Home > Interviews > T: Writing & Recording


History of the Band

Writing & Recording

Playing Out

In Closing



BB: How does a new song usually come about for you guys?
Adam: Well to this point I’ve done most of the writing. The great thing about it is the group is so proficient at their instruments that they can take a song that I write and make it into something that’s totally different. I basically will write the guts of the song and bring it to the band and everyone has different ideas about what it should be and it kind of evolves. Most of the songs have gotten the way that they are because we’re a live band. We play a lot more live gigs than we do practice actually.

Pete: There would be times that we wouldn't practice for months.
Josh: Yeah, we would just say let’s try this new song at this gig or that gig.
Adam: Also Jordan had been in college the entire time at Bard College in New York so she’s hadn’t been around as much. But yeah, I’ll just bring something in, but most of it gets flushed out live. We really are a live band primarily.

BB: What are your musical influences personally, especially those that affect the music of the band?
Pete: My father is a drummer. He and my two uncles raised me on things anywhere from the Beatles to Santana and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to Jeff Beck and everything in between. Phish, and Zappa, and all these really great bands. I think there’s really great stuff in all different kinds of music.
Josh: I don’t even know where to start. I think my earliest memories are of Jackson Browne's “Hold Out” album. I hear that record and it’s like I was born with it. But it took a long time before I realized I actually liked Jackson Browne outside of the fact that it sounded so familiar. Also U2, Bruce Springsteen, Beatles.
Adam: You have a lot of Knopfler too.
Josh: Yeah, Dire Straits.
Pete: My dad always said you sound like a mix between The Edge and Dave Gilmore.
Josh: I’d say more The Edge, because I can’t play as well as someone like Mark Knopfler but I can try to get sounds like The Edge.
Adam: We were just like Pete growing up with his family playing drums. Our families are both real musical. We always had musical instruments in our hands. I don’t remember learning how to play the guitar because it was before memory. Once I got older, Bob Dylan became a huge influence. Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Jackson Browne and Tom Waits were probably the four songwriters that influenced me the most. But then you get into sounds, and what you want to sound like. U2 is a great influence, beyond just the music, because of their way to be able to transcend genres. I mean, you can turn on any music station in Boston and hear U2 whether it’s the River, BOS, FNX, BCN, Kiss 108 or Mix 98.5. Put on any of those stations and you can here U2.
Jordan: Well for a long time when I was growing up and in high school I was kind of rejecting what they listened to because they’re my brothers and I didn’t want to listen to what they listened to. So mostly I was into a lot of female artists. Sarah McLachlan was the reason when I was in seventh grade that I started writing songs. And then through playing with these guys and spending so much time with them, I realized that the stuff that they like was really good. I still have my core of female singers that I love. Patty Griffin. One of my favorite bands is The Innocence Mission.
Adam: A great band.
Josh: I just wanted to say too that a lot of what influenced me was just my dad talking about music. What it was like in his day. When we were little we would listen to the oldies. My dad would tell us who everyone was; tell us the history of rock and roll through the radio.

BB: How would you guys describe your own style?
Adam: That’s a good question.
Pete: That is a good question.
Adam: I think there’s a lot of people in the music industry that want you to describe your own sound and label you as this is what you are and this is what you’re doing.
Josh: Who’s heels are we gonna put you out on.
Adam: For us it’s difficult because we do a lot of different styles. I guess at the core of it we’re just American Rock N’ Roll. We have a lot of different influences and it’s hard to pin down. I think in the end that will make a difference positively for us.
Pete: At the core of this band I think is really great songwriting and singer for one thing. The singer makes or breaks the band. Adam just has this phenomenal voice that even if I wasn’t in the Troubadours I would be listening to him. There’s a jam quality to it, because we’ve developed live. We do a cover of [Van Morrison’s] Astral Weeks, where it sounds like it’s out of control at times, but it’s all orchestrated, we all know our parts.
Adam: We do about three to four covers in a three-hour set.
Pete: We did two Bob Dylan and two Van Morrison the other night.

BB: What has your experience been like recording music?
Adam: Well, to this point we’ve done four full-length albums. And we’ve done them in a few different types of settings. It’s actually pretty easy because we play so much live that really everything’s ready to go. We did two albums with Tony Goddess from the band Papas Fritas.
Pete: Dentine commercial.
Adam: He’s been around the Boston scene for years; he’s a really great guy.
Pete: He’s the one that basically took Guster from a jam band and turned them into a pop band. That song Amsterdam, he co-wrote it. We went in and recorded 23 songs in two days, and 21 were in the first day. Then we just came back to do two more. It all just came from live songs and we said, Jordan’s going to college, let’s just get them down.

BB: Do you guys prefer the studio or playing out?
Pete: They’re both their own animal.
Josh: I feel like a studio, given time and resources, it could be really good and exciting new thing for this band.
Pete: Especially with Alex.
Josh: But playing live…
Adam: There’s nothing like playing live. There’s nothing like the energy.
Pete: The past year we’ve been playing less but to more people. The Burren was like on fire the whole night and it was just a great experience to have people, after playing five years of bars and the same sets still enjoy it. I have DATs of all our shows since ’98 and we’ve had the same sets in some cases for years. I think our best stuff has yet to come and with the addition of Alex we crossing over into some sort of electronic and classical, it’s just something really good.
Jordan: We’ve also just become much better musicians. When I first started playing in the band, I had been playing the bass for a year and didn’t really play that well and now I’m getting better at it.
Pete: Jordan’s a real star.
Adam: Jordan will be legendary.

BB: You guys went down to Nashville recently. How did that come about?
Adam: A friend of mine moved to Nashville and I went down to visit. It’s hard to not know people in the music industry when you live down there. The whole town is built on the music industry. I had said to her that if she knew anybody in the industry down there to throw our name around. She then gave her next door neighbor's sometimes boyfriend our name. He had worked for Sony, and was one of the top publishers in at Sony music for 15 years and had started his own creative enterprise. When I went down there I didn’t even know she had given him the CD. We went to the Grand Ole Opry, came back the house, and there was a sign on the door that said don’t let your friend leave town before I talk to him. I ended up going to this guy’s house, staying up till three in the morning and talking music. He said, “when’s your next gig,” and I said we’re playing this little place up in Boston out on the water in Gloucester called the Mad Fish Grill in a couple weeks. He said, "I think I can be there." So he flew up to see us play. He came up a couple times afterward and I went down there. He’s seen fit to make some investment in the band with his company. His goal is to get us signed to he the best major record label that we can. It’s actually fun to do it through Nashville as opposed to New York or Boston because around here we have trouble being taken seriously, because we’re not negative enough. Not angry enough. There’s a lot of angst in music right now. Just down on everything and all that, and we come out and play these shows and it’s an anomaly that something that's trying to be positive and communal would be received so well. Then we go down to Nashville and we’re “edgy.” (Laughter) We’re rock. I go down there for a week and meet all these music people and they’re like, “hey, you’re the rock n’ roll guy.” (Laughter)
Pete: Well, I think that’s also the goal. It seems like he’s making sure that we don’t record something even remotely close to country. He gets country all the time, so the idea that we are gonna be presented as a rock pop outfit is cool. I mean, we have country in our blood, I guess its “county country,” but definitely rock is the where I’m coming from.
Adam: And that’s the stuff that we’re recording.

BB: So how was the trip?
Adam: Very exciting and transformational. The company we are working with down there, New Sheriff Creative Enterprises, Inc., has been great. They arranged for us to record at The Sound Emporium, a top flight Nashville Studio, where everyone from R.E.M. to Sheryl Crow to Kenny Rogers has recorded. And yes, "The Gambler" was recorded there. They also set us up with producer Tim Lauer, who turned out to be perfect for the job - we hope to work with him again in the future.

That experience was also important for us as a band, getting used to functioning as a unit in those types of situations - including the unusual situation of being alone together away from home while recording, touring, etc.

The recordings we made in Nashville will be released over two EPs. The first, titled Plan A, will be released Saturday, July 24. The second, titled Plan B, does not yet have a release date set. These EP’s will be immediately available for sales at our website or at live shows.



Part 1: History of the Band

Part 2: Writing & Recording

Part 3: Playing Out

Part 4: In Closing


*Pictures courtesy of http://www.ttheband.com/

Merchandise | Advertise With Us | Legal Information | Contact Us | About Us

©2003-2005 Boston Beats






Boston Music, Boston Artist Interviews, Boston Bands