"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Yacht Rock Revue
Thank you for talking with us! How was the last year for you? What were your highlights? Every year, we think this Yacht Rock thing can’t get any bigger. And every year it does. We’ve grown from dives to clubs to theaters... we’re playing a bunch of outdoor amphitheaters this summer. That’s insane! Highlights of this last year were the birth of my son Bowie, the recording of our new album and our biggest tour ever last spring. Until this tour, which is MUCH bigger.
The whole process of making the album was such a delight. I’ve always had little side projects, indie rock bands operating on a shoe string. But with this YRR record, we were able to employ the full arsenal of YRR resources and make the kind of album I’ve always wanted to make. We wrote 30 songs and 10 made the record, with our producer Ben Allen guiding us through the whole process. We took a few weeks off to record, took our time mixing and mastering, got super-pro artwork, pressed vinyl, made real music videos. It’s what I always thought I would be doing, it’s just about 20 years after I thought it would start happening!
You’ve met a lot of people and musicians during your career. Who has made the biggest impact on you and why? Our mentors throughout this crazy Yacht Rock sailing have been Robbie Dupree and Matthew Wilder. From the first moment we met and played with these guys, we could sense there was a connection.
Robbie was the first legit Yacht Rock guy to give us a chance when he came to sit in with us in New York close to ten years ago. He took us under his wing and connected us with a lot of other guys who have sat in over the years. His advice, his love and his vicious sense of humor have been crucial to our growth. He’s played dozens of shows with us and we have several more on the horizon this year!
With Matthew, he hadn’t ever really toured behind Break My Stride, so when he hit the stage in front of 4,000 people with us at a show in Atlanta, it was a magical moment for all of us. He’s had such an insane career - producing Tragic Kingdom for No Doubt, writing the score to Mulan - his insight is unique. We spent a couple days with him in LA writing “Big Bang” for the new album. I’m so proud of that tune, and the influence of watching him work for those two days really permeated the rest of the album as well.
What’s the story behind your album’s title? It was an off-the-cuff joke I made to a news anchor in Indianapolis who asked me on-air about us recording a new album. I said, “Yeah man, we’re more than just a bunch of hot dads in tight jeans - we’ve got songs and ideas and creativity...” That phrase really struck a chord. And it’s the truth, which feels like the right move. We toyed with the idea of releasing this album under another name, or being secretive like Daft Punk or Banksy or something. We didn’t want anyone to not give the record a chance because it came from a tribute band. But in the end, we figured we’ve gotten this far just embracing who we are and what we do. So let’s ride it to the end of the line. Live by the smooth, die by the smooth?
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? When people come to our shows, they achieve pure escape for a couple of hours. No responsibilities, no politics, no to-do lists, no work... just great songs and great memories. We wanted to create the same vibe with our album. It’s a party record, infused with stories and lessons from our years on the road throwing some wild fucking parties. With a few inside jokes, yacht rock references and dad stories thrown in for good measure.
How was it filming the video for "Step?"We made the video in one day with my sister Gina and our friends in Chorus Films. We had obviously done a ton of work designing the set and lights, practicing the choreography... But all the shooting was in one insane day. It was incredible to see that vision come alive on the camera right before my eyes. We were going for a modern update of an ‘80s Hall & Oates style video, and I think we got pretty close.
Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? Peter and I met in 4th grade in Columbus, Indiana. There’s a little mom and pop Mexican restaurant called Garcia’s in this little strip mall. The menu is full of super-elevated Mexican classics, everything is almost dainty (not usually what you think of with Mexican food) but the flavors are so unique. It’s not hipster or modern or farm to table but it is perfect. It’s only open Tuesday through Friday like 7 months of the year and it is packed every minute of those open hours.
What is an example of a menu you would prepare if I came over? That depends on what you like. My “show off for guests” meal is usually Spanish style tapas, I learned a bunch of cool stuff from this restaurant in London called Barrafina. Their cookbook was approachable and I learned Spanish tortillas, salt cod, chickpeas and spinach with jamon, etc.
Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up? My mom was always dancing around in the kitchen - that’s probably the origin of our signature dance, the sidestep. It’s simple “mom dancing” that is easy to do if you’re stirring our sautéing.
Have you ever eaten two meals at the same restaurant in the same day? Many times - because we own a restaurant and music venue in Atlanta called Venkman’s. When we opened a few years ago that was pretty much all I ate. We’ve really come into our own in the last year or so as far as the food goes, it’s nothing crazy but it’s comfort food that pairs perfectly with the jazz jam or some Friday night soul or yacht rock for that matter. Our brunch represents, ask anyone in ATL.
IF you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? Our fans set records for Tito’s and Soda sales everywhere we go, so that would be an obvious choice. But I’m gonna go with Coca-Cola. They’re the biggest sponsorship you can get, and we want to make this Yacht Rock thing as big as it can get. They’re ATL and we’re ATL. Their drinks are full of gas and so are we. Wait, can I take back that last part?