So kind of you to have us! We have zero things to complain about at the moment.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Roots”?
We’ll certainly do our best to sum it up. “Roots” was the first song we wrote as a duo & it’s basically a mourning of the people we used to be, woven with acceptance for who we’re becoming.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Oh, yes. We met each other in Paris, France in the winter of 2016. Jenn had been living there for almost 5 years with her husband and two children when I (Sam) showed up. After becoming fast friends and spending six incredible months getting to know one another, Jenn returned to the States with her family. I had intended to live in Paris for two years, but ended up moving back two months after Jenn did. She wrote the bulk of this song the day she returned to her childhood home in Lexington, KY. The home where I eventually moved to & have been living in for the past two years. Moving back was hard for both us in several ways. For Jenn, she was returning to a home & city that was so familiar, but as a completely different person than the one who used to live there. For myself, I was abandoning a desire I had since I was a kid to live overseas as a missions worker & felt so far removed from that life. We both came back really different people
& we were completely unfamiliar with ourselves. Didn’t quite know who we were anymore & the people around us couldn’t figure it out either.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We want to release a live, one-take, version of this song sometime in the next few months. We’re really excited about a music video we’re working on for our next single “Ulysses” though. That one’s gonna be a banger.
The single comes off your new album Theories – what’s the story behind the title?
Theories, was the most fitting title we tossed around for our first EP. Every song was written in the midst of a wildly confusing, uncertain & painful transition that led us to see how fickle and unstable our understanding of life was. People are generally frightened by mystery & obscurity. We sure were/still are. One thing we’ve learned in our last two years is that you can still have faith in something while recognizing that everything is subject to change, nothing is quite certain, and we’ll never have it all figured out. We know that throughout our lives and the duration of our music career, our ideas and how we see things are going to deviate. We felt it appropriate to call our first album Theories because no matter how pointedly or strongly we address things in our music, we’re not trying to say that we have answers for anything. It’s all speculation.
How was the recording and writing process?
Incredible & super weird. We never set out to be musicians or songwriters. It just kind of happened. That being said, we had no clue (& still don’t) how people normally go about trying to write and record music. Oddly enough for this album, we can look back on every song and say that they all just sort of showed up. We never once sat down to try and write them, they pretty much just evolved out of jam sessions or random bursts of inspiration. We’re going to try to be a little more intentional for our next project, but whatever we did (& the lack thereof) seemed to work alright for this one.
What was it like to work with Chris Jacobie and how did that relationship develop?
Chris is incredible. We tried out three producers before he came to our rescue. We had been long-time fans of a preposterously talented duo, Penny & Sparrow. Last year, we caught of their shows at The Ryman Auditorium & purchased their first album Tenboom on vinyl. After the show, Jenn flipped over to the back side of the vinyl and noted the name of the producer. She went and followed him on Instagram & we received an email the next day from Jacobie Productions asking if we were interested in working together. We were.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Chris had immense influence on the album. We were astounded through the learning process of recording by how many different ways there are to make a song sound. When we started tracking with Chris, we had already recorded three different versions of “Roots”. All of which were missing the creative mark for what we had in mind. We figured since this guy produced some of our favorite music, we could trust him & we’re so glad we did.
What role does Lexington play in your music?
Oh, man. It’s safe to say we wouldn’t be doing this without the music community in Lexington. We probably wouldn’t know our closest friends here if we hadn’t gone out to shows & connected with other local bands, all of whom were extremely inviting and supportive. Our friends Will Solomon, Lylak, Buck the Taxidermist, & so many other bands here have played a key role in consistently encouraging us to go after this. There is no race to the top in Lexington’s music scene. Everyone is arm-in-arm, pulling each other along & we’re grateful for it.
Any plans to hit the road?
We have a few shows & festivals between now and this winter, but we’re holding off on touring again until the spring. We want to dedicate a lot of time to writing and recording our next album.
What else is happening next in RYVOLI’s world?
Well, we’re excited to announce some really cool shows coming up. We’re always scheming & dreaming so just stay with us!