MM: So that's cool‚ working with someone like him.
BN: Yeah‚ he's good.
MM: Todd Schaeffer is another one. Barlow.
BN: Yeah‚ good partners‚ huh?
MM: Yeah. Nice work. I guess going back to some of the ideas you were just talking about. When you reassess what you're going for….I imagine when you were younger‚ starting out‚ you had a vision of where the band was going to go‚ where you wanted to get to. And now you've hit this point and you're reassessing everything. What is it now that you're visualizing over the next five years?
BN: One of the main things we want to get back to is…one of the things that happens over a course of time playing with the same people is that you kind of get this set of rules-one person doesn't like it when one person does this thing; that person doesn't like it when that person solos too long; we can't do too many of that person's songs without that person's songs in there. There are all these little rules‚ subliminal or subconscious rules are drawn by different members of the band. And one of the goals we have is to try to eliminate these things so that we have potential to take the music to a higher place. Because when all these little rules are put in place‚ it becomes a very limiting thing. The music can only get so far and not beyond. And I think one of the things we want to do is to try to be less limiting of each other.
MM: Open it up a little. Not think about everything so much. That kind of thing.
BN: Yeah‚ anything goes. Get back to the anything goes stage. And a lot of our goals are musically. Because if we can really get to the point where the potential is unlimited musically‚ then I think other things will follow. One thing we talked about a lot is not to make decisions based on money‚ but to make decisions based on what we think is the best idea musically and artistically and have faith that our financial needs will be met as a result. Because I think when you start looking at things from the other point of view it can drag you down.
MM: Yeah‚ definitely. It can take you away from what you're trying to do.
BN: We have to have the faith that the financial end of things will work out if we make the right decisions.
MM: You kind of built this from the ground up. Word of mouth‚ touring. That's really special. You haven't gone that other direction that so many other musicians fall into.
BN: We started falling into the midst of that kind of a thing‚ too. We realized that we were doing that and that it wasn't necessarily wasn't making things better for us artistically or financially.
MM: What kind of situation?
BN: Taking gigs for the money even though we might not have felt like it was the best show for us to play. Things like that.
MM: Right.
BN: Mainly with our choice of live shows that we were playing.
MM: Keith was saying how going into the studio helps get you guys get back on the road‚ and gives the band momentum. The spring run you just did-the Fillmore‚ and you hit some of the ski towns that you haven't played in a while-and this was right after you finished the album. He said he thought the playing was really‚ really good.
BN: Yeah‚ it was a big improvement. Some of it was making the album and some of it was us getting together and talking turkey about where we were as a band and where we were interpersonally.
MM: So that helped open things up?
BN: Oh yeah. Because if you can't get along off stage‚ you're not gonna be able to make real good music. So you have to figure out what the interpersonal stuff is and what kind of trips are going on between us as people‚ and talk about it. Try to get somewhere with those things‚ and then when you walk on stage‚ you just have a better place to want to play together and want to make something happen together.