Riffraf.

Riffraf.

Riffraf. 150 150 The Band of Heathens

9/11/2013 – During the last few years, The Band of Heathens have released a string of critically acclaimed records, cementing their place at the forefront of Americana. On September 17, the band drops their latest album, Sunday Morning Record.
Today, we’re talking to the group’s co-founder Gordy Quist about random covers, a deranged Texas club owner and how their new record was almost a double album.
Do you think being an independent artist offers more freedom in what you write and record?
Absolutely. We’re free from any outside pressure to conform to what somebody thinks will sell or what will go on the radio. We freely follow the muse.
What’s an underrated album everyone should listen to at least once?
Break Mirrors by Blake Mills. Everyone should listen at least three times.
What record/song/artist do you to turn to when you lack inspiration?
There are so many… Neil Young, Wilco, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, The Mother Hips, Jackson Browne, Vetiver, Aimee Mann. Lots of options for inspiration.
What’s the most random cover you’ve played live?
When the band was first barely formed, we would actually pull out “Nothing Compares 2 U” written by Prince, made famous by Sinead O’Connor. It’s been a long time since those days and the band has changed a bunch, so I’m not sure we’ll go back to it but it’s a great song.
What has been your most interesting and/or strangest gig?
It’s a toss up between two strange gigs. One time in Esbjerg, Denmark I had a virus of some sort, and I spent the whole first set of a show trying not to throw up on stage. I only made it through half of the second set. The other strange gig was in a small town in southeast Texas. The gig itself was fine but things went south afterwards when the owner of the club thought it would be fun to bring out his pistol (with a laser sight on it) and point the laser at our drummer’s head as a joke. Needless to say, we packed up and left pretty quickly.
The band has recently experienced major changes in the line up and your personal lives. How did that affect the songwriting process for Sunday Morning Record?
Change is usually a good catalyst for creation. It forces you to look at things a little differently which is often the first glint of a song idea. Because of all the changes, we also took a bit longer than usual between albums, which gave us time to explore more songs.
Was there a song on the new record you found especially difficult to complete?
The last song to be written and the last song to be recorded was “Miss My Life.” It wasn’t necessarily more difficult to finish than any other song, but before it was written we spent a lot of time thinking and talking about the album as a whole in terms of both cohesiveness and diversity and what additional flavors might be needed. Out of those conversations the song was born, the final ingredient for the album.
You’ve mentioned in interviews that you had over 30 new songs to choose from for Sunday Moring Record. Were you tempted to release a double album? Any chance we’ll see any of those songs on future records?
We actually had a double album recorded, sequenced, and ready to be mastered when we decided to narrow it down to a more cohesive batch of songs to make one album. I’m not sure what will happen with the other tracks. Some of them will probably see the light of day sometime.
What’s next?
The plan is to tour the U.S., maybe head to Europe, write some more songs, and then figure out what to do with some of the tracks we didn’t release on this record.
Read more: http://www.riffraf.net/2013/09/indie-spotlight-band-of-heathens/#ixzz2eb6hYDKe