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April 12, 2022

Interview with The Head and the Heart

We had the pleasure of interviewing The Head And The Heart over Zoom video!

The Head And The Heart have released the new song “Tiebreaker” ahead of their forthcoming fifth studio album, Every Shade of Blue, which arrives April 29th on...

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We had the pleasure of interviewing The Head And The Heart over Zoom video!

The Head And The Heart have released the new song “Tiebreaker” ahead of their forthcoming fifth studio album, Every Shade of Blue, which arrives April 29th on Reprise/Warner Records “Tiebreaker,” follows the previously released new songs “Virginia (Wind in the Night)” and the album’s title track.

Says vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Russell of the song, “‘Tiebreaker’ is like a carnival ride through a wide variety of characters and relationships: lovers laughing uncontrollably, a married couple bickering, teenagers falling for each other in the moment. It makes you wonder – what do we all have in common?”

The band recently returned to the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon studios to perform their two latest singles album title-track "Every Shade of Blue" and "Virginia (Wind In The Night)."

At AAA radio, “Virginia (Wind In The Night)” is currently at #3 and the #5 Greatest Gainer. At Alternative Radio, “Virginia (Wind In The Night)” is up from #32 to #31 as well as having over 2.2 million US streams. Additionally, “Every Shade of Blue” has over 3.9 million US streams.

Every Shade of Blue was produced by GRAMMY-award winning songwriter, producer, and engineer Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Pink, The Shins, Tegan and Sara) except for album tracks “Shadows,” “Don’t Show Your Weakness” and “Love We Make” which were produced by Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Wet), and “Paradigm,” produced by John Hill and Sammy Witte (Florence + The Machine, Portugal The Man, Cage The Elephant), and mastered by Emily Lazar and Chris Allgood at The Lodge, N.Y.

The Head And The Heart announced the Every Shade of Blue 2022 North American Tour, which kicks off May 20th. Special guests joining the band in select cities include Shakey Graves, Dawes and Jade Bird. Tickets for most shows are on sale now.

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2 (1m 15s): Hello, It is Adam! Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with John Russell of the band, the head and the heart over zoom video. John was born and raised in Virginia, and he talks about that and how he got into music. He was kind of a late bloomer when it came to playing music, he started off on the hand drums and he tells us a pretty funny story of how he ended up acquiring his first set of drums. He eventually picked up piano and started putting some of the poems and writings that he had written and put together over the course of the past years to the chords that he was learning on the piano. And that's what became the first little EAP that he put out. 5 (1m 58s): He tells us about moving to Seattle, then forming the head and the heart, the success of that first record. He talked about the signs of light record and how it was, you know, with the band dynamic changing when the album came out and how it was touring as now, like the, the kind of front leader of the band. He talked to us about the success of living Mirage and how it was writing that record without Josiah. And we hear all about the new record, every shade of blue, which is such a fantastic album. He talks to us about how the album came together and he tells us all about kind of how the pandemic really brought them together as a band in their friendships and relationships there. 5 (2m 41s): And as a band musically, you can watch the interview with John and myself on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be so awesome if you subscribed to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it'd be amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review, 6 (3m 7s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 5 (3m 13s): We're bringing it backwards with the head and the heart. 7 (3m 16s): That's funny, like I've met some musicians that maybe other people would freak out by, but I don't. I think because we're doing the same thing in Denver, really? It doesn't, it doesn't affect me, but like I was at a 49ers game. Cause my wife is from the bay and we lived there for the last five years and she works for Levi's. And so every now and again, we would get these tickets to go see 49ers in the box, which is just like stupid. So I'm looking over and I'm like, fuck, I'm just like what she's looking around. She's like, I don't see you. And I'm like, that's fucking Eric Costin. Costin was sitting. Yes. We ended up hanging out. I was just like, oh, by the end of it, I was that drunk guy. 7 (3m 59s): Just being like, you got to bring back the cost and 5 (4m 1s): Ones 7 (4m 3s): Are the best skates you on the planet. Do they were the 5 (4m 6s): First one that 7 (4m 6s): Blue fucking new book. 5 (4m 8s): And we haven't got a charger logo or not logo, but like colored, like the blue and yellow. And they had the air pocket in the heel. 7 (4m 15s): Right. That's right. It was just like, I mean, I've like hung out with famous musicians and I'm just like, yeah, you play guitar. So the way I fucking saw Eric Koston and I just lost my shit. It was like, God, I just never thought that would happen. 5 (4m 33s): But how random out of 49 or Jamie got Eric Costa? 7 (4m 37s): I know it's like, I don't know how this is happening, but yeah. 5 (4m 40s): Yeah. So I'm Adam, by the way, and this is about you, your journey in music. And we'll talk about the new record, which I absolutely love. I had a chance to hear it. It's amazing. 7 (4m 51s): Well, thank you so much. Yeah. 5 (4m 53s): Well, so I mean, I just, the band started in Seattle area, but I did read, are you from Virginia? 7 (4m 59s): Yeah, I I've been here since like, like 97 essentially. And yeah, I went to Seattle in 2009 and that's about the time when I started meeting people and we started to spend, but yeah, I've been kind of coming back off and on for the last a while. I actually just moved back here for the rest of the year. I just got back a few weeks ago to Richmond. It's a place that many haven't been to maybe driven through to get to DC, but yeah, it's, it's somehow it's my home and you're chosen me to do that. 7 (5m 39s): Yeah. 5 (5m 39s): That's amazing. What was it like growing up there? 7 (5m 45s): Well, it's funny how you look back and you sort of like color things in the way that you like, because in 2009 I couldn't wait to leave Virginia. And I was actually very excited to get out, you know, because I had never really been anywhere else. I think the furthest west I'd been was Kentucky at the time. And, but I guess when you move somewhere else, you start realizing that these things that you just assume are everywhere might actually be like pretty specific to a place. Like I growing up middle school, high school, like behind my parent's house was like a bunch of woods that had two small ponds that would freeze over in the winter time. 7 (6m 26s): Just like trails where you could, you could genuinely get lost there. You know, if you, I mean, eventually you would find something, but it, it allowed for, it really allowed for like imagination and exploring. I got super into like transcendentalism when I was like 16, 17, and I was just like reading Walden in the woods. I was that weirdo. But so I guess in, in certain ways that I might not have, you know, really appreciated at the time I realized like, you know, if I would have like, you know, my good friend, Kenny is an abandon, he grew up in LA and like, you know, he just didn't have that kind of thing. You know, Other things. 7 (7m 6s): Yeah. I mean, he had six skate parks that didn't have, but, but I had the woods. So, so growing up there, I guess for me it, or here, yeah. May not have realized it at the time, but it definitely shapes shaped me. I'm sure. Like every place has shaped most people and I keep coming back. I keep finding 5 (7m 26s): Myself 7 (7m 27s): Drawn to that. Yeah. Yeah. 5 (7m 31s): I'm in Nashville now, but I'm originally from San Diego. So Southern California, I spent a little bit of time in San Francisco, but yeah, I just recently moved to Nashville area and I absolutely love it here. It's such a, like you said, it's such a different like lifestyle and pace, everything, but we love it. We've got two kids and my wife and I, we just moved here about a little over a year ago and we've just absolutely fell in love with it. So 7 (7m 56s): That's great. 5 (7m 58s): Well, how did you get into music? Did anyone musical in your family and musical household at all? 7 (8m 3s): I was, I was kind of a late bloomer. My, like there was an Oregon in our house just cause my dad, which I didn't even know this until maybe not too long ago. He was kind of forced to play Oregon in the church because his dad was a minister, like a Southern Baptist minister. So by the time I was around, she, it was basically just there because they needed somewhere to put it. He never played a thing. P never went to church. I think he kind of just did a full 180, so I never really saw music. I didn't, I never was around any family members. Nobody I knew in the family played music, although, 8 (8m 43s): Well, actually it's into your folks into, you know, whoa, where'd you come from April 9 (8m 48s): Here to tell you about the tax filing software from tax act 8 (8m 52s): Seriously. Were you like hiding behind my desk? 9 (8m 53s): Seriously. Tax act makes it easy to get your maximum refund. Well, 8 (8m 57s): You heard it here. First folks, 9 (8m 59s): Switch to tax act today and you can start for free. 8 (9m 1s): Or as we say in radio land, 9 (9m 5s): Subtle tax act file for less and get more, see tax for details 10 (9m 12s): Ready for payroll that's pain-free because it's perfect. Every time where employee nightmares like insufficient funds, overdraft fees and missed payments could become a thing of the past. Then your ready for Betty with Betty knew from pay comm employees, do their own payroll, giving them greater paycheck, insight, and the ability to resolve issues before payroll submission for greater accuracy and peace of mind, learn more at pay, That's pay E T. I, 7 (9m 43s): I think it was on my 30th birthday. I was visiting my grandparents in Tupelo and they showed me these newspaper clippings of like, I don't know how many greats, but whatever. Great, great, great, great, great grandmother of mine would have been, she was, I forget, I think they're in South Carolina at the time, but she was Chickasaw Indian and she had like built this one man band scenario and she was like in the paper for it. So that was generated generations ago. And literally the only musician I can that I know. Yeah. 5 (10m 18s): That's pretty incredible to, to find that out, you know, at 30. Right. 7 (10m 22s): Yeah. And yeah, and by that point I was like, you know, doing it for real. So maybe that's why it came up because they probably just thought it was irrelevant before that I thought it was incredible, but yeah, like I think it was my senior year in high school where like essentially, I, I traded like a half ounce of weed for this guy's Congress sets because for some reason I had some, like all of my close friends were in vans or they were skateboarders and I was a skateboarder and I really was starting to love just going to their shows. And so much of my, like, you know, troubled teen, you know, soul and emotions just like, felt so alive at this concerts. 7 (11m 10s): And, and I just, I dunno, I was just like, I have to figure out a way to get in this, in this situation. So I started playing hand drums and, and my friend's band, let me join for maybe a few weeks and they kicked me out, but I kept playing. And eventually that led me to getting like piano for dummies and just learned, like I learned enough like music theory to like do the lessons and was like, oh shit, three chords. Like all of my, now all of my, at the time poetry or just thoughts I can now, you know, but music to them. 7 (11m 53s): And so that's kinda how it started. And I just, for some reason thought that that's what I was supposed to be doing. Even though at the time I was really, really bad, you know, really bad. 5 (12m 7s): Well, you're writing poet poetry prior to that then. So you you've always been kind of a writer. It sounds like. 7 (12m 12s): Yeah. I've always been, I've always been, I'm drawn to like taking the things that I see and notice and looking for parallels. I think that's also why I love nature is because get so much of it. I would find, I would find these parallels happening in nature. And so it sort of gave me this like a calming feeling of like, okay, these are all cycles. If you zoom out, like you can see this is inevitable here, but you can also see what the other side looks like. So you're just on the other side right now. So that way of thinking was kind of my brain for the, even when I was younger. And I think it was just my, yeah, my little is my therapy for a long time. 7 (12m 57s): What sounds fair? 5 (12m 59s): What then took you to Seattle? Is that music, did you want to pursue that as a career path? 7 (13m 5s): Yeah, so that was a nine. So I guess around a few years before that I started playing in a band with friends. Like basically when everybody graduated high school, most of my friends went to college. I did not. I moved an hour south to Richmond, got a job at subway applied for like college, a community college to try and study music. Couldn't get in, didn't have the money, didn't have the grades, hence at yard sales. And he was like, oh, piano for dummies. And so I just kinda was like, well, I want to do it. This is how I'm gonna have to do it. And fortunately me Richmond, like there's an artist art school here, VCU. 7 (13m 50s): So there was a lot of like really creative people around whether they're musicians or not. And so eventually some of these friends of mine either dropped out of college or they also didn't go. And all of a sudden they were like just off John. And he says he wants to start a band cause to them the last time they saw me, I was just like the bongo player. And they were like, what are you talking about? But I had been like learning piano and like recording my songs in a four-track and like trying to sing. And so for like, I guess a handful of years, I had a band, we like Tyler, the drummer. And then I went to high school together and he was in one of those bands in high school, you gotta gotta, he joined my band. 7 (14m 32s): We practiced like five days a week. We took it really seriously. I think we only played three shows over the course of like four years. But we literally like every single day we would rehearse that eventually fell apart. You know, certain people like just kind of cherry pick another thing like, oh, this band is touring. I should just play with them. And then this guy leaves. And then I was just like, you know, I'm not, I don't want to be relying. I don't want to have to like rely on other people to, to do what I want to do. So I made a little EAP and was just like, I'm going to move anywhere. I can go. And a friend of mine who I was working with at a restaurant, she was going to move to Seattle to see her cousin had a, at a condo that was empty. 7 (15m 15s): Cause he was a merchant Marine. So he was gone for three months. And so I convinced her to let me pitch in gas money. And I knew her parents really well. So they were also like stoked that somebody else was going to go with her cause we're going to drive. So that's how I went up in Seattle. I mean, I had never, honestly I didn't, I didn't know very much about it at all at all. Yeah. It could have been anywhere. I was just gonna, I just, I just knew that I needed to go somewhere because Richmond at the time, wasn't really, it wasn't being noticed. 5 (15m 52s): Well, Seattle has obviously a reputation when it comes to the music industry. So if she's like, I'm going to go to, you know, Louisville, Kentucky what'd you have done what'd you have last 7 (16m 3s): Honestly it was my only, it was, it was the best ticket in town. So yeah. Even if he would've gone to Kentucky, I would've been like, well that's not natural. I was going to go, I was going to go, no matter why, because anything was, anything was going to be some kind of opportunity. Sure. But yeah, I mean, I was actually thinking about that this morning. I was like, what are the frickin odds man? Like one up in Seattle, all of these other people who want it in Seattle, a couple of the band members, charity and Chris, and now Maddie they're from there. But like I meet Josiah at a bar. He just happened to be like going to grad school there because he's also he's from Southern California. 7 (16m 46s): And then Kenny ended up moving up a year later, randomly we get him in the same bar. I mean, it's just strange to think how many, how many other cities I could have wound up in and that they could have gone up in. And just the timing of, of the fact that these six people met. I know this sounds like rehashing some cliche part of our bio, but every now and again, it hit, it hits me and I'm like, that is insane. Sure. You know, because so much of what this band, I mean, the fact that this band has been able to be hold it together for 12 years is because of like mostly music chemistry. I mean, we've had to work on our actual friendships a lot that wasn't a very natural party. It was the musical chemistry. 7 (17m 28s): And it's just mind boggling how that, how that happened. 5 (17m 32s): Yeah. I mean, right out the gate, I mean with the first record you guys put out success. I mean, it sounds like from what I was reading about it, you, you guys put out that, you know, by yourself, right. Self, self release it and it's just flying off the record shelves to the point where you sub pop, it comes to you and we're like, Hey 7 (17m 53s): Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's funny. So pop was the last one to show up. There were all these mirrors courting us and we really wanted sub pop. And we held out almost to the point where like our pro bono lawyer slash standard manager at the time was just like, you're turning down. Like he turned down any more anymore. Like they're all gonna go away, you know, returning down universal, turning down Warner, other, other Indies. And we really just wanted Archie to control more than any kind of, you know, flashy, like money sign up front. 7 (18m 34s): We just knew that. Well, yeah, we already had, we kind of had that freak scenario where we are, where we were, we were watching life. I think we sold something like 10,000 copies on our own before anything. So we already knew that like the music was working. And so the last thing we wanted to do was like roll the dice on some label that might stay like, oh, like other people are interested, so we're going to post you. And then you have no idea what they're going to ask for you to do later. So we were like this, at least for the first thing we do, it needs to be on an indeed. Unfortunately. So pop came around and 5 (19m 12s): Which is interesting to me because they were, they were labeled in, in, in town. And your band is selling all these records in town and you're a local artists. They would think like the obvious scenario. 7 (19m 24s): Yeah. Yeah. And I don't want to throw them under the bus because they 5 (19m 28s): Are, 7 (19m 29s): But it's kind of funny. Yeah. It's like, how about the band that's in your city? 5 (19m 38s): Do you have a copy of that first DP? The one that you guys press, Hey, everyone. We wanted to tell you about another music podcast that we've been loving, the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands. Sit down with the artists you love for unparalleled creative insight into your favorite music. You'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zauner, who talks about her big plans for her dreamy indie pop band, Japanese breakfast, this April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin. 5 (20m 30s): They share stories and songs from the new album and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts, because I'd heard I read that it was like on a denim sleeve like you. 7 (20m 48s): Yeah. So at first, I mean it was just like burned disks and denim sleeves. And then I'm trying to remember, I think we have to like sort of like legitimate looking packages. One was before sub pop and then one was with, but I would have to double check that, but I definitely have one of those here in my apartment. Yeah. I think I have like one of each, you know, record vinyl or Taped from let's be still, Maybe one day I'll be able to play it. I don't remember. 5 (21m 27s): Yeah. Well, I mean, what was it like, you know, get you get signed in and then you're getting thrown on these huge tours. Eventually you, you know, you have a number one single on the radio and the album goes gold. I mean, right out the gate, what was it like kind of digesting all of that. Right? 7 (21m 41s): Well, it was like, I guess it definitely was a, a quick rise maybe in the grand scheme of things, but it didn't feel that way for a while. Like it, it kind of felt more like a, like a gentle slope, long rise. Like the upstart was quick, which was, which was amazing. We're very fortunate. And, but then the type of like, I don't know, like we had a, we had like a hit song on like, you know, like AAA radio, but it was never like it wasn't. 7 (22m 25s): And I almost feel like grateful that we didn't have something like a Mumford and son or like a luminaire. And I'm actually very stoked for both of those spans, especially in Lumineers. Cause we, we were in the trenches and they were, they'd been doing it longer than us. And they were like, I don't know if we can keep doing this shit, man. And then for them to have that 5 (22m 43s): Huge, 7 (22m 44s): Oh, Hey, I always missed. 5 (22m 48s): Yeah. 7 (22m 49s): Which is funny. Cause we, you know, we were used to seeing in the blue that song with us, like, you know, in a place like a saloon with like 12 people. And then for them to have that success, it was like, oh shit, that their, their model changed in such a different way. So I guess to try and get back to your original question, like also you have nothing to compare it to, you know what I mean? It was just like, I guess this is how it goes. I mean, you know, we were, we were riding around in that van all over America for quite a while, but it was great. I mean, we've started getting like opening gigs, like you were saying, like we got to open for Dr. 7 (23m 30s): Dog, which was like the majority of the people in the bands, like favorite band from Philly. And that was our first like legitimate tour where we learned a lot like, like within the first three days, like just like kids not knowing any better and getting yelled at by like your, your favorite bands crew. And you're just like, but then like, but then like three days later you're like, fuck yeah, this is never going to happen again. Our shit is loaded out right after work done stare at you. I'm not going to stare at you during your soundcheck is now I understand you think that's weird and but yeah, no, we were, yeah. We just, I mean, we had a great team. We've always been very blessed with great people around us and, and yeah, we just kept getting opening gig after opening gig, which was good for obviously to get your name out there, but also for your like, like sharpen your skills, you know, you're playing in bigger rooms, which you're not ever doing as a, as a headliner when you're just starting out. 7 (24m 33s): So that really helped us learn how to perform. But yeah, 5 (24m 43s): I just to jump ahead a little bit here, like when you guys, you know, you put out signs of light and this is the first time you kind of have the tour record and you have to step in what the front, you know, the front there, what was that like? Was that difficult to do? 7 (24m 55s): Yeah, it wasn't, it wasn't like, I think, I guess I've kind of always been the one that's like Mike, actually I shouldn't say that. I think every single person in this band would say like, there's no ML let this fail. But as the, as the one of two songwriters that were responsible for doing the majority of the writing to lose, to lose that other person, not just in terms of the work that you're able to provide, but just, I mean, there was just a completely different, it's almost like you didn't, it's like I wanted to get there, but not, not like this, like this isn't how I want it to get there. 7 (25m 46s): You know? So there was always like a little bit of a like guilt of, of, I think it, it took me a lot to like shed just some baggage before I finally realized like, you gotta do you like, this is, this is you. This is kind of like naturally where you find yourself and own it. You know, just it. Yeah. I think it took a little while for me to realize like, oh, the minute I get over my bullshit, the minute I can actually start being like a better leader to anyone around, you know, and if I don't do that, then I'm just kind of, you know, nobody's benefiting from that. 7 (26m 31s): So, but yeah, it's been an interesting road and this, this band is so it's so unique in a way where like we, from the very get go, we're like, this is going to be a democracy. Like there is no one leader financially, everything is split equally. And depending on the, like, depending on like what is going on with the band, whether it's like songwriting or Merck or videos or press or all kinds of things in between, like it kind of changes like who, who sort of takes the reins almost always like in motion. 7 (27m 15s): So that also kind of, I don't know, it's weird. It's like, like everything is kind of the long road to get to a place in a span, but it always ends up feeling like I'm that much more rewarding. Like the last couple of years, like if there is a silver lining and I think there are a few from this pandemic happening was like, in terms of our world, finally being able to like rip off a lot of band-aids and, and have direct conversations with all of us together and be able to like air things out and not, you know, not being like, oh, the next thing you have to do is an interview or walk on stage or go on TV. 7 (28m 3s): Like there's just no good time to like, you know, just handle shit. So, so yeah, I mean, it's, isn't a prompted question from you, but it's like, I think the most significant thing that happened this record aside is actually just like the rebuilding and the re and like just the trust that is finally happening and this band, like it like, like it really like it did in the early days. And I think it, I think it does translate to a lot of the decisions made on the record and how we allowed ourselves to make these bold choices and just trust one another's ideas and not, and not get in the way. 7 (28m 52s): So 5 (28m 52s): When it comes to like the, the record behind that living Mirage, was that something that was kind of like a difficult record to put together? I mean, obviously the album was amazing and it does really, really well, but at this point it's like, okay, now it's the band diamond amp has changed a little bit, but was it still pretty Dem? Was it still, you know, everyone's opinion on writing the record and everything together at that point and versus now, 7 (29m 17s): Right. To be honest with you? No, not really. And then it wasn't John in a unintentional way. It was almost like there was, there are certain like there's, I don't know, there's a few of us in the band. I think that like our way of coping with trauma or whatever is just like work, you know, and just like put your nose, put your face down and just get to work. And then on the other hand, there's there's people in the band that like, they don't really, they can't even really wrap their head around working or at least from a genuine place until things are discussed and like relationships are respected and mended. 7 (30m 4s): And I didn't, I don't know. I, I didn't, I didn't understand that for awhile. I was, I don't know. I always compartmentalizing it, I guess for a little while, but 5 (30m 17s): Yeah. I mean, you said it's traumatic. I mean, what a traumatic thing to happen, I mean, with the band moving forward, and then you got to put this record together kind of without your, your co-pilot so to speak. 7 (30m 28s): Yeah. Yeah. But yeah. 5 (30m 35s): Yeah. I was going to say, it sounds like everything got aired out within the past, you know, having that downtime, not having to, like you said, talk to people like me or go on TV or tour, do all these other things. You're able to kind of hash out everything and, and that you guys made a hell of a record, man. I will tell you like, it is so good. I had a chance to hear it. 7 (30m 54s): Hertz 5 (30m 55s): Is I think by far I like, I love the whole album, but that song to me is so freaking good. 7 (31m 3s): Yeah. 5 (31m 4s): So like when it, when it came to writing the record, tell me a little bit about, like you said, it was more of a democracy when it came to this album, did you guys all bring elements to together and like how did the song, however, the songs built? 7 (31m 16s): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I guess like another sort of like sneaky unforeseen benefit to a few people in the band was the fact that we had to do so, like we had to start this record by working remotely, you know, each one in their own house, different cities, our own studio, learning how to record ourselves. But for a, a few people like it, they actually, they're more comfortable having more time and more space to sort of work out parts or ideas before making it visible to the rest of the band. So it kind of, it lended itself in a way that really our work like our workflow. 7 (31m 58s): I never really played it itself before. And I just got, I keep thinking about Maddy's Jody suspended. He's just like a very prolific writer. He could put out like a double record tomorrow. One of one of his songs is don't show your weakness. He wrote that with Kenny and charity. And then he wrote the last song on the record, which is good. It's good to fuck up. But it's TGFU and yeah, and I dunno, I was trying to figure out how, like, how does this feel more democratic? 7 (32m 43s): And it's like, well, 13 songs on the record. And that is just so it was like, I don't know if I got to actually make that point, but in terms of like, I guess I can still, because like songs, like, I guess most of the songs in terms of like the song taking it's like final shape versus how I began began, the song always, really always has had so much to do with every single person in this band, touching it and changing it and rewriting something or adding apart. And I think that like the first song I think we tried to do, like this was paradigm, which I think is like track three on the record. 7 (33m 29s): And it was just, it was the first time we were sort of faced with this, like, okay, we're going to send each other tracks. We're going to listen independently. And then if you have notes, I guess we'll just text you. Like, we, we, we, we like, we did everything wrong essentially for like months. And it was a, it was just like a bomb went off, which I think kind of was the catalyst for the amount of focus on working on communication and like, like mental health and, and realizing that like, especially now, if we don't learn how to talk to one another and figure out the best ways of talking to each other, like, there's no way we're gonna make this record, but yeah. 5 (34m 18s): What were you able to like, like, w w would you say, was there a moment during the record that like in the democratic, you know, aspect of it was that somebody came forward and was like, oh, I have this piece. And then you were like, oh my gosh. Like, like you wouldn't expect that to happen. And maybe in the sense of like, whoa, like this is so awesome. Like, like, 7 (34m 35s): Yeah. I mean, yeah, I guess I'm still makes me think a paradigm. I mean, there's, there's sections in that song where was like a, it almost sounds like a banjo, but I don't think it is. I think it's like a national tuning acoustic. And then at 12 string, Maddie, just through all of these tracks at this song that when I first started, it was, it was just like a vocal, a baseline and a drum beat. Maybe it sent that at first and he threw this stuff that like, kind of has like an Ari, like early R Aryan vibe to me. And I like, could not have, like, I, I just, like, I don't know how you thought that this is what goes on the song and it ended up working. 7 (35m 16s): Yeah. I mean, there's moments like that with probably every single song. Yeah. I guess like the, the second half of us making this record was like year of 20, 21 when everybody was vaccinated and we were able to go to Seattle altogether and get into a room and it just felt like kids in a candy, because like we had kind of gone through the hardest part, which was working on a communication skills, accepting the process that was remote. And now it, it was kind of like the easy part, just get in a room and, and, and do what you do best. 7 (35m 55s): And so it almost felt like a release. And it's just, I mean, the amount of like every single person was just doing, I don't know, it's like literally watching kids play with like toys, you know, like it wasn't, it wasn't just the band that like goes in and like, okay, I'm a piano player. So I'm gonna sit at my piano. I'm the dressing room and sit here, like everyone was just sort of up and moving around. And it was like, okay, today we're working on this song. Or at least like the first half of it as they were working on the song shut up. And you just kind of look around the room. It's like, you have an idea. And I'm like, I got nothing, man. He's like, cool. I have three ideas. They'll go in here. I'm just like, okay. That was weird. Or that was great. 7 (36m 36s): And then Chris will be like, oh shit. Okay. I hear something like, it just, it, it was a very interesting process. That just was fun. And yeah, I mean, and, and that's the moments where you realize like, it's, I don't know, it's, it's, it's, it's great to have a band. You know what I mean? Like every single person was like firing on all cylinders and just coming up with shit that you never would have fattened and having and having fun. And somehow it works or if it doesn't, you just start peeling away. But yeah. It's like we got back to being a band on this record. 5 (37m 13s): I love that. I love the record. I like, I really do. And speaking to shut up real quick, I just that piano piece and that song is so cool. Like the piano riff, I think it's yeah. 7 (37m 24s): And Kenny is gonna love that. 5 (37m 27s): I mean, the piano and the song is really cool. I mean, I, I guess that I love your records, the piano, and this one stands out to me a lot when I listened to the album. So if you want to share that with Kenny or not, but I will say That in Hertz, Hertz is my, my favorite song on the album, but I really appreciate your time, John. This has been so awesome. I thank you so much. I have one more quick question for you before I let you go. I just want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 7 (38m 5s): I think the first thing that came to mind is, and there's, I think there's probably no answer. That's not a crusade in this instance, but like, you have to, you have to believe in yourself. You know what I mean? Because he goes to, there's going to be times when no one else is really going to understand what you see or what you know is inside of you. Like, it may not have developed externally yet, but you know, it's there and eventually they will see it, but also eventually, sometimes, you know, there will always be moments where like, people either like very supportive and very aware of like why they will, why you are who you are and what you've chosen to do. 7 (38m 53s): But there's just as many times when people are going to question it and doubt it. And you've always got to be able to come back to that notion that like, this is, I'm doing this for a reason. This is what I do. You don't have to believe in yourself. You know? I mean, it's good to also have doubts, right. Have the question yourself and that's how you grow. But ultimately, like you've gotta be the one that believes in yourself more than anyone else. I think