PM: Besides being out on tour with them, are there any records that the band is listening to a lot for inspiration or direction, any record that's on the turntable, or on the stereo a lot?
NF: Not really. We had just gotten off the road, and we were going to take three months off just to chill. And three weeks later we were so bored. And we were just so out of the loop musically. We just came home and kind of decompressed after three and a half, four years on the road, solid. We just didn't do much of nothing but play golf and drink beer, pretty much.
PM: So you were really out for what amounted to years?
NF: Oh, yeah. Me and Caleb bought a lake house when we first signed our deal. And in the first few years we slept in it I think 48 nights.
PM: Wow... I think you guys live down the road from me, in Mt. Juliet somewhere, or thereabouts.
NF: Yeah. We live near Lebanon, not far.
PM: Oh, that's nice, yeah. So as the elder, do you take any kind of leadership role, or does Caleb as the singer? Or is the approach just kind of democratic, or--
NF: Yeah. It's a lot better now. At first it was kind of funny, my little brother coming and telling me that he's going home with some girl, or something, and getting the brotherly approval--
NF: That was funny at first. But I guess as the oldest I'm always going to be kind of looking around the bar--I like to know where everybody is at. Yeah, it's pretty much democratic. Everyone has their say-so, and we go with--not necessarily majority rules, but intelligence rules, I guess.
PM: Yeah, everybody gets heard.
PM: So what role did the co-producers, Ethan and Angelo, play on this record? How did they do their thing?
NF: Man, they're great. They're a great duo. They work really well with us, just in the sense that Ethan is so good with all the technical stuff, and he just knows his shit. And he's really good at, once he gets the idea down, and the kind of record you're wanting to make, and the kind of sounds you're wanting to get, I mean, it's almost like his mission to get you exactly what you're hearing in your head to be put down on tape.
PM: That's beautiful. The mission to find that sound.
NF: That's right. And Angelo is more of just a cool cat, and just, man, makes us want to go in there and record every day, because he lets us do the front side of making music. This record, we had so much fun doing this record. We were so chilled out because we were doing the record at home here in Nashville. After being on the road for so long touring and stuff, the fact that we got to come home and not only get to sleep in our bed every night, and drink at our favorite watering hole, and all that shit, but got to make a record while we were getting to enjoy all the perks of being at home. So this record didn't seem like work at all. It was like playtime.
PM: Yeah, Angelo, I know him just a bit from around town. He's a really soulful dude.
NF: Yeah, he's a good guy, he's got a good soul. He brings good vibes, for sure.
PM: I know he was there from the top, really. And he's grown with the band in a way that still continues to work. That's pretty amazing, really, when a band changes so much after five years, and the guy who was kind of there as a coach or something right at the top is still there on album number three, and everybody says, "Yep, he's still the guy."
NF: Yeah, he's still the man. He kind of tutored me and Caleb in songwriting. He was the first person that taught us how to write a song that we'd actually be proud to play on stage.
NF: And luckily, as our songwriting skills have progressed, he might not necessarily have the same role as far as songwriting, but we definitely wanted to keep him in the team, whether it be helping produce, or just being there and helping us find great sounds and try shit that we would never in a million years think of trying.