So‚ it was a long labor‚ it was really intense. It wasn't without complications‚ but it wasn't anything that wasn't manageable‚ and then we were very lucky -- we spent the first week‚ literally in bed. We did not leave the bedroom for a week‚ which was more than enough time for the umbilical cord to desiccate‚ dry up and fall off. Basically the baby will kick it or pull it off by just natural movement and it'll come off when it wants to‚ like a scab. And we were home for… I think it was probably three months before Emeris went outside for the first time. We were in the house. That fourth trimester‚ we were very‚ very… there's a sacred space -- the room he was born in‚ the house by extension‚ and we wanted to give him plenty of time to just sort of land in this world‚ become in his body‚ figure out what the body is for‚ you know what I mean? How weird it must feel to be in a body‚ in gravity‚ when you've been floating around for the last 9 months. Part of why we chose to have a water birth‚ so that that transition would be smooth. And I don't know if‚ I have to believe it's because of all the things that we did and that we were dedicated to doing‚ that is why he's such a calm‚ grounded‚ centered child.
You know‚ I look at other children‚ even in our birth class -- all the women in the birth class had home births too and their children‚ they have less problems‚ they don't have health problems‚ you know what I mean? They're very‚ very healthy and strong kids.
And‚ I don't know‚ for me‚ I just sort of sit and I laugh at myself because where I came from‚ and the headspace I was in‚ being a Masshole and sarcastic‚ and not open to anything unless someone with a Doctorate would explain it to me‚ or draw me pictures in crayons so I could understand. I've just come almost 180 degrees. Which isn't to say that‚ you know‚ I'm opposed to the western medical system at all‚ I'm a big fan of western medicine‚ for like‚ dealing with surgeries and like‚ saving people's lives‚ it can do that. Car accidents -- take me to the emergency room‚ you know what I mean? But I think with this pregnancy deal‚ and with birth -- it's a scam‚ and they've convinced women that it's a disorder‚ a problem‚ a medical condition‚ and that's such utter bullshit. It couldn't be more bullshit. And it makes me sick that‚ you know‚ if it's from Victorian Era‚ or whatever‚ it really is kind of a shocking reality‚ but then again‚ where I live now‚ I think while home birth is certainly not the norm‚ it's like 20% rather than 1%.
Well‚ you moved recently from Colorado to California. Was that all in the works? What made you decide to choose that area and move?
Well‚ we were living up a little past Nederland‚ Colorado‚ essentially 9‚000 feet in the Rocky Mountains and that -- while it is very awesome up there‚ it's very isolated. And when you start thinking about having a kid‚ even so much as -- we're dedicated to a home birth‚ right‚ and our midwives gotta come up from Boulder‚ in fact -- here's the case in point: on the day that my son was born in California‚ on that very day in Colorado‚ at my house‚ at 9‚000 feet‚ was a snowstorm that shut down Boulder Canyon. So the midwife‚ when it came time for us to need to call her‚ would not have been able to come up the hill. So‚ I'm happy we were in California.
Also‚ we knew we were going to move somewhere and it wasn't going to be at 9‚000 feet. So‚ we were looking in Boulder‚ the problem is‚ Boulder is so expensive. It's not really feasible to get something good. If I wanted to spend $600k‚ I could get a shithole -- not a shithole‚ but something that needs work. For $600k‚ I would think I could get two brand new homes! One of them in silver and one of them in gold. But not in Boulder. So‚ we decided to go to a place where we could get a little more bang for the buck and also a place where my wife lived right out of high school when she went to college‚ all out here in Nevada City Grass Valley California. And I met her here‚ and you know‚ I was ready for a move‚ ten years ago or five years ago I wouldn't have been able to move because we just all needed to be together as a band; we needed to just be in the same place. But now that things have developed like they have‚ we can really all live anywhere‚ provided we're relatively close to an airport‚ and can do things that way. Most of our rehearsals are done on the road anyway‚ we never get together in time off really for the sake of playing or practicing music. We work so much and play so much that the time off is really time off. To let the mind recover and all that.
You guys have always had a pretty extensive tour schedule. It seems like you're always touring.
We used to tour a hell of a lot more. I think there are a bunch of bands out there that I would consider the up and coming in the sort of‚ whatever genre Yonder Mountain is a part of or is responsible for. They are touring a lot more than us. I can remember when we did a lot more. Some of these people are doing 250 shows a year‚ and now Yonder's at 90? So‚ it's certainly -- we have done enough work where I think people will say "gee‚ you guys are always on the road" and I think that's just the fact that the last ten years‚ we've basically always been on the road. But it's getting better‚ you know‚ more workable for a family man.
Yeah‚ obviously‚ having a family is going to change you wanting to be on the road all the time‚ and you're in a place where you don't need to be on the road all the time.
But we still do. We're not turning down gigs. We have our tours that we do‚ we go where we want to go‚ we have festival season‚ and those gigs where it's not really your tour‚ you know‚ you're going to someone else's party. We have our own festivals‚ we have our own parties‚ but things are definitely working out really well.
The band… you know how it goes‚ you have this growth spurt‚ and you sort of plateau for a while‚ and then another growth spurt and plateau if things are going well and if you're going to continue to grow. That's just how it goes. I think we're coming out of this very nice plateau‚ where Dave‚ our banjo player had a kid‚ and I had a kid‚ and it's a very sort of stable place. And now that we have all this new energy‚ you know‚ very much so in the form of a new kid‚ but also within the band there's something happening -- it's this really… the only way I can describe it is it feels like there's some stuff about to happen. It feels like there's some big stuff happening‚ and I don't understand it much more than that. Another way I put it is that I feel like a lot of people are paying attention to us now. Like‚ all eyes on Yonder Mountain.
We did this gig recently and we were playing two slots before Pretty Lights. We're completely different styles of music‚ right? And by god if we didn't have exactly the same number of people as Pretty Lights did‚ but we did it in the heat of the day! It was 105 degrees! It was dark out when he took the stage‚ so you could see the Pretty Lights. But shit‚ if we could draw that many people in the heat of the day compared to -- I don't know exactly what that genre is‚ maybe it's dub step‚ and that's really popular right now‚ like really‚ really popular. Like‚ you don't even have to like it to like it. And I just thought‚ isn't this something? The bluegrass band‚ or like I said‚ whatever Yonder is‚ can compete very much so with this super trendy awesome… Pretty Lights and the folks in his camp‚ they're standup‚ awesome dudes. I like what they do; it's an unbelievable show. It's super different and it's not really my cup of tea‚ but we can compete with that. We can draw the same‚ and that's a trip. So that was another thing where I was like people really are paying attention to us right now. Which is good‚ but it also means like‚ okay‚ now‚ put your boots on‚ put on your belt‚ and buckle up tight‚ because now we really have to do good work. We can't afford to slip‚ we can't afford to take things for granted‚ not like we would‚ but you know what I mean? We really have to be on it. If we can achieve some other degree of growth‚ it'll happen soon. Like‚ it'll be because we did very well at this time. Does that make sense?
Yeah‚ totally.
There's something happening now and I think if we do our best‚ if we put in 100% effort and if we really try to be Yonder Mountain‚ whatever it is original that we do‚ whatever that is‚ if we can just be that‚ put all our energy into that‚ we'll really come out and kill it‚ which I believe we can.
I think you can. I think you've constantly done that. And I think that you as a band‚ seeing you over a long time now‚ you're in a very healthy and energized place. And it seems very clear‚ there's a clarity going on in your performances and music‚ and it always feels good.
That's a good way to put it. I feel that‚ what you just said.
And I don't know if it's everyone gets older‚ and the band as a family unit kind of matures. You're all in different places in life‚ and your healthiness and happiness comes through in your performances.
Well‚ we all survived our 20's‚ you know? [Laughter] Which is‚ for me‚ that's when all my partying was done. Because you know‚ really‚ your body can handle it. Or at least you believe your body can handle it. I would argue that your body actually can't handle it‚ and the things you do when you're 25 will come back and kick you in the balls when you're 35.
Oh yeah‚ and you definitely notice when that changes.
Yeah. But‚ I got all my ya-ya's out in my 20's. I did everything way before -- the new drugs the kids are doing now. I don't know‚ R2D2 or… I'm going to date myself right now and say I am officially old‚ because I don't recognize the drugs the kids are doing anymore.