Back in July we proclaimed Friendly People as one of 5 Boston bands you should know, and if you haven’t had a chance to check them out, we have some good news for you. This Friday October 5th, Friendly People will be playing stripped down arrangements of their songs to an intimate crowd at the Lily Pad in Inman Square. Joining Friendly People will be Denver’s Chimney Choir whose sweet melodies and vast array of instrumentation complement the bill nicely. We chatted with Chimney Choir’s David Rynhart about recording a live album and DVD, touring Europe, and more. Check out that conversation below before heading over to the Lily Pad on Friday night.
Maimed & Tamed: You guys did a kickstarter campaign to help fund your last record (ladder), how did you come up with the rewards for backers? I saw that one backer bought a house show, how did that go?
David Rynhart: Our basic philosophy here is to take what we’ve got and make the best of it. So, we based our reward options on that. We had a screen burned and made a poster. Some people were kind enough to video the show and do some editing, so we were able to (eventually) offer a DVD. We could offer a pre-release of the new album. We wrote everyone ‘thank you’ cards. It was fun. Most of it felt like arts and crafts time. The house show hasn’t happened yet- it’s set for Oct. 14th- right after we get back from this tour. It will be interesting! Our families are going to be there.
M&T: A live album and DVD isn’t typically something that you see emerging artists doing, what inspired the project?
DR: We want every project we take on to be different. It’s easy to just keep doing the same thing, especially if it’s working. But it’s ideal if every project comes with a new set of problems and puzzles to solve. That way we keep learning, keep risking, pushing ourselves. We were in Creede, Colorado. It’s a magic mystery town. We had 3 shows there between a Sunday and Monday, and we had a lot of time to wander around the canyon. The Rio Grande runs through it and it’s so small you can just jump over it. We had recently released our 2nd ep, (turtle). We recorded the 2 ep’s at home. It was pretty straightforward, live rhythm tracks and then stacked up overdubs. They were great, but of course there was a difference between the recordings and the live show. So, we wanted to get the energy of the live show. It meant that we had to address some big challenges- like recording an album in one take in front of people. We looked at rehearsal time like tracking. We spent as many hours rehearsing as we would have recording individual parts. Then there was the problem of acceptance! Once it was finished, we had to make the album with what we had done, for better or worse. That’s mainly what we were thinking of. Not so much that it isn’t typical of emerging artists- though that’s true. We were just interested in the experiment of it, and to see how it would change our sound and approach to recording.
M&T: What was it like touring in Europe earlier this summer? What was your most ridiculous tour memory?
DR: On the way there, we had been up all night in New York, drinking too much. Slept a little, then dropped off the van in a lot in Coney Island and took the train to the airport. After a 7 hour flight to Frankfurt, we rented a little Hyundai and drove 6 hours to Berlin and played a show. I’m not sure how we sounded. In Hamburg we couldn’t get into the city. All of the roundabouts were blocked off by cops. There were cops everywhere. Trucks, tanks, vans, cars. Cops. Hundreds. We had to park and walk around. We walked to a little bar in the suburb of Hamm. The locals bought us shots and asked what the hell we were doing in Hamm. They told us there was a Nazi rally in Hamburg that day. 400 Nazis demonstrating, 15,000 people protesting the Nazi demonstration, and 8,000 cops protecting the demonstrators- upholding Germany’s right to assemble. The show that night was in a bar decorated with psychedelic bunnies. And to top it all off, when we got back, we discovered that we had left the keys and the van remote on top of the van for the entire month- and the van had been sitting in a long term parking lot in Coney Island. No one noticed.
M&T: Outside of Denver, what is your favorite city to play in the US? Why?
DR: It’s hard to say. Every rose has it’s thorn. If we had to choose, we would say Taylor, Mississippi or Crestone, Colorado Because they are happy enigmatic pockets of perfect weirdness.
M&T: Pepsi or Coke?
DR: No thanks… I’ll have the Pellegrino!