Can you tell us more about your album “Booty Shakers Ball”, is there a link between all the songs lyrically speaking?
Derek: Lyrically there might not be a connection, at least one that we’ve made.
The name comes more from the sound and feel of the album, each song being different from the next, it has a diversity that we embraced.
Like a Ball, where one tries to best represent themselves in their clothing and appearance, we did so with our music (or tried to).
Nolan: Every song has wildly different lyrics so at first it may be hard to see how they connect.
But you start to realize as you listen the ongoing theme is wanting more out of life.
To me, Booty Shakers Ball is an anthem for the desire to optimize the human experience – Love, passion, joy and all that jazz.
How do you usually write, what is your process?
Derek: Sometimes a tune will pop into my head and I’ll sing out the parts then write the lyrics.
Other times it’s the lyrics that come forth, with or without, a melody and we create the music together.
It really depends… Songwriting can come from everywhere and nowhere, I certainly don’t claim to have full control over the ideas I receive, I just try to write down what I hear in my head or feel in my heart and hope it turns out good.
Every time you write a song it’s like writing for the first time, all you get is a white blank page and swelling rage ;]
Sam: Most artist will say that the writing process is different for every song, and I agree.
Being a guitar player, I often start with a little guitar-ditty and then start humming vocal melodies on top until a wave of feelz pull some lyrics out of me.
But other times, I’ll be walking down the street and a vocal melody or lyric will randomly pop into my head. I (poorly) sing my ideas into my iPhone Voice Memo App so I can return to the idea with guitar in-hand. Some songs come quick, some take a while.
That’s what keeps me in it – the challenge.
What is your personal favorite, song or verse you ever wrote?
Derek: Put On A Face
Some people lose the light in the back of their eyes
Some people say goodbye like they’re ready to die
But I, I couldn’t live like that
I couldn’t give life back
Watching the door
I really want more / So much more
There’s must be more to life, than this
What are you waiting for? ahh
Pick yourself off the floor
It’s time to live
Hey, put on a face
Life isn’t merely about yesterday
Tomorrow comes without a warning
Time is here today
Give Myself To You
“When you open up your heart
you find things that you’ve never seen’’
Baja – “Your voice is callin, I started fallin in Love again.”
And the one of your favorite song ?
Derek: A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
Trevor: Wild Horses- Rolling Stones
Sam: In My Life – The Beatles
Nolan: The second verse of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ is one of my favorite verses of all time.
What inspired the song “Gotta Get Away”?
Derek: Being in love with someone in the midst of trying to launch a career and feeling like the love that you desired wasn’t a luxury you could afford
And our favorite track “Love & Paranoia”?
Sam: I’m flattered. The song came after finding myself SO in love in a new relationship.
It’s scary making yourself so vulnerable to another person but feels so right to give and receive love… hence the juxtaposition, Love & Paranoia.
Tell us more about your upcoming tour dates. Have you played these cities before, do you have a favorite city or venue on this upcoming run?
Derek: California is our home and we’ll always love playing here, but Oregon, Washington are like our cousins, so we love them too.
We’ve never played in Idaho, but we’re excited because we have family there and to the best of knowledge Denver, Colorado is home to some of our greatest fans. Can’t wait to play Texas, we get out there quite often and we’re starting to get good crowds, also Arizona in the winter is gorgeous.
Really excited for all of it.
Did you grow up with music in your homes?
Trevor: Yes! My parents were always listening to music growing up. I would come home from school every day to my dad watching some live concert.
Sam: Yup. My dad and mom were responsible for getting me into Roots Rock and Grunge heavily as a kiddo.
Nolan: My mom was always blasting Amy Winehouse and Cher when she was doing things around the house and my dad had the best Led Zeppelin records, so I was a pretty lucky kid.
At what age did you start playing?
Derek: I started singing when I was about 8 years old
Sam: Derek tricked me into getting a bass guitar when I was 10. I kept running with it and picked up banjo (oddly enough) before the guitar when I was 13.
Trevor: I got a drum set for my 9th birthday. I would try to play along with bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath, Beastie Boys tunes, etc.
Nolan: My dad bought a drum set when I was 10, he played the same groove over and over until I eventually took the reins out of necessity. My mom thanked me eventually.
What does music mean to you?
Derek: Everything. It is the fabric of our lives. Like a time capsule it stores memories and emotions, it develops our moral compass, it heals our pain and keeps us sane. Music is what stays with you when you have nothing left.
Sam: It’s somewhat of a religion to me – I look to music for guidance, comfort, and understanding… or sometimes I throw on some good ol’ Neil or Bobby D. for a good story 😉
Trevor: Music is a part of me. Whether I’m walking down the street listening to my headphones or playing a tune live. It’s always been there for me.
Nolan: Music bridges the gap in communication where that grey area lies – between words spoken and things that are felt and understood. So, it’s an imperative part of most people’s lives.
Can you tell us a bit about the song “Fight the War”? The story behind it, the day you started writing it?
Derek: We wrote it in Hollywood, and recorded it for Chasing Waves.
We felt the arrangement didn’t serve the song, or that it wasn’t a good song, I can’t remember the specifics, but it expressed our frustrations with the music industry and our new life of relative poverty.
We grew up in the suburbs living in middle-class luxury and in Hollywood the four of us shared a one-bedroom for two years.
It didn’t match the material upbringing we had grown so accustomed to in our youth.
However, we always remained grateful to have a place to lay our heads at night, as many do not. Getting an economic foothold is difficult in the music industry and sometimes your financial success can define how people perceive you. “Oh, you’re broke, must not be any good”.
Frankly, we were having difficulty remaining autonomous in the decisions we were making as artists from “professionals” who really didn’t like the music that inspired us.
They thought we just wrote bad songs, thankfully our fans gave us the validation we needed to just be ourselves.
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