Puremusic: I realized looking back this morning that we did our first interview three years ago almost to the day.
Travis Good: Really?
PM: It was also practically the first day of autumn last time. So how does the advent of autumn 2007 find you, my man?
TG: It looks good out here. I live out in the country now. Well, I did then, three years ago, actually. I mean, full bloom out here, the colors are incredible.
PM: Oh, that's nice.
TG: And the weather is also spectacular this week. We're at 80 degrees right now.
PM: Nice. Yeah, we got kind of gypped color-wise this year because it was so frickin' hot that all the leaves fell off the trees.
TG: It looked like California here all through August, just like brown grass and the fields are brown. It was kind of cool.
PM: Wow. It's been a very Sadi-fied morning here in Nashville. I've been just working and listening to New Seasons over and over, as possible points of conversation and questions climb on to the page. It's kind of neat, as a Canadian way up there, that there's a journalist in Nashville listening to your version of country music over and over and over in his morning. It's funny, how what goes around comes around.
TG: [laughs] I hear that.
PM: As satisfying, or Sadies-fying, in a bunch of ways as the last epic live album was, it's always a pleasure to hear a new studio record by the band.
TG: Yeah, it's been a while. We've stayed busy during that time, doing that live record. We also did that sound track for The Ratfink.
PM: Yeah, you guys are some of the busiest musicians I know. I live in Nashville where people are plenty busy, but you guys, you're always hitting it.
TG: Well, we spread ourselves out pretty wide with all the people we've been playing with. And the list of people we want to play with is always getting bigger.
PM: And the people you keep meeting keep growing in magnitude. You guys are becoming more famous all the time.
TG: If there's seven degrees of separation of people that we play with...
PM: Right. And the seven degrees keep getting shaved. So when it came time to do a new studio record, how did it come about, picking a producer, picking a studio. How did the process begin?
TG: I guess it all began on that Jayhawks tour. That would be the beginning of it, and getting to know Gary Louris. He said shortly after that he wanted to work with us, producing some stuff. And we were quite flattered. It had been a while since we'd done a record, and this time we kind of all went off our separate ways before we went and started to try and get some ideas--not necessarily write whole songs, but just get a few ideas each, because we really wanted to get as much of Gary's influence as we could, too.
PM: I see.
TG: We were saying beforehand that it would be kind of a waste to go in there with Gary and just do a bunch of surf songs.
TG: So I don't know if it was consciously or subconsciously, but we went into the direction that we thought we could use some help in, and I think that was kind of the singing and songwriting aspects of it.
PM: Yeah, that's his specialty, after all.
TG: Yeah, yeah. So we went to Spain, because he's got a place down in Spain. And through going there with Golden Smog and stuff, he found this really great, great studio.
PM: Sure, we're definitely on to the whole Paco Loco thing.
TG: Oh, are you?
PM: Oh, yeah, because my friend Brad Jones, who is a Nashville producer, he makes records with Paco down there, too, like Josh Rouse.
TG: I just did a session with Josh Rouse at Paco's studio.
TG: I was there on a holiday, and I went in to say hello and visit, and he was in recording, and I did a guitar part.
PM: Get the hell out of here!
PM: Oh, yeah, Josh is a friend of mine, and one of my favorite writers.
TG: There's the seven degrees of separation of the Sadies coming into play.
PM: It's unbelievable.
TG: I'd only met Josh maybe once. And I went in to say hi to Paco and Muni, and there he was.
PM: Wow! And so did you meet Brad, too?
TG: No, I think it was just the two of them. They were overdubbing.
TG: I believe Brad was there when they were doing the beds and stuff, and then surely for the mixes. I think Josh just went because they both had some down time and they were listening back to tracks, and they were doing some fixing and stuff like that.
PM: Amazing. So do you know if the track you did for Josh--did that jump onto a record already, or is that--
TG: I don't know. I doubt it would be already, because that was in mid to late November that I did that session.
PM: Right. I got to look--he put out a record a little while ago called Country Mouse City House. I've got to see if it's on there.
TG: He would have really rushed it--unless it just came out, I doubt that's the one. But you never know.
PM: Unbelievable. But you didn't meet his other guys, like Hags on the bass, or Marc Pisapia on the drums?
TG: No. But they were listening back to the band tracks, which sounded really good.
PM: So who is Muni? Is that Paco's wife or girlfriend?
TG: Yeah. She sings on our record. [more about Muni here]
PM: Yeah, yeah. I saw her credited with singing on one and catering on five or six tracks.
TG: Well, we lived there for the whole time that we were recording. And the catering was an important aspect of the whole recording process.
PM: Oh, yeah, that's what Josh and Brad told me about Paco's, that it's all about the atmosphere.
TG: Well, yeah. He's got olive trees, and there's this beautiful garden. It was exactly how I pictured a studio in Spain would look. That's what we were hoping for; it was the perfect environment to sit around and work on songs. So we would usually start the day drinking coffee and having breakfast, and sitting around with acoustic guitars around the table and saying, "Who's got an idea?"
TG: And there were very few entire songs when it came up to those ideas. A lot of times people just set a piece of paper down on the table.
TG: There it is. continue