With their sophomore record No Good Left To Give (released this past September on Fearless Records), Movements have taken what worked on their jaw-dropping debut Feel Something and honed it into a brand new diamond.
Driven by Austin Cressey’s distinctively hooky basslines and Spencer York’s unique sense of rhythm and pocket, the songs are bathed in layers of Ira George’s sometimes biting, sometimes ethereal guitar. Topping it off, Pat Miranda speaks, sings and screams about the lowest of the lows, touching at many points on mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts.
Before the band had even released their first album, they were nominated for Best Underground Band at the 2017 Alternative Press Music Awards, and while Feel Something and now No Good Left To Give have put them in a place in the current post-hardcore musical landscape where they could never be considered “underground”, they are lining themselves up to potentially be the next big band in this genre.
I caught up with guitarist Ira George to talk about the band, the record and songs you might want to try at home.
Will Yip has an amazing discography, everything from Panic At The Disco to Paint It Black. How did you guys hook up with him? How has it been working with him? Was there ever a consideration of working with someone else for No Good Left To Give?
Will actually heard one of our earliest demos ‘Protection’ and somehow saw the potential in that song and wanted to work with us.
Working with Will for the past few years has been a match made in heaven to be honest. We all click so well with each other and he brings out the absolute best in all of us. He is a 5th member of this band at this point. Our discography would not be what it is without him.
There was never even a thought of working with someone else for NGLTG and I don’t think there will ever be a thought of working with someone else in the future either. Will is our rock.
Tell me about some of the gear you used on the record? Was it mostly the band’s gear or did you use some of Will’s stuff/rented gear?
So Will has a million guitars, pedals and amps to choose from at Studio 4.
We are from California so flying all of our gear across the country isn’t ideal. The only things I bring is my pedalboard and one of my guitars. I honestly could bring nothing and we would have plenty to choose from but I bring my custom Telecaster made from this mom and pop shop in my hometown called 13th Street Guitars. Super unique guitar that is very versatile and I knew we would use it on the record.
The only other thing I used that was mine was my Archer pedal made by J. Rockett Audio and my Strymon Flint reverb. We used these two pedals heavily. The Archer is the perfect boost/distortion pedal. Keeps everything very tight while giving the tone the grit it needs. A very clean gritty sound. Paired with all of the fender amps and guitars we used it was a match made in heaven.
Did you have any reference records you used for either No Good or Feel Something as far as tones you wanted to achieve for the guitars?
I wouldn’t say I have whole entire records that I was referencing but more so certain parts in specific songs that I wanted to try and go after when writing for NGLTG.
I think it had more to do so with the writing aspect of things rather than the tones. Once the parts were created, Will and I just kept trying different amp/guitar combinations for specific parts to see what meshed together the best. We had a non spoken understanding of the tones we both wanted and we would spend hours on each individual guitar tone for that specific guitar part to make sure it was what we wanted.
Guitars took the longest to record out of anything on the record for that reason alone.
Similarly, do you plan your guitar tones to be complementary at all? Or is it just naturally cohesive based on a shared love of the same stuff?
As far as what we did in the studio, everything was deliberate in what we chose beforehand to record everything.
We used all Fender amps (65 Twin Reverb, 59 Twin Reverb and a 68 Princeton). All had their job and served their purpose.
We picked about 7 different guitars to use for the record and utilized every single one of them. I can’t even put into words the amount of time and energy we put into every single tone we chose for every single part on the record.
We went as far as to changing amps and guitars even for the doubles of the same exact parts. For example this is for a song off of NGLTG ‘Living Apology’
- Bridge Rhythm 1
- Amp: 65 twin
- Pedals: Archer, OBN Black Fountain
- Guitar: Clockwork Telecaster
- Bridge Rhythm 2
- Amp: 68 Princeton
- Pedals: Archer, OBN Black Fountain
- Guitar: Tele American Pro Shawbucker
I actually wrote everything down too because I’m insane. I wanted to remember what we used for what parts. It took a long ass time to say the least.
Movements has toured with a lot of bands – is there any one band or tour that you could point at that you think had an effect on the band’s sound or how you approach your own music?
I think that a lot of the bands we have toured with have had an influence on us. When you hear certain bands play every single night for 30 shows straight it’s hard for it to not play a role in how you want certain things to sound. Even if it’s a sound you hear or a particular pedal that someone was playing.
I can’t think of a particular band or moment but I know for a fact that all the tours we have done, places we have traveled and people we have met have had a direct influence on Movements sound as a whole.
If someone new to your band wanted to learn to play one of your songs, which one would you suggest they start with? Any particular licks or passages that you like playing, or think would be fun for people to learn?
Such a great question!! So many songs and riffs are flying through my mind but one that jumps to the top of my head is the bridge in the song ‘Tunnel Vision’. I think it really encompasses the unique sound of Movements and sets up the vibe for whats to come. The combo of fingerpicking and the flow of the fingers on the fretboard is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.