So, with this reunion, who made the first move?
We flirted with it, maybe through e-mail and casual conversation. But, I really credit Pete Shapiro from [the former] Wetlands. He got all of us on it.
What was the reaction from friends and family when you told them you were getting back together?
You know, I didn't talk about it all that much because I wanted it to be a surprise, which it was. I'd only say my close friends were more inquisitive of me than really reactive, about how this would make me feel more than how it would make them feel. Then certainly with the whole extended audience members, it was fantastic with the outpouring of support and enthusiasm.
I've always looked at you as a musician who keeps exploring, keeps pushing forward. Was it tough after putting that chapter to rest, to come back to it?
It was for a long time. Again, enough time had passed that, for whatever reason, it would be a nice window to do it. I wish I could say I spent the last 10 years listening to Strangefolk records and reliving the past, but I haven't. I put it on the shelf. I got some posters up around the house and I'll listen to a song every now and again and just touch base with it. I wasn't actively addressing that stuff or interacting with it. But, now I've pulled out the treasure trove and listened to the music, reliving a bunch of those memories, those specific nights, places, personalities. It's really a time capsule.
The thing I find such a trip is seeing all of these random, dusty memories surfacing online, whether it is forgotten photos or videos of tours years ago. It's amazing what has popped up since this whole thing was announced.
It is really cool. I'm like, "oh, glad I cut my hair." I think one thing was the added hassle of analog media, music or pictures or newsletters, and having to digitize them. But, with this reunion, everyone got it over the hump and made the effort. I'm glad that stuff has emerged. One thing that really blew me away, I don't know if its been circulated publicly or not, but there is this list of every gig we played from 1991 to 2000. It was a necklace of memories. I was truly proud reading through it. You could see the progression and quality of the venues we played over time. That struck me, how far we came, how hard we worked. On a grandiose level, there were only a couple [shows] I didn't distinctly remember. Just looking at each of those venues really took me back. Now, with the digitizing, you can actually go back and look and listen to those shows.
What was your reaction when the first Burlington show sold out?
It was really exciting. I just glanced down at my phone and my inbox was exploding with all kinds of messages, all kinds of expletives and intensities about the reunion.
So, then what went through your head when the second and third shows sold out?
[Laughs] A feeling of pride that we had enough of an impact on people's lives that really captured their imaginations in a powerful enough of way, still after all these years later.
Is this a one-time thing or will you revisit this every decade?
We'll see how it goes and take it from there. I'd like to equate it to a restaurant you haven't eaten at in 10 years and someone says "if you go back, are you going to go back every Saturday?" Well, I don't know yet, I haven't gone back once and we'll see.
You'll see how the blue light special is.
[Laughs] Yeah.
Have you started rehearing yet? Are there a list of songs you and each member will be bringing to the table?
No, not yet. We want to come back to as robust a catalog as we can. We have a list of about 60 tunes that we collectively agreed on. I think that'll be real fun, to get back into these personalities. There are these songs you haven't played in a long time that are still foreign to the touch, but it'll be definitely easier than learning a new song. There's something about playing together, your vocabulary, your collective.
What would your older self say or give as advice to you starting out as a musician with Strangefolk?
My older self might say pace yourself. Learn how to say no. Apply the 80/20 rule and do the things that matter most and blow off the rest. Don't sweat the little stuff. No matter what endeavor you do in life, you will always find yourself focusing on the cracks. Try and take a 20,000 foot view of your life and career from time to time. When it comes to writing songs, learn how to model. Take elements of other artist's material that you like and incorporate it into your own writing in an original way. Observe, borrow, modify and make it your own. Practice your guitar. Be brave and go easy on the sauce.
How would your younger self have responded?
Thanks Dad. All sounds reasonable. Easier said than done.
What song would you like to kick the reunion off with?
Great question. I have thought about it, but don't have a clue. I need to talk it over with the rest of the guys.