How is the new Romantica record coming along?
Grand! Honest answer… Slowly but surely.
What influences do you hear most in the new songs & recordings? Touring, lack of sleep, broken relationships, temptation, death, love, home.
How do you balance being a perfectionist and creating music with a feeling? That’s a great question. Well for me, the “perfect” music has melody, meaning and feeling so if any of those elements are void it’s not nearing perfection. Part of perfecting music is making sure that it has feeling. So for example, if a song sounds flat, we will record the whole thing again to make sure we capture a feeling. Perfecting music is not always about attention to detail (although it can be) for me it’s about making sure it means something, it feels something and there is something beautiful in it.
Is Minneapolis part of the Romantica sound? I think my exposure to some of the music going on here when I moved here as a teen (Jayhawks, Golden Smog etc.) definitely affected my sonic aesthetic, but Minneapolis music is so varied. I would say it’s more true that Minneapolis is part of the Romantica content. Place is important, and the landscape and atmosphere of a place often makes it’s way into Romantica songs. There are good examples of this on the new Album on songs called “love in the winter” and “the Saint Paul city lights”
What is your favorite thing about being in this band?
Making sweet sweet musiks!
How is the music scene today in Minneapolis?
I think thriving. There is quite a number of groups in various genres making a splash in their own way. We just played with Trampled by Turtles last night. Tapes and Tapes, The Hold Steady(Got their start) Cloud Cult, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Doomtree, POS, Free Energy, Motion City SoundTrack, Peter Wolf Crier, Jeremy Messersmith… And the list goes on. There are dozens of venues that host local music nightly, 4 radio stations that air local music, most of the major print media cover local music in depth, and there’s a very active music blogging community… So I would say it’s a pretty vibrant scene…
What is the favorite band you have shared a stage with?
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and the Jayhawks!
What led to the recent decision to re-release 2007’s ‘America’ on Vinyl? Nostalgia, mostly I suppose. The memory of growing up fingering those large black discs and perusing the cardboard sleeves and the significance that heavy material seemed to give to the music.
Do you have any issues with the ‘alt-country’ tag or is it a fair of Romantica? Well it is just a tag after all isn’t it. It’s not my job to describe the music… My job is to make it and try and make it beautiful. And I won’t dictate to anyone what they should say about it.
Musically speaking, who was your childhood hero? Bob Dylan