BM: We have all these ideas and the whacky ideas are cool‚ too. (laughter) And you don't have to doubt anything. So it's like‚ "Let's go for it."
DC: No fear of rejection from some chairman of the board.
BM: Yeah. And if we need to make some money? Cool. We'll make money. But we know that it's going back into our business‚ where we're doing cool things‚ where we're trying to be creative‚ and we're trying to grow and share and communicate cool ideas.
DC: Absolutely. Well‚ I suppose if you're more closely involved with your business then you know more accurately how many risks‚ and how much of a risk‚ you can take with a project‚ and not be concerned about it because it's just a risk that you're willing to take. That must be a great sense of freedom‚ too!
BM: Yeah‚ it is. It is‚ but if there's a little more of a risk‚ we're not going to get that advance this year. So there goes that chunk. Like this year‚ there's a chunk out of our income because of our initial investment. And so hopefully in the next year things will come around. I think in a way it feels better to be risking it and not have to have anyone else to blame.
DC: Well again‚ it must-and I don't want to harp on the symbolism of it too much-it must seem more like when you're actually playing your music and you take a risk‚ in that it's a risk worth taking. And if this risk doesn't pay off‚ there's always another risk. And maybe that one will pay off even bigger!
BM: Yeah‚ right. Exactly.
DC: Was the process to work with John Scofield in the works when the decision to create the label came about‚ or was it just a happy coincidence?
BM: No‚ I think it was suggested… actually our manager suggested it. At first my reaction was like‚ "Oh‚ not the first record! Let's‚ you know‚ let's do something that's really gonna define the label." You know‚ blah blah blah‚ getting into that head-trip. (laughter) And then I realized it was cool. It also was the timing with Scofield. Liz had said‚ "Well‚ this is kind of a good time to do it with him. And it could be a cool thing. We did A Go Go with him‚ but that was really his record. Let's share a little bit more‚ as opposed to…" I think they did really well with that record. And we were sort of pretty humble about it. Just like‚ "John‚ you just… you know‚ it's your record!" You know? (laughter)
DC: Yeah.
BM: "Pay us and that's it‚" you know? And he was kind of offering more. But we were like‚ "No‚ no‚ no." Anyway‚ that's business stuff. It just seemed to make sense at the time. This time Scofield was really into coming into our studio and working our way. Sort of doing a combination of some of his tunes‚ and then the way we write music-a lot of improvising-and this time we're all sharing it.
In a way I think that this is gonna help us to experiment with other records. There definitely was a little bit of the business sense in our manager‚ of just thinking we should really land a good distribution deal and get people psyched about this. And it was smart. There's time to do a lot and we want to do a lot of different records‚ so…
DC: Yeah‚ well‚ when the collaboration was first announced I remember talking to a friend of mine-who's as much of a fan of you guys as I am‚ and we had long since agreed that it was inevitable that MMW and Scofield would work together again. His first comment was‚ "Boy‚ I know they don't see it this way‚ but that's a really sharp marketing move." (laughter)
BM: Yeah.
DC: Because Scofield's got his name and they've got theirs and they're a whole different entity when they play together. So this is just perfect to launch the Medeski Martin and Wood label. It sounds like that was part of it‚ although perhaps not consciously. It just seems like the circumstances fell together to make it happen.
BM: Yeah‚ we don't try to force things too much. I think it's just happening that way. And when we finish the record‚ now we'll just have people just interpret the music and who we are as a label and everything. It's open for interpretation!
DC: Sure.
BM: When I do my outside projects I'm so busy with them. And it always influences the music in the band. And it's same with Johnny and Chris. They're doing other things. And in a way this is kind of like an outside project. It's not a typical project that we would do. The label's really set up for the band. The band only‚ and not solo projects or just signing other people really.