DC Scene: You’re in the midst of a pretty hectic time… you guys on the road now?
Keith: Yeah we are somewhere in Illinois…
DC Scene: How is the tour treating you?
Keith: It’s been awesome man, awesome… the crowds and everything and radio has been awesome. And everything is going great.
DC Scene: What is it like getting back out there?
Keith: I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how many people would remember. It seems like everyone’s attention span is so short these days, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s been a steady growth ever since we started touring before the record came out, now it’s about the hook.
DC Scene: Lets talk about the record a little bit… fifteen gets its name from I guess the amount of time it took to record it. What’s that all about?
Keith: We just didn’t want to over-think the process, and we were doing it on our own time, because we made the record ourselves before we had any recording deal or anything like that. We decided to spend the majority of our time in the pre-production process… rehearsing just enough to know the material but still keeping it fresh and leaving some things to chance. We just went and knocked it out.
DC Scene: What’s it been like since you’ve picked up Stevie, Xavier and Jimmy? What has their influence been like on that creative process?
Keith: On the creative process they just bring a whole other element to what Josh and I do… the nice thing is while they are bringing something different, while the same headspace it makes perfect sense really like a long lost brotherhood. I think you hear the results of it on the record, it’s taken it to the next level.
DC Scene: Do you see this as a bit of a change, some of it’s reminiscent of the first album you worked with former Steve Jones? Can you hear the influences… what were they.. you can hear Steve Jones as a contributor to the album.
Keith: For us the biggest influence on this record was that we didn’t have anybody standing over top of us, telling us what to do. As one of the co-producers on the record… let's just get the sound of the band across just capture what it is we do. Without over-thinking it, so as far as influences go, there really wasn’t anyone telling us you don’t have a single and you don’t have this and it needs to be more like that, it was us doing exactly what we wanted to do.
DC Scene: What is that like… you’ve had a couple records now, three of them recorded in different manners I guess.. it sounds like it was rewarding for you guys it sounds like you got a lot more out of it doing it on your own time.
Keith: I didn’t’ treat it like it was a do it yourself kind of thing as much as I treated it like it was a great opportunity to produce a really great band. I just happened to be in the band. It wasn’t like we just sat around and thought “we will do this today.” We knew that the clock was ticking and we only had so much money and we had to get it done.
DC Scene: What are you listening to these days?
Keith: A band that we are actually on the road with that is called Blackstone Cherry and a band called Bangkok Five, and a lot of old stuff. I’ve owned most of my favorite records for a long time.
DC Scene: Does a band you are listening to ever enter your creative output? Or is it more internal, whatever you create is more a reflection of what is inside you versus the outside forces.
Keith: I think it is a little bit of both, really the great challenge is to have your influences and really pay tribute to them and at the same time not sound like them. I love the stones, and Aerosmith and ACDC and Metallica and Rage Against the Machine. You really want to take all that stuff that you are a fan of and eternalize it and come up with your own stuff. I think that is more akin to where our heads are at rather than while that was a really cool song, lets make something just like that… I have no desire to copy anyone else.
DC Scene: You certainly worked with a lot of other people, what’s that process like? What’s it like to just wear a producing hat or a writing hat? Do you get anything done out of that?
Keith: It’s really refreshing to enter a situation where you are not in the band and that is probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned over the last few years. You come on a band and you can see every facet of it and it helps you recognize and respect what everyone brings to the project. It helps open your eyes to a lot of different things. I’ve also had the luxury of working with some really great producers over the last couple of years and its just kind of keeping my mouth shut and paying attention.
DC Scene: What are you guys like on the road? Back on the road after a couple years off… what’s it like?
Keith: we like to have a good time but at the same time the most important thing for us is waking up and being able to pull off our show and enjoy ourselves while we do it. Anything that gets in the way of that really doesn’t fly in this camp anymore.
DC Scene: How does the crowd respond to the new material ?
Keith: We’ve reached a whole new audience with crazy bitch and this new record. We are starting to see everyone in the states, the gigs are sold out. It’s been really really rewarding to see it translate, even before it’s a single on the radio that everyone is getting beat over the head with.
DC Scene: I have to ask.. Crazy bitch… real person or composite?
Keith: The beginnings of a song are really humble. Jess called me on the cell phone one day and he sang the chorus to me and I took that home and wrote the music to it. Ten minutes later it’s pretty much the song you are hearing now. All our lives are so close together we share all our experiences with each other, good and bad. If a person might be an inspiration for a song, we would certainly be having conversations about inspirations. The subject matter is really a reflection of the composite.
DC Scene: What is your song writing process like?
Keith: It comes from every different angle. Next to you started off with me having that line, “I’ve been trying all night long because I want to get next to you,” with the guitar and the skeleton of a sound, and we started with him coming in with the majority of it banged out on a acoustic guitar and then I did my thing and we took it to Marty. Ultimately every song ends up in a rehearsal room, the five of us standing in a circle looking at each other sorting it out. That’s what gets it across.
DC Scene: It certainly gets across…thanks man.