Synthy club sounds surround the usual lyrics of The Passport’s “Trigger,” on their new EP re-release, and build to a tasteful electronic rendition of the Memphis band’s first single.
The track steadily builds as singer Kyle Pruzina croons, “I ain’t seen a lot of peace in the days I’ve traveled. I’ve got blood on my teeth from the latest battle” and immediately pulsates with, “Baby don’t you know I’m tryin’. I’m tryin’ and you know I’ve fallen down.”
Though the original version of “Trigger” can be heard on the band’s debut EP “Memories,” released in February of this year, “More Memories” is a deluxe re-release that dropped on Aug. 18 that features the new, infectious studio-track “Dreamers,” as well the two electronic remixes that drummer Kirk Teachout and lead singer Kyle Pruzina chose to piece together themselves.
Teachout, who operates Rise Studios and mixed down The Passport’s EP and re-release, is proud of the work his band has accomplished.
“We try to do everything ourselves,” Teachout said. “We like being Jacks of all trades.”
Pruzina also said how personal it was altering a song that he had originally written and sung for this special re-release.
“I took the ‘left you in a hurry’ line and kind of expanded it, which I think kind of changed the mood the song,” Pruzina said. “It’s sort of more represents a fear of being diverted or a fear of losing a relationship which may not be as apparent in the original version. I put it in a minor tonality and that kinda kicks in a lot of suspense sonically.”
Though the two are excited about their EDM-renditions of the band’s original songs, Teachout stressed that instrumentation is still an important part of what The Passport is about, even if stringed instruments seem to be scarcely audible over the airwaves nowadays.
“We all listen to bands like Yellowcard and Third Eye Blind - 90’s rock that was all the rave, and on the radio back before only electronic pop was on the radio,” Teachout said. “For us it’s kind of about it’s trying to bring instruments back on the table instead of just being behind a computer and creating. That’s still a talent, but we want to utilize all of our talents.”
Memphis music mainstay Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell will help the band utilize those talents for their next EP. Mitchell most recently and notably produced Mark Ronson’s and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk!” widely known as a giant hit for Royal Studios located here in Memphis. Recording for the EP is expected to begin in October.
“I worked with Boo for almost a year and I have a really good relationship with him,” Teachout said. “I think that we’re going to pull a very radio-friendly, but Memphis ‘rock’ record out of there. It’s all about Memphis and the sound we can get out of here to try to get Memphis back on the map musically. Boo’s already trying to do that. We’re all trying to be a part of the success of Memphis.”
Pruzina said how “wildly excited” he is to have Mitchell work with the band, as well as another group of musicians responsible for the Mark Ronson chart-topper.
“We’re actually going to have the horn section that played on ‘Uptown’ for one of our songs on the record,” Pruzina said. “The Memphis Horns. We’re not sure how many of the 12 or 15 songs are going to end up on the record but I’m pretty sure that ‘Knockout’ is going to be something that people like.”
Teachout foresees The Passport becoming a Memphis staple as the city experiences musical and artistic growth in the future.
“We think that Memphis is definitely on the rise, that there’s a lot of crazy things happening especially in the next 5 to 10 years,” Teachout said. “We see that; we want to be a huge force in that.”
Pruzina already enjoys looking back on the band playing here at University of Memphis for the 2015 Spring Fling Festival.
“The best moment of the whole day was after we finished playing and we started throwing a Frisbee around,” Pruzina said. “Holden (guitar) was wearing some real slippery chucks, he goes up for a catch, and he made like a ten foot trail on one foot gliding straight; he caught the thing but then landed on his back it in the mud. It was hilarious, but that’s what we love to do. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’ll try to make it a good time.”