A quick spin with Papadosio …
I had the opportunity to get some questions out to Mike Healy, drummer for Papadosio in advance of their stop here in Columbus at The Newport Music Hall next week (11/23) … notes from the road:
SM4CW: Hi guys … wanted to take a few minutes to discuss your new release Content Coma and the upcoming show in Columbus at The Newport Music Hall. I’ve really enjoyed the new album. The diversity of material is truly impressive and the production is great. Tell me a little about the process on this record. Were these songs all written ahead of time or were some of them brought to life in the studio?
MH: Last Fall we all got together as a band and listened to like 30 rough ideas and loved all of them. We whittled the list down to a realistic number to go into the studio and record. It was easy to decide as a group what we all liked of each others ideas but some songs really stood out as album songs. Im sure we will get to some of the other ideas we didn’t use and there are always new songs brewing constantly.
For recording we went to Sound Temple Studios here in Asheville and this was the first time we have ever rented out a studio space to get high quality recordings of drums, piano and bass. We have always done recordings at home studios and still do with many parts but getting the grand piano and drums recorded there really sets this album apart from earlier recordings.
SM4CW: If they were written beforehand how did you choose which tunes made the cut?
MH: Some songs were completely planned out ahead of time and some were half written with a couple cool sections to tie together. We used a program called Splice which is a way to share Abelton Live song ideas or collaborate on them remotely. It has been extremely helpful for everyone being able to listen to each others ideas at home and really dive in to put individual additions and work together online. We tried out different ways of playing many sections in the studio with different snares, tunings and cymbals to match the song ideas and the warm studio drum recordings definitely shaped this album big time.
SM4CW: As a follow-on question, I know a lot of artists will head into the studio with enough songs for 2 or 3 releases … if that’s the case with you guys, how long before you’re back recording another record with the ‘leftover’ material?
MH: We seem to get the recording itch every year and hopefully we can get back in the studio soon. Its so different than touring and jamming together and it really puts you in your toes and helps creativity flow differently. I seem to come up with drum parts in the studio that I usually don’t naturally play and in the moment something really cool usually comes out. It may take 30 tries to get it right but that is the fun of it.
SM4CW: Papadosio are also known for non-stop touring. Do you find that enhances the creative process for writing new material or is it easier to hole up in a cabin in the Asheville area to do the writing (or a combination of both)?
MH: I think it is different for everyone. Some of the guys only write at home and some are writing constantly. It is easier for me to work on new material by myself at home when I’m learning a new song or coming up with a cool addition to a part we are working on. On the road we seem to work more on tying our shows together during sound checks with cool intros or segways. Sometimes on the road when we are the most tired we play our best. Its really weird how that works but in some way we are extra relaxed and new ideas and awesome shows naturally happen.
SM4CW: Fortunately for those of us in central Ohio the tour hits Columbus the week of Thanksgiving. Can we assume you’ll have plenty of family and friends attending the show at The Newport … a semi-hometown show? Any surprises we can look forward to?
MH: We will have so many friends and family there which is always a plus. Its such an amazing feeling anytime we play in Ohio and especially Columbus since we spent so much time there in our early days at Scarlet and Grey, The Newport and the LC. This album tour has now had many dates underneath its belt and we have been really enjoying watching these new songs come to life on stage. We are going to bring the HEAT!!!
SM4CW: In your own words, anything in particular you’d like folks to know about the new album or the show beforehand?
MH: I think this is our best album yet. Sonically it stands out more than our previous ones with serious attention to detail on the mixing, mastering and amazing recordings from the studio. It is a classic Papadosio album with lots of different styles that we tried to tie together for a cohesive and enjoyable listening journey. We are super proud of Content Coma and hope you enjoy it as well. Come rage with us at The Newport!