Norma Jean front man Cory Brandan Putman took a moment out of his busy schedule to speak with me about the group’s newest release Wrongdoers. As a longtime fan of the band I can tell you that even with a few lineup changes, this is one of their best efforts to date. Here is what Cory had to say.
Now that your new album Wrongdoers has been released, how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Cory: Oh yeah. Definitely! We worked really hard on this record and we have been writing it since August 2011. It took us two and a half months to record it. We spent so much time on this record that I think when it was finally done we were kind of glad it was over, but then we took a step back from it and listened to what we really did and we were all so stoked.
You guys have gone through some lineup changes since your last record. How did that effect the songwriting process? Is it still a collaborative effort?
Cory: With this record, more than other records, we wrote together a lot more. We had a lot more spontaneous ideas in the practice space and in the studio. I mean we would be in the middle of tracking drums and we would come up with an idea and just try it out right then. It was an instant idea that ended up being permanent. It has been a little different, but we have all embraced it and had a lot of fun doing it.
Check out the song “If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty”
So you mentioned the rehearsal space. Do you guys actually write in the traditional way in a rehearsal space as opposed to sending riffs and samples to each other via email?
Cory: Well it is a little of both really. I mean if we are sitting at home and playing guitar and we get an idea I know me and Jeff will definitely record it and send it, but we have always gotten together in a group to write as well. Once the record was done at the very last minute we added another song and wrote it in the studio in a day and it ended up being one of our favorite songs and track one on the disc. There is no real formula, we just kind of go with the flow of what everyone is feeling and what we want to do.
Do you think about varying performances from album to album or is just something that just grows organically out of the writing process?
Cory: I think it is kind of organic. We do push ourselves though to try and do something different every time. We don’t want to be repeating ourselves and I think that also comes about naturally too because of the songs we are playing every night. We still like our old records, but you kind of get a feel for that and then you want to move on and do something different.
What is the story behind the name of the record, Wrongdoers?
Cory: Wrongdoers is kind of a name we tossed around for a while, but I think what we are kind of going for is something that everyone can relate to. Not in a negative sense or what you would think of right off the bat with a title like Wrongdoers with illegal activity or anything like that; more in the sense of what everyone has in common. We can all say that we have been wrong at some point in life. I see that as a positive thing like a bond that everyone has… no one is perfect is what it comes down to.
You guys just got back from Australia how did that go?
Cory: It was awesome! We over there with Vanna and A Secret Death. We have not been over there for a really long time so it was awesome to be back and it almost felt like we never left. I would even say it was better than our other tours. We had a lot of fun.
Are there any tracks on Wrongdoers that are personal favorites?
Cory: Yeah I think for all of us track one, “Hive Minds” is one of our favorites if not THE favorite. It is a song that we all wrote together in the studio from spare parts that we had that we did not know what to do with and some reason they all worked together really well. It was really awesome how the song came together like that and that in of itself made it one of our favorites.
You have had some lineup changes in the last few years and I was wondering if you thought you feel you have a pretty stable lineup now?
Cory: Yeah definitely. The new dudes have brought some really awesome energy to the band that was really really needed. Once we got comfortable with each other and writing we were able to see all kinds of new ideas come in from those guys. It has been really awesome having them and we are more energetic than ever.
Any closing words at all Cory?
Cory: Whenever I get asked that I always say the same thing. I guess you can say it is my platform. I always say, don’t pirate records; support the bands and the music you love by buying their records!
Check out the ‘Wrongdoers’ album cover reveal video