Can you describe yourselves for the uninitiated?
Fiddle Rock. Rock/Punk music with a fiddle right smack in the middle.
What was the first album you fell in love with?
I break it up in to three phases. Phase One: I was in high school and started paying attention to music instead of just sports and video games. Weezer's Blue Album was the one that really stood out to me. I fell in love with all the infectious melodies. Rivers is a musical genius! Phase Two: In college, I thought I might give this whole band thing a try. Once I heard Life in General by MxPx, I fell in love with pop punk music. I couldn't get enough of it! Warped Tour, punk shows, and the San Diego Punk scene became my life. Phase Three: Taking a break from pop punk, I traded in my Marshall half stack for an acoustic guitar after discovering this band called Great Big Sea out of New Foundland, Canada. They were a folk pop group with Celtic influences that knew how to write the catchiest songs and put on a fantastic live show. Two of their albums that really stand out to me are Up and The Hard and the Easy. With my punk background, it was an easy transition to Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and life in Lexington Field as I entered my thirties.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest EP Redwood?
We always wanted to do an acoustic album. We talked about it for years. Then, in 2015 we released our most rockin' album yet called Greenwood (our first album with Olivia on fiddle, Tom on bass, and AJ on guitar). After our west coast tour in the fall and really hitting it hard for the last couple years, we decided to take a step back and try something different. In a way,Redwood is the perfect compliment to Greenwood. We wanted to challenge ourselves and try to give some of our best songs from our first three albums a new approach. It turned out to be one of the most fun times we ever had in the recording studio. We went up to our good friend Matt Maulding's (ex-Brick Top Blaggers) brand new Weathertop Studio in Anza, CA and camped out for a couple weekends in January of 2016 to make Redwood. We had basic arrangements and ideas going into it, but the whole process was truly organic and the end result was so much better than we could have imagined.
How did you go about choosing which songs to rearrange?
hat took some time for sure. "Old Dirt Road" and "Poor Troubled Life" were no-brainers because they were the title tracks from our first two albums. "Rest of Our Days" and "Duke of Green" really took on new transformations. Both were great songs, but we had played with some different melodies on the side with each of them and felt like they would be interesting remakes. We had many cool songs to choose from which made it hard to pick, but we didn't overthink it, and we made sure that the rearrangement was going to do each song justice. The original "American Crow" had a break down and was faster, so the new version gave me a chance to sing the melody how it was originally written on my couch three years ago. "Pioneer" was an acoustic-to-epic-rock ballad on our 2013 album No Man's War. On Redwood, it stayed acoustic all the way through and the vibe of the song completely changed...in a good way! And, I also want to give a shout out to Jeremy Royer (guitar), Anna Piland (cello) and Matt Maulding (accordion, keys, mandolin, whistle) who joined us during the session and really helped enhance the songs.
Read Part Two of the Interview