Last year was big for Secret Space, the three-piece alternative/indie/call-it-whatever-you-want band, consisting of Dean Tartaglia, Steven Warstler, and Zach Ruetz (all familiar names in Toledo’s music scene). The band signed with Equal Vision Records near the end of 2015 and in the summer of 2016, released their debut full-length album, “The Window Room,” touring extensively throughout the year.
Their new release, “The Window Room Part 2; Lost In a Dream,” out March 17th, revisits some tracks from their debut album. “When I listen to The Window Room, I feel like somewhat of a different person now,” says Tartaglia, frontman and primary songwriter for the band. “With the reimagined songs, I felt like I wanted to revisit that one more time, and with this one (album) we captured the right feeling.”
Inside The Box
Having experimented with different approaches and many different sounds over the years, Tartaglia seems more settled with this project than with previous ones. “Everything I’ve ever done has bounced around a lot of different sounds on one record, but for this we decided to just do one sound for 35 minutes and put it out,” he explains. “When you listen to it, everything sounds kind of the same, but I like it. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.”
With such a high level of musical accessibility these days, setting limits on your creativity can be a challenge. “It often seems like bands are so obsessed with being ‘outside of the box,’ but I think you’ve gotta find a box to be in first,” says Tartaglia. “There are so many options now compared to years ago, that being in a box is kind of hard.”
Their debut album was recorded and produced by Will Yip (known for working with Lauryn Hill, Circa Survive, The Fray, mewithoutYou, and many others) in Philadelphia, but Part 2 was tracked and produced independently by the band, with drummer Steven Warstler utilizing his talents and expertise as an audio engineer for this one. They tracked most of it at his recently opened studio space, The Master Bedroom, in Toledo’s Old West End. “We went back through the album and picked one song that we thought would work really well,” says Warstler. “We started off experimenting with different ideas, but we kept going back to this sort of lo-fi sound and worked relentlessly until we got it done.”
Five of the tracks are reimagined from the first album, and they’ve also added three new songs that were b-sides at the time of their last recording, and two cover songs. “The label was into it, so we just went for it. Every chance we get to be prolific, I just have to take it”, says Tartaglia.
The band has intentions to to get back in the studio with Yip by the end of the year to record a complete full-length album. In the meantime, check them out on tour this spring. On March 24, Tartaglia will be doing a solo acoustic performance at their studio space in the Old West End.
For more details visit secretspacemusic.com.