Interview: The Tower and The Fool

By Tom Aylott

On the back of the release of their debut album, ‘How Long’, we caught up with The Tower and The Fool singer, Alex Correia to talk about the album and bit behind the history of the band.

Hey! First of all can we get an introduction to who weโ€™re speaking to and what you do in the band?

Hey there! This is Alex, I sing and play guitar in The Tower and The Fool.

Can you give us a brief overview of The Tower and The Fool, I understand the band began as a two piece?

Thats right. I met my friend Chris Rosenquest about 4 or 5 years back through a few mutual friends. I had always been a fan of his solo work so when the time came for a change of pace for me musically we started hanging out more and more and writing music together. About 2 years ago I left the previous band I was in and in my free time we wrote even more songs. As the time to record drew near we talked to a friend of ours Mike Poorman who has a studio here called Strange Ways. Mike offered to track the 6 songs we had written and play drums on them. While we were in the studio we called a few other friends and invited them to come out and play on the songs as well. Once we had everything laid out and listened back it sort of just fell into place. We started rehearsing as a full band, playing more shows and then writing and tracking our latest record ‘How Long’.

How well did the band adjust going from a duo to a full band?

It was actually very natural. Chris and I wrote a lot of the songs with no real idea of anything else behind them. They were always these bare foundations. But as we added more creative minds to the mix it only started to fill things out and add a variety of color to the music. I feel as though the band really became a “band” after the release of our first EP and at the start of us collectively writing the music that turned out to be on the full length.

You released your debut full length ‘How Long’ on April 24th, how long has this album been in the making?

Well its been in the making for a little while now. We had started writing it about a year ago now and tracked it last fall. We never really wanted to rush or put too much pressure on anything. A lot of us live and work here in Providence so we really couldn’t drop everything we had and really devote ourselves to the band itself. But I think that really worked out in our favor this time. We had a great deal of time to toy with the songs and really strew with them. It was a great experience.

How did the link up with Run For Cover Records come about?

Well I’ve known Jeff at RFC for a while now. We have a lot of the same friends and would always see each other around Boston when I’d go up to hang out. I think he caught wind of it when I wrote the first song we ever had, before we even had a name or anything else in mind. He kept an ear out for it and after he heard the EP and saw the band we all sat down, had a few drinks and talked about putting some stuff together. It just sort of clicked.

Can you tell us a bit about the recording process behind the album?

Well, we practiced and did all the pre-pro at Mikes studio. Most of us live right up the street so we’d always hang there anyway. It was our home away from home (even though a few of us went crazy in there). It was really fun though. Recording basically went like this- Mike: “Hey want to track guitar for that song today?” Me: “Yea then lets go get a beer and get mexican food.” Mike: “okay.” That went on for about 2 months and then somehow we ended up with 10 songs haha.

Having had a listen to the album, it comes across as being an extremely personal and raw record, is this something you guys noticed while it was being written?

Yea totally. A great thing a lot of people don’t know is that Chris and I went through a lot of the same uncontrollable changes right as the band was starting. The name of the band is actually a representation of that. The fool being a blind, resilient and optimistic being- meeting the tower which is a place where natural uncontrollable disaster strikes. I think he and I writing these songs together was a way to get over all the things we were coping with. “the best way to get over a women is to turn her into literature” thats a line that I love, and one that I think falls right into the root of our lyrical content.

The title track ‘How Long’ seems especially emotional, what inspired the song?

Well, I read a book around the time of writing this song called “Iron John” by Robert Bly. The original story is a Grimm Brothers tale, however this book actually dissects that story and explains how it relates to a mans up bringing- some of which deals with love and the change that happens to a person because of it. I had dated someone a long time ago and sort of blended my feelings as we had split apart and what I had read in that book to create a story of a person who just can’t seem to step away from that feeling of all encompassing love, but wants to. Its exactly how I felt for a while. So what you hear, is basically my story of asking someone else when it would all end or as I say in the song “washes this away”.

The album contains two tracks from the first self titled EP, were they always meant to be used on the album? If not, what made you choose those songs to go on the album?

Well Breach and Fade Away were two songs we really enjoyed and felt like a lot of people may have not heard. We knew this record would be our first real release so we wanted to give those two songs a real chance to be heard.

Run For Cover Records are offering a 120 page book with the first 100 orders of the LP, itโ€™s a pretty unique piece of memorabilia, can you tell us more about it?

Thanks! Well its a compilation of photos, letters, poems, journal entries, and more from everyone in the band. The album cover image has a woman in a wreathe on it. That woman is off of the “World” tarot card. Its been told to me that when you receive this card in a certain sequence it symbolizes sharing your struggles and feelings with the world. We found the book to be a great representation of that. I think there are a lot of personal elements to these songs and what we’re offering with the book is a way for people to get a closer glimpse into who we are and why we do what we do.

Do you have any plans to release the record in the UK and do you think we can expect to see The Tower and The Fool over here any time soon?

I hope you all get it! And we’d love to come to the UK and tour. Hopefully we can make it over sometime soon so you can hear these tunes live!

Do you have anything you want to add?

I’d just like to thank you all for your interest in The Tower and The Fool. Hope to see you soon!

Our review of the album:

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]