GC: Hey! The last few weeks have been crazy eventful. Exciting and strange.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Free America”?
Richie Cheeks: Well, yeah, that’s kind of related to the strange times he spoke of. We wrote the tune sometime in July, when the election was really starting to peak our interest, and the interest of the country as a whole. At the same time, J Dub was going through some very trying things personally. So, it ended up being a collage of the two…Questioning how free we actually are as Americans, how much our government and the nation’s institutions have our best interests at heart, and the story of a very personal struggle of the dissolution of a marriage and the ensuing quest for freedom that comes with that.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
J Dub: Yeah, There were a string of police shootings of unarmed Americans that were highly publicized in the news. And then I got into a situation that made allowed him to experience just how unpleasant interactions with the police can be if they want to make it hard on you. I wrote most of the verse lyrics in an hour and we got together to fine tune them and write the hook.
How was the film experience?
Run and Gun! We had Blaze, our amazing videographer friend in the studio for the recording day. Then he grabbed some footage on the street right after. We took an extra day in an all white room that a friend let us borrow. Beyond that, it was all protest and riot footage that we used to tie the whole story together. If it had just been us rocking-out, the message may not have carried across as strongly.
How was the recording and writing process?
GC: This may sound like a bit of a brag, but when we get going on an idea, it just pours out of us in a matter of hours. We had the track and the lyrics done in something like 4 hours. A week later, we were laying down the final vocals with King Z3us and mixing. The nice thing about having a band comprised of three experienced songwriter/producers is that you’re never at a loss for an idea to run with.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are producing for someone else than when you are working on the band’s music?
JD: It’s a similar process actually. We hare trying to do the artist justice and help their message stay honest and on point. That’s exactly what we do for ourselves.
What role does NYC plays in your music?
GC: It’s one of the most inspiring cities in the world. To get to wake up in it every day…what a privilege. We’ve all been here most of our lives, but somehow we don’t ever take it for granted. The energy is just electric.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
RD: There are 20 plus songs on tape already. Like I said, we are crazy productive!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
GC: 7 of those tunes are mixed and ready to release in the spring. We have some tentative titles…but we don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Would the whole album deal with politics?
J Dub: Free America is by far the most political thing we every produced. We actually debated whether it would be the best thing for us to lead with. “Do we really want to go down this road?” But in the end, we are about honesty and sharing what’s going on in our lives. So, here we are.