How long did you spend writing the songs that made it onto this EP?
That’s hard to say. I wrote “15 Minutes” over two years ago, but it didn’t have a home until Run Katie Run was making the EP. The rest of them were written in late 2019 and through 2020. There are a bunch of other songs that got written, but are in reserves for the next project we make. These six songs just hung well together.
What was the recording sessions like? Did you record before the pandemic started or during the pandemic? Got any great studio stories to share?
We started recording well before the pandemic – around June 2019 – and also during the pandemic. In fact, we originally wanted this EP to be six months old already, ha ha. But the universe had a different plan for us. We put off getting together and recording for over two months. When we did decide to get together, we were all nervous because the virus was still so new. We ended up catching up and safely hanging out far more than we actually made music; totally worth it though. Having a new band in your late 20s/early 30s is so different than when we were in our teens and early 20s. When you’re kids, you get together several times a week and do nothing but experiment and get better. When you have five adults who have other responsibilities and you’re all full-time musicians with other projects, you have to make the most of the three or four times a month you can get together. But we always have so much fun, and I love hearing everyone’s ideas for songs/arrangements.
I always like to bring songs to the band that are no more than 90% done, because that extra 10% is what they have to add to it. It can sometimes be an extra solo or an additional chorus, writing a bridge or whatever. Leaving that 10% left on the bone is what makes the studio so much fun; there’s room to play and be those kids again. We have a rule where we have to at least try every single idea; they don’t all make the cut, but we try them all. My favorite memory is when we had a two-day sleepover recording session to make “Stolen Time.” We made music, ate, drank, and laughed for two days straight, and I think the reason “Stolen Time” turned out so epic is because of that 48-hour studio session.
Your lyrics are really great. Do you have a favorite lyric line or two on the EP? Why do those words resonate for you? How about a favorite song among them?
Wow, thank you so much! That really means a lot to me, because I don’t see myself as a great lyricist. I guess the ones that’s immediately popped in my head were the following:
“…Which man you gonna be? The one who lays in my bed or one who leaves his keys. Each one could tie you down, each one could set you free. Stay if you want to leave if you please.” from “Stay or Leave.” It’s simply written but a very honest sentiment. I want to know the truth from the people around me. If you don’t want to be around me or if you have a problem with me, I may be hurt but I want to know. I think a lot of unhappiness, restlessness, and anxiety that a person feels is often the result of not vocalizing the truth or the truth not being vocalized to them.
“Maybe in love we don’t have to be so scared. Maybe you just try your best while hand-in-hand. I want to believe it’s that easy and if I take that chance I’m kinda hoping I’ll be with you.” from “Kinda Hoping,” as well as “I’m trying to live in the moment, I’m burning off the deadwood. I’m whittled down to branches and ashes but I’m kinda hoping I’ll be with you.” For me this whole song is about how lust and yearning change the older you get. You’ve been hurt, you’ve suffered through your own mistakes, and yet you still want to believe in love and happiness. I feel like these two lines captured that really well.
“To say that ‘I don’t care’ would only be because I’m scared for you, for me, for everyone I ever knew,” from “Running On Love.” Again, it’s a simple, conversational lyric, but how many times have you said to yourself or out loud to someone, “I don’t care!” when you felt scared or cornered? It’s amazing how those three words actually mean the complete opposite most of the time.
If I had to pick a favorite song off the EP, it would have to be “15 Minutes.” It’s still the song that’s teaching me something. I know this may sound crazy, but over the years I’ve written songs that I thought meant one thing, but then a year or so later, I see it actually means something else. A different way of saying that is I’ll write a song for someone else, as if I’m singing it to them, then a year later I realize I was talking to myself all along.
Your music has a very organic, comfortable vibe to it, and it’s loaded with a lot of different genres – I hear some Americana, some rock, some pop, some blues. How did you come to settle on the sound that is Run Katie Run? Collectively, who are the band’s biggest influences?
That’s so cool – I’m really glad it feels organic, diverse, and comfortable! Actually you could use those same words to describe the relationship between the band members and me, too! We never settled on any sound, you know? We all listen to such different music, from experimental jazz to pop, top 40, classic country, blues, folk, rock, metal, and everything in between. It inevitably seeps into your writing and arrangements, and different songs call for different influences. You know how when you’re a teenager and you try on a bunch of different personalities, hobbies, and friend groups to figure out who you are? Well, I think music is like that for us. We don’t want to be one or two things; we want to continuously try on different styles. I tend to come back around to my home-base, which is country music, like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, because it’s comfortable and I’ll always love it; like when you go to your parents house for a visit and sleep in your old room. But we’re wanderers, so we wouldn’t be content trying to sound the same on the next project.
Song-by-song I think these were the biggest influences for this project:
“15 Minutes” – Dawes and Whitney Houston
“No Way Out” – Fiona Apple and Grace Potter
“Stolen Time” – Avett Brothers, U2, and Brandi Carlile
“Kinda Hoping” – Queen and Dolly Parton
“Stay or Leave” – Samantha Fish and Steely Dan
“Running On Love” – Grace Potter, Dawes, and The Chicks
I think our biggest influences overall are Dawes, the vibe and energy of Grateful Dead, Grace Potter, The Chicks, and Brandi Carlile.
What do you hope listeners take away from hearing this EP? What do you take away from having recorded these particular songs?
When we started Run Katie Run and we started making music together, I thought to myself, “This is just going to be fun; it doesn’t have to mean anything,” and that’s never the case with me. Meaning is inside of everything I do. Only after hearing the collection of all six songs together, I saw that this EP is about knowing who you are, going after what you want, and doing it confidently, honestly, and lovingly. We’re humans so we’ll never have all the answers to things we want answers for, but I feel like making these songs with these people brought me so many answers to questions I didn’t realize I was asking. I hope people find bits and pieces of themselves in our music. Our job is to put complex emotions into songs so you have an outlet. That’s all I ever want from anything I make.
Artist website: https://www.runkatierun.com/