Interview with Petal : "Magic Gone" Album Interview

-We heard that the Petal is a rock band with you being the main and the only permanent member. We’d like to know why do you not have any fixed members in your band?

Petal has had many interations but it’s always been my project. I love writing music for a full band sound, but primarily it’s just me.

-When did you start creating your music? What got you started playing and making music?

I grew up around music. My mom was a public school music teacher and our church choir director and my dad was a big music fan. I would sing all the time and pretend to play guitar and piano. I started studying classical piano when I was 5 years old and studied voice as well. I wrote my first song when I was 10 and just always was obsessed with rock music and the history of it in America. I always wanted to know more about the songwriters I loved and got a lot of joy out of singing in choirs and writing music.

-In the previous album, “Shame”, we felt you cherish the live music feeling in your music and your MVs. Compared to this, your new album, “Magic Gone” is even more sophisticated than the previous album in the arrangement of songs and production of MVs. Is there anything you are conscious regarding the different parts between the previous album and this album?

Thank you! I wanted to make Magic Gone even more authentic to a live recording. We did everything in whole takes in the live room so that we could get the most real and emotional takes possible. I also played all the instruments except the drums which was a unique challenge. I wanted the the lyrics and the performance to be the focus and have the recording be super crisp and honest. I think on the previous album I was afraid to really sing and on Magic Gone I felt more confident.

-One of the charms of Petal’s music is simply the beautiful and incredible vocals, which touches our hearts. How did you record this album? Please share with us, your recording experience or experiences in detail.

Thank you so much. By recording the vocals in whole takes, we were able to record a truly live performance. It was important to me to let the words and the meaning behind them shape the vocal performance. Some days it was really hard to sing through the songs because it felt so painful. But I didn’t want it to sound easy, I wanted the singing to be representative of my experiences. I’d go in the studio early and warm up and sing through Puberty 2, A Seat At The Table, and After Laughter to get my voice ready to go and get excited about singing. 

-Your music is deeply fascinating and it pulls us into the world of your music. Your music sticks to our minds once we listen to your music. What do you seek for in sounds and moods when you create your music?

I try to be open minded to different sounds and styles. Primarily I focus on melody and words. I like crisp drums and warm vocals. My voice is naturally more treble-y so I have to be mindful of that. Mostly I want to create an album that you can listen to straight through and feel like you’re reading a book or being told a story.

-Will Yip produced this album. Why did you decide to work with him? How was it working with him?

Will is easily one of the most talented, thoughtful, and dedicated musicians and producers out there. Not only is he a good friend, he is such a strong support system creatively and will push you to try new things. No one mics a room like him. He also has such a wide range of musicianship so his ear is sharp and he can make a song reach its fullest potential no matter the genre. He is the best there is.

-The record of “Magic Gone” has a beautiful sentiment, which makes us feel so emotionally moved in our hearts. We felt this album including the title tune, has somewhat of a story. Is there anything you are particular about when creating your record?

This record is about mental health, queerness, and love. Side A and Side B both represent different parts of a very difficult period in my life. The first side being more scared and dangerous, and the second side being vulnerable and strong. I want each song to stand on its own while being a cohesive piece as an album. The record is about letting go of the notion of “having it together” and embracing change and fear.

-We felt your lyrics include sentiment and sadness, beautifulness, which stirs up our heats. It also has feelings of vividness as if we can really touch it, and at the same time it has fragility as if we are in a dream. How did you write your lyrics? Is there anything you are conscious about when you write your lyrics?

I write lyrics very sporadically. They come in flashes and I have to write them down as quickly as possible. I try not to be too judgemental of what I’m writing and let the imagery that is coming to mind grow and flourish. Mostly I try to be specific.

-In this record, side A has mainly honest and pureness in your sounds while side B is little more darker and has graceful sounds. There is a contrast. Why did you create compositions like these? What are you particular regarding the order of the songs in this record?

Yes we wanted the track listing to be representative of the progression of the experiences. Sonically it represents the stages of grief and acceptance and the wavering mental state I was in before and after seeking treatment and coming out.

-What meaning(s) and/or feeling(s) are put into side A title “Tightrope Walker” and side B title “Miracle Clinger” respectively?

Side A is about risking your well being to present as someone who is put together. Like a tightrope walker it takes a lot of practice and when executed well, it is truly impressive. You almost forget how dangerous it truly is.

Miracle Clinger is about having this almost frustrating amount of optimism despite all of the pain you feel. You can’t help but believe it’s going to be okay even though you’re not sure it will be.

-What meaning(s) and/or feeling(s) are put into your album title, “Magic gone”?

That letting go can feel debilitating, but it can open up a world of opportunity to grow.

-Last year, we heard you toured with Julien Baker, who came to Japan this year. We were moved by her last performance during her visit in Japan. How was it touring with her? Please share with us something you learned from this experience, if any. And also, please share with us your experiences with any other artists who inspired you recently.

Julien is truly an incredible person. Shes funny, kind, thoughtful, and so immensely talented. Touring with her is a blast. She inspires me to be braver in my writing and to trust myself when performing. She also inspires me to be a better person and to let my freak flag fly. I also love Kevin Devine, Slingshot Dakota, Tigers Jaw, cave people, Cherry, Manchester Orchestra, and Death Cab For Cutie.

-Please tell me artists who have influenced your band in regards to Petal’s musicality and what Petal is as a band. Also, please tell us how they have influenced you in detail.

I’m very influenced by Queen, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Mitski, Death Cab for Cutie, David Bazan, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, and the Talking Heads. All of their music is so riveting and the storytelling in their songs is unparalleled. Also they all have such unique voices and it makes me want to embrace how my voice naturally sounds.


-How would you like people to listen to this album?

With an open mind and from top to bottom!

-We are looking forward to seeing your performance in Japan someday. Please give a message to your fans, here in Japan.

I’m so excited to meet all of you and so grateful for all of your support! Thank you for listening and I cannot wait to play for you. <3

---------- Answer from Kiley Lotz

Petal 『Magic Gone』

Now on Sale


[Side A]

Better Than You


I'm Sorry



[Side B]

Magic Gone



Something From Me



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