Eat This Music: How did you go about creating it? (i.e. story/musically)
The High Divers: I’ve had the chords for that song stuck in my head since I was 15. Piano is definitely not my strongest instrument, but that’s one of the few songs I’ve been able to play and remember on the keys. It’s mostly black keys, so it’s easier to play, haha. Julius and Kevin made the song into more of a “Motownish” song with a definite groove. Kevin and I have always been big fans of James Jamerson-type bass playing, so that style really lends itself to this song in particular. Our honorary fifth member, Clay White, recorded the layered Trumpets at the end that really made the song go into a different realm. Those sputtering trumpet parts I was hearing were definitely influenced by The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour”.
ETM: Why was it your new release?
THD: We felt like this song shows a big shift in who we are as a band both stylistically and sonically. Our first album was recorded when we were still trying to find our footing as a band. The songs were there, but we hadn’t toured a ton together, yet. Now, we’ve been playing and touring for more than three years, and I feel we’re a lot more confident in our performances while recording, and our overall understanding of who we want to be as a band.
ETM: Did you have another song in mind?
THD: One of my favorites off of the album is “Never Let You Down”. It really shows off everyone’s playing, and is one of the prettier songs I’ve ever written. Also, It makes me think of working on our album together right before Mary Alice and I got married. Great memories for me.
ETM: What was it like working on the second album?
THD: It was stressful most of the time. We ended up recording most of the record in our living room in North Charleston. Kevin and I have a pretty strong background in audio Engineering, though we had to dust a lot of things off to get to the level where we’d be comfortable making our follow up record. There’s no one to blame if something is recorded wrong. It’s your fault. It was a bit freeing, but also very intimidating. Mary Alice was sweet enough to let me focus on recording, producing, and mixing our record while she almost single-handedly planned our entire wedding, all while helping me with writing songs, singing, and playing some amazing piano on our album. She’s amazing. We had some help from local producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, as well as one of my favorite songwriters ever, Johnny Delaware on a select few songs on the record. They each brought a unique vibe with them that helped us in varying ways to keep doing our best work. The record was mixed by Drew Vandenberg, who made it really easy on us. We finished mixing the record the night before Mary Alice and I’s rehearsal dinner. So yeah, a bit stressful, but totally worth it.
ETM: What can listeners expect in the second album?
THD: They should expect to hear an album from a band that has survived out on the road for a couple years now, and is better because of it. Adventurous songwriting and a lot of different soundscapes are what makes me proud to put this out there. We really worked our asses off on this album, and I think people will be able to sense the urgency that we put into each of our songs. The band has never taken anything we put out into the world lightly.
ETM: What are you working on next?
THD: A lot of touring, and getting songs together for album #3. We’ll be touring “Chicora” for a year straight hopefully. We owe it to the album to really tour the hell out of it. Right now we’re on an extensive US Tour with my sister’s band, “Hannah Wicklund and The Steppin Stones”, and we’re having a great time. It’s been a lot of fun getting to tour with my sister, we’ve always played music together, but never like this. Being on tour with family is a special thing for all of us.
ETM: What else do you have planned for 2018?
TTHD: Hopefully some talks of European tour dates, maybe Canada, too! Lots of sessions, and hopefully some badass festivals this summer!
ETM: Is there anything else you want to say or plug? Feel free to do so!
THD: We’re really feeling lucky to have fallen in with the great people over at True Blue Records, and can’t wait to release “Chicora” with them!