DC: Well‚ you anticipated a question I was going to ask since you guys are all constantly going in and out of side projects‚ which was whether the new label was going to be home for those or whether you were going to keep them separate from Indirecto.
BM: Well‚ right now it's not possible. Just because it's actually a lot of work to get the three of us together writing. Actually‚ it doesn't take a long time. (laughter) When we get in the studio and we have time to be together‚ we could make three records‚ you know?
DC: Yes.
BM: Literally‚ there could be one record that just-we did that. We played for an hour and it was a perfect hour. That kind of stuff happens! That's going to happen. But then it's the whole‚ well‚ we need to release this record‚ and we need the title‚ and we need the art‚ and we need to know what kind of direction we're gonna go on that. And then all of a sudden our manager's trying to (groans) get all those answers. (laughter) So there's that. So we just realized‚ let's just be simple.
Let's see what we can do with just the band for a while. We haven't made any real rules. It's not like forever! We don't like to think like that about anything anyway. So anything can happen. But right now‚ I think it's more about the band. And other stuff can come later. If we really become a successful business‚ where we're like‚ "Hey‚ we got all this money! We gotta do something with it!" (laughter)
DC: Yeah‚ well‚ that would be a good problem to have.
BM: Yeah. That would be a great problem! (laughter) Because I love to play and I enjoy performing for a living. But there is part of me that doesn't want to be a slave to the road. So‚ sure let's be a little business where we're doing other music. And let's put other things out‚ produce other things. Cool.
DC: Yeah. I can't imagine I'd ever see a line of Medeski Martin and Wood sportswear. I presume it would stay confined to music and that would be great.
BM: Yeah‚ I don't think we have that aesthetic. (laughter) Visually‚ I have lots of ideas but I just think as a band we've realized our merchandising thing isn't really our forte. Even though sometimes some shirts sell‚ and it's like‚ "Wow‚ that's great! We made a profit!" But in general it's not where we make our money.
DC: I was lucky enough to be able to talk to John Scofield a couple of months ago.
BM: Oh‚ cool.
DC: And when we started talking about Out Louder‚ he marveled at what a sense of unity he detects about you guys ever since he started working with you: how tight you are musically and personally. You guys must be aware of that‚ although maybe not consciously thinking about it. Do you find yourself surprised that you three guys are still working together after what's been a pretty long period of time?
BM: No‚ I don't feel surprised. We started open-ended. We just really had a lot of respect for each other‚ and we sort of let anything go. Then we went through two years of just bad idea‚ bad idea‚ bad idea. And now I feel like we know each other so well; we still try to keep things open and not shut off any ideas. It always comes down to let's not sit down and draw maps and have a concept. It's more like‚ let's just see what happens when we play together today and let's get excited about that. Let's not bring in some convoluted idea that's coming from one place. Let's all just collaborate. That's the best thing‚ you know? It's not easy! It's democratic. There's no leader saying‚ "This is what we're gonna do today." We all gotta just improvise together and get excited. And someone may come up with some kind of idea‚ but we're all sort of "It'll either happen or it won't." It'll either stick or not. But in general‚ we're a family and a unit that is tight and works together. We have a way of dealing with each other. And we enjoy each other's company.
DC: Well‚ that's great to hear.
BM: A lot of it is pacing‚ too. You can't be on the road eight months out of the year and expect to survive much after that. (laughter)
DC: Absolutely. Well‚ it's hard enough to be respectful of each other and open-minded in general. The closed-quarters of the road would probably drive you over the brink. (laughter)
BM: Oh‚ we've been through that already! We know! It's like we had to go through that. I was a little more sensitive to it. And then maybe a year later someone else realized‚ "Oh my God‚ you're right!" (laughter) We've got to pace ourselves here.
DC: You seem to have struck a good balance‚ the three of you‚ doing different things that still allow you to re-group on a regular basis. That must inspire you as a group and in the side projects‚ so that whatever you're doing‚ it's constantly fresh and ripe for rediscovery. That's what I hear and what I see when you guys play‚ and I try to see you guys regularly. There's never a sense of just going through the motions. It's always‚ "OK‚ here we go on another adventure."
BM: Yeah. That would be the death of us‚ if we were just going through the motions.
DC: Let me ask you just a couple of things about recording with Scofield‚ because he seemed to enjoy the whole process of recording with you guys. It all started out with you guys just getting together in the studio and playing live together‚ and the whole recording really evolved out of that. Is that a pretty fair summation of how it worked?