Describe the recording process for Little D.
Very gradual. Drums for the five songs were recorded on tape at a house studio in Austin. Afterwards we brought those up to Denton where we spent the next year and a half “experimenting” in the home studio of Mark Sonnabaum. We knew we wanted to make a huge album but had very little resources (other than kind friends) so Mark agreed to record this massive thing we had in our minds for next to nothing. Because he couldn’t really push all of his other projects aside everything was done in small pieces. Some times we’d go two weeks with out touching it only to comeback and record for an afternoon. All the down time gave me more time to think about the structure and layers of the album so there was also a large trial and error process of playing with sounds. On top of all this we kept meeting local musicians whom we respected and would ask them come in and record a part when they had time.
What song on Little D do you feel you put the most work into, and why?
I personally didn’t do most of the work for this song, but "Start Again" was the most worked upon. Live we would just rock out the ending as loud as we could but for the album I had this dream for the grand finale to be a large orchestra piece. Mark transcribed sheet music from a demo I had and we got to together as many music students from the university that we could. Add in some make shift studio magic and we had ourselves an epic ending. Chris Flemmons from Baptist Generals singing the duel part as the disgruntled neighbor was icing on the cake.
If someone were to ask you what song on Little D best represented your overall work, which song would it be, and why?
Little D is full of songs that blossomed out of the recording process and can’t be fully duplicated live with the current line up so lately we have mainly stuck to the straight forward rock songs at shows. "Tree Star" is a good example of studio creativity applied to one of those straightforward rock songs. The lyrics also talk about some one who is under/fed/dressed/paid but still works hard with what they have to be the best they can. This describes my whole music career.
To you, what song on the new album is the most meaningful?
My cousin wrote "Haunted Highway" when she was 11 or 12 years old with out using any instruments. I was listening back to old tapes I had of us playing around with a four track and I found the song. Even though parts of it are a little silly the message to me is really deep. It’s a lot like an old hymn where every one is singing about how great it’s going to be when they die. It would be nice to hear a large group of people sing it someday.
If you had to describe the ideal setting for listening to Little D, what would it be?
I tested out a lot of the mixes while driving around Denton so certain songs remind me of certain drives. Maybe I should make a map where I tell you how fast to go from place to place so that each song ends when you get to a certain landmark. It will be like a star map only...really boring....
We are currently revamping the line up of the band so that we can do more stuff on stage. I hope to put out another album before we tour in the summer. Half of the songs are already written including one I wrote last night about using Buddy Holly’s ghost as a parachute. I’m really proud of it.