Froth @ Congress

I talked to Joo-Joo Ashworth and Jeremy Katz of LA-based noise-pop group, Froth. Their newest release, Outside (Briefly), has been crushing the college radio charts this semester, so it was very exciting to get to chat to them about serious subjects, such as their recording process and newly found relationship with Wichita (as well as some slightly sillier ones- namely bouncy balls and broth).

Emily Beiser: Do you guys wanna start by introducing yourselves, and- since your album was inspired by The Beatles- telling me which Beatle is your favorite?

Jeremy Katz: I’m Jeremy, and my favorite Beatle would be John Lennon.

Joo-Joo Ashworth: I’m Joo-Joo, my favorite Beatle’s George.

How does it feel coming off of the release of your new album? Were you expecting the feedback you’ve been getting?

JA: Honestly, we don’t really ever know what to expect, so everything is always good. We’ve never been bummed about putting out an album- having no expectations makes it fun.

JK: We’re always stoked to put out new music.

Cool, well how did the recording process of Outside (Briefly) differ from your previous LPs?

JA: The first one was almost like an archive. We just went in and played the songs the same way we played them live. Then two years later, we had more experience working in the studio, so we had a better idea of what we wanted and spent a lot more time recording. Now we have our own tricks that we do when we record our music- we all record our own music a lot, so it was very hands-on. We were in there for almost a month and a half.

JK: This one was the first time we were writing in the studio.

JA: Yeah, and we worked with a producer. Our friend who we were planning on just being our engineer ended up producing it.

I read that the title of the new album was inspired by a novel entitled The Abortion. How did you choose the names for the previous two?

JK: Bleak was definitely just a word that Joo-Joo liked at the time, more of a feeling.

JA: And we just named Patterns after the first song.

How did you guys all meet, and what led to the formation of Froth?

JK: Me and Joo-Joo met at our friend’s show, the one who produced our last album, Thomas. He has a band called Mr. Elevator. We met at their show in 2012.

JA: I met Cameron the day we first practiced.

JK: Yeah, he came later. And Nick, who Joo-Joo knew, also came later.

What’s your favorite memory from touring?

JA: My favorite member of the band….

Yeah, rank them from one to three!

JK: No, don’t!

JA: Favorite memory from touring... I have a pretty meta one, actually. The last tour, or maybe two tours ago, Jeremy, who has like savant memory literally walked us through every day of every tour we’d been on up to that point. At least thirty seconds of each day.

That’s insane. What did they entail?

JA: What we ate, where we were. Sometimes a fun fact, like Cameron slept under a table that night or something.

JK: I can’t really do that anymore, but at that point we’d only been on like three tours.

JA: But still, extending back three years!

I know you’ve been doing super well on the college radio charts lately, have you been digging any other new releases that have been getting lots of spins?

JA: Hm, I haven’t looked at the charts recently-

Really, you don’t check them every morning?!

JA: Ha! They’re really hard to find, though. I think you need a special email. I really like that Hand Habits record that just came out.

JK: Newest Black Marble record.

So good! It’s Immaterial.

JA: Yeah, and the two new Aldous Harding songs.

JK: There’s a lot of great new music.

If you guys had to cover a song right now, what would it be?

JA: “Stealing” by a band called Q.

Why?

JA: Because it’s fucking rad. We listened to it a bunch on the last tour and said we wanted to cover it but haven’t yet. It’s like all synth, so you can imagine how that'd sound with guitars.

Do you have any pre- or post-show rituals?

JK: We used to have this fucking bouncy ball. We’d all bounce it before the show, and if someone dropped it then we’d have a bad show. But then I lost it.

JA: Ball is life.

JK: RIP Ball.

If Outside (Briefly) were the soundtrack to a film, what would be the plot of that film?

JA: This is easy. The plot of Mysterious Skin.

Why? ‘Cause it’s fucking rad?

JA: Well, a lot of the sounds on it were intending to be cinematic since we were working a lot with this director, Riley Bakeway, who did our first three videos. So I was really influenced by seeing the way our songs worked with the music videos.

JK: I never saw Mysterious Skins. What I picture is just like rainy weather, smoking inside next to a window.

Sounds like a very fascinating film.

JA: Actually, scratch that! There’s this Icelandic movie called Nói albinói. That is exactly it.

What was the process like leading up to you guys releasing your newest album with Wichita?

JK: Our manager knew Mark from Wichita and brought him to a show we played in LA. Then he kind of just kept coming to see us and we started hanging out. He picked our brains a lot. I think he really liked all of our-

Smiles!

JK: Well, yeah, those. But I also think he really liked that we are very specific about artwork, videos, and everything.

Is there something that none of you guys can seem to agree on as a band?

JA: None of us can agree on music.

JK: Well, you and me can.

JA: Yeah, but you don’t like The Strokes!

You don’t like The Strokes?

JK: No, I hate The Strokes!

My passcode on my phone has been 1251 since I was like 13!

JA: There’s gotta be something…

Most agreeable band in history: Froth?

JA: Definitely not.

What was the first song each of you learned how to play?

JA: “Do You Want to Know a Secret” by The Beatles.

JK: I think it was “Rumble” by Link Wray. That was my first song on guitar. Honestly, the first song I learned on bass was "Oaxaca," which was our first song ever.

How did the band name come about?

JA: It was a joke.

I know, I read that it was a joke. But, like, what’s the punch-line?

JA: That it’s a dumb band name! But it had to do with...

Broth? What if all your songs were about soup?

JK: We played a show under the name Broth one time. But he grew up surfing and they were always doing Australian accents.

JA: But it’s like, dumb. It’s not something I would ever say.

And now you say it all the time.

JA: Yeah, no offense to people who say it in Australia.

Well, what can fans expect from you guys in the remainder of the year?

JA: In the next year?

Like, throughout 2017. But I mean, if you wanna do 2018-

JA: Let’s do 2018. Touring all of this year- easy answer. Next year, expect dormancy. And then 2019, expect another album.

2020?

JK: Probably touring all year.

JA: It’s a cycle. But our lives get crazier every year. He’s married now, our drummer is basically married.

Do you guys have any shout-outs?

JK: Probably.

Somewhere.

JA: Mark, our manager Sofia. Brandon.

JK: Thomas.

JA: My mom. Not my dad.

JK: My wife, Monica.

JA: My girlfriend, Halle. What’s a non-contrived shout out? Shout-out to Alan Bass.

Great shout-outs. Thanks for your time!

Both: Thank you!

Check out Outside (Briefly), out now on Wichita <3