Reporting Jay Tilles
Still glowing from triumphant performances at both weekends of Coachella and a new album, Such Hot Blood, out today (April 30), Los Angeles’ Airborne Toxic Event is adamant about sharing the band’s fiery passion with fans.
“We called the record Such Hot Blood because they’re hot-blooded songs and we just wanted to be upfront about that,” singer Mikel Jollett told Radio.com in an exclusive interview.
“From day one, the idea with the Airborne Toxic Event was to not be disinterested,” he elaborated. “We’d all been in bands before where you stare at your feet and you wear a certain kind of jacket and try to look cool.”
In stark contrast, Jollett said that Airborne Toxic Event’s wildly diverse sound is borne from the band’s determination to stay true to what’s in their collective heart.
“Some of the music’s like really, really big, orchestral and epic, and some of it’s quiet whispery folk and some of it’s punk and you sort of ask yourself, ‘what do these songs have in common?’” the singer said. “What I think they all have in common was that they’re all very passionate and earnest.”
“[We’re] hot blooded people. Italian. You get upset,” Jollett chuckled. “You love and you lose and you feel and you wanna express that and there’s a lot of life in that. And that was always the idea to put that at the forefront with Airborne. With Such Hot Blood, it was just a way of putting it first and foremost, without pretending to ever be disinterested.”
The album was produced by Jacquire King, who has won GRAMMYs for his work with Kings of Leon, Buddy Guy and Tom Waits. The group calls him a friend, mentor and above all else, a believer in the band.
“He believed in the songs. He really taught us to play together as a band, really listen for each other,” Jollett said, admitting that he has a tendency of getting into the studio and trying to “railroad” the rest of the group to get his way. In contrast, King instilled a sense of community with the band.
“It was really good for me, to have someone that I respect and admired say those kinds of things,” Jollett added.
“He [King] doesn’t need to do projects he doesn’t like for one reason or another,” added Harmon. “Part of that comes out when you’re working with him. You can see that he’s passionate about what he’s doing. He’ll get upset in the studio and raise his voice and do all that, but that’s because he’s got a lot invested emotionally.”
Airborne Toxic Event is set to take its passions directly to the people, with a slew of North American tour dates this summer including stops in Washington, D.C. (May 8-9), Detroit, MI (May 15) and a free show at New York City’s Central Park as part of the SummerStage series on June 18.