After closing out an action-packed year in support of the band’s sophomore album, “Central of Georgia,” The Bitteroots are settling down to write and record release No. 3, an as-yet-untitled record sure to showcase an even more mature and polished group of musicians and songwriters.
The Decatur, Georgia band, which features the soulful and powerful vocals of Laura Dees and rich chord voicings and tasteful, moody solos of Dan Shockley on guitar, is gearing up for a 2013 that will be a year like no other in the band’s history. And of course, Bill Taylor’s thumping, funky bass grooves, and the dynamic, in-the-pocket drumming of Mike Davis will be helping provide a foundation for the journey.
We got to speak with the Bitteroots themselves to get the insides scoop on this tasteful groovy group. Check out what they had to say!
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you or at your show?
Laura: Someone actually gave me a poem with a lock of hair attached to the paper…it was one of the few times I was ever speechless.
Mike: The last gig we played, somebody had a costume horse head on the whole time. Still not quite sure what that was about.
Dan: In Bad Tölz, Germany while singing a lady dancer spun around and hit my mic with her arm. The mic smashed into my mouth making a huge sound, bloodied my mouth and chipped a tooth.
Bill: We played on the Decatur Square last year there were hundreds of people in pirate costumes. I was having a difficult time navigating my gear through the crowd of pirates, so several of the pirates grabbed my gear and took it to the stage for me. So I had a huge pirate roadie crew (with peg-legs and eye patches) – that’s just how I roll… Arrrr..
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist?
Laura: There have been so many…but one that sticks out – a drummer I worked with in another band, actually fell off his stool during a show. Not only did he fall off his stool, but he fell off the platform as well.
Dan: Watching a cymbal crash down on our singer/guitarist with a guitar chord cutting it in half right at the most opportune moment.
Bill: We were playing in this show for the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous concert with 343 bands. We had an hour set early in the morning. We were almost done with our set, when all of a sudden, this sound starting coming out of the monitors like something we had never heard before. Somewhere between a dying cat and nails on a chalkboard. It just wouldn’t stop. Everyone is looking at each other, its getting louder and louder. The crowd is looking at each other; the bartenders are heading for the doors. We finish the song and look back at our guitarist Michael, who only has 4 strings remaining on his 6-string guitar. His motto: “The show must go on!” We somehow managed to finish the set, doubled over laughing hysterically.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Mike: I just try to limber up a little and stretch my arms and legs. Playing can be a bit of a work out for me.
Dan: I like to have a glass of wine with my wife.
Bill: So I just realized that we don’t really have any pre-show rituals. So starting with the Eddie’s Attic show our new pre-show ritual will be eating 8 (not 9) hard boiled eggs and then 7 Irish car bombs, 20 synchronized jumping jacks, and then review our 2009 individual income tax returns, then saying three Hail Marys and reciting at least two Henry David Thoreau poems from memory. That should get us ready for the show!!!!!
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
Laura: Throwing them cash encouraging them to stay!
Mike: Being a drummer, I just try to keep the train on the tracks, especially if the crowd is digging where we’re going.
Dan: I like to smile at them and wink once in a while.
Bill: We just go out and try to have fun! If everyone is smiling and having a good time, both on and off stage, that’s when everything comes together.
How did you decide on your band name?
Laura: The rock-train known as “The Bitteroots” were already well established before I came on board. I’ll leave this one for the guys…
Bill: My good friend, Erik Weston, actually named the band. He had told me a few years before forming this band that The Bitteroots would be an awesome name. So when it came down to naming this group, I threw out the name for consideration, and everyone liked it.
What is the best way to write music?
Laura: With close friends and those you trust.
Mike: On a rainy day in the middle of nowhere.
Dan: I like to think of a situation, record music for the mode of the situation and then work on lyric.
Bill: I don’t know if it’s the right way, but we typically get together and work out the music first, then send Laura away, and she comes back with these awesome lyrics and melody lines. We then put them together and you have The Bitteroots…
To see The Bitteroots live @ Eddies Attic on Saturday, May 18th click the link below!