Daniel Pujol first feels the need to apologize if he gets off track. He’s sick and dosed up on Sudafed, he tells the Reader.
“Sorry i have the flu so i’m going to be really spacey,” Pujol says. Later he adds that his over-the-counter remedy “puts me out in the clouds.”
But there’s plenty of clarity over the course of a 30 minute conversation that traces how Pujol met Omaha’s own Saddle Creek Records and what’s next for PUJOL, the hyperactive, hooky garage pop act that Pujol fronts.
Pujol and Saddle Creek Records got matched up in a way that supposedly doesn’t happen as much as it used to — the band and the label connected at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Tex.
Pujol says some of the people from the label had heard some of the singles he had put out then they caught the band at some SXSW shows in 2011.
Saddle Creek asked Pujol abotu making some records for the label and that was that. Pujol
“These guys are nice so i’m glad it happened,” Pujol says.
By working with Saddle Creek, Pujol was also able to sign a deal where he gets to own the master recordings for his releases, but still get the perks of working with a label that has a real staff.
Since signing and issuing two releases on Saddle Creek, Pujol has been touring constantly. But playing a show in his label’s hometown somehow didn’t happen for a long time. That drought will break when PUJOL takes the stage at O’Leaver’s Friday, April 5th.
Pujol has been playing in Nashville regularly since forming Meemaw in 2007. That band died out in 2009 and PUJOL took its place with a revolving line-up.
“I’m always hoping for a permanent one,” Pujol says.
Pujol is recording a new album with current line-up and says he hopes the four-piece sticks together long enough to be considered PUJOL’s permanent line-up.
The band has used rented space at The Place, a suicide prevention non-profit and community center in Mount Juliet, a suburb of Nashville.
“We’ve improvised a studio,” Pujol says.
Pujol says the arrangement beats other options available in Nashville. Pujol says a musician could go to rent any sort of box and the second a landlord hears that its a musician suddenly the space is a studio and the rate balloons up to $200 a day.
It’s a nonsensical dilemma, especially given the availability of home recording equipment and computers to make albums on these days.
“Anybody can make a record in a bedroom,” Pujol says, before relaying the catch that constant touring as dealt him this year.
“I just don’t have a bedroom.”
But as long as there’s space to get away, Pujol can write and record new material, he says. Much of that writing happens as part of the recording process, with Pujol tracking fresh songs directly to a Tascam tape recorder or his laptop.
At times, some songs will be half-written this way, then Pujol will play them live for a few months before nailing down a final version later.
The band has basically tracked and recorded all the songs themselves. Pujol says they accumulated enough musical gear to be able to make a real record themselves.
“I want the live lineup to be the band that’s on the majority of the record too,” Pujol says.
That hasn’t been the case on previous PUJOL recordings, which have featured a whole host of guest musicians and friends on each different release.
Computers and analog tape tracking have both been in play on PUJOL’s latest batch of songs, with some songs bouncing back between the two formats. Pujol says there’s a consistent fidelity as all the songs are being recorded with the same equipment and in the same room.
But there’s things that using tape gives the band sonically that computers just can’t replicate, he says.
“There’s advantages of texture using both recording,” Pujol says.
Meanwhile, Pujol says he’s excited about the songs, which feature way more guitar and a moments of well-placed humor that Pujol says come across properly. It’s a communication challenge that Pujol admits he’s had trouble mastering in the past. This time, the moments hit right, he says.
“Narratively it’s somewhere between a psychological thriller and a romantic comedy,” Pujol says.
Pujol also has kept busy with other projects, playing in Nashville’s Freakin’ Weekend event in March, which features a whole host of up-and-coming Nashville rock bands.
The festival represents an awakening in Nashville’s rock scene that’s been growing strong since 2007. Aside from PUJOL, bands like Jeff the Brotherhood and Turbo Fruits have begun to gain serious traction across the country.
Pujol has also resumed contributing to rock blog, Nashville’s Dead. Pujol says its part of his personality to be continually busy.
But he says he trying to train himself to have more downtime, mostly so he can find things to write about that don’t bore him.
“In my work mania, it’s in my self interest to have determined downtime,” Pujol says.
PUJOL w/ The Seen play O’Leaver’s Pub, 1322 South Saddle Creek Road, Friday, April 5th at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.