different all over the place. I’m excited to see what people think of it.
Byline Houston: Is there a prospective date for when the album is going to come out?
Getz: We don’t have anything worked out quite yet.
Byline Houston: No deadline.
Getz: Yea, we want to have it done. We are recuperating. We want to have it where all the music is done and the videos are finished. We just want to sit back and be like ready to go y’know, without having to rush.
Turnover will be playing Warehouse Live on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. Take in the beachy, post-punk ambiance in all its glory.