October 24, 2013
Don’t expect laid-back versions of the songs on Band of Heathens’ latest release, “Sunday Morning Record,” when they play in concert.
“They have the energy of a rock ’n’ roll band,” Gordy Quist, guitarist and vocalist, said about the group’s shows.
Band of Heathens will play The Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C., at 9 tonight. Barton Carroll is the night’s opener.
Quist and Ed Jurdi, the group’s other singer, recently played a duo show in Asheville, N.C., but the full band will play this gig. Keyboardist Trevor Nealon and drummer Richard Millsap round out the band.
“Sunday Morning Record” was released in mid-September and is the group’s fourth studio album.
They didn’t play the songs to an audience before recording them, as they wanted the material to be fresh when it hit the studio. For half a day, they’d work up the songs and then they’d record the second half of the day.
This recording method “let everyone have an open mind (about a song’s direction), and no one is married to any part of the songs beforehand,” Quist said. “I think everyone is a bit more experimental. We tried to keep an open mind about what we thought they were going to be.”
They took 30 to 40 songs into the studio and recorded 20. Eleven songs made the cut.
A few weeks into the ensuing tour, the group has learned how the songs make the transition from studio to stage.
“The songs change quite a bit live from how they sound on the album. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how these songs will have the most impact live,” Quist said.
“We’re not really interested in replaying it like the record every night. The record is done in a way for the songs to come across in that listening experience. A live show is a completely different thing.”
Quist enjoys the give-and-take with the crowd as the group performs.
“Performances are living and breathing entities that people are trying to figure out how to send the energy out and let it come back to us and keep the circle of energy going,” he explained.