Interview with Dead Confederate

Hey, how are you guys?

Doing great! We’ve had a little downtime since our tour with Deer Tick. Got my first tattoo on Monday and some of us are going skydiving Wednesday. It’s never too early for a mid-life crisis.

It looks like you’ll be hitting the road soon with The Futurebirds and Alberta Cross. Are you ready for your upcoming tour?

Definitely. We love all those guys. We’ve been really fortunate in being able to pick the bands we really want to tour with. For me it has to be a group of folks that you are friends with AND you love their music.

You recently released a song called “Giving It All Away” on your website. What was it like collaborating with J Mascis?

We’ve done several tours with Dinosaur Jr. and his other band the Fog. He’s a great guy and has really done what he can to help us out. It’s nice meeting your heroes and finding out they’re good people. If they’re dicks it just ruins it. For that track, we just sent the tapes up to his studio in Boston and he recorded it there and then sent them back down. He doesn’t need direction or control. I don’t think anyone could control that man even if they wanted to.

How did the songwriting process for ‘Sugar’ differ from ‘Wrecking Ball’?

For my songs, I wrote them all in a studio atmosphere, really developed with all the parts; whereas, ‘Wrecking’ Ball was mostly written with pen, paper, and an acoustic guitar. It was fun experimenting with a different style.

Would you say that there’s a concept behind ‘Sugar’?

Not at all. I like to experiment with a bunch of different styles and themes. For me, it’s about whatever strikes me in the moment. One day we may take on the challenge of a concept album but I couldn’t say when.

Does ‘Sugar’ pay homage to a lot of your influences?

Most definitely. There’s a lot of lyrics in there that talk about how musicians fearlessly give their heart and soul and put up with a bunch of bullshit from critics. I stand by my artist friends and think anyone who isn’t a musician or songwriter and thinks their opinion really matters can get bent. I’m not trying to be mean. I don’t know, I don’t think critics should take themselves so seriously. I know most of my artist friends don’t, but I have some pretty nice friends.

How was it working with producer John Agnello?

He’s the man. We all love him. He was a breeze to work with and had some really smart ideas about the songs, as far as constructing them went. He actually made us make the songs longer. If it wasn’t for him the album probably would have been 25 minutes long, still with 10 songs.

How has Dead Confederate grown while making the new record?

I think we’ve just learned to do what makes us happy. We’ve learned not to worry about what people will think. If we’re happy with it, plenty of people out there will be too. We’ve learned to trim the fat on the songs, which was one thing that bothered me about the previous stuff we released. We’ve learned to not be afraid to do something different.

Awesome, will you be playing some of the new material on tour?

Oh yeah. We’ve been playing nearly every song off the new album in addition to plenty of old fan favorites and covers. That’s the nice thing about having shorter songs.

Great speaking with you, thanks!

Thanks for your time amigo.

[img credit: Jason Thrasher]

Pick up Dead Confederate’s new album Sugar