So what have you been up to?
Flying around a lot. We’ve been doing press and other stuff. The album comes out next week so I guess everything just goes a little haywire. (laughs)
How are you adjusting to all the attention?
So far it has all been a great experience. There isn’t much pressure or stress except with the stupid little things, but in the context of so many great things that are happening its pretty easy to deal with.
How long has the group been together?
We’ve been together for five years. We started in ’95 and we signed last year with Sony. Five years now I guess.
How did you get signed?
We had a whole team of things. We had a lawyer who was shopping us for a while. At the time between our manager and lawyer they were sending our demo out to MO’s and peaking the interest of label people. We were doing shows in New York City and that process took a while to build up. In ’98 we really began to pursue the major label deal. We started to play out constantly and did showcases for labels. We kept demo songs. I think what got us signed more than anything was our song writing. We kept writing and writing and then doing demos. The labels were interested enough to keep listening to us and eventually after all the shows and demos someone thought we had the whole package.
How does your song writing process work?
For the most part we don’t write much together. Usually Brian [Desveaux, guitar and vocals] his songs and I write my songs and we flesh them out in rehearsal. We have a lot of input on each other’s songs. But there are a couple songs either Brian had a part or I had a part and we married them together to make a song. For example “So Far Away” is a song that I had and a song that Brian had, but neither were working that great for us. But I noticed his chorus worked really great with my verse. And we figured out a way to make it work and it was pretty awesome. That is probably one of our favorite songs.
Does it take a lot of pressure off knowing that you Brian there to also write?
There isn’t pressure really, yet maybe there isn’t any because of the reason. Generally we are prolific at writers, but we are also very critical of our music. The songs have to be something everyone really loves. There were dozens of songs that got thrown away because they didn’t have that spark to them.
That is what is cool about the album. It doesn’t have any real fillers.
That is really good to hear. That is what we intended. I imagine that is what a lot of artists intend and that is good to hear that we were successful in that. Our goal was make everyone feel that they just listened to a great record.
The other cool thing is that it isn’t the same song over and over.
Definitely. One of the things we also do when we are writing if someone thinks it sounds like some other song then we are trying to write a different song. There is no reason to re-write a song. So that is another great compliment you can pay us.
What was the experience like recording the album?
This was the first time we worked with a real budget and a producer that we had a tremendous respect and admiration for. Up until then we pretty much produced our own stuff and the struggle was trying to get the engineer to stop trying to be the producer. This time was an incredible experience. We got to spend six weeks making just music.
When did you actually record the album?
It was recorded in June of ’99.
Was it weird having it sitting on the shelf for so long?
It was frustrating. It was hard, but now that things are going so well you can’t second guess it. At the time when there was no way we were getting the record out at the end of the summer was tough. But putting a new band out in the fourth quarter is usually the kiss of death because they get overlooked. So we had to wait.
Where did the name Nine Days come from?
It came from a song I had written called “Nine Days Of Rain”. Back when we first started the band we wanted to do a record. So we went into the studio and we picked out our ten best songs and decided that we would do our own record. So the last song we did for the record was “Nine Days Of Rain”. So somebody for short wrote “Nine Days” for short. So it was on the console and Brian looked at it and said “how many days have we been in the studio”. And I told him we’ve been there for nine days. It just seemed like our little serendipity/faith thing and the genesis of this band was nine days of recording.
How did you bringing the rest of the group?
Brian and I were in a band together that we played guitar in. We wanted to be in something where we could sing our own songs. So that was the beginning of Nine Days. We spent a year in an apartment that I had in Deerpark just writing with a drum machine. We were just trying to push ourselves as writers. I know Vinnie [Tattanelli] our drummer from high school. Nick [Dimichino] was someone we knew from other bands and I’ve always kept in contact with. And when we decided to put this together as a band the first person we contacted was Nick. He started playing with us and next aboard was Vinnie. Jeremy [Dean, keyboards and piano] was the last person to join. We had mutual friends and I’d run into him at places and when we needed to add some color I thought of him.
How many albums did you record before The Madding Crowd?
We recorded three independent albums. The Madding Crowd is all new material except “Crazy” which was on our second independent album, but this is a different version.
Did you have the album ironed out before you went into the studio?
We basically wrote from the time we were signed until the time when we recorded the record. We went down to Atlanta with like twenty songs and came away with the twelve that are on the album.
I wanted to toss a few songs out and get what comes to mind first.
“So Far Away”
That is our favorite song to play live. We usually close our show with it. It reminds me of a Who song. It’s real energetic and is cool because Brian and I trade vocals on which we think is one of our strengths.
That was a song I wrote and really wanted to have some fun with. It is about appreciating things that you have instead of worrying about the things you don’t have. Like sometimes people look so far into the future that they are missing today. Musically I originally wanted to go real Motown with it.
That is a song of Brian’s. That was a song that he played the verse in rehearsal one day and I asked if he finished it and he hadn’t and I pushed him to finish it.
“Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)”
That song wrote itself really. I started humming the melody, chorus, in my head. It was inspired by an incident I had with my girlfriend. I just started humming it at a gig and I started working on the chords and in ten minutes I finished the song.
That is a Brian song. That was something he brought to rehearsal. He was just trying to do something interesting.
Is there a song on the album that has a story that I might have missed?
Everything is pretty much based on true stories. So to us there is something behind each and everyone of them. But there isn’t really a real quirky story or anything behind them.
So has there been a video made?
Yep, actually it is being played on MTV and VH1.
Oh, well I must admit I don’t really watch either one.
Me either. (Laughs)
How was making the video?
It was amazing. All of this is just a dream come true.
+ charlie craine