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Listen to New Animal "When They Come"
Alpharetta natives Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette have been playing music as New Animal for about a year, though they've known each other since childhood. They moved to a house in Kirkwood not long ago and promptly filled the place with dogs, beat-up couches and the lingering smell of smoke. Upstairs, they've packed a tiny room full of guitars, electronics, an organ, hand percussion, an accordion, and the plan to play as loud and as often as possible. Their recent EP, Up!, shows the band maturing from a scattered, uneven approach into a focused, melodic sound, even if they don't want to grow up.
Derek Burdette: We recorded our whole album in our last apartment. The neighbor would always complain, "They're making music again!" We were pretty loud, all day sometimes. We'd be working on a song [wails in faux-passion] from 10 o'clock in the morning until 8 at night. But [our neighbor] never got physical about it. It was always passive-aggressive.
Kris Hermstad: It wasn't like we were starting a band, at first. It was just, "Let's just record music because we live together and we love playing music." Our songs are kind of different styles and we started off — I'd record my song and he'd record his. And then we realized we should just start a band and release it under the same name.
DB: Then it was like, "How are we going to play that live?" All the different sounds, the maracas and tambourines, we use a lot of the melodica, accordion. And if I had like tubas and shit, I'd use that, too.
KH: It's like, not having any rules.
DB: All of it started from recording, from putting stuff on each other's tracks. If you go on our YouTube account, you can see in order the songs we've recorded together.
KH: It's like instant feedback. "Ten views!"
DB: That's why we released our last one, Up!, because we were like, "We need feedback. We're dying."
KH: There's a void and you need it to be — you have to figure out new ways to keep it interesting. People are really quick with the blogs, they're always on to new stuff.