Sam: The original idea for the tales from the studio did not really pan out like I wanted it to. I originally wanted to do something like Ed O’Brien had done while Radiohead was recording Kid A so I kept a journal of every day in the studio, but it got lost in the studio clutter. So I was kind of pressed to do a mixture of recaps and random thoughts about the recordings. When we get back into the studio I hope to do a better job of posting more often. Writing about what we are working through really helps and I think will be important in future recording endeavors.
Originally from Athens, Ohio, you guys now call Asheville, North Carolina home, which I’ve heard is an awesome town. With this new location comes a new location for recording as well and I must say, the pictures from the studio at the base of the Smoky Mountains look absolutely incredible. What has it been like to let yourselves flow freely in such a serene, secluded, and beautiful place?
Sam: The new band house is really an amazing place to work. It is easy to spend a month there without ever leaving and not realize what happened; it is a little bit of a time warp. The studio is only 100 feet from the house so you can wake up at noon and drink a cup of coffee and work for hours without going anywhere really. The quiet is very nice and inspiring and each season smells and looks so different so it is not a stagnant environment at all, which I think varies our music a lot. I don’t think that we would have been able to do this album anywhere else.
I’m assuming there are going to be a few, older live favorites like Geoglyph that make it to this new album alongside newer tracks like Ear to Ear that have already been road-tested. Was all of the material written to the album prior to recording or are there a few new pieces that manifested themselves during the recording process?
Sam: Yes there are a few older live favorites, but we did not include some of them because of how much new material we came up with while recording and brainstorming for the album. Anthony and I write a lot of music on the road and we were really excited to work all our ideas into actual songs for the album. A few songs did just kind of manifest during the recording process but most of them were pre-meditated ideas that we have been excited about for a long time.
What has it been like working with Sam (Brouse) during the recording process? You guys have obviously known him for a long time, especially Billy, and he has been playing live shows with Papadosio for the better part of the past two years. However, he had yet to see a studio with the band; what’s the difference in dynamics recording-wise this go-around?
Mike: It’s absolutely amazing working with Sam in the studio. Before, Anthony would always be in the studio recording me while I do drum takes, but this time it has been mix of both. Sam has such great ideas musically as well as in production and having him around really helps balance everyone else’s ideas. Sam’s songwriting has been so fun rhythmically and musically. His musical background in theory has helped others put the puzzle pieces together correctly. He is always thinking outside of the box and creating something that’s original and beautiful. It has been such a blessing having him as one of the driving forces behind this project.
Getting back to the newer tracks, how has the road-testing of songs been so far? Which have you tried out, which do you feel most comfortable with, and which have really gotten the best reactions from crowds thus far?
Sam: “Oracle Theme” is a new song that we are testing mostly because I was anxious to see if we could pull it off. It is the first song that I am singing the lead on and the music is some of the oddest we have tried live so far. I think that it is going to take people time to catch on to what is happening in the song, so it is going well but we are still uncomfortable with a lot of parts in it. We are playing another song called “We Are Water” that is not on the album as of right now that Anthony pulled out of nowhere before we hit the road. We all really like playing it and I think it is going well with the crowds. The other new stuff I think is going to have to wait until people hear the album because they are really different and require a lot of listening. We are really excited to learn them as a band, but they weren’t ready for the tour yet.
I noticed that a special live PA show was added on February 20, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio at Canal Street, which is going to be super awesome for both you and fans alike. You guys have done this before, notably at your own festival also in Ohio, Rootwire Festival. How’d the talks to squeeze a PA show in there come about?
Sam: The band is actually playing Athens, Ohio the night before Dayton. I think that the fans in Dayton thought we were avoiding them, but there just isn’t a stage big enough for us to fit on so we are going to do a PA set.
Speaking of Rootwire, the pictures from last year in conjunction with the line up make it seem like it was one of the best festivals of the summer, one I’m planning to roadtrip to this summer myself. What has it been like hosting your own festival and watching the progression from its inaugural year in 2010 to this past summer’s gathering in 2011? What new and exciting things are planned for this year, or is it a “if I told you I’d have to kill you” sort of situation?
Mike: Rootwire has been one of the best experiences of all of our lives in the band. It has been so crazy watching it grow over the years from a small underground festival to finally being on the map with other major festivals. We have always wanted a festival that focuses on art as an equal part to the music, and the artists, installations, sculptures, forest lighting, art gallery, circus acts, as well as music just keep evolving and getting better every year. It’s so amazing watching people grow and evolve as they learn more and constantly pour their love into the world and Rootwire is becoming a center for creativity and freedom of expression. This year we are getting super excited to have new bands and artists (some repeats too) from around the country. We have lots of tricks up our sleeves and are very excited to see what happens.
Papadosio has had an incredible few years since its inception, from playing small bars and clubs to playing in front of thousands and thousands of people at mega-festivals like All Good or Camp Bisco in the past year or two. For this fan, the only direction I see you going is up, but let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: what’s in store for Papadosio for the future and where do you see yourselves headed in the next few years?
Mike: We are getting very excited as the album gets closer and closer to completion. This is the big thing in 2012 for us as well as Rootwire. We are constantly evolving and creating new music and trying to better our show production. Having VJ Jason Takahashi as part of the team on visuals now has been huge for this recent tour. We are teaming up with artists and using footage from all over the world to draw in peoples attention more to show them what we are talking about. We are very stoked for summer festivals in old and new places for us. It’s going to be huge!
Be sure to catch Papadosio and friends on the Awake Inside Tour, coming to a city near you!