MM: Well‚ that's cool. You know‚ it's funny‚ because I've been listening to the first album and listening to the last album‚ and‚ I don't know. I mean‚ obviously the band has evolved a lot‚ but there's something really nice about how sparse the first album is.
SO: Yeah, I think there's some qualities -- like now after I feel like we've finally gotten to this point in our career‚ or whatever you would call it‚ where I feel like Love Is Simple was kind of like an end chapter to this thing that we've been working on‚ where the first record was mostly done at home and kind of spent a lot of time laboring over little things at home and then that gave us the opportunity to go out and tour. And since then‚ there's been so much emphasis on touring and playing live that almost all the music we've created has been revolving around the live band and playing music and touring live and developing it that way. And I think we've finally gotten to a point where we've developed that band to a certain point‚ you know the idea that we had‚ and now we look back and we see the first record and we're like‚ Oh‚ wow! There were some really creative things we did there‚ because the songs weren't oriented around being a live group.
MM: Right. You can definitely hear that.
SO: So I think we're finally at a point again where we want to include some of the things that we did on the first record with some of the things that we've now learned from being able to play as a live group. And we want to kind of reinvestigate the way that we write music and record music. Because there's definitely something to be said about the first record. We didn't have all the resources that we needed and were forced to improvise and use‚ you know‚ kitchen appliances for percussion or‚ like‚ make things up. Take hours just to labor over some little thing that later on we didn't have to do.
MM: Yeah‚ it's kind of like being young‚ that young feeling‚ I guess. Where you're trying to make the coolest shit possible with what you have.
SO: [laughter] Totally. Exactly. And you don't really know how it works or you don't know how to do it. And then later on‚ you learn how to do it and you look back and you're like‚ Wow! When I didn't know what I was doing‚ it was actually a little more original‚ in some senses.
MM: Right! Yeah‚ totally. That's really cool. What about some of the songs? On Love Is Simple‚ I really connect with "There's So Many Colors" and in context how the whole idea kind of goes into "Crickets." I don't know-I feel like it's good for the head…. Let me explain.
What I took from that was it reminds me of a point in my life‚ where I think I dropped a lot of baggage. I think that's what I'm getting from it. And that might've been induced by tripping for the first time‚ or experiencing music on a higher level for the first time and just getting older and wiser. I feel like that composition really represents that time. And I don't know if that's a fair assessment of what you're talking about. [laughter]
SO: Of what the song's about?
MM: Yeah.
SO: Well‚ the actual-I mean‚ I don't know if I should even go into my idea of where the song came from. If I go into my idea of where the song came from‚ I don't want to necessarily change your idea of the song. I think that's a wonderful thing about music.
MM: Yeah‚ it's open like that.
SO: And the openness that people can bring themselves to and‚ you know‚ figure out things from there. I mean‚ mostly it was just kind of a poem inspired by… We were just driving in Canada one day and driving through the Rockies. And a lot of the lyrics and the imagery in the lyrics... It was merely just writing about those things.
MM: Like the passing landscapes and the feeling and…
SO: Yeah‚ just talking about the passing landscapes and almost a stream of consciousness about that. But‚ of course‚ the music is really dynamic and goes through a lot of areas‚ and so there's surely room for you to bring your own interpretation there. I definitely don't want to discount that‚ although that wasn't necessarily consciously put into there.
MM: No‚ I think that's right. I think it's all relative in some degree‚ some kind of state of consciousness‚ where things become a little bit more vibrant or you become aware of them.
SO: Sure.
MM: Or see them differently. So yeah‚ that's kind of what I took from it‚ after listening to it for a while. You know?
SO: Yeah. But also‚ too‚ the idea there's so many colors without the dirty windows‚ for me‚ is a metaphor‚ a perceptual metaphor of some sort‚ and it could be taken in any number of ways‚ but I was looking at the landscapes through a dirty window in the van and I'm like‚ Wow! You know‚ it's really beautiful out there. And I was just in my mind observing the passing landscape and how beautiful it is‚ and then I roll the window down and it was even completely more beautiful‚ with all these richer hues of purple and all these things that had kind of been grayed out by the window. And so‚ you know‚ the idea of the potential of like you were saying‚ dropping baggage or whatever it is that… they have scientific studies that like… when people are depressed. Like one of the number one things they notice is that color is not as vivid. As soon as a depressed person becomes less depressed or happier‚ the first thing they notice is like‚ Oh my God‚ colors are so beautiful! Colors are so vivid! And I think they've even tested on little parts of the brain that they can actually trigger for a depressed person and they can become happy and they're like‚ Whoa‚ red is more red! Purple is more purple! And so whether it's a depressed person becoming happier or‚ like you said‚ you're dropping baggage‚ it can be looked at like that. Or whether it's someone having some sort of eye opening experience or whatever that experience may be‚ the idea that the window‚ perhaps being a dirty window…
MM: Yeah! No‚ that's exactly it. Yeah‚ it was like having some kind of awakening. Yeah‚ that's exactly it.
SO: Sure. And I think that awakening‚ transformative experience-I think any number of traditions or studies or whatever-it's a similar experience just using different words for different people‚ according to whatever it is that they think or believe. I have no problem with that.
MM: Yeah. Have you had experiences like that playing music?
SO: Umm… hmm… Yeah‚ I don't know. I think when I was younger I maybe had some more individual moving experiences with music. Even like tracing back to something as boring as like when I first started playing guitar and I joined a jazz band and it was the first time I had ever really played with other people and we played "Wipeout." I remember the first time that the drum part started and then the bass came in and then the horn section‚ and then I started playing. And it was like all of a sudden you were a little part in this big thing that was organized and moving but beyond your control. And there was something definitely triggered in my brain‚ just that very first time of being involved in something and just loving that. There's other peak moments or peak experiences when I was younger around music‚ and that definitely informs my sense of music‚ being like a vital and important part in my life. You know?
MM: Yeah.
SO: But more and more‚ it's a little more even keeled I guess‚ from night to night. There are some nights that are just electric and inspiring‚ and you feel like you're on fire. The music is just happening. And then the rest of the time‚ it's just kind of up and down. I was laughing about it recently. I guess it was actually right after the last show you saw. We played Boston right afterwards‚ and we were playing New York the night after Boston. And all our friends come out in New York‚ and New York's always kind of this big show for us‚ and we wanted to do a great job and like really put on something special‚ you know?