Josh Reedy: Man, I tell you, it's a blast. We just have a kindredship as musicians and as players. As we've gotten to know each other, we feel more like brothers. There's a lot of excitement and passion that comes from his end. Some producers don't work like that. They're all great. There are great producers that just do it differently. But a big thing for us when we do a record is making sure the song is right and the range is right. Another big thing for us is having a really good time. If we're not having a good time making a record, it's gonna show and you're gonna hear it.
Josh: Yeah man, we do. We'll go back and redo guitar stuff, and I like to make sure I'm doing everything right on the bass and all that. But we track live. You gotta capture that live energy, especially for the drummer. It's definitely very critical for him to be on top of his game and feeling like it's a unit, because you play off of each other. It's a real push and pull thing that happens in rock and roll music that you really can't sometimes capture by just doing it track by track by track, building it like that. So yeah, we're excited about it.
Josh: We'll go with the rock first. My favorite rock tune on the record is probably a song called "Gasoline." It's basically a song about how God is like gasoline burning out of control. The original idea for the song was actually along the lines of a "love machine taking over my soul." We thought that people might take "Love Machine" a little wrong. *laughs* The "Love Machine" lyrics still made it into the song because we're referring to heaven's love machine. That song is pretty in-your-face and smoking, man. It's just a big nasty riff. And we have a little surprise in the middle of the tune. There's a total change in the scene where it basically comes down to a children's choir and all this orchestration. We brought in all sorts of trumpets and trumpet strings, almost like a Brian Wilson type of thing from his album Smile. It's almost like a little gasoline parade kind of going on. We're trying to give the listener something that creates a moment instead of just song after song that sounds the same. We don't want to do that. We don't want to make a record like that. It's okay if you're an artist and you do that, but we have a lot of influences that allow us to not always sound the same. We were afraid of that in the beginning.
Erik Miker: There's a tune on there called "Satisfy" and it's kind of our southern, The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stones influenced track. It's just fun to play live.
Josh: Yeah!! You heard it!
Erik: Yeah, That's a fun one.
Josh: It can be, yeah. But we're a band that can play together and we feel proud and strong musically. We spent time in the woodshed growing up, per say, just practicing our butts off. That really pays off in the studio. We're in the same room together. Boone Daughdrill, our drummer, is in a big, glassed-in portion, but we're right there. (Erik: If it wasn't for the glass, we could throw something at him). It really is just us getting together, hooking up, and playing. That's what we like about the studio that we do it in, which is called Southern Tracks, which is where we did the first record. All kinds of killer records have been made there. Third Day did a lot of stuff there. They did Time there, Offerings, Offerings II, and just a bunch of others. They're really the only other Christian act that's really recorded there. The Black Crowes have recorded there, Stone Temple Pilots, and Train did Drops of Jupiter there. It's just countless. You go in and look at the wall and think "Wow!" It's definitely a great vibe and just a cool place to record and it's laid back. Time is not an issue, so it's real nice.
Josh: One thing that gets us excited as a band as far as making music and playing it live is seeing Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan and all of these guitar greats. What they were doing. What he did with Cream... From them to like Aerosmith, Tom Petty with his "Runnin' Down a Dream" thing. Watching things like that really inspired me to want to make myself a better player and a better writer. I'm really passionate about that era of music. There's something special about it. It probably will never happen again.
Josh: Yes, they finally did something right. Y'know what I'm saying? Because they got out of MTV out of the picture. They took the pop thing out, and I have nothing against pop, but it's like, you know, get a great American artist in there that has great songs and great prestige. I'm a big fan of his and I just love that kind of music. Now as far as what's going on in the Christian music world, I'm really excited to be able to do shows and hear music that bands like needtobreathe are coming out with. We're good friends with those guys and they put out that second record and we were like "This is the kind of music that we want to be associated with."
Josh: Yeah, so finally there was some good music. And I don't mean to say that in a bad way, but you know what I'm saying. We're great friends with a lot of bands like MercyMe, Casting Crowns, and I've loved Steven Curtis Chapman from the day he came out. I grew up with a lot of that stuff, so I'm trying to incorporate that into what we do. That inspires me and that's what I love.
Erik: The stuff that we all grew up on from our dad's old record collections like Chicago and Led Zeppelin inspire us. John Mayer, we listen to a lot of him, he's kind of bringing back the whole vibe.
Josh: It's just that good. *laughs*
Josh: That's such a cool quote. That's incredible. It's really a perfect statement because there is a lot of musical confusion. But you know what, we're just trying to make music that we feel great about listening to. Even when we're in the studio, there's a whole lot of "Okay, we've gotta play the game. Do you put your foot on the line here or there?" You've gotta be careful because there is a fine line to ride, but you still need to be yourself though. You've gotta write songs and record them in a way that radio will play them. That's the only way you can put food on the table these days is to do that and have their support. It's a tricky game. As long as you feel good about it and you feel great about the song and the direction, then it's good. We've told ourselves, "You know what, we're not gonna let this thing come out until it's right, until we know that it's good and we're proud of it." This person over here may not think that, but at the end of the day, if I can lie my head down and say "I did what I was supposed to do and I followed what was in my heart and my gut," that's what's going to make it great to play live and live with it for years. It's going to live longer than we ever will, as far as on this Earth. We want to leave something that somebody can go back and listen to and say "This is still good."
Erik: Recently, God has been teaching us about what it means to humble and how that's gonna affect our lives and our ministry. Our shows, like the one you saw in Pennsylvania, remind us that it's not about us and that it's not necessarily even about rock and roll. It's about writing songs that minister to people. It's a tough lesson to learn sometimes but I'd rather learn it now.
Josh: God has a funny sense of humor. You've got this whole GMA week, and it matters, and you want to push yourself and be seen, but God's not really concerned with that. He's gonna bless you with opportunities like that and send us people like you that basically let people see what's good. All the shameless self-promotion that everyone has to do…it's not all about that. We go and do shows with Third Day with awesome production, great crowds, and then we go and do a show the other night in the middle-of-nowhere, Mississippi with two Peavey speakers basically frying the whole night. And at the end of the night, you've got to connect. That's what it's about. Yeah, you wanna rock, you wanna have a good time, you wanna play good songs and get the people moving, but if they don't connect with you and make that relationship real with them, it all ends right there. That's what makes a difference for them and for you. That's what we strive for.
Josh: Exactly, it brings on a whole different dimension, like you said. It's great. I've been able to meet a few artists that I grew up listening to. I go back and listen to their stuff, and the live show just brings a whole new life to it. It reminds you of that time, it reminds you of the first time you heard the song and where you were. Music can speak to you in more ways than just what it's saying. You probably know that better than anyone because you listen to a lot of music. *laughs*
Josh: Sure, exactly. That's right.
Josh: When you have a visual, as soon as you stick in the record, you can remember what it looks like.
Josh: Exactly, when you go get the record and put it in and it's as good as the live show - when they've captured whatever it is live that works. When they've captured that, and when you listen to that...
Erik: Y'all saw that show?!
Erik: Even when the Third Day tour was over, we found ourselves popping in a Sanctus Real record or a Third Day record and just thinking about the tour.
Josh: We're wanting to start doing more of that because we're a band that loves to jam. That's something that we really want to bring into the live show a little more as we're able to do sets at different festivals and on tours and stuff like that. We've just kind of become friends just this week with Lincoln Brewster. Lincoln's just a bad to the bone guitar player. I'm proud to say we have a guitar player. Erik's on rhythm and Brian's over there he just rips it up. He could solo for hours. He spends time on the computer just learning all of the licks from Eric Clapton and all these people. He learns all these things and just makes it his own. We really want to start doing more of that because we love doing that kind of thing. They want to do a live album and hopefully it'll rip. A guy like Keith Urban, who has great songs and does them live and then all of a sudden there's this other dimension to that fact that he's an unbelievable guitar player.
Erik: If you liked the last record or if you're just now hearing about us, we are way more excited about this next record… the project and everything together with the way it flows and the energy. We were a little bit worried for a while because it's our sophomore record and there's a lot of pressure, but once we started working on it, we were like "Man, God's really blessed us with a great part two."
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