You guys are in the studio recording right now. Whoís producing the album?
Weíre producing it ourselves in our own studio. Weíve been building the studio for the past year and a half. We did our last EP in it. Since then weíve made a bunch of improvements. Weíre completely doing it ourselves. Itís challenging. Iím mostly engineering it. Iím learning a lot.
How is that changing the recording process?
It means I donít yell into the other room to the engineer ďHey, can we do it again?Ē I have to run back and forth between the engineering room and the recording space. Thereís a lot more running around, but itís a lot cheaper too.
Where are you in the recording process?
Weíre probably about two-thirds of the way through this one. We still have about four more songs that we havenít done anything on yet. About eight are pretty much close to done. Weíre supposed to turn it into the label on October 15th. Before that it has to be mastered and get all that work done, so we really need to be done in about three weeks or less.
When are you hoping to have it released?
Itís going to be out in February.
Is there a tentative title?
No, we donít have a title for it yet. (Laughs)
I guess itís still pretty early?
Yeah. We had a working title for a long time but a lot of the songs changed so that means that the certain tone of the album has changed. So weíre just not sure yet. We havenít quite gotten there. We have to pretty soon.
You said youíve seen a shift in the tone. Could you talk about that a little bit?
The bulk of these songs were written a year and a half ago. Weíve done two albums where weíve had half the songs when we went into the studio. And that was fine. Our very first album was songs that weíd been playing for a year and a half and we knew them very well. And when we did the next album, we really wanted to know the songs like that. We didnít want to concoct them in the studio and not be able to play them later and sort of hate them. So that was our plan, to have a bunch of songs that we knew really well. I think we mostly succeeded, except for the fact that over the past year we learned we didnít like some of those songs and a whole bunch of new ones got written. Weíve revamped that a little bit. But the main idea is to record stuff that weíve already been playing for a year or so. Itís more a matter of new songs happening and just changing what we originally had conceived.
You guys are doing a show at Maxwellís in Hoboken. Is that a one-stop show or is it going to be a tour?
Weíre going on tour as a duo, Flora and myself. Itís been kind of hard to get the band on tour right now. Our drummer had a baby earlier this year and our bass player moved a little bit far away. So weíve been revamping and doing a bunch of duo shows, like acoustic shows. Weíre going on tour with Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Itís Arlo Guthrieís daughter and her husband. They tour all over the place. Weíre hooking up with them for a two-week tour.
Has it been easy revamping the songs?
Thereís some we definitely wonít play because they donít really work as a duo. But most of them are fine because most of them were written that way. Flora and I have actually been doing duo shows on and off for many years. To do a whole tour like that is pretty new but we certainly do one-off shows like that pretty regularly.
Speaking of Flora, do we get to hear more of her on this record?
She does as much singing as she wants. (Laughs) There are no restrictions on her. I think if you asked her she would probably say, I donít want to put words in her mouth, but she would probably say that she likes the role that sheís in. She definitely has a couple of her own songs on this one. She gets to choose them and Iíll be like, ďokay, I liked that one but you can have it.Ē (Laughs) No, itís fine. So yeah, sheíll be doing a couple.
Thatís great to hear.
She could do more, but sheís pretty good where sheís at. Sheíll probably do her own album someday.
Iím hoping, yes.
Is that something you would ever do?
Yeah, I mean I have a couple of solo albums out from years before and I probably will. In fact, the bunch of songs weíre recording for this album were originally maybe going to be a solo album because it looked like, back in 2009, like the band might take a little break, but we didnít.
What made you decide to make those songs Winterpills songs?
They just sounded like Winterpills songs. I mean, trying to do a solo record, it should be material thatís somehow really different than what the band does. I couldnít really argue that these songs were different in terms of the tone or just the overall sound of it. I recorded demos and gave them to the band and they said it sounded like us. I think if I did some weird electronic project that the band would tell me to go do that on my own. So itís not on the table for the moment. Maybe down the road.
Going back to the tour, is that going to be just an east coast tour?
Itís mostly northeast and into the south and a bit in the Midwest. Weíll see how it goes. It started off as two dates and turned into two weeks. Weíre trying to get up into Canada with it, but we havenít been able to make that happen. Maybe in the winter.
Well I know one person that would love for you to play Toronto (Lueda).
(Laughs) Yeah, Iíd love to play Toronto. We havenít played there yet. We played Montreal a while ago, but thereís no place like Toronto.
Are there any plans for after this tour or is that looking too far ahead?
Weíre booking stuff for the release in February. I think between this tour and that time weíre going to be dealing with getting promotional stuff ready and then weíll do a tour after that. I guess weíre probably going to go to South By Southwest this year. We took two years off of that because itís such a waste of time. But it is a lot of fun. Itís a big expense to go eat a lot of tacos and drink a lot of beer. (Laughs) But coming from the winter itís a welcome change for sure. Have you been down to South By Southwest?
No, I havenít.
Itís really fun, maybe this year.
Iíd love to. Take me with you. Iíll sell your merch.
(Laughs) Yeah, you can sell our merch and chronicle the journey. You can liveblog it. ďItís hot. I canít believe theyíre listening to Bob Seger.Ē Nah, we donít listen to Bob Seger.
So then what do you guys listen to?
Itís a funny thing, because everyone brings so much music. It used to be, ten years ago, there would be piles of CDs. Now everyone just brings their iPod. I think we mostly share tastes. We find that driving in complete silence is very nice too. (Laughs) We get oversaturated with music. But we listen to everything. I wish I could name something, but Iím afraid I just canít. Itís all over the map. If you name something I could say yes or no.
Not me. Dennis. Dennis loves Bob Seger. No, he doesnít. Actually I donít know. Iíve never actually asked him if he likes Bob Seger.
Well thank you, itís certainly been a pleasure talking with you.