INTERVIEW: Eken Is Dead frontman Chris Navarrete

Chris Navarette of Eken Is Dead PHOTO: Nomotiv Photo

LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2015 — Felony Records seems to be on the rise with the recent announcements of their plans to release new albums from Sic Waiting, Skipjack, Emmer Effer, and Eken Is Dead. While one may have assumed that Los Angeles band Eken Is Dead has always been part of Felony Records, they would have been wrong.

Only recently did the band announce that they were officially part of the Felony Records family. With that announcement, came a three-song EP called Full Disclosure, which is currently available via Felony Records. Frontman Chris Navarrete recently spoke with Wells On Music regarding Felony Records and the new Eken Is Dead EP.


Kevin Wells: How long have you known [Felony Records owner] Ron McIntyre?”

Chris Navarrete: I’ve known Ron since like 2004. We met and he had heard some tunes from my old band Profusion. He signed us and helped us get our music out there. We’ve known each other for over ten years, and he was in my wedding party. He is a jack of all trades and just a good person. Ron has helped me out with a ton of things in life, and never wanted anything in return. We always come up with crazy and progressive ideas for all that has to do with music, and sometimes we actually do it. He is a selfless person and has always helped throughout the process that is Eken Is Dead. “Felony” Ron has already directed a video of ours, Tour Map, and has always helped us with flyers, art, album layouts, and advice.

KW: Why is Eken just now officially joining Felony Records?

CN: Felony Records has been with us this whole time, so it just made sense to officially join forces. Why did it take took so long? I’m not really sure. I think Eken Is Dead originally wanted to start our own label. We thought we could do everything and also help other bands. It’s just too much! While we help other bands all the time, we just couldn’t run a label at the same time. We are excited to put out new music as always and feel we have put out our best yet.

KW: Why did you opt to do a three song release as opposed to something more like a full length?

CN: Well when we wrote Outlier, our goal was to put out two short releases within a year. We fell a little short of that goal, but we had a drummer change. We just wanted to get our new drummer, Simon [Johnson] on a record, so he had his face on it and would feel more a part of Eken Is Dead. We only had a couple months, so we just went with what we came up with and loved. We have always been about quality over quantity in this band. It was cool to really hone in on three tracks and polish them even more, and I believe it stands out when you listen.

KW: Did you guys try to do anything differently on this recording than you have on your past recordings?

CN: In the past, we have done everything ourselves. This time around we worked with Rob Fabio in the tracking process. Outlier and Full Disclosure were both done at Fletcher Dragge’s studio, The Screaming Leopard. in Hermosa Beach. We chose Paul Miner, who has worked with too many rad bands to list, to mix and master [the EP].

KW: How did the writing process go for these songs?

CN: Full Disclosure is a closer look inside the band and what we have gone through. This writing process was the toughest we have ever had in our four releases. There was a lot of fighting, yelling, and struggling with each other during this time. Full Disclosure was a tough time for us; our personal life intertwining with band life and exploding on record. Some of us have been together a while, and cooped up in a van or small rehearsal space. Sometimes you want to fight each other and sometimes you want to party. Though I wouldn’t elect for it to happen like this again, I think it made the songs that much more special.

KW: Are there plans to do a full length in the future?

CN: We plan to write again after our tour coming up. We didn’t set a limit on how many songs it would be, but it will definitely be more than three. We like to put out songs on a constant rather than wait two or three years for a full length.


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