You would think filming a song in NYC would be easy as falling off a log but it was actually one of the more challenging shoots. First of all, New York is busy, loud, and there are people everywhere. It’s one thing to play a song for people who are expecting to hear a song but it takes a little extra to just break it down for a group of strangers on the street. Not that this would be odd for New York, but it was hard to do. We got shots in a taxi cab which also seemed like a killer idea at first. But after spending $50 on a cab ride to nowhere and being tossed around like a couple of rag dolls for an hour we decided to move on. Finally my buddy let us into this place and we filmed this on his fire escape in SOHO Manhattan. Its at the end of Mercer St. right on the edge of China town. I think it was just what we were looking fo
The new album comes out on Tuesday, Nov 1! I’m obviously stoked all the way around but I’m also excited to share the iTunes LP with you guys. This will be a somewhat deluxe version of the album that you can purchase on iTunes that will include my actual journal notes, some handwritten charts, all 10 takeaway show videos, original demos of the songs as well as many other surprises.
We filmed this on a cloudy day in CO. The song is basically a contemplation of psalm 24 that was born from several spontanious live jams at the end of skeleton bones. If you look behind me you can see one of the rocks in a park known as “garden of the gods”. This specific rock is known as the “south gate”. I thought this was a cool visual for a song centered around the line “open up your gates before him”.
Originally Stephen (my brother-in-law) had this great idea to find an old suitcase and beat on it with a mallet like a kick drum. We tried this in a parking garage downtown, which sounded phenomenal until we got kicked out by the property manager in the middle of our only decent take. We had a difficult time deciding where else we wanted to do the Charlotte take. Uptown didn’t’ seem interesting as the LA and New York shots left the city vibe covered. So we decided to find something that would be more southern feeling and ended up on my brothers front porch under a giant magnolia tree. Stephen offered up vocals and banjo for this shot, which I think brought a distinct gospel element to the whole situation. Harmonies, twang, and the front porch always work well together. What more could you ask for?
We drove down form Seattle the night before and I think we checked into the hotel at about 4 AM. We had to check out around noon and the rest of the crew went to tour the NIke facilities, so we ended up a little sleep deprived on the unusually warm streets of Portland for most of the day. I had a hard time finishing the song that I planned to do and after several takes I realized that I was losing my voice. This was frustrating because we had a show that night and I wanted to do my best for the people of the great city. I was in a downward spiral and I lost my confidence. Colt and I ended up sitting on the curb eating lays potato chips and finally decided to hail a cab to the venue. We got there a little early and so i decided to do some vocal warm ups. Colt started filming and we did a couple different shots just for fun. I was sure they wouldn’t work as my voice was hurting but later I watched the play back and was pleasantly surprised. I guess it goes to show that things are not always as they seem.
This is called “heart bleeds” and the people of Portland were phenomenal that night.
If you’ve ever taken a stroll down Hollywood Blvd, you know that the sidewalks are frequented by almost every type of person you can imagine (and then some), including the kind who look as though, given the chance, they might happily walk off with our gear. We found ourselves constantly weighing the consequences of ruining a good take versus losing our stuff. Aside from dodging opportunistic boulevardians, our other major challenge was finding a shot that wasn’t dominated by traffic noise. After sweating it out on the streets for a couple hours we began to think we might leave SOCAL with nothing. We had a show ahead of us and afterword a drive to the central valley for another day’s event. But just as we thought we were losing “daylight” this happened…. well it happened about 7 times (but no one has to know that).
Daylight is on the new album Economy due out 11.1.11.
We filmed this at Kerry Park, kind of a famous Seattle overlook. So even late that night there was still a good bit of foot traffic. This can be good or bad. Good because you have an audience or bad… because you have an audience. On this particular night, we got to the point where we were about ready to shoot a “keeper” when a booming black bus rolled up and unloaded 25 chemically challenged individuals. They seemed to enjoy the music but tended to be loud and use quite foul language. Almost every take ended up full of drunken slurs and carousing hoots. So we decided to wait them out. After about an hour someone herded them back on to their celestial craft and we grabbed this take before a raucous bachelorette party made their way to the overlook.