youbet discusses the release of their sophomore album ‘Way To Be’

youbet, the project of artist and producer Nick Llobet, is back after four years with their new album Way To Be. youbet talks to us all about the making of the album and their excitement for what is to come…

[CC]: Congrats on your new sophomore album, Way To Be! What are you most excited for in relation to the release of this album?
[youbet]: Thank you so much. I feel like so many exciting things have been brewing since signing with Hardly Art last year. Now that the record is out I’m most pumped for our album release show coming up. It will be meaningful to celebrate with our nyc people whilst playing the tunes from the record. My favorite part about releasing music is being able to adapt the songs for live performance. This particular release show will be our new trio-style band lineup which is a blast for me because I get to play more guitar, and the songs have taken on a more high energy approach. Our album release show will be at TV Eye on June 23rd in Ridgewood, Queens. 

[CC]: Way To Be has arrived four years after your debut album Compare & Despair. How does the new album compare to the old? Are there any major changes that you have seen in your sound?
[youbet]: I wrote the songs for Compare and Despair and Way To Be around the same time period, and I participated in song-a-week songwriting clubs to write both albums. Songwriting wise I would say since they are from a similar time period in my life, I like to think Way To Be is the sequel to Compare and Despair in terms of style and personality. The major difference is that the first album was produced by my good friends while Way To Be was more of me taking the lead role of producing, and editing. I did have several friends play all over Way To Be too and they definitely helped develop the arrangements and the personality. There are some slight changes in the sonic sensibilities on this album in comparison to the last. 

[CC]: You took quite a unique approach in writing the songs for this album. Can you elaborate a bit about the process and why it worked so well?
[youbet]: In spring 2019 I started a songwriting club via private bandcamp link. Those who participated had the password and could upload a new song they wrote by Sunday night every week. I find writing in this way is helpful because there’s more accountability around finishing songs and being disciplined. I also love writing with the intention of grabbing the attention of whomever is listening. Having a small group of fellow songwriters that I know are going to listen to the song helps bring the performance element into the songwriting process. Like how some shows are filmed with a live audience or something.  

[CC]: I read that you self-produced Way To Be over the course of a year and a half in your apartment in New York. I can imagine it is incredibly rewarding to see these tracks finally come to life! How did you find the production process? What did you learn about yourself and your music during this process?
[youbet]: The production and recording process of Way To Be was a big learning experience for me because up until this album I had only really recorded demo style songs to my tascam 488 cassette recorder. For this record I invested in some recording gear and went more of a digital recording route with an Apollo interface, Logic Pro, and minimal plug ins. I watched a lot of YouTube videos about audio engineering and gear. I leveled up in my squeaky ass producer chair, and now I have all these skills I can take with me hopefully. 

I tell people that making this album felt like making a film even though I have zero experience in film making lol. I worked on recording it pretty much every single day for a year and a half. It wasn’t easy being the producer in the sense that I never really knew when something was truly done where as when you work with other people on these things it becomes more of a group influence and decision making is a little easier. I just kept chipping away at the stone trying to fulfill my creative desires. But at some point it’s gotta be finished and looking back I’m proud of how it came out. 

[CC]: What track off of the album feels the most personal to you? What track are you most excited to perform live?
[youbet]: ‘Peel’ feels very personal to me because the guitar and chords took me forever to write initially, and it was like digging for treasure in the ground. I knew I wanted to incorporate some flamenco influenced chords having been interested in flamenco guitar for years. I had so much fun producing this one. 

‘Peel’ is also pretty exciting to perform live. It has taken on a heavy persona with more distorted guitars, loud bass/drums. It’s also a fun groove to play, and it stands out from from other songs in our set for sure. 

[CC]: Can you share a memorable moment from the making of this album?
[youbet]: Well I had my cat Muggie sleeping on the couch next to where I was writing and recording every step of the way. He has seen it all. I think of how I would never get any music done some days just being constantly distracted and having to cuddle with him throughout each session. On the song ‘Do’ you can hear him purring in the intro of the song if you listen closely. 

[CC]: Lastly, if there is one thing that you would like people to take away from this album, what would it be?
[youbet]: I would like to think that each song is its own unique little snow globe of a world and that people can step into whichever one they are feeling. 

Way To Be is out now via Hardly Art Records.

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