Baruch The Scribe

Baruch The Scribe - February 2012

Baruch The Scribe Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: May 8, 2011
Posting Date: February 13, 2012
Artist Hometown: Denton, TX
Links: Tumblr, Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Not The Same
Isn’t It Pretty To Think So #1
ONE: Tell us about your new album. What was the writing and recording process like?
Judson Valdez: Well, the last time around, we— or I guess “I”, it was kind of a different group of people at the time, but we had a lot of outside help and I wasn’t really happy with it, so this time we decided that we were just going to try to keep it all in-house. Chance has been doing all the recording and mixing and all of that, and we just did it in all of our different houses, in different rooms, you know, to get different sounds for different things, and it’s pretty much kind of culminating the sound that we’ve been doing for the past year or so. It’s a lot more…a lot more upbeat and experimental, kind of…I don’t know. Just a little more…the last recording that we did was a lot more chilled out, so we kind of just decided that, for this one, we wanted to amp it up and get real big, so…
Chance Maggard: It’s been interesting recording everything. It’s been…how long have we been doing it? I feel like we’ve been doing it for a really long time…
Kristen Bryant: About a year now.
Chance: We’ve run into a few problems along the way, but I think we’re finally to the point where it’s…it’s just interesting to record, and, you know, we practice in a room with a less than ideal PA, and I know that we all know what we’re doing while we’re practicing, but there was a moment when we were recording when Kristen, you know, she did her take with her vocals and she’s running it through the effects, and I thought it was a great take, and then I just see her over there fiddling with the little knobs throughout the board, and it dawned on me that, like, everything we’ve been doing, we’ve all just…we know our parts, and it’s just crazy to see somebody sit with a delay pedal and then change it after the take. Like, she realized that it sounded wrong, and I didn’t, but I realized that we all know exactly what we’re doing, and then sometimes during practice I feel like we might just be fiddling with knobs, but we all know exactly what we’re doing!
Judson: We spent a long— equally as much time, kind of a third playing the actual instruments, a third all effects, just like, messing with everything, and then a third deciding on what samples and transitions are going to be, and that’s kind of…right now, we’re done with the mixing, and I’m going back and adding all of these field recordings that we’ve done over the past couple of years. Just like, people talking and interesting conversations, and different sounds and different atmospheres and things like that, so…
TWO: What inspired your dramatic change in style from your earlier music?
Judson: Well, as I said before, it was a completely different group of people that I kind of started out with, and I guess that we were doing kind of more…I guess an experimental folk kind of thing, and I’d kind of always wanted to make music like we’re doing now, but I was always…I guess I kind of had this idea that it wouldn’t be very well received, so I guess I was kind of holding back to do what for some reason in my mind I felt would be more…I guess ‘generally acceptable?’ And then, when the three of them jumped in and we started doing our own thing, it kind of naturally started shifting towards that anyway, and I just remember kind of at one point us being like, “Let’s just do this and not worry at all about whether people like it or whether they think it’s just noise,” or whatever, and it’s just…it kind of is what it is now.
Kristen: Yeah, I feel like when the four of us came together, we kind of solidified, like…because Judson had gone through several people in the band, and we kind of solidified. This is Baruch the Scribe, the four of us, and when we became a band instead of just playing Judson’s music I think we realized that this is the sound that we want to make together, that this like…we fit really well together doing this, and so it just kind of developed.
MB: Do you each write your own parts?
Judson: It’s a little bit of both. Usually, our process is that I’ll kind of write a song either on the Korg or on guitar or just some instrument, kind of have the vocals and the melody and kind of that, and then we’ll just jam it for a few practices and try different things, and kind of help each other write our parts. It’s a very collaborative thing now, which I really like a lot more than just like, “Hey, here’s this song that’s all the way done, just play this part.”
THREE: Where did you get the name Baruch the Scribe?
Judson: Well, I am very very into literature, and so that and all of our songs and most of the lyrics are all literature references to different things that I’ve read. Baruch the Scribe is a biblical reference from the Book of Jeremiah. It’s basically…Jeremiah, he was a prophet that…I forget, I think he’s called the sad prophet or something like that…I don’t remember. It’s something like that. Basically, God tells him “Go preach, you know, to the city. Tell them to change their ways, or I’m going to destroy the city.” So, he’s doing this for years and years and years, devoting his life to it, and nothing is changing and nothing is turning around, and God says, “You know, I want you to make this scroll and write down everything that I’ve had you go preach to the city.” So, Baruch was the scribe that wrote it for him. Jeremiah was a wanted man at the time, so Baruch takes the scroll, after a year of working on it, to the city, and God says, “Read it. Go walk around and read it to the city.” So he does that and the king calls him, so he goes to the king and the king demands the scroll, and without reading it the king just throws it in the fire. So, a year of work just goes into the fire. Baruch goes back and tells Jeremiah, and God says to do it again. So they spend another year of their life rewriting this scroll, and they go out and do it again. That’s the first mention of him. The second and only other mention of him in the Bible is a little while later, when Baruch is basically dissatisfied and says, “No one is listening! None of these people care what we have to say! What’s the point of doing this?” And God says to Jeremiah, “Tell Baruch that I’m about to destroy this city and all of the people in it, and you two will get to escape with your lives.” So, you know, it’s kind of a…to me, it’s a story that symbolizes a drive beyond, kind of…how did I say it? I guess it just represents a kind of personal motivation for me. Instead of looking towards the obvious things around me and looking for immediate change or immediate acceptance or things like that, to just find acceptance in myself and in God as well.
– Interview by Michael Briggs/Transcription by Dale Jones