Blacksburg, Virginia southern rock band DecembeRadio have made a name for themselves with their soulful on-stage display and
infectious tunes. At GMA Week 2008, we sat down with DecembeRadio vocalist/bassist Josh Reedy and rhythm guitarist Erik Miker
in the middle of a Renaissance Hotel hallway to discuss their forthcoming sophomore album Satisfied, what inspires them,
This interview took place on: 4/21/08.
Jesus freak Hideout (John DiBiase): So of course we want to talk about your new record, Satisfied.
How was it working with Scotty Wilbanks again on this record?
Man, I tell you, it's a blast. We just have a kindredship as musicians and as players. As we've gotten to know each other,
we feel more like brothers. There's a lot of excitement and passion that comes from his end. Some producers don't work like that.
They're all great. There are great producers that just do it differently. But a big thing for us when we do a record is making
sure the song is right and the range is right. Another big thing for us is having a really good time. If we're not having a
good time making a record, it's gonna show and you're gonna hear it.
JFH (John): Do you guys play live in the studio?
Yeah man, we do. We'll go back and redo guitar stuff, and I like to make sure I'm doing everything right on the bass and all that.
But we track live. You gotta capture that live energy, especially for the drummer. It's definitely very critical for him to be
on top of his game and feeling like it's a unit, because you play off of each other. It's a real push and pull thing that happens
in rock and roll music that you really can't sometimes capture by just doing it track by track by track, building it like that.
So yeah, we're excited about it.
JFH (John): Are there any tracks in particular that you guys are especially stoked about?
We'll go with the rock first. My favorite rock tune on the record is probably a song called "Gasoline."
It's basically a song about how God is like gasoline burning out of control. The original idea for the song was actually along
the lines of a "love machine taking over my soul." We thought that people might take "Love Machine" a little wrong. *laughs*
The "Love Machine" lyrics still made it into the song because we're referring to heaven's love machine. That song is pretty
in-your-face and smoking, man. It's just a big nasty riff. And we have a little surprise in the middle of the tune. There's a
total change in the scene where it basically comes down to a children's choir and all this orchestration. We brought in all
sorts of trumpets and trumpet strings, almost like a Brian Wilson type of thing from his album Smile. It's almost like a
little gasoline parade kind of going on. We're trying to give the listener something that creates a moment instead of just song
after song that sounds the same. We don't want to do that. We don't want to make a record like that. It's okay if you're an artist
and you do that, but we have a lot of influences that allow us to not always sound the same. We were afraid of that in the
JFH (John): How about you, Erik?
There's a tune on there called "Satisfy" and it's kind of our southern, The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stones influenced track.
It's just fun to play live.
JFH (John): You guys played that one on the Third Day tour this Spring, right? You closed with it?
Yeah!! You heard it!
Yeah, That's a fun one.
JFH (John): Do you find it challenging to try to capture the live sound on a record?
Josh: It can be, yeah. But we're a band that can play together and we feel proud and strong musically.
We spent time in the woodshed growing up, per say, just practicing our butts off. That really pays off in the studio.
We're in the same room together. Boone Daughdrill, our drummer, is in a big, glassed-in portion, but we're right there.
(Erik: If it wasn't for the glass, we could throw something at him). It really is just us getting together,
hooking up, and playing. That's what we like about the studio that we do it in, which is called Southern Tracks, which is where we
did the first record. All kinds of killer records have been made there. Third Day did a lot of stuff there. They did Time
there, Offerings, Offerings II, and just a bunch of others. They're really the only other Christian act that's
really recorded there. The Black Crowes have recorded there, Stone Temple Pilots, and Train did Drops of Jupiter there.
It's just countless. You go in and look at the wall and think "Wow!" It's definitely a great vibe and just a cool place to
record and it's laid back. Time is not an issue, so it's real nice.
JFH (John): Who are your greatest musical influences? What makes you excited about making music
and what music are you really passionate about? What bands do you hear that just get you really excited about making music?
Josh: One thing that gets us excited as a band as far as making music and playing it live is seeing
Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan and all of these guitar greats. What they were doing. What he did with Cream...
From them to like Aerosmith, Tom Petty with his "Runnin' Down a Dream" thing. Watching things like that really
inspired me to want to make myself a better player and a better writer. I'm really passionate about that era
of music. There's something special about it. It probably will never happen again.
JFH (Amy DiBiase): Wasn't it cool that they asked Tom Petty to perform at the Superbowl half time show? They finally did something right.
Josh: Yes, they finally did something right. Y'know what I'm saying? Because they got out of MTV out of the picture.
They took the pop thing out, and I have nothing against pop, but it's like, you know, get a great American artist in there that
has great songs and great prestige. I'm a big fan of his and I just love that kind of music. Now as far as what's going on in the
Christian music world, I'm really excited to be able to do shows and hear music that bands like needtobreathe are coming out with.
We're good friends with those guys and they put out that second record and we were like "This is the kind of music that we want to
be associated with."
JFH (John): That record is sick, I LOVE that record!
Josh: Yeah, so finally there was some good music. And I don't mean to say that in a bad way, but
you know what I'm saying. We're great friends with a lot of bands like MercyMe, Casting Crowns, and I've loved Steven Curtis
Chapman from the day he came out. I grew up with a lot of that stuff, so I'm trying to incorporate that into what we do.
That inspires me and that's what I love.
Erik: The stuff that we all grew up on from our dad's old record collections like Chicago and
Led Zeppelin inspire us. John Mayer, we listen to a lot of him, he's kind of bringing back the whole vibe.
JFH (John): Having recently heard a radio host refer to your sound as a "fond memory of the 80's
that soothes our current state of musical confusion," is your style something that you must strive to keep pure from
sounding like everyone else or is it just that good?
Josh: It's just that good. *laughs*
JFH (Amy): That was a quote from the Word FM out of northeastern Pennsylvania. Timmy D has an
evening show, and he had somebody call in and requested you and they were talking about it.
Josh: That's such a cool quote. That's incredible. It's really a perfect statement because there
is a lot of musical confusion. But you know what, we're just trying to make music that we feel great about listening to. Even
when we're in the studio, there's a whole lot of "Okay, we've gotta play the game. Do you put your foot on the line here or
there?" You've gotta be careful because there is a fine line to ride, but you still need to be yourself though. You've gotta
write songs and record them in a way that radio will play them. That's the only way you can put food on the table these days
is to do that and have their support. It's a tricky game. As long as you feel good about it and you feel great about the song and
the direction, then it's good. We've told ourselves, "You know what, we're not gonna let this thing come out until it's right,
until we know that it's good and we're proud of it." This person over here may not think that, but at the end of the day, if I can lie my head down and say "I did what I was supposed to do and I followed what was in my heart and my gut," that's what's going to make it great to play live and live with it for years. It's going to live longer than we ever will, as far as on this Earth. We want to leave something that somebody can go back and listen to and say "This is still good."
JFH (John): What has God been teaching you in your lives lately?
Erik: Recently, God has been teaching us about what it means to humble and how that's gonna affect our
lives and our ministry. Our shows, like the one you saw in Pennsylvania, remind us that it's not about us and that it's not
necessarily even about rock and roll. It's about writing songs that minister to people. It's a tough lesson to learn sometimes but
I'd rather learn it now.
Josh: God has a funny sense of humor. You've got this whole GMA week, and it matters, and you want to push
yourself and be seen, but God's not really concerned with that. He's gonna bless you with opportunities like that and send us
people like you that basically let people see what's good. All the shameless self-promotion that everyone has to do…it's not all
about that. We go and do shows with Third Day with awesome production, great crowds, and then we go and do a show the other night
in the middle-of-nowhere, Mississippi with two Peavey speakers basically frying the whole night. And at the end of the night, you've
got to connect. That's what it's about. Yeah, you wanna rock, you wanna have a good time, you wanna play good songs and get the
people moving, but if they don't connect with you and make that relationship real with them, it all ends right there. That's
what makes a difference for them and for you. That's what we strive for.
JFH (John): And the live show adds that different dimension that you don't get just by hearing the record in your car.
Josh: Exactly, it brings on a whole different dimension, like you said. It's great. I've been
able to meet a few artists that I grew up listening to. I go back and listen to their stuff, and the live show just brings a
whole new life to it. It reminds you of that time, it reminds you of the first time you heard the song and where you were.
Music can speak to you in more ways than just what it's saying. You probably know that better than anyone because you listen to a
lot of music. *laughs*
JFH (John): That is true, but I don't know about "more than anyone." But even for me, it
means a lot to put faces to music and get to know the heart of the artist because it does bring out a different dimension of the
music. Sometimes it can damage your listening experience when you meet somebody and have a bad experience with an artist, too.
You end up thinking "Wow, this doesn't sound as good as it used to because I had a disappointing experience with meeting someone."
It can enhance it or hurt it.
Josh: Sure, exactly. That's right.
JFH (Amy): We saw needtobreathe live at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia and that was
my first experience seeing them. I won't forget it. I'll never forget it because all the songs that I had heard and couldn't
put an image to, when I saw them playing live, I was like "holey moley, that's what they're doing when they play,
and that's the way they look with the way they articulate."
Josh: When you have a visual, as soon as you stick in the record, you can remember what it looks like.
JFH (Amy): Yes! And I had a different experience with you guys because when you came out,
I more or less saved the experience for seeing it live. When I saw you live, that was the first time that I was actually
hearing a lot of the songs. I got to see them and hear them at the same time, so it was really good.
JFH (John): That's an amazing experience when you do hear a band in person live and it's
amazing because you're hearing those songs for the first time. And then you hear them afterwards and all you think about is that
concert and that experience and the feeling you had at that show.
Josh: Exactly, when you go get the record and put it in and it's as good as the live show - when they've captured
whatever it is live that works. When they've captured that, and when you listen to that...
JFH (Amy): And how about you coming out on a bicycle... *laughter*
Erik: Y'all saw that show?!
JFH (Amy): That was an incredible show! So that was my first impression of who DecembeRadio is.
Erik: Even when the Third Day tour was over, we found ourselves popping in a Sanctus Real record
or a Third Day record and just thinking about the tour.
JFH (John): Yeah, there's a new dimension. I got Third Day's new single, "Call My Name,"
off of Amazon, and since I heard it live first, I'm not going to be able to listen to it without thinking about that night
and that show. It's funny - about needtobreathe. We saw them for the very first time live before The Heat came out, and
I didn't fully appreciate them or get it until I saw them live. They played "Signature of Divine," which I had never
heard before until that moment, and "Washed by the Water." Especially with "Washed by the Water," just the way they get
into their music just clicked and I was an instant fan. And it's interesting because we saw them live recently and they drag out
every song into a kind of improvisation. They just go nuts.
Josh: We're wanting to start doing more of that because we're a band that loves to jam.
That's something that we really want to bring into the live show a little more as we're able to do sets at different
festivals and on tours and stuff like that. We've just kind of become friends just this week with Lincoln Brewster.
Lincoln's just a bad to the bone guitar player. I'm proud to say we have a guitar player. Erik's on rhythm and Brian's over
there he just rips it up. He could solo for hours. He spends time on the computer just learning all of the licks from Eric
Clapton and all these people. He learns all these things and just makes it his own. We really want to start doing more of that
because we love doing that kind of thing. They want to do a live album and hopefully it'll rip. A guy like Keith Urban, who
has great songs and does them live and then all of a sudden there's this other dimension to that fact that he's an
unbelievable guitar player.
JFH (John): Do you guys have any last comments?
Erik: If you liked the last record or if you're just now hearing about us, we are way more excited
about this next record… the project and everything together with the way it flows and the energy. We were a little bit worried
for a while because it's our sophomore record and there's a lot of pressure, but once we started working on it,
we were like "Man, God's really blessed us with a great part two."
DecembeRadio's Satisfied is in stores now!