Sparta Gets Prolific

Sparta Gets Prolific
Bands these days love to employ strange, cold methods of songwriting and recording: members recording in different towns, drums triggered to sound electronic, bands not writing songs as a whole. But for Porcelain, their second album, Sparta wanted to get as far away from all that as they could. It worked wonders: the album is a perfectly crafted opus of modern post-hardcore.

"After we finished touring for Wiretap Scars, we decided we'd move to the desert," explains drummer Tony Hajjar. "We moved to Joshua Tree, which is two hours south of here, in L.A. It was really community writing; if you didn't feel like writing that day, you just didn't do anything. You could eat, relax, watch TV, go out and walk in the desert, talk. So we wrote it as a four-piece, and there was this really nice family vibe going on the whole time we were doing it."

It's an approach that actually resulted in too many ideas. "My biggest problem is that when I'm in a work environment, I have to work. So I had to really control myself and say, ‘Just because I'm in my work environment doesn't mean I have to be working 24/7.' When you practice here in L.A., you practice, then you go home, and there's a separation. There, there was no separation — we wrote where we ate, where we watched TV. And we had so much material, we just pressed record and played. We had so many ideas flowing the whole time — there was never a lack of music. The problem was how many songs are we even going to have time to put together?"

Doesn't sound like the worst scenario in the world. "Yeah, it's a great problem to have," laughs Hajjar.