Georgia’s own rock band the Bitteroots have become a staple of the local music scene with their active involvement in Decatur and Atlanta. Supporting the release of their latest EP After the Rain, the band will be playing a string of shows around the area. With their performance at Smith’s Olde Bar coming up on November 22nd, Gloria Cardona sat down with band members Bill Taylor and Laura Dees to get a closer look inside the Bitteroots.
You’ve been playing a lot of shows in anticipation for your EP out next month, “Under The Big Sky.” How have the shows been so far?
Bill: We’ve only had the chance to play the songs from the new album at one show. It’s actually a short EP, and we recorded it a few weeks ago out at The Music Farm. The new songs were put together in the studio and we will be releasing them next month.
Which songs do you think fans will be most receptive to?
Laura: Well if I answer that one I’m going to pick my favorites! Some of my favorite old songs that everyone will know are ‘Desperate’, ‘Pete’, and ‘Clearly’. From the two new songs I think fans will be most receptive to ‘Defenseless’. It’s guitar driven and I think it’s going to be a really strong song for us live. We captured it on the recording as well, but I think fans are going to respond well and it’s going to sound great live.
What was the recording process for the new album? Was it different than your process for other albums?
Laura: The main difference is that we recorded this one in the studio. Our past albums were recorded ourselves, and our album “Central of Georgia” was actually recorded live.
“Under The Big Sky” is our first studio experience together. It [recording in a studio] was unique in that it catches every mistake that you make, but it went pretty fast all in all.
Your first time in the studio can be overwhelming. Did any fellow musicians give you advice?
Laura: Don’t mess it up! (All laugh)
With all of your work do you still find time to listen to new music?
Bill: Obviously we are all music fans and we all have our favorites. We all come from different influences and that’s what’s so cool about our band. We bring all of it together and create what we hope is an original sound.
What are some of your favorite new artists that you’d recommend?
Bill: I think we can all agree that we are big fans of Tedeschi Trucks Band. It’s kind of a throwback to big-band 70’s rock.
Which are your favorite bands to play shows with around Atlanta?
Laura: We’ve done a show with The Sundogs and they are always fun. We had Sydney Rhame play with us not too long ago at Eddie’s Attic. She is super sweet and did an incredible job.
Bill: In January we are playing our third show with The Freddy Jones Band, and I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. Our friendship started after a show, and now we’re playing shows with them. They invite me on stage to play bass, too, which is a big rush for me personally.
Do you guys have exciting plans so far for 2014?
Bill: We are going to continue to play around Atlanta. We love playing in Atlanta, but I think 2014 will also be the year where we branch out a little and maybe even go out of state once or twice. We also want to continue playing festivals and booking headline shows. We have also thrown around the idea of putting out another full-length album. This year we put out two smaller EPs and it may be time to look at another full-length or live album.
Laura: One thing I’m looking forward to in 2014 is the song writing and seeing how we’ve evolved through our different CDs in the last three years. I’m super excited about writing again.
Don’t miss the Bitteroots, performing with Col. Bruce Hampton at Smith’s Olde Bar on 11/22!