FEATURE: Secret Space Talk Inspiration, Perspective

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Interview by: Annette Hansen

Words by: Annette Hansen

For music fans our favorite albums are sacred relics, but what would it be like to hear those albums again is a whole new way. Less than a year out from the release of their debut album The Window Room, Secret Space pondered that as well. The band, however, wondered what it would sound like to take their own album and rework it into something new, that something being The Window Room Pt. 2: Lost in a Dream, released March 17, 2017 via Equal Vision Records.

“I think albums should be revisited more often,” states vocalist and guitarist Dean Tartaglia. “I keep going back to this quote when people ask me about this record, I’ll paraphrase, but it’s something Bob Dylan said about how people get really caught up in the recording of a song itself, but I think the song is like an essence. You can change a lot of the details about it, but you’ll get the same essence at the end of the day.”

It was that mindset that Tartaglia says drove Secret Space to reimagine the essence they had created with The Window Room.

“I don’t think if you record a version [of a song]that it’s how you should play it forever,” he expresses. “We feel like we’re a prolific band and that’s what we always want to offer, just a new take on what we’re doing.”

The result was a raw and stripped down album featuring four songs from the original album as well as a few b-sides and a couple of covers. The Window Room Pt. 2 shows what Secret Space had accomplished with their debut in a vulnerable light.

“We made some conscious production choices to make it feel really personal,” Tartaglia explains. “I only wanted like three takes for an instrument because we wanted to be like ‘hey, if this is meant to sound a little fucked up in spots, then that’s what it’s meant to sound like’.”

For Tartaglia there’s something more raw and honest to a track when the glamor is peeled away, “Once you hear a stripped down song, something you know really well, it makes you feel completely different,” he says. “You respect the song more.”

With this new release Tartaglia felt like he could not only offer a new perspective to the music he had previously made, but also showcase elements that may have gotten lost in translation. He hopes the more laidback tracks will expose hidden influences within his songwriting.

“I kind of went back to the roots of what I was influenced by,” Tartaglia describes. “I’m just excited with the idea that maybe someone will hear a song like ‘Cast Iron’ that we redid that really sounds a lot like Elliott Smith now, and then maybe when they hear the full band version, they’ll hear those influences that are there but are less obvious.”

Tartaglia feels that watching his own songs morph and grow has been rewarding, “Stripping [a song]back and seeing what it was when we started, after playing the song so many times live, having the song be out for a year or whatever, it’s cool.” he says. “It keeps you rooted.”

The very nature of this reworked album is part of the prolific vibe that Tartaglia wants to create with Secret Space, using the band to channel every corner of their writing and creativity rather than jumping from one project to the next.

“This was my track for a while,” Tartaglia explains. “I would be in a band for two years and then would just start a new project. We’re at the two year point with Secret Space and that’s just not going to happen…This is a long haul type situation.”

And putting together The Window Room Pt. 2 was a chance for Tartaglia to better understand himself as a writer for the band to better understand who they are as Secret Space, “Doing this re-imagined album felt really good like ‘hey, I think I know all the sides of myself now’ looking at these songs.”
For Tartaglia and the band as a whole, this is just one more step in the right direction of working out what they have to offer as artists, “I think I’ve always been searching for my voice even if I feel like I’ve found it now more than ever.”

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