Well‚ that's an interesting ratio‚ but I understand what they're talking about. I've heard other songwriters talk about how they feel like they always need to keep writing because a lot of the ideas aren't worth developing‚ but if you don't get those out of the way‚ then the good ones don't follow.
I totally agree. I couldn't agree more. It's a heartbreaking process.
What process do you use when you're writing songs?
I like the acoustic and the electric guitar. I really like experimenting with the guitar. I have a little Hofner bass that I bought because I'm such a huge Beatles fan and a huge Paul McCartney fan.
Well‚ that's what I thought. I immediately saw the image of the violin bass and thinking‚ now I'm hearin' McCartney's bass in latter day Beatles tunes‚ the way he swooped up and down.
It's absolutely my favorite ever. He's just like… it's just it for me.
The sound of Moon is the New Earth‚ it reminded me of a Beatles album because of the textures and the bottom. The lower notes you guys got and the fullness of the bass reminded me of the Beatles' recordings I think around 1966‚ like "Rain" and the Revolver album‚ where McCartney's bass really seemed to come out of nowhere. Or it was hard to hear before then‚ and it's as if he knew that and said‚ "OK‚ now that everyone can hear me‚ I'm really gonna show you what I can do."
No kidding.
So did you start playing guitar and then move to bass?
I bought my first guitar at 14‚ and then we had a band in high school that was‚ you know‚ we tried to come up with our own stuff. We had a bass player and once he graduated high school and moved on to college‚ we tried to look for a bass player around town for a little bit after that in Boulder‚ but it was before‚ it was really before any bands were really getting serious about developing. Now in Boulder and the Denver area‚ there are so many bands and so many people getting recognition‚ and it's a totally different deal. But before‚ it was hard for us to find a player.
So I went down to our guitar shop where we bought all our guitars and they had this used lefty bass‚ so I was like all right‚ I'll give it a try. And I just started playing. I was like‚ I gotta make this work. And I guess what really inspired me at that point was watching Allen Woody play with Gov't Mule. And I was like‚ well‚ the three-piece is pretty much the coolest thing ever. And I was like‚ oh my God‚ Allen Woody is the coolest creature I've ever seen.
Yeah‚ Woody was something else; that's for sure.
Oh my God. And I was like‚ all right‚ well‚ I guess the bass is cool.
I remember reading an interview with Oteil Burbridge‚ who plays with the Allmans now‚ and he said when he joined the band he said‚ "There's no way I could ever think about playing like Allen Woody because Allen Woody was not about technique so much as he was about attitude‚ and nobody has Allen Woody's attitude except Allen Woody."
His attitude was just evident.
How did you guys decide to -- apart from the fact that it is a very cool format -- how did you guys decide to remain in the three-piece lineup?
I think it was just personality-wise. Nate's always been such a brother‚ and Daniel and I are‚ I guess just as the three heads‚ we always agree. We always find a way to agree at the end of the day.
Oh‚ that's great. I was thinking at least it must further communication 'cause you've only got to take into account three opinions‚ but even so‚ if somebody's adamantly opposed to somebody else's idea‚ there's gotta be some friction but‚ boy‚ if you guys are on the same wavelength.
It's really cool. I really cherish my relationship with Nate and Daniel. It's really been pretty steady‚ which is really cool. We stopped drinking during the beginning of our touring career because we were just like‚ this is impossible. We were fighting‚ we were like getting up late and not wanting to play and playing drunk and we were like‚ wow‚ this doesn't make any sense. And once we stopped that‚ the relationships improved greatly because we could talk to each other with coherence. We can figure stuff out more easily when we're not really screwed up and in that ego place.