Ten years after forming at high school in Jackson, Mississippi, The Weeks are a unit fortified by familiarity. A decade devoted to rock ‘n’ roll has fused a bond between the quartet that leaves little need for conversation, for their music does all the talking. They are - almost literally - a brotherhood.
At the centre of this telepathic fraternity are twins Cyle and Cain Barnes - on vocals and drums respectively - who are joined by comrades Samuel Williams on guitar and Damien Bone on drums.
They’re steeped in the classic components of southern rock, creating swampy songs that draw influence from the abundant soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll sounds that have long coalesced in the humid air that swirls down that way. Having penetrated their bloodstream, The Weeks turn these elements into a distinctly natural and instinctive sound of their own that’s as sexy as it is smart. They’ve been compared to early Kings Of Leon, and it’s an association that both bands appreciate: The Weeks were previously on the Kings’ own Serpents & Snakes label, on which they released albums ‘Gutter Gaunt Gangster’ and ‘Dear Bo Jackson’, and only recently supported their friends on their North American tour.
Third record ‘Easy’ is released next Friday, but Clash has the global exclusive stream to let you hear it a week early.
Speaking about the refined sonic palette of ‘Easy’, Damien explained: “We just wanted to make a rock record. We weren’t as concerned about making it a southern rock record. The southern thing is always going to part of what we do.”
“With the last record we threw the kitchen sink at it,” Samuel adds. “The arrangements were lush and flushed out with horns and singers and pedal steels and even a track where we had a dozen friends with different sized floor toms like a Nigerian wedding drum circle. With 'Easy' we wanted to strip it back and write songs with less chords and focus more on keeping it simple. Our time away was really introspective into what we do best and how do we do it better. We’ve always been a rock band first so we just dug our heels into Thin Lizzy/T Rex/Big Star/ZZ Top and let ’er rip.”
Recording took place at the legendary and historic Ardent Studios in Memphis, a city symbolically in the middle of hometown Jackson and new home, Nashville. The geographic retreat enabled that space required to determine and effect change, but the studio itself also played its part.
“We made the record in the same room as The Replacements’ ‘Pleased To Meet Me’ and ZZ Top’s ‘Tres Hombres’,” Sam reveals, “so it was hard to keep that juju from dropping into the record. The only organ on the record is Booker T’s Hammond from ‘Green Onions’, and the Mellotrons were on the Big Star records. Memphis and Ardent Studios were a big part of the sound.”
Reflecting on the album’s title, Cyle admitted: “We called it ‘Easy’ because every time I make music with these guys, it’s easy. It feels good. But the other side of it is there’s nothing easy about being in a band. There’s nothing easy about staying together for 10 years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us.”
“We toured ‘Dear Bo Jackson’ for so long that we knew if we immediately followed that with a record and another tour it would fry us,” Samuel says. “We wanted to take a step back and get back to our band dynamic when we were teenagers. We literally had five sleepovers a week where we’d just hang and write music with no intentions whatsoever. With all the issues that bands run into when it comes to staying together for over 10 years, our answer has always been, “Easy.” Things that take bands down have never phased us.”
‘Easy’ can be streamed now for your listening pleasure. It is also available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. The new video for lead single ‘Talk Like That’, shot entirely by Cain Barnes, can be seen below.
The Weeks tour dates (with Passion Pit)
March 30: Lexington, KY - Cosmic Charlie’s
March 31: Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
April 4: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
April 5: Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
April 6: Washington, DC - DC9
April 7: Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
April 8: Columbus, OH - Basement
April 9: Pittsburgh, PA - Club Café
April 13: Birmingham, AL - Saturn
April 14: Atlanta, GA - Earl
April 20: Charlotte, NC - Visulite
April 21: Chattanooga, TN - Revelry Room
April 22: Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
April 26: Hattiesburg, MS - Dollar Box Showroom
April 27: Oxford, MS - The Lyric Oxford†
April 28: Jackson, MS - Martin’s
April 29: Starkville, MS - Rick’s Café
May 2: Dallas, TX - Prophet Bar
May 3: Austin, TX - Antone’s
May 5: Phoenix, AZ - Pub Rock
May 6: San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
May 9: Los Angeles, CA - Roxy
May 11: San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
May 13: Portland, OR - Analog Theater
May 14: Seattle, WA - Barboza
May 18: Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
May 19: Kansas City, MO - Riot Room
May 20: St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
May 21: Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall