MM: Yeah.
SO: And then they'd get to one month and they'd be like‚ OK‚ these songs fit together‚ and they release them as a record. And it seems more like a linear line of just ideas growing‚ and every project was this distinct‚ complete‚ totally different idea.
MM: Yeah‚ this is what we are now.
SO: Yeah. It was just some guys coming up with a bunch of different ideas and just going for it day after day. It makes a lot more sense in a way. It's like way less mysterious. And I think-not to compare us with The Beatles‚ because obviously The Beatles were The Beatles-but there's a certain sense to just things growing‚ week-by-week. One tour happens‚ and we change a little bit that tour. And the next tour happens‚ and we change a little bit that tour. And then all of a sudden four tours have gone by and we record a new record and it seems like we're a different band from the time before. You know?
MM: Sure. But I guess there's a lot to be said of that connection that you have with the music you play. I think it's probably like a relationship you can't really describe to someone else‚ how deep it might be‚ making music on that level. So what is something that you guys butt heads on? I mean‚ is that frequent‚ where you're always like no‚ this is not the way it should sound?
SO: No. I mean‚ that happens in any relationship with human beings. You know what I mean?
MM: Sure. You're working that closely together.
SO: Yeah‚ whether it's a romantic relationship or a family relationship. So being in a band‚ it's really complicated and especially being in a rock band or being a performer. There are egos involved. And there are all myriad levels of ways that little bumps in the road come along. It definitely can get hard‚ especially in a band where we try and do everything evenly and everyone has an even say. Sometimes the littlest things can be so complicated to get everyone to agree on‚ whether it's the day we fly to Europe or whether we should do that gig or whether we should do this song or that song‚ all the way to whether this guitar tone should be used on this part of the song or not. But on the flip side‚ I know some friends who are in other bands‚ where maybe the singer/songwriter is the main guy in the band‚ and everyone is just kind of auxiliary to that person. And the one guy gets to call all the shots and the other guys don't care so much. They just do what they're told‚ or it's more of a professional gig for them. And you can hear that in the music.
And there's something to be said for the fact that we're all so invested in what we do‚ where we care so much that it bothers us that that cymbal doesn't sound right on the bridge to that song. Even though you know the drummer is going to be upset if you tell him that you don't think the cymbal sounds right at that point‚ you care so much that it's more worth it to go through the fire of arguing out which cymbal is better. [laughter] Because you really care. And I think as we're growing as a band and people‚ one of the biggest parts of the whole thing for us is kinda of-I don't know whether it's psychological or emotional-but it's going through that experience with each other and learning how to communicate and learning how to let each other care a hundred percent for the music and still have room for everyone to have that much care for the thing.
And I don't know-I bring it up a lot-but like the idea that The Beatles are this huge icon‚ and being a band‚ you know‚ everyone looks to The Beatles as this behemoth of an icon‚ and in a lot of ways‚ they didn't get it quite right. They ended up breaking up and not working together and not being able to handle each other's egos eventually.
MM: Yeah‚ totally.
SO: And I think that there's something to be said for trying to maintain the amount of control‚ because I mean that's the thing with us‚ all three of us have the potential to write and record something all by ourselves or lead a band. Like everyone's a multi-instrumentalist and is confident in that sense and has good ideas. And trying to really learn how to trust and believe in each other more and more-I think that energy that we put into it on that level really ends up eventually coming out in the music. And I think sometimes it can make the music sound better‚ in a way more subliminal or unconscious way.
MM: Oh‚ sure.
SO: There's that level of involvement and intention and thought and care put in‚ just in making it.
MM: Well‚ you mentioned trust in there. That seems to be a huge component.
SO: Sure. I remember seeing an interview with Elvin Jones‚ you know‚ Coltrane's drummer. And he was saying‚ "Man‚ we were up on that bandstand dying. You had to trust each other so much. You had to be willing to die for a motherfucker." [laughter] And I was like‚ that is way more gangster than N.W.A or any rap group I've ever heard of. I mean‚ being up onstage and being willing to die?! And if you listen to late-period Coltrane‚ it's like Elvin Jones‚ I just visualize him with like flaming swords‚ running in front of Coltrane‚ deflecting all the demons. And it really does feel like he's in the heat of the moment‚ whether it's mythical or Vietnam or whatever. You feel like he's really there. There is a battle together‚ and it's like if one of them is going to get shot down‚ the other is‚ too. And there's something about that feeling‚ that vitality‚ that investment of trust between each other. It takes it to another level.
MM: That's it‚ definitely.
SO: You know when you're in L.A. or whatever and you see some songwriter who has like the A studio dude ripping some sweet guitar leads with him‚ it's cool‚ it's good music‚ it works. They know what they're doing. The songs are good. But that extra notch of‚ like‚ you gotta be willing to die for a motherfucker‚ it's not there. [laughter]