AS: So would you say your songs start ambiguously and take shape over time with the band?
GC: Mhmm. A lot of times in the demoing process and building the structure of a song, I’ll just throw a bunch of different parts to the song that don’t necessarily have their place in order of the song yet. So I’ll just record them and then I can just move them around and find out what kind of structure I want to deal with.
Having all that time to toy around with how the song “should be” or “shouldn’t be”… it’s a good and a bad thing, because you get hung up on things that aren’t important. You’re trying to solve problems that aren’t actually problems. You’ve just heard it so many times, that you’re like “is that the way it should be?” Sometimes those are questions you should be asking, but sometimes you know, it’s all about developing, growing.
AS: Maybe a fresh ear needs to come in?
GC: Exactly, exactly. That’s one thing about working with other people. Having your friends to be in the studio, having the extra set of ears. It changes the way you listen to what you’re working on, absolutely. Not getting hung up on the one song or the one album. You want it to be worthwhile and significant in it’s own right, but the main part of it, for me, is trying to be as prolific as you can be.
AS: Do you worry about your own interpretation of songs or is there room for audience interpretation?
GC: Both. You don’t want to record and think, “what are people going to think of this song?” You want it to be as pure as you can, of a creative process. At the same time, in the process of recording a song, you can’t help but think “what ARE people going to think when they play a song?” Again, it’s gotta be a balance of both. You don’t wanna get bogged up on one thing or another. That’s a question you can’t answer. That’s the whole game.
AS: I read your interpretation of Someday River’s song “Cave,” where you play with literal and abstract concepts, and you’re able to make the song digestible to an audience while maintaining your artistry.
GC: I’ve never had the chance to write about a song (before that), and the meaning of a song. So that’s one of those things, like “Do you even go there and talk about what the song is about?” It’s a cool opportunity, because I actually found out more about the song writing about it than I knew before at all. I didn’t even realize all the things about the song until I had to write about it on paper.
AS: When you’re playing with words like that, how do you pair it with the gear that you use? How do you navigate both of those factors when making music?
GC: That’s kind of what we’re working on in there, the tone of the song. Once you record a song and hear it in a certain way, then people agree that’s the song. But really, there’s a million ways it could have been. When you play it live, there’s a million factors [that effect the song] in space – the sound guy, the room, like literally what’s the floor made of, the ceiling, the walls. I think of the gear as an extension of me. It’s whatever I can get my hands on, or whatever I’ve collected over a long period of time. What resources am I bound to in a way, or what can I afford? That’s a factor. But also, the sound that I’ve come about through all of that. It’s everything that I’ve liked and combined up until this point. For me, it’s all fun. The pedals, the reverbs, the tones. That’s all for fun to jazz up the process and make it interesting for me as the one playing it. The pedals are just an extension. That’s why I would call it experimental. What happens when you combine these two things together and letting there be this “out of control” thing that happens.
AS: The space itself lends a helping hand? Can you talk more about that?
GC: Yeah, so that’s the fun thing about playing other places or out of town. Every venue is so distinctly different. If there’s a venue out of town, bands will go “Oh I know that venue, it’s so fun to play there because of this” or “That place sucks because of this.” I mean, it’s never super cut-and-dry like that, but there’s definitely memorable venues or spaces that are set up properly.
AS: What are some of your most memorable venues?
GC: There’s this place called The Loft in Columbus, Georgia, that is incredible. It’s this tiered wide, low stage. It’s upstairs in this old building. Kind of like a listening room. There’s a place called the Hideaway Café in St. Petersburg. I personally think the sound at Will’s Pub is fantastic in Orlando. The Social is too, but it’s very dependent on where you’re standing. Sometimes you stand in front of the stage it sounds perfect, but if you around the side of the stage and you’re not in front of the monitors then the whole mix is different. So that’s one thing. Will’s Pub is set up so nice, so shout out to Will’s Pub. Their setup is dope.