PACIFIC RADIO – Pretty, but killing me

‘Pretty, but killing me’ is one of my favorite records of last year. Released in December, so still as fresh as fresh can be. Pacific Radio combines all there is to like: Power Pop, Garage – and Indy rock. Catchy as hell, all songs. I mean ALL SONGS.

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PACIFIC RADIO IS:

 

Joe Robinson:  Guitar and Lead Vocal
Joe Stiteler:  Bass
Kyle Biane:  Guitar
Hyke Shirinian:  Drums

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
JR: The first day we recorded at Conway Studios it felt real.  Tracking in a place with that unique vibe and history really reinforces the fact that it isn’t amateur anymore.

 

JS:  We recorded three songs in Austin in the middle of March and SXSW, that had to be the most fun.

 

KB:  I think the biggest fun for me is tweaking the arrangements. We typically play the songs live for quite a while before we take them to the studio. When we finally get to record them it is fun to invent new things to make them come alive on the album.

 

HS:  Tough question for me.. The recording process is always a blast. Though so is touring it!

 

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
JR:  I got Pro Tools and started “idea recording” songs. People kind of flipped out. That sparked the confidence I needed. They continued to get better and better as the band put their footprints on them, and here we are.

 

JS:  When we showed up to Conway Studios and started tracking drums.  It’s a special place and we were honored to be there.

 

KB:  When JR played me a demo of the song “Katie” I remember thinking we were onto something.

 

HS:  The whole process just feels special.  The way it has all come together, you know?

 

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

JR:  It has brought anxiety. It hasn’t brought a Lamborghini.

 

JS:  We’re adapting to the new process of cyber interaction.  A long way from the times of handing out flyers in person or spray painting our logo onto a sidewalk.

 

KB:  I think it always has been a non-traditional industry, and with the internet’s role becoming such a large factor, the “changes in the music business” are just coming faster and faster. I don’t think that we have missed or gained anything, I can say however, we go into work everyday not knowing what to expect. And that can be kind of exciting.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

JR:  “Skyway” The Replacements
      “Rave On” M. Ward
      “I Only Want You” Eagles of Death Metal
      “Peg” Steely Dan
      “Roadrunner” Modern Lovers

 

JS:  “Every Breath You Take” The Police
      “Tyler” The Toadies
      “Keep On Loving You” REO Speedwagon
      “Walk” Pantera
      “This Love” Pantera

 

KB:  “Across the Sea” Weezer
      “Overcaffeinated” Yellowbirddd
      “I Only Have Eyes for You” The Flamingos
      “Caroline No” The Beach Boys
      “Debra” Beck

 

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

JR:  Pacific Radio is a “success”, but there is plenty of room in my bank account for more “success”

 

JS:  Success is the journey, not the destination.

 

HS:  To me… It already is. It was a huge endeavor and we’re all proud of it


KB:  I am with Hyke, this whole adventure is a blast, and we are constantly setting new high water marks for ourselves. I am just glad we get to keep doing it.

 

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THE MYLARS – MELODY RECORDS

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The music of The Mylars has been compared to Bruce Springsteen and Rick Springfield. Heartland rock and Power Pop.

 

Most important, Melody Records contains 9 quality songs.

 

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Danny and Quig.

 

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

 
Actually, the thing that was the most fun for us was just sitting back on the last day of mixing and listening to the record in its entirety. It was definitely a very proud moment for The Mylars.

 
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

 
We knew we were on to something special right from the very beginning of the writing process. Every song took on a life of its own and each one brought with it a sense of new excitement.

 
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

 
The music industry has certainly changed a lot. Along with the change comes the sense of freedom to write and record exactly what we wanted, how we wanted.

We were able to capture the sound we were hearing in our heads without the outside distractions and influences of people with a different agenda.
It also gave us the ability to own 100% of the rights to our future.

 

 

 

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She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

 
1) I Melt with You- Modern English
2) Hold Me Now- Thompson Twins
3) If You Leave- OMD
4) Don’t You Forget About Me- Simple Minds
5) When it comes down to making out, Whenever possible put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV

 
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
We believe a record goes thru many successes. The fact that the record is out in the world and that people are truly enjoying it is definitely a success for us on a certain level.
We believe that the ultimate success for this record would be for every person who truly loves power pop rock as much as we do to have the chance to enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

 

THE STANLEYS – THE STANLEYS

“If there’s a better pure power pop album that’s been released in 2017, I’d like to hear it. In the meantime, I’d like to hear ‘The Stanleys’ four or five more times. Grade: A” – Goldmine Magazine (US)

Mark Di Renzo ‘explains it all’.

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

There can be frustrating moments along the way when making an album but I do feel for me it’s pretty much all fun. The most rewarding aspect of making an album is being part of the journey of each song starting as just an idea, then slowly building all the solid foundations, then listening back writing and adding new parts, taking away things, trying ideas and sometimes accidentally and unintentionally adding awesome parts, then finally finishing a song that is ready to be released to the world!

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At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you know you were on to something special?

For me it was once we’d written and recorded the first half of the album. At that point I was so excited about that half and I knew we all wanted to write more songs we felt were just as good as the first half of the album or even better!   I think musicians like myself and others can be their own biggest critics.  Therefore, if you can get to a point where you are very excited about your own work and know that no matter what anyone else thinks you love it, that is a great place to be.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

If we start with the “what nots” I feel the main thing is the lessening in value of music as a product.  Its obviously a lot harder to sell and make revenue from physical and digital music than it has been in the past.

However, the internet (via music blogs and social media) is a great medium for discovering new music from all over the world and it has made the world a much smaller place.  It has helped The Stanleys to connect with power pop lovers from all around the world to assist with releasing and promoting our music and organising tours overseas.  We’ve been lucky enough to play gigs in many places in Europe and USA as well as a few places in Asia and I hope we can visit some more places in this big world of ours!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

That’s a tough one to answer without knowing the actual girl I’m dating but whomever she might be I’d like some variety in there so these 5 below might work well together:

Pavement – Stereo

Jet – Rollover DJ

The Stone Roses – Waterfall

The Smithereens – Too Much Passion

Prince – 1999

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

To me the record is already a success and I am very grateful. To have three labels in different parts of the world invest some money and their time and effort into releasing the album, many music journalists from different parts of the globe say lovely things about it, many people come watch us on tour and many radio DJs from all over the world play songs from the album on their shows makes us very happy.

And now at the end of the year to be included in some Best of 2017 lists, the album’s reception has really been way beyond our expectations. I hope we can get back on the road and tour again next year to meet some more lovely people around the globe.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share your music with people!

2017 was a punk rock year for Sweet Sweet Music

2017 was a punk rock year for Sweet Sweet Music.

01. Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life

02. The Menzingers – After The Party

03. The Lillingtons – Stella Sapiente

04. Together Pangea – Bulls and Roosters

05. Hot Water Music – Light it Up

06. Pacific Radio – Pretty, but killing me

07. The Front Bottoms – Going Grey

08. Citizen – As You Please

09. Brand New – Science Fiction

10. Acid Tongue – Babies

ED RYAN – Furious Mind

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“Furious Mind follows on all that was great about Roadmap. The songs are beautifully constructed taking up the rockier space in Power Pop. Loads of hooks, soaring choruses, everything you need from an album.”…I Don’t Hear A Single 

“It is like an album of singles, all killer, no filler and with more hooks than a Chinese fishing fleet…get it!”… Ice Cream Man

“Pleasing melodies, weeping guitars. There’s something here for everybody”…POWERPOPNEWS.COM 

Furious Mind received some great reviews because it is a great record. It’s as simple as that.

 

 

It sounds like every now and then you like to play outside. Outside the Power Pop marketplace. Can you share your view on this?

I have very eclectic tastes in music and that informs what I like to write and play. I just like very strong melodies no matter the genre…I do prefer the harder rocking side of things and love a good guitar solo.

My first musical training was playing jazz drums and as an adult I went back to school to get my masters in musical composition, so I’m classically trained as well, but I love to rock!

My all-time favorite album is Buffalo Springfield Again…it includes everything from garage, folk, country, jazz, orchestral, psychedelia and a little power pop.

Variety keeps me from getting bored. Power pop is my favorite, but I have entire albums worth of more hard rock, prog pop and rootsy/acoustic songs in the can. Hopefully, it’s all good music no matter what it’s called!

If you listen to Roadmap and Furious Mind you can say you have a style of your own. How would you describe it?

On the musical side of things, my music is melodic but hard rocking for the most part. I love the juxtaposition of a catchy melody over a band sound with the attack of The Who or Humble Pie with a Beck/Ronson type lead guitar.

Lyrically a little dark but hopefully with a sense of humor. Another huge influence is the Glam era of the early seventies and art pop like John Cale, Kevin Ayers, Peter Gabriel etc. So…catchy, rocking and a little dark!

 

How many Pink Floyd records did you play before you recorded the guitar solos on Take Me Home 😊?

 

Ha! Actually, Gilmour live in Gdansk is a touchstone. I love emotional, dramatic blues-based solos that never lose their sense of melody. So that was definitely in the back of my mind while recording!

 

Rocket Ship is my favorite song. After a year of extremely hard work at the office, this can easily become my 2018 theme song. People like this one a lot, do they?

 

Yeah, that seems to get to people. I wrote it in about 30 minutes and recorded most of it the same day. I mistakenly didn’t release that as the first single since it doesn’t actually have a proper chorus!

 

 

In my case, the Rocket Ship represents my home studio…everyone needs a place to escape to and that’s mine! I have to say that the whole album, and that song, in particular, benefited greatly from the drumming of Christopher Ryan of The Anderson Council!

 

What will 2018 look like?

In 2018 I’m looking forward to having both Roadmap and Furious Mind available on cd’s through Ray Gianchetti at KoolKatMusik.

Beyond that I already have demos of the next album happening. A friend of mine said, boy, you’re really churning them out. Though he didn’t mean it as an insult I felt like…churning them out? I don’t think so. I only now have the technology to record but I’ve been writing music for decades.

Furious Mind was all new material but I have a fairly vast back catalog of good tunes. I know if you put out too much, people de-value you…or get sick of you.

That being said, when guys that I respect that were around my age, like Tommy Keene and Pat DiNizio pass I think…I better get cracking. So…maybe another album by the end of 2018.

I could never do a Pollard and release three a year, but once a year could happen! I’m very grateful for the support of the podcasters and bloggers who have helped to give me an audience.

TALK SHOW HOST – Not Here to Make Friends

TWO RECOVERING PUNKS AND AN INDIE ROCKER WALK INTO A BAR.

And Chris (guitar/vocals) answered the questions about Not Here to Make Friends.

Talk Show Host is an indie punk trio from Toronto, Canada. The band has been playing together since 2015 and has two EPs under their belt. Their 2016 release, Perfectly Competent, earned a 7/10 review from Exclaim! magazine and drew comparisons to Green Day, Against Me! and Bob Mould.

 

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What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
Recording with John Dinsmore was lots of fun – he’s got a great space and he let me use his 50-year-old hollow-body Gibson. For me, I think the day I spent recording the guitar leads was the most fun I’ve ever had in a studio – the vocals were done and I didn’t have to worry about the lyrics anymore, and we got to add all the little flourishes that we wished we’d had time for on the previous two EPs but didn’t get around to.
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
I can’t speak for Fab & Sean, but my overwhelming self-doubt keeps me from ever being sure of this. I still get cold sweats when I think about the weeks leading up to recording and the sleepless nights I spent writing and rewriting the lyrics. Even after listening to the first mixes, which sounded incredible because Olive is a genius, it took me a few weeks to accept that we did, in fact, have a bunch of songs worth releasing.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
The fact that we can self-release our stuff and still have people in other countries listen to it is the biggest thing. For the most part, we are so far removed from the actual music industry that it makes us laugh sometimes. We’re a good fucking band. We know it and the people who hear us know it, but optically, we’re irrelevant. We’re three white dudes in our mid-30s playing 90s throwback guitar rock in 2017. We don’t have a sexy narrative so any attempts at getting the attention of anyone in the actual industry are generally a waste of time. We’ll keep doing what we do until someone notices. If they don’t, fuck ’em.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
1) Tom Petty, “American Girl” (top five of all-time)
2) Paramore, “Hard Times” (one of the catchiest damn songs of 2017)
3) Weezer, “Do You Wanna Get High?” (every tape requires some =w=)
4) The Velvet Underground, “Rock & Roll” (I’m just currently obsessed with “Loaded”)
5) Andrew WK, “Party Hard” (no explanation necessary)
Holy shit, that’s an awesome mix tape.
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
It was a success the second we finished it. These days, you can’t really measure it any other way. If you set the bar high in terms of songwriting & sound fidelity and you meet it, then that in itself is a success. We know we won’t see a dime from it and we know that Punknews isn’t going include it on any year-end lists, but we know we made a solid record, so we’ll just coast on that smug definition of success for now 🙂
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Chris Catalyst – Life Is Often Brilliant

Chris Catalyst talks about his new record Life Is Often Brilliant.

Read and find out what he has to say about ‘fame and fortune’, recording drums, managers, guitar techs, Bowie and The Tubes.

But if you haven’t heard the record yet, you better do some listening first because it is just great.

Especially if you like Elvis Costello, XTC, Oasis … you will be in for a treat.

 

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What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

 

Finishing it. I loved every second of making it, but it was a long, laborious task, which got a little lonely at times due to it being a solo pursuit (along with my intrepid producer pal Andy Hawkins).

Recording the drums was pretty special, though – I’d always wanted to play drums on a record, and it was a great way to get out of my comfort zone, which (as we all know) is where the fun stuff happens.

 

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

 

Honestly? These days I just write, and record, and have faith that it’s going to turn out okay. I’ve never written a song that I’m not proud of in some way, and I feel if I continue to apply the same quality control and meticulous standards that I’ve always done, then it will prove to be good. Or, at least, good enough.

The special bit came later when a small but perfectly formed bunch of people shelled out to buy it, and seemed to enjoy it.

Actually, I tell a lie, there was a point when we were mixing the song ‘Far’. We were looking at the second verse, and producer Andy and I came across a bunch of sampled drum loops (which was how I’d always imagined the album having a load of). We distorted the shit out of it and cut all the vocals up in that section… that was a real ‘that was the sound in my head’ moment.

 

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

 

I’ve never been a part of any music industry… luckily. The closest I’ve got is being a guitar tech for a couple of name bands, and seeing the schmoozing and bollocks first hand is equal parts boring and sickening.

A band I know recently sacked their sound guy because the manager told them to.

I couldn’t work in a world like that. I’ve been lucky to never had to sign a contract, never owed anyone a penny, but still managed to be self-sufficient, due to a combination of hard work and good fortune.

Not to mention that small but perfectly formed bunch of people I mentioned earlier.

 

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She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

 

This would change day to day but today it would be:

Kids In America – Kim Wilde

Electricity – Spiritualized

White Punks On Dope – The Tubes

Boys Keep Swinging – David Bowie

I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – Beach Boys

I always like finishing with a ballad.

 

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

Success is defined and measured very differently by different people – and it seems my definition is at odds with a lot of my peers. I am not interested fame or fortune. So as long as I can get to bend my creative elbow, write some songs and enjoy myself with a bunch of my goodest friends, then that’ll do for me.

 

Sitcom Neighbor – Shag

Power Pop perfection! John Murphy’s Sitcom Neighbor just released Shag, 11 songs that sound as fresh as they sound familiar. What a joy!

Murphy explains about the how and the why!

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last record?

The most fun I had was singing all the harmonies. There are a lot of lower harmonies so it was challenging. A close second would be watching Steve work on bass lines and the guitar solos. I’d put in my 2 cents of course but once it got going Steve was fun to watch!

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

I think once you’ve written a song that you feel good enough about that you want to record it, you think you have something special. Regardless I think we all go through the same 5 stages: This is great, I don’t know, this might be crap, this is ok I guess, and finally this is great (again)!

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

A lot of people talk about the money part of the music business, losing revenue to the free digital streams, etc. But for me it’s about the artist / producer shift. These days in the big leagues especially it’s all about the producers. They can take almost anybody and make a hit record. Back in the heyday of the sixties and seventies the artist was the focus. They had to come to the table with something to produce, which I think gave us a wider variety of music.

Producers tend to do the same thing over and over with different artists so there’s not as much variety, at least on traditional radio.

(Traditional radio, a whole other interview!l)

There is also the internet where, it could be argued, there’s too much variety!

Either way the music business hasn’t personally helped or hurt me as far as I know.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

With my current girl ( if I was a smart man and had been listening to her) it would have to be the following: 1.Q65- Get Out of My Life, Woman 2. Bob Dylan- Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat 3. Cramps- Goo Goo Muck 4. David Cassidy – Brown Eyes Your Beautiful 5. New York Dolls – Trash ( the new slower version to surprise her!)

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

Success? I can’t even spell that!

When I come up with a good song idea I feel successful, when I get a good recording of that song I feel successful, if I have enough songs that I can make a full record I feel successful and when I have the finished product in my hand, well lets be honest I’m exhausted and wiped out!!

Shag has felt successful to me do in large part to the response it has received from my fellow artists, many of whom I greatly admire. They’ve been very supportive and have helped me push this record a little bit, even setting up shows for me to play.

That support has led to more radio play and more reviews.

Of course everyone wants the traditional hit song and the money that comes with that.

Follow Sitcom Neighbor here

Buy here

Punch Punch Kick – Punch Punch Kick

Punch Punch Kick‘s debut is produced by Linus of Hollywood, released by Lolipop Records and contains 11 power pop punk anthems.

Phil McDonald explains what is happening.

 

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

 

Phil – Getting to record the songs live, together in one room, was the most fun part to me! Working with Linus of Hollywood is always so much fun — he keeps us on our game while making sure everyone has a great time during the process.

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At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?

 

Phil – I never really thought about that until the songs started coming together in our rehearsals. They were so much fun to play — I think that’s when it started to hit me that we could make a really great record out of that material. It starts to take on a life of its own once we all begin to feel out our specific parts of the songs.

 

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

 

Phil – Everyday there’s a new streaming service or method of delivery. All I know is is that Lolipop Records has been the most supportive label, and I feel like our album has found a great home with them.

 


She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

 

Phil –

Prince “I Would Die 4 U”,

Ozma “Natalie Portman”,

The Darkness “Friday Night”,

Jamiroquai “Cosmic Girl”,

Daft Punk “Digital Love”
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The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?

 

Phil – when “Hell Yeah” is the hype song for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Trip Wire – Cold Gas Giants

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This July San Francisco’s Trip Wire released Cold Gas Giants.
Powerpopaholic writes: ‘The band’s hybrid of jangle pop and rock dictates the album as it sways from one style to another, but it also manages to go in another direction on “Saturn V” with its space-themed indie fuzz pop.’ .
Founder member Marty Schneider talks to Sweet Sweet Music about adding harmony vocals, bringing Jeff Shelton on board, how new technology helps Indie bands to record and reach their audience and the need for drummers.
What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
I really love to be in the studio, particularly during the overdub sessions.  We work with a really enthusiastic studio owner/engineer named George Rosenthal at The Complex SF and after the framework of the song is in place, and as you add each overdub of guitars, keys, vocals – you can start to hear the song coming together and it’s rewarding. George has a lot of great ideas that he will suggest during the whole process and that is valuable.  My favorite part, by far, is when the harmony vocals are added by our other guitar player Bill Hunt.  When we’re working on new material at rehearsal Bill will often sing harmony with me and I know that’s coming when we get to the studio but when we overdub, a bunch of other harmonies appear that I hadn’t heard before and are joyfully unexpected.
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
This record, Cold Gas Giants, was different, as far as the process goes, than any we’ve done.  Usually it’s pretty linear but not this time.  Two of the songs were slated for our last release Seizureville but as we put all the songs together for that album Long Days Gone and Winter Song just didn’t fit.  Seizureville was a darker, slower, kind of sinister record and those two songs are very much Power Pop songs.  I couldn’t find anywhere to put them in the running order so we kept them off and started writing a new record around those.  I was pleased with both of them and I wanted them to sit with a collection of songs that worked together more cohesively than they would have on the last record.  The first new song that came to me after making that decision was These Are the Days and when the band started nailing that arrangement at practice, I new we were on to something special.  Also, when we brought Jeff Shelton on board, I knew what a deep catalog of material he had so I asked him for some things he was working on and we ended up putting two on the record that really add a lot.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
Yes, that’s true, but for me a lot of the changes have benefited my bands.  I have been doing this a long time and when I started recording we did it ourselves with cheap mics on a 4-track.  I had no access to money so real studio time was out of the question.  As a result, the fidelity was not good.  Luckily for me that was a bit of  a fad for awhile but I knew I wanted both the songwriting and the fidelity to improve.  Recording is so much easier now and if you put in just a tiny bit of effort, you can have a great sounding recording.  The other thing that has benefited me is the access to finding people who share the same tastes I have in music and connecting directly with them on social media – like you!  That was just not part of the equation when I started, you had to mount a tour and work really hard.  Now I just do a search for Power Pop and a whole world opens up at your fingertips.  More established artists would say that is exactly what’s wrong with the music business today but it’s working for me and I can’t complain.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
– Ain’t That Enough by Teenage Fanclub
– Chasing Heather Crazy by Guided by Voices
– Gold Soundz by Pavement
– Save it for Later by The English Beat
– No Expectations by The Rolling Stones
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
For me, success is the simple fact that I’ve been able to attract really talented musicians to play songs I’ve written and be really committed to making them sound the best they can.  We have three writers now and the same is true for the other two guys Bill Hunt and Jeff Shelton because they both write great stuff and I am committed to my part in making their material sound as good as possible.  This may sound obvious, but corralling four guys into a room to rehearse weekly for three years now is no small feat.  Drummers are the hardest, everybody needs a drummer and they often play in several bands, we’re very lucky to have Stu Shader playing the drums with us now.