Making "Tracks" -- Sly Roosevelt to release "Animal Tracks" at V Club Friday

photo: Alene Baldwin

One step at a time, Sly Roosevelt (L-R: Matthew Marshall, Megan and Alexander Durand, Sean McDaniel, Jyoshua Sanders) have built their own studio, recorded their own record, and put it out themselves. The Huntington-based indie band releases their debut full-length "Animal Tracks" at the V Club Friday night.

Reposted from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

It’s an exciting time to be in Sly Roosevelt. The Huntington-based indie band has spent eight months working like dogs, putting time and money into their studio and publishing outfit. Friday night, the band will release their debut full-length, “Animal Tracks,” at the V Club.

Since forming in 2008 with the nucleus of singer-guitarist Sean McDaniel, bassist Alexander Durand and drummer Matthew Marshall, and after welcoming lead guitarist Jyoshua Sanders and Megan Durand on keyboards a year or so later, Sly Roosevelt has been making a name for themselves with their highly charged version of indie rock.

Speaking over the phone from their studio in the Prichard Building on Sixth Avenue, McDaniel said that Sly Roosevelt is ready to get “Animal Tracks” out.

“I’m relieved to have it done, it seems like it’s been years in the making,” the 28-year old Proctorville, Ohio native said. “I’m extremely proud of how it went down and the decisions we made to do it ourselves.”

That do-it-yourself ethos pervaded every step in the process. With Alexander Durand and Marshall handling production, and Durand’s Bully Good Publishing handling duplication and packaging, Sly Roosevelt literally controls the method of production, no small luxury for a band.

“Matthew and I were interested in creating a studio environment, and fantasized about all this great equipment,” Alexander Durand said. “That went on the backburner for a few years. Then, when we had the opportunity to get the gear, it was just thrilling to have our own studio.”

McDaniel said everyone going in on the studio has paid off. “About a year ago we made a decision, every band has to make the decision, whether they want to go into a studio or build their own. We took a couple of thousand dollars, everyone pitched in money, and we started to accumulate gear.

“It gave us the freedom to comb through, to have control that we wouldn’t have had if we had to spend two months hovering over an engineer’s shoulder. That would’ve never happened and we would have never got the results we have if we didn’t put in the time and effort to build this thing.”

“We’re able to do it now the way we want to do it,” Megan Durand added.

“The wait has been totally worth it,” Sanders said of the new record, which was mixed by Jon Parsons and mastered by Russ Fox.

“The EP, “Old ‘P’” it does vary drastically from the album because it’s a totally different recording, and we got to see it with new eyes,” Sanders added. “It helped us realize that this is important, we need to be serious about it and it does takes precedence in our lives.”

While not necessarily a concept record, “Animal Tracks” is tied together lyrically and visually, with CD art provided by local artist Jarrod Schneider.

“There’s all these references to animals in the lyrics,” McDaniel said. “And the animal metaphor is crucial to the whole album, how it plays off different symbols, how we’re all animals, and these are our tracks,” he said with a laugh.

To help promote the album, Sly Roosevelt has been putting out a series of “Meet the King” episodes on YouTube, with a drinking, cursing Michael Bradbury dressed as a lion, and recently debuted the official video for “Lion,” off the new record.

Everyone in Sly Roosevelt is looking forward to an out-of-state string of shows in June, taking their music (evoking bands like Modest Mouse and At the Drive-In) to an unfamiliar audience spanning nine states.

“People have to want to listen to our music,” Marshall said. “They have to want to break away from the monotony of normal, popular music. If they have that mindset, I think they’ll love our band.”

“This is a pretty monumental time for us,” McDaniel added. “Getting the album done, establishing Bully Good, having all these things come to a head is a huge milestone. The tour is too, we’ve all been so excited, and terrified at the same time.”

Sly Roosevelt CD Release w/Love Culture and AC30
WHERE: The V Club, 741 6th Ave. (304) 781-0680
WHEN: Friday, June 1, 10 p.m.
COST: $5
INFO: www.vclublive.com
ONLINE: www.slyroosevelt.com

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