Are you talking about classic hits‚ or old Yonder songs?
These will be other people's tunes. I can't go into more detail. It'll be stuff that‚ depending on your age‚ I suppose‚ will get into the whole nostalgia deal. But‚ you know‚ in kid's shows in the 70's‚ man‚ they had some really good songs. And so‚ I think an album of those‚ obviously‚ done our way‚ I would not want to do -- well‚ an album of songs that we really liked as kids‚ that we knew all the lyrics to then‚ and we still do now. You figure‚ if you can remember the lyrics to those songs twenty-five to thirty years later‚ then they‚ you know‚ they're either insidious and horrible‚ and whoever wrote them needs to be tarred and feathered‚ or they're awesome‚ and you should rerecord them. And a lot of them already have banjo in 'em! Wouldn't you know it?
Well‚ that makes them more fun.
Kids LOVE the banjo! They love it!
They do‚ but I don't think they ever pick one up and start playing.
No‚ first of all‚ I think you need a license for a banjo in most states. If you don't‚ you should. But you know‚ banjo is way more fun than a turntable! If you're two. And quite frankly‚ I'm prepared to take the word of a two year-old now over any adult that I've met. Because they've got way better ideas -- way cooler‚ way more creative.
And more honest.
Yeah‚ a little too honest. "You're bald!" "Shut up‚ you're bald too!"
So‚ is there a new album in the works?
Well‚ the new album is in-the-works in the works. Yeah‚ we are‚ we've reached a point where Yonder has to do a new album. The whole thing was‚ we always thought‚ we want to make records because we want to sell records‚ and that's not really the right way to do it‚ I don't think. Or -- I'll take that back. We were always very interested in how many records we were selling‚ because we pay for the stuff ourselves‚ and we were making some really expensive records the last couple of times. Really expensive to make. And not generating income‚ you know‚ they pay for themselves eventually‚ hopefully‚ but it's not like we're going to make money on it. So‚ once you realize that you have to pony up that kind of money‚ to make a record‚ and the fans like it‚ but it's not really like -- you know‚ it doesn't seem like it's doing that much legwork for you. The real legwork is still getting up‚ going out‚ playing the music‚ getting on the bus‚ going to the next gig and playing the show‚ you know‚ that's where the legwork is. The record‚ we kind of thought‚ shouldn't this thing that we spent so much time and effort and money on be generating attention in and of itself and bringing more people to the shows? But they don't. The live records do‚ but the studio records don't‚ I don't think. Fans tell other people‚ they tell their friends‚ and that's how people come to the shows.
Yonder has always been a live deal. You know‚ when people say‚ "You got to go see Yonder." They don't say‚ "you got to listen to this track off of this record." They may have a favorite track off of a record‚ but that's not the deal. You got to come see the band live in order to get it. In order to get that you like it‚ or that you don't like it‚ or that maybe you'll give it another chance. Whatever the opinion is‚ you're not going to be able to know‚ unless you see it. And even listening to bootlegs doesn't do it justice.
No‚ because certain rooms have their own energy and their own magic‚ and you guys definitely have a special way of energizing a room where the crowd and the band feed off of each other‚ and it just kind of circulates and grows and grows‚ and there's a feeling you get from actually being in the audience and I'm sure you feel that onstage.
Oh yeah‚ that's why we still do it. Yeah‚ I agree with what you said.
[laughing] Do you think certain rooms are more prone to that magic and can you tell when you walk into a room if it's going to be a magical room? Or is that something that just happens?
Sometimes‚ yeah. Sometimes it backfires. For example -- Red Rocks. We've had some great… Red Rocks is probably my favorite venue in the world‚ but when you're playing a gig at Red Rocks‚ you're going‚ "Wow‚ we're at Red Rocks‚ and we're going to be playing a gig at Red Rocks‚ and we've got to go out and make it the best gig that we can!" Well‚ no‚ that's not how you do it. You go out and you play and you have tons of fun‚ but you don't… the venue‚ Red Rocks‚ the enormity of it‚ the prestige of it‚ it can psyche you out. Right? I still think we've yet to have our command performance at Red Rocks. And we've played it a lot. I think we've yet to really slay it. Maybe the first time we did pretty good. But‚ there's a lot of stages like that‚ really majestic beautiful places‚ and I'm talking like for a band like Yonder. Which is so different than somebody that goes out and plays the same songs‚ the same way‚ every night. Because then‚ what's a good show? Something that you didn't make a mistake on‚ I guess? But for me‚ that's not what music is about and it's certainly not performance. I'm just‚ I don't buy into that -- it's not for me. But what is for me‚ is something that you can't really preplan‚ and answering your question a little bit more‚ sometimes like‚ the shithole bars‚ and you walk into it and you're like‚ "goddamn it man‚ we're in a shithole again‚ I thought we agreed never to play places that have pee on the floor." But then‚ the next thing you know‚ you finish your soundcheck‚ nobody's there‚ you come back for the start of the first set‚ and everybody's there‚ and you just walk out and go‚ "Holy crap‚ this thing's going to go off." And we didn't even play a note yet. And so sometimes people will show up and the energy of the crowd is such where you can't lose. It makes you play good no matter what you want to do. Just because the energy of the crowd just lifts you up and makes you better than you are.
Yeah‚ they want to see the best show they've ever seen‚ so you guys play the best show they've ever seen.
Yeah‚ I mean‚ it works like that‚ you know? And then there's sometimes where you go out as a band and you know‚ you really have to earn it. For whatever reason the band's all connected‚ you're unified‚ you're listening‚ you're hearing everything well‚ and you take a group of people that maybe wasn't prepared to have the best time ever‚ maybe they were prepared to have a pretty good time‚ and you make it the best time ever. And sometimes that works‚ so‚ it's a confluence of so many different energies and mindsets and trips to have something really go off great‚ and that's why I think bands like us or improvisational bands‚ whatever it is -- I'm not going to use jambands‚ I'm not going to use jambands‚ I'm not going to use jambands… That's why it's so‚ you know‚ people will point years from now‚ like they do with other bands. They go‚ "well‚ my favorite Phish show is such and such‚ 1993‚ they killed it." Or‚ "my favorite Dead show is this from this." And in the course of time‚ a band will have‚ I don't know‚ how many great shows‚ how many epic shows? But you don't really hear people talking about EPIC Neil Diamond shows‚ or EPIC Alison Krauss and Union Station shows -- they're just shows‚ and the show is the show. You know‚ Britney Spears‚ it's exactly the same thing‚ from one to the next. Even Roger Waters‚ when I saw him do The Wall‚ that was one of the coolest things‚ but‚ I don't need to see it twice‚ you know what I mean? Because it's exactly the same.
And you don't want that second time to take away from the magic of the first time‚ because you know it's going to be the same.
It's going to be the same. And I can pick a different section of The Wall to look at this time‚ right? But it's the same. Yeah‚ venues‚ it's sort of independent of venue. I don't know why -- what makes for a great show. It's just something in the stars‚ man‚ or something in the water.
My friends Chris and Heidi have been going to the Penn's Peak shows for years and years.
I was just talking about Penn's Peak today.