DJ: None. [laughter] I live in Muscle Shoals and they live on Long Island. So… let me see, did we rehearse? Maybe we rehearsed a day or two. I think we might have. I think we did, yeah. I'm sorry-I just told you a bald-faced lie.
DC: That's all right; you corrected yourself, so it doesn't count.
DJ: We rehearsed for two days before we recorded the album, and went in there and in six days recorded sixteen tracks, all of which we could not put on the CD, of course, but we went ahead and did the sixteen tracks. But I don't think we played any of the songs more than twice in the studio.
DC: That's a pretty productive rate of efficiency, that's for sure. Was all the material already prepared when you started recording?
DJ: Yeah, pretty much. The only song that we really had to kind of finish writing in the studio was "He Said/She Said," and I hadn't finished the lyrics until I think the day I recorded it [laughs], or something like that. So that one was really the only one that we had to work on in the studio; the others we had played. But we had never played that song together.
DC: How structured were the arrangements when you guys got set to do takes? Did you pinpoint specific songs where the band was going to stretch out a little bit, or did you just leave it to the spirit of the moment?
DJ: You have to have some kind of a game plan that is always ready to be augmented [laughs] or done away with.
DC: Sure. Well, that must be part of the fun of it, too.
DJ: But it's part of the fun of it. So you have some kind of a structure, at least somewhere to start, and you go from there and sometimes you veer way far away from that and sometimes you stay pretty close to it. So I think most of the songs were pretty much structured only in that there was a section that would be expanded upon, you know? Going into the jam or the experimental, but of course with that, that is never structured. Whatever's happening is just happening, and you get what you get [laughs].
DC: Yeah, sure. Again, that's part of the adventure of it, and the fun of it I would think.
DJ: Absolutely, that's why I'm in this. You know, if I had to play the same song the same way every time, I would be bored very quickly [laughs].
DC: Oh, I bet you would. Again, one of the things that I enjoy about the album is the singing, especially yours with Wendy. Do you carefully arrange the vocal parts or do you leave that to the spirit of the moment? Because those vocal tracks in a lot of ways just sound like another instrument, which of course the human voice is, but people don't often use it that way.
DJ: Well, with Wendy, she really supplies a part of my voice that I can't do because there's not two of me [laughs]. And so a lot of the songs that I write, or all of the songs that I write, when I demo them I always put that high harmony part on. And then when I get into a band situation, which is more than likely without another female vocalist, I'm always a little bit disappointed. When I write, I hear that high harmony in there, and Wendy just supplies that beautifully. I think we sound really great together. Usually, I will write the parts and teach her the parts, but she's a fine vocalist on her own, and you know she can come up with things as well herself. But most of the time I have pretty much worked out what I want vocally.
DC: The vocals that you do with her sound like they're done without a lot of prearrangement. They sound very natural, as if you guys have a natural chemistry in the way that you sing together, so that's a real big plus.
DJ: Well, absolutely, and I think that's exactly the answer. We do have a chemistry vocally, and I think we pull it off well, and I couldn't imagine this band without Wendy in it.
DC: Absolutely. Another thing that's really impressive about the album is the variety of material on here, and how you switch things up in terms of the (sounds like sequined? Ask Doug!) scene. Jason Crosby's violin on a couple of tracks is a really sweet change of pace. How did you come to know Jason? Because I've seen him with Robert Randolph a couple of times.
DJ: His playing on this CD is just luscious. I have never met Jason. In fact, I had to be back down here in Alabama because my mother was in the hospital, and I didn't get to be in the studio when Jason was putting his parts on. But I did call him and tell him how much I really loved it and that every note that he played I thought was spectacular. He really contributed a good deal to this CD in putting some of the songs over the top, so we're very grateful to have had him contribute.
DC: Another thing I enjoy is how good the recording sounds. It's a beautiful, clear mix with a lot of bottom to it. Did that come out of the studio that you chose? Was it, it's in so many cases the engineer and the producer, or a combination of factors?
DJ: It's a combination, because you have to have the right equipment or you don't have much of anything to work with [laughs]. So we recorded the CD at Cloud 9 Studio in Islip, Long Island. And then we mixed it in a town in New Jersey, in a city that I still cannot pronounce the name of [laughs]. But the name of the studio, let's see… What was the name of the studio where we mixed it? The Barber Shop, we mixed it at the Barber Shop and a great engineer Jason… what is Jason's last name? Do you have a copy of the CD?