Run River North play DC’s U Street Music Hall tomorrow night and NYC’s Gramercy Theatre next Tuesday, so I went ahead and got caught up with the band via email to see what’s been going on for them in 2016; read up on all of that below, grab a copy of their sophomore record Drinking From A Salt Pond, and follow the band on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates:
BYT: First, where are you at the moment and what’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far today? (You know, before you started answering these questions, obviously.)
RRN: We just stopped by the Ben and Jerry’s factory and got some ice cream 🙂
Your sophomore record has been out for a little over a month; did you feel any added pressure to create a collection of songs that adhered to (or broke away from) the sound you’d established with the first album?
Not too much, more pressure to just write songs that we all wanted to play together as a band, which made us ask some serious questions about ourselves and each other.
What was the writing process like? With the last record I know you’d done a batch of demos and brought them into the studio with some clear ideas about the direction you were headed; was this a similar situation?
The process was more intense because we opened it up to everyone and it was difficult but ultimate rewarding. We still had a bunch of demos going into the studio but we also took time (Daniel and I) to go to Nashville to songwrite with people to round out the list of demo songs and it was really great for us to see how other people process songwriting and just the music career in general.
Also, where did you record, and what was that experience like? (Did Seattle or Honda vehicles factor in at any point this time, or was it brand new territory?)
Brand new territory. We were in SoCal with Lars Stalfors at the Cold War Kids studio. It was a lot more relaxing and with each day of recording, we got more and more excited because of he amazing job that Lars was doing with these songs, with us.
The last time we spoke we talked about your rigorous rehearsal schedule; is the band still doing sessions 4+ days a week at this point?
Yep, we always practice hard and keep up that regimen. This is our full time job so we make sure to put in all the hours
Do you guys have any pre-show rituals to calm you down and/or pump you up before performing?
Everyone has their own things, John usually physical warms up his body with stretches, but together we just huddle, say a few words and have our own cheer that we’ve stolen from the power rangers.
What have you learned is the key to maintaining your health and sanity when you’re on the road with a whole bunch of other people for days and weeks on end?
Find pockets of alone time, over communicate, pick your battles, eat something, find some type of ritual and routine apart from the band.
If you could invite anyone to join you live on stage (alive OR dead-but-temporarily-resurrected-in-a-non-zombie-way) for a few songs at your next show, who would it be?
And on a similar note, if you magically inherited an instrument of your choice from the collection of any musician (again, living or dead), what model from which person would be a total dream come true?
I’m not too much of a gear head but John is right next to me (as is everyone else in this van) and he said, “Tony Williams’ ride cymbal”
You’ve got plenty of tour dates coming up, but when you eventually return home, what’s the plan? (Apart from potentially sleeping for a few days straight?)
Get married to my fiancée Susan. I miss her and I love her.