We’ve been great! And busy… which is great! Most of all, we’ve been excited about getting this new album out into the world! Thanks for chatting with us.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Who’s In Charge”?
“Who’s in Charge?” asks “who’s got the power?” Me? You? Them? In so many situations we’ve all been in–business, school, politics—why should the few have power over the many? When we recorded this track, we wanted to combine the high-energy rock n’ roll that we bring to our live shows with the psychedelic approach we took in producing this album. It’s the first song of the journey and the title track, so we really put everything we’ve got into it.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
No, not so much a specific event, but more of a general feeling. A feeling that there are always gatekeepers, there are always bosses, there are always other people in power and that can get very frustrating. I wanted to write something that would feel like taking some of that power back.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes, as a matter of fact we’re in the final stages of post-production for the music video right now and we’ll be releasing it fairly soon. Ever wonder what happens when you let some kids loose in a school with toilet paper and tell them to go nuts? Keep an eye out for the music video 🙂
Why did you name the album after this track in particular?
There were a number of reasons—this track embodies a lot about us, musically and lyrically. That’s why we put it as the first track of the album. And while the song is really more general, we also liked the idea of the album title saying a little bit to the music industry, “who’s in charge? Cause we’re coming for you!” Also, this song is heavily road-tested… we’ve been playing it on tour for about a year now and we’ve seen a lot of audiences connect with it, so we wanted to build on that connection.
How was the recording and writing process?
Recording this album was really a wonderful process. It’s always very intense to make a record, very all consuming—but it’s also much fun to spend that much time in the studio and to explore all of our different musical visions. We made this one at Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC—definitely one of the nicest studios in the country, so that was just a pleasure. The sounds that get captured there are unparalleled—we knew we needed a heavy-duty studio to do these songs justice. We spent the first 4 days recording the basic tracks for all of the songs—drums, bass, and guitar, more or less like we do the songs live. The three of us played together, in the same room, vibing with each other and leaning heavily on the chemistry we’ve built up through touring 150+ shows a year. We’d already spent a lot of pre-production time working out arrangements and figuring out if and how we wanted our studio versions to differ from our live versions. Once we got the basic tracks down, we spent a few weeks working on vocals, harmony vocals, extra guitar parts, effects, etc.—we really took our time with this process, exploring all ideas, and experimenting with the possibilities in the studio (which are truly endless!). Then we did a couple rounds of mixing, sent it off to mastering, and put a bow on it.
What was it like to work with Julian Dreyer and how did that relationship develop?
We can’t say enough good things about working with Julian as an engineer and co-producer. He brought so much to the table, especially in terms of sound quality. He really helped us get amazing tone and interesting sounds every step of the way. He brought a lot of great musical ideas to the table, helped us determine which takes to use, and pushed us to do better when we weren’t doing our absolute best. And the 4 of us had such a good time in the studio—it was a great balance of working our asses off and laughing our asses off.
How much did you get to improvise in this record?
We’re definitely a song-based band in general—everything starts and ends there. We love improvisation, but it’s always got to serve the song. We really wanted this album to represent what we do live, and that always involves some improvising. So there are some songs on this album that didn’t seem to call for it, where we really just played it straight—songs like “Who’s in Charge?” and “Motivation.” And then there are some songs where one of us improvised a solo or lead part, like the guitar solo on “Requiem For The Chemical Memory” or the bass solo on “Beginner’s Love.” But then we decided to have a couple of songs where we really gave ourselves space to improvise whole sections and just explore without guidelines or expectations. The best examples of that are the instrumental sections in “Munitions Man” and “Treat You Like.” That’s always really exciting because you don’t know what’s going to happen, and then sometime magic happens and it feels so good. I think you can really hear that when you listen to those tracks—there is something happening there that wasn’t planned and probably couldn’t be planned—it’s what happens when 3 best friends who have played hundreds of shows together dive into the unknown while the tape is rolling.
What role does Asheville plays in your music?
Asheville has a great music scene, so there’s always something to go see and get inspired by; there’s always a friend you can talk to about a musical idea or a business question or whatever. And it’s a beautiful area and the quality of life is wonderful—I think all of that finds it’s way into our personalities and moods and therefore our music. But it’s also a difficult town to make a living in as a musician, so that’s pushed us to spend more time on the road, which I think has been great for our musical growth and our fan base growth.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Whatever is moving me—it might be love or heartbreak; it might be something terrible that’s happening in the world or a beautiful place I traveled to; it’s often a conversation I had with someone or an idea I got from reading a book or watching a movie. I usually don’t go into the writing process with the intention of writing about a certain topic. It’s more like something triggers a small spark, and that will get stuck in my head… I’ll be thinking about it for days or weeks or months and eventually it’ll start to form itself into a line or a verse or a chorus. Then from there I’ll start to craft it into an actual song and see if I can communicate the idea in a way that’s interesting, hopefully poetic, and above all else, honest.
How’s the road been treating you so far?
The road is super fun, it’s exhausting, it’s inspiring, it’s exciting and engaging, it’s difficult and trying… all at once. It’s a strange thing to live out of hotels and people’s spare rooms, to put everything you’ve got out to the world every night, to one night get so much love and energy back from an audience and the next night play to a mostly empty, smoky bar. And yet, most of the time, we love it, because that’s who we are and this is what we’re doing and there’s no alternative that could make us happy. And because we’re very close friends… we love each other’s company and we love playing music together. Because we all excite each other so much musically, and because we allow ourselves to improvise and change songs from night to night, it doesn’t feel like a grind, it doesn’t get boring.
What are you looking forward to the most with this tour?
After our big hometown show in Asheville, NC on August 5th, the Album Release Tour starts with a trip up the east coast. That’s always a blast for us because all 3 of us have a ton of family and friends along the way—we get to visit with our people, they come out to the shows, we get lots of home cooking—it’s a winner of a tour. And there are some areas along this tour that are really supportive of us and that I think will be really excited to get the new album. Philly and New York are always a lot of fun for us, there’s an amazing show we do outside of Boston where we connect really deeply with the people who put it on and who come to the shows, DC is such a beautiful city and we’ve got a lot of friends there… it’s gonna be great!
Having performed with some big names in the industry, what have you learned from these experiences?
First of all, that’s always such an honor. We played a show with Rusted Root recently—when I was first getting really into playing music and writing songs they were a huge influence on me. I even remember thinking, I should just completely steal this guy’s way of singing (that phase passed, but it was a good learning experience). And this many years later, they’re still killing it. The best thing is seeing musicians who have been at it for a long time and who still put their guts into the show. It inspires us the most when we see bands that are in it, that are really present while they’re performing… it reminds us to always strive toward that. It’s harder than it sounds, but more or more we come to realize it’s really the most important thing.
What else is happening next in The Get Right Band’s world?
Getting this album out and all the things associated with that (release tour, publicity, radio promo, making music videos, etc.) has really been the major focus. I’m excited to get the music out into people’s ears and hearts and hopefully it will connect with some folks and move some folks. I’m excited to release these two new music videos that we’re working on—I feel really good about how they came out and I think people are really going to dig them. Other than that, we’re justgonna stay at it—keep writing new songs, keep touring, keep pushing the music to grow, keep learning about the business and how to make that grow, keep making connections with fans and musicians and VENTS Magazine and whoever we cross paths with out in the world.