April 04/15/15, 2015
Year of October have been breaking new ground in Nashville with the latest record, "Golden Days." They're a little bit country...and a little bit of rock n' roll, mixed in with a whole lot of the blues. Started by husband-wife duo Phlecia (vocals) and Josh Sullivan (guitar / bass), the group take on the world with the help of drummer Greg Diamanti. Straight from the heart, the group provide a soulful and powerful sound that surely makes Nashville proud. Josh Sullivan speaks with us today about Year of October, which is an interesting read you will find below.
What is the meaning behind the name Year of October?
Tell us about the making of "Golden Days" the concept behind it?
We wrote the songs over a two year period after the release of our first record "Stories" in 2012. The actual recording of "Golden Days" started in December of 2013 and finished in May of 2014. Some of the songs weren't fully developed when we started recording but they really took shape during the recording process. It was a different record to make for us because we had Greg playing drums full-time and it was great to have his input on songs. We were able to really take our time and feel out certain sections of the music and also get the takes that we wanted.
We really wanted to make something that we would want to listen to. Each song is unique but we wanted them to have a unified feel. I think we achieved that and the record tells a lot of different stories. These stories pull the listener in many directions and there is quite a bit to chew on lyrically. One of my favorite stories on the record is with a song that we often close with, "You Were Mine." It's a western about a woman who wakes up to find that her husband never came home the night before. She knows where he is and who's he's with and the story continues with her getting her gun and riding into town to confront him. I won't spoil the ending but I will say that it's explosive. We really worked hard on that song to get the music to fit with the tone of the lyrics.
You seemingly crossover genres within the new record. Blues, rock, a little soul. How did this come about?
When we write songs we really don't think about what genre we are writing in. We just write what we feel and blending all these different styles is what comes out. We all like different kinds of music and listen to a lot of different stuff and that really comes out in what we play. I think it's important to listen to all kinds of music and expose yourself to things that you wouldn't normally check out. We are also influenced by other mediums than music as we are influenced by books and films.
If you could play any venue in the world, which venue would you choose?
I would have to say that Red Rocks in Colorado, would be a great place to play. I've been there a few years back but just got to take a tour of it. It would be incredible to get to play there.
In this creative process, would you say you enjoy being in the studio, or performing live on stage more?
That is a very tough question because I really enjoy doing both. I would say that I probably prefer the studio. It's more frustrating for sure and can definitely be a grind, but when things go right in the studio it's the best feeling. I love the endless possibilities in and every song is a new adventure. Sometimes that adventure doesn't go where you originally intended but that's part of the magic of it. "Golden Days" was originally going to be 10 songs but we worked up our single "Gone" in the studio last minute. It's exciting when things like that come about.
What do you enjoy most about creating music in general?
I love the process of creating songs. It's one of most frustrating, and yet at the same time, glorious experiences. You can spend days hammering out parts on guitar trying to figure out a chorus, or a new part of to a song, when all of sudden the right part hits you. It's a wonderful feeling and I really enjoy the trudge and grind of working on a new song. Some songs take just minutes to write, while other ones take days, weeks, or even months. It's funny, our shortest and most simple song on the record, "Spell On Me," took the longest to write. It took us about 6 months to figure out what was "right" for that song. We figured out it needed to just stay simple, and I think that it works best for that song. One of our more complicated songs, "Winter," only took about an hour. Writing music is a very humbling and gratifying experience and I love it.