Hamilton: I thought we played well. Good selection of songs, great fans, beautiful weather. Would have been nice if the people in charge didn't make our sound guy turn the PA system down by 50% in the middle of our set, but what can ya do?
Lowenberg: We played alright, but they got a noise complaint from neighbors, and we had to be turned down. To a large extent, a good show for us depends on good/full sound. I think this is true for most electronic/dance music.
Some artists make great studio albums, some play well live. Is it still important to you guys to be able to do both?
McKee: Honestly that's the most important thing to me. When I was like 18, 19, 20 years old I got into Phish and delved through the jamband scene a bit looking for new music. And basically what I discovered was that most of them sounded almost identical and none of them made good records. And when I met Tommy what really struck me was that more than anything, he appreciated good records. We didn't talk about how sick a particular Phish show was, we talked about Abbey Road and Animals and shit like that. And when we started to first play shows outside the Philly area we kind of became a jamband and learned how to improvise and we built a fanbase through that, but we never lost sight of what it means to make a good record. I think that's the most important thing these days, for me at least. The shows are about energy and spontaneous creativity, but the records are about making a statement that means something. And I think we helped change that just a little bit in the jam scene. More bands in this scene are trying to make good records instead of just recording 12 songs and giving it a name. That can't be a bad thing for the scene.
Hamilton: It's the only way to do it. The concerts are fleeting moments. Once we walk off of stage it's finished and there's no reason for us to look back. Albums are the true statement that will last, for good or bad. We've been fortunate to make some good records and hopefully we are continuing that trend with the work we are doing now.
Parnell: Making studio albums has always been a huge part of who we are and
we've long felt that our approach to the studio is one thing that sets us apart from other bands in our genre. So it was pretty much a no-brainer that we would get back in the studio once we realized that we were more or less "back." It started out as a "let's cut a few tracks" sort of thing and then kind of evolved into a "let's put out an EP" and now has evolved all the way to "we're making a full-length album."
A Wonderful Day, Elements, and This Feelings Called Goodbye are all incredible albums. How would you classify each album with one word?
Hamilton: Elements: Crap
AWD: Learning
TFCG: Cutting
Interesting, that's kind of rough on Elements... A lot of people love the album. Maybe the overall sound quality of it is a little funny, but "crap"?
Hamilton: We really had no idea what we were doing at the time. We had this grand vision but no tools to realize it, ya know? We were kids. Regardless of the reasons why it came out the way it did, it's not an album that is very good. Sorry man.
A Wonderful Day has played a positive role during negative parts of people's lives, so it's safe to say that you weren't the only ones "learning" from that piece.
Hamilton: That's a really nice thing to hear. Thanks.
When This Feelings Called Goodbye was released, we were told to expect it in major stores all over the U.S. What happened to the distribution of it?
Hamilton: Your guess is as good as mine. Record companies have been scrambling for years with how to release music and This Feeling's Called Goodbye was just another casualty.
What can we expect from the new album? How does it feel being in the studio again?
McKee: The new album is weird. That's the vibe so far. We're writing new songs and recording them from scratch and then worrying about how to play them later. So we haven't been limited at all in what we're writing. We actually just started learning how to play some of them, but that doesn't mean we're going to start playing them yet. It just felt good to begin learning how to play new music together. I definitely think the new record will have a few older songs on it. We've been recording some of that stuff and re-working some of it too and getting great results.
Hamilton: Where the recording is at now I feel that this album makes sense in our progression. Definitely weirder than TFCG. It's not as "poppy" and I think we're comfortable with that. The last album we were definitely going for something polished and I think we succeeded. That being said, we don't need to do that again. I'm a fan of always moving forward. Just because you were successful with something doesn't mean you keep doing it, ya know? A career is about the body of work at the end of the day and I just want to be able to look back at the progression of our albums and feel that we were always challenging ourselves and our fans with every release.
Who is writing the new material?

McKee: It's a really collaborative process now. It used to be I wrote my songs and Tommy wrote his and occasionally we'd work on arrangements together. And that didn't always work, especially after TFCG came out because we were on the road so much that there wasn't a lot of time to really work out the arrangements. But now we have all the time in the world to try different things and experiment with ways to make the song more interesting. This new batch of songs started with ideas I had demoed out while the band wasn't playing. Tommy and I go through them and figure out what we can use and then we basically strip them down and build songs around them. "Heroes" and "Charity" started that way and so did a few of the other tunes. Tommy has a lot of vision and knows exactly what the songs gonna be after he's heard a few bars of it. He really has become an excellent producer. But basically we build the song out from there. Clay usually gets involved once the structure is in place and he plays a bigger role in the actual recording process. He has a great ear for sounds.
Hamilton: I have always been in an assistant producer role when making BP records and I have learned a lot working with Jon Altschiller who did "This Feeling's Called Goodbye" as well as working with Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) who I just finished the new American Babies album with. For this album I felt that I could successfully stand at the helm and get the results we as a group are looking for so that's the route we're going.