That's awesome.
I mean‚ that tone. The tone of the upright bass and the tone of the lap steel‚ it really feels like a Tulsa sound kind of jazz band. It's very funny how it's evolved into that.
I'm curious--what was your take on the Largo show and Winterwood?
I like both. Just with streaming Largo and listening to it once… How do I say this? I'm glad you didn't lose your weird. [laughs] The lap steel sounds so good. Your playing sounds phenomenal. It doesn't sound like a different band though. The spirit is still there.
Right‚ it still sounds like Jacob Fred. The same language is being spoken.
Yeah‚ absolutely.
That's what I've been hearing. It's Jacob Fred‚ but it's a better band. We're more empathetic and sympathetic onstage. We're looking lovingly into each other's eyes the whole time. I think you listen more with your eyes onstage than your ears‚ and all four of us are just madly in love with each other and just staring at each other the whole time we're onstage.
That's an interesting way to look at it. And Winterwood‚ I think it's a great record. Even though that's the final thing with Reed‚ you still sound like you're in motion‚ and you're going through an evolution.
Isn't it cool? Like I said‚ music doesn't give a shit about all the stuff that humans give a shit about. Whenever music catches a wave‚ you just have to ride it. It is really cool in some ways that Reed left that band or I should say that the band had the lineup change right after the biggest year we had. The lineup changed right after finishing a brand new album‚ our most creative year and our best year financially. It's really interesting that that's how music works. It doesn't make sense with humans‚ but it must make sense to the music somehow‚ because that's what's happening.
But‚ you're right. You nailed it. That's exactly what Winterwood sounds like. It sounds like a band in motion‚ a band that's evolving.
Reed worked on Winterwood really hard. And Reed's a genius. He could be making a shitload of money producing records and recording records. It's amazing what he can do with just a Macbook Pro and a bunch of plug-ins. The band as a whole worked our ass off on that record. We paid for the entire thing ourselves‚ and we all put a lot into it. And it just turned out so yummy. It's just ear candy. It's a total gift‚ you know? Like why after 15 years should we even sell this shit at this point? Especially with what's going on in the business. I just want people to hear how good it is. I don't want to sell it. I don't need to sell this shit. I make my money playing shows.
How's it worked out so far giving the album away?
Ever since it's dropped our shows have been packed. There's tons of excitement from new fans. We're in the process of just packing our international email list with names‚ because that's what we get in exchange for the album. It's working so much better than releasing it. There's so much more immediate excitement than any album release I can remember‚ and we only really hyped it for a week. And seriously‚ the fact that it's free‚ and the fact that the lineup has changed and people are talking about that band or gossiping about the band and wondering what's going on‚ and then while all that is happening‚ a free record drops. From my perspective‚ the capitalism that's going on in Jacob Fred world right now is genius.
[laughs] Right‚ it's good marketing.
We had about 3‚000 downloads within the first five to seven days‚ and that's before we sent out a press release or hit the road. This is before we even started our tour. There was already this buzz starting up.
It's sort of new paradigm. Radiohead did the donation thing‚ but I haven't heard of many bands giving away 73 minutes of carefully produced music. I feel like it's a new paradigm‚ and a lot of people are asking how we did it or why‚ but the answer is it happened by accident. We were tired of sitting on it. We're evolving and the band is ready to do something else‚ and the record company wanted to do advances in bits and pieces‚ so we just thought‚ Hey‚ we own this; let's just drop this shit. It was right before we started the tour.
Yeah‚ and just the way music moves once it's out‚ you have even more people listening.
Yeah‚ it's made for packed shows. And excited‚ grateful fans. We're playing a lot of the stuff off of Winterwood.
The version of "Crazy Fingers" on there…
Oh‚ what do you think of that?
I fucking love it. I think the thing that has really hit me--and not just with you‚ but other players I've followed for years and years--I'm hearing the evolution. And it's just wonderful. I was thinking about this because I was writing about Marco Benevento's new record‚ Me Not Me‚ and hearing how the both of you are really understanding space and melody and the environment. It's like it was always there‚ you know? Five years ago it was there‚ but now you don't have to say as much to get there. That's what I mean by seeing the evolution take place. And "Crazy Fingers" is a tune and melody that I love‚ and to hear how you come in and make that melody float on a cloud is really wonderful. It's beautiful.