OB: You guys are putting the finishing touches on your debut LP, Indiana. How has your recording been going?
3 BucksWorth: It’s been going great, but slowly. We’ll record 2-3 songs, then play a bunch of shows and save our pennies until we have enough to go back in the studio. We’ll have our 2nd EP ready by this spring, and hopefully have the full LP done by the end of the year. We’d love to be able to go into the studio for a couple solid weeks and knock it out, but that’s just not a reality for us right now. We have enough good material for 2 full LPs, and we’re writing all the time, so it’s getting harder and harder to decide which songs take priority.
OB: With the recording process, did you follow a specific formula to achieve the sound of the album?
3 BucksWorth: We’re trying to keep it as organic as possible, so it’s all quality instruments and great vintage tube amps. Jose has a 1953 Fender 600, which is a little 5 watt tube amp with one knob that goes to 12. He’s named “Fred” and he is maybe the best sounding amp on the planet. We’re using Fred either straight in or with a Holy Grail Reverb and a vintage DOD overdrive. We’re also using Jose’s early 70’s silver face Twin Reverb, which also sounds fantastic. Our main electrics for recording are Jose’s American Tele and Gibson Les Paul DC, and Chris’ American Strat and Eastwood Ichiban. For acoustics, we’re using Chris’ trusty Gibson Songbird Deluxe and his 1973 Guild D-50, which both sound great. For bass tones, Mark has been running his Fender Jazz thorough one of Brett’s great Rivera heads, which is basically a like a vintage Fender Bassman on steroids. We obviously put a lot of emphasis on the vocal harmonies, and Brett has been really been able to make them soar.
OB: Whats the inspiration for the title “Indiana”?
3 BucksWorth: Well Chris spent a lot of time in Indiana growing up spending summers with his dad. He’d spend the school years in Orlando, playing lead electric guitar in various high school rock bands, and then spend summers in Indiana playing in his dad’s bluegrass and celtic bands. His main musical growth come during those times. Plus it’s the name of one of our favorite songs. In Indiana you find great people and a lot of great music. There’s a lot of bluegrass, but there’s also great roots rock, folk, Irish/Celtic, blues, etc. You can hear all those influences in 3BW’s music.
OB: Have you decided when the official release will be set?
3 BucksWorth: Not just yet. We just finished the main tracks for the next EP, and we have to go back in and finish up some vocals and guitars, so we’re looking at late March/early April.
OB: How was working with producer Brett Hestla? (Dark new day, Creed)
3 BucksWorth: Brett is amazing. He’s a friend of ours, and he usually works with much heavier bands, so he gives our music a little bit of an edge. He’s such a talented guy and he always has great ideas on arrangements. He has the best ear of anyone we’ve ever met. He’s also been in 3 different signed bands, and charted with his own music, so he knows what it takes to get notice and airplay. Plus he’s really cool and laid back, and he knows how to get the best performances out of the artists he works with. It’s a lot of fun.
OB: Currently being unsigned, do you guys have intensions of a big record deal?
3 BucksWorth: We hope something will happen, either a record or development deal. We’d love to have enough money to finish the record, then promote it and tour behind it, without having to ask our families to live on water and saltines. We‘re not young kids, we all have families and jobs and responsibilities, so our road will have to be a little different than most bands, but it seems like maybe we’re starting to get some notice.
OB: Your music has a very soothing, clean sound. Almost like stepping into a different era of music. How does the song writing process usually take place?
3 BucksWorth: Yeah, we’re never quite sure what’s going to come out. We never start with a theme or idea. There’s no real formula, and we really try to let the songs come pretty naturally. It will usually start with Chris dicking around on the guitar and coming up with a riff or a chord pattern we like, then he’ll start freestyling some lyrics over it. Once we have a general pattern and phrasing, the song will start to take shape. Then we fight about lyrics for a few hours and the song will present itself, usually very different from how it started. It’s actually pretty funny to watch. We’re obviously heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s harmony bands like CSNY, America, The Eagles, Little River Band, Orleans, etc., and you can hear a lot of that in our stuff, but we love all kinds of music, new and old. For us it’s all about hooks and harmonies, regardless of whether it’s a straight-up pop-rock song like “She Forgets”, a big ballad like “Open Your Eyes”, a more-traditional song like “Indiana” or something more rockabilly, like “I Wasn’t With You”. Our manager calls it “The new classic rock”, we just call it music for everyone.
OB: Does the herder who is in charge of inventory of the sheep, often fall asleep?
3 BucksWorth: Well, I guess that depends. What are his intentions with the sheep?
OB: Congrats to Chris who has just secured a deal with Morgan Monroe Guitars. Tell us about the process you had to take in order to achieve this and what you would recommend to other artists looking for sponsorships.
3 BucksWorth: Chris had been playing his Morgan Monroe on stage and it sounded really great plugged-in, actually better than the Gibson, which is saying something. So he wrote an email off to the folks at MM asking about the possibility of a deal, and his phone rang 15 minutes later. It was the artist rep from Morgan Monroe, who said “I love your music! What can we do for you?” There are a lot of opportunities out there, especially with the smaller manufacturers. If you’re using their products, you should contact them. Even if you can’t get an endorsement deal, a lot of manufacturers have “Artist Rates” to help working musicians and promote their products, and you can get gear at a huge discount, like what the music stores pay.
OB: Whats new for 2009, and where can we find the music!?
3 BucksWorth: We have a lot in the works for 2009! We just opened for America at the WMMO Downtown Concert Series, which was a huge deal for us because we’re big fans or theirs! We also have a profile, interview and performance scheduled for WHDO-TV, a new all-local all-HD channel in Orlando. We just finished an interview and profile for “Orlando Home & Leisure” magazine, which will be out in the May issue. Our manager is working on a Florida tour for this summer, and we have a couple of promoters putting some shows together for The Plaza Theater, Cheyenne Saloon and maybe the House of Blues. The great people at WMMO are going to get a couple of our tunes in rotation on “Sunday Morning Acoustic” and they’ve asked us to be a part of future WMMO shows and events, which we look forward to. We really owe all this to Calvin Cearley and Madia Management, who have really gotten things rolling for us. 6 months ago we were this unknown band with all this great music and no idea where to go with it! Thanks Calvin! We’re also really excited to have Marc Lewis on drums! Marc is just fantastic! He has played with Hindu Cowboys and the Kyle Henderson Project, and is a very talented and in-demand live sound engineer. He played on all our songs in the studio. We’ll still do most of our bar gigs as an acoustic trio, but we’ll have Marc for most of our all-original shows. You can find our music on iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon, eMusic, Amie Street, GroupieTunes, Lala and Shockhound, and we’ll have the new CD’s available at shows hopefully by early April.