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- Posted on Mar 14th 2010 9:09AM by Marcus Rendon
Have you been to SXSW before? What's your favorite part about Austin?
Yes, this will be my third time. I've been to Austin when it's not SXSW, and enjoy the city when it's not during that week -- there is this really cool town that is underneath all the craziness that is SXSW. I just love the way the city is laid out. It seems like a very friendly place and it's not too proud of itself.
Is there anyone you are excited about seeing during the festival?
Yeah, I'm excited to see my friend Sal Leonardo and the Carey Brothers so it will be good to see some of their new stuff live.
Will you be playing solo acoustic or with a full band?
Both, I will be playing some with just myself solo and then some with a band of musicians that I already knew were going to be down there for the festival.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I grew up with the Beatles and they are still to this day my top band played in my iTunes.
So are you a Lennon or McCartney follower?
I always get in trouble with my answer because according to popular opinion a songwriter should like Lennon the best, but within the band -- not their solo careers -- I would have to go with McCartney.
How would you describe your sound on your upcoming album?
It's very melody based, there is still a lot of [music] layers like my last album. I get a angry a couple of times on this record. I never really explored my angry side in a song until this record
Angry lyrics or angry as in a "heavy" sound?
Both actually, there are a few heavy parts, heavier than I've gotten in the past. There is this one song in particular called "Come Clean," it's a bit manic with many changes really heavy, goes back in forth, all over the place.
Describe your songwriting process?
It's such a cliche to say "I went up to cabin to write all these songs and do a record." it really wasn't my intention, I just wanted to get away from all the distractions I had at the time. It wasn't about me going into the woods and soul-searching or anything like that. I just didn't want any distractions. I had gone up there with most of the songs already written and, once I got up there, I ended up doing writing which I hadn't planned. I had the record going in and once I was up there, new songs started coming out. It's a collection of brand brand new songs that no one has heard and some songs that I had been playing live over the past year.
Did you premiere some of the new songs on your Acoustic Residency Tour?
I did, that was the first time I played a lot of them. I really enjoyed that tour, I hadn't done a solo tour like that in probably five years. It was really cool, it freed me up to talk a little bit more than I usually do. It was nice to show the songs the way they exist right after I finished writing them, and before all the bells and whistles go on them.
What's next for you after SXSW?
The new album comes out on May 4th, the tour will start May until June, with a full band.
Is there one particular song that you is a favorite of yours?
Yeah, one called "Come Clean" and then the last song on the record called "Goodbye" I'm really proud of.
Does Shep [Greg's dog] have a favorite song?
[Laughs] You know I think... [laughs] He's the first one to hear all of them, he never favorites one over the others, he's very good about it.
What is the one comfort thing you like to take with you on the road?
We like to listen to stand up comedians CDs, whenever we stop by an indie record store I usually spend all my money on that. Some favorites are Eddie Izzard, George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg, Mike Birbiglia.
Which one of your hats are bringing with you?
I can't think of another place to buy a hat, so I'll probably just buy a cowboy hat.
What type of festival food are you looking forward to?
The best barbecue I can find, it is Austin.
Marcus Rendon is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.