But I think probably the best and most interesting Tortoise material comes about through the whole collaboration of all five of us. It usually ends up being better than if just one person composed it, you know what I mean?
Right. And that makes sense. I mean it would seem that if everybody is sort of bringing their strengths to the project I mean that's what makes Tortoise Tortoise I guess.
So my other question is then, how do you decide who's playing what? Or does it just sort of again, kind of happen organically? Does it happen to be what you're near at the time that you're rehearsing or jamming on something and an idea strikes you and you happen to be you know, hey, this would sound great with a lap steel part as opposed to a bass part or maybe Bitney's already playing bass, so you're kind of thinking maybe in an upper register? You know what I mean?
Yeah, I mean that's pretty much it. It's like it boils down to what any given member of the band has an idea to do, basically. And often one of us might have an idea that they're not actually capable of executing and maybe you could try to describe it to another member of the band and see if they could do it, but usually it's someone has an idea like "Oh I can already hear like this great bass part for this song. I should play bass…." And usually it just falls together like that. There are always songs that not all five of us play on, too. So sometimes in a live situation, maybe one of us will be playing a part that somebody else played on the recording, just to be able to execute it live, when maybe somebody on the recording did two different parts or something. And that's just the way the song came together.
Right. On the song "Fall of Seven Diamonds," are you playing bass 6 on that song?
No, I'm playing guitar on that. It's just electric guitar.
That's like right in that area where like those two cross over but it sounds so good.
[Laughter] Yeah. Usually when I play guitar I end up playing the lower register because that's closer to my comfort zone, like the bass 6.
Because it sounds like some of the stuff that you do, at least that I can figure out that you've done on some of the Brokeback stuff, which I'm assuming is the bass 6 stuff, and it sounds like the same basic tone and the same basic register and it's one of the songs that really kind of stood out for me on the album. It sounds great.
That's my only particular crutch I guess, like that style of song. I can't really seem to get away from writing stuff like that. I've tried to not write things like that just because it's become like part of the Tortoise repertoire or whatever.
It's great though! And you're right-it's definitely part of the Tortoise sound. There are some classic tracks on, like, TNT for example, that make me think of Tortoise, that are part of the Tortoise language. [laughs]
Yeah, I think I'll probably always write songs like that.
That's a good thing. There's the other song that I'm gonna ask you to prounounce… it looks like… ["Yinxianghechengqi"].
Oh, I don't know how to pronounce that [Laughter]. Somebody does.
Yeah, the bass sounds on that are… are… awesome.
[Laughs] Oh, thanks.
Now, is there more than one person playing bass on this song?
Yeah, it's me and Dan.
And is it at the same time or does he come in on like the second time around?