Star and Micey have been on a tear since recently releasing their new album produced by Grammy award-winner Mark Neill. I caught up with Nick Redmond and Joshua Cosby before they play a free show at Shangri-La this Friday to talk more about their new album and the process that led up to the creation of Get 'Em Next Time. — Chris Shaw
The Memphis Flyer: How was Mark Neill involved with the recording of your latest album, Get 'Em Next Time?
Joshua Cosby: Neill produced the song "I Can't Wait" at Royal Studios, and then we did the rest of the record at his place in Valdosta, Georgia.
Nick Redmond: It was a 30-day process in southern Georgia.
What was Valdosta like? Thirty days seems like a long time to record an album in such a small place.
Nick: The studio was called Soil of the South Studios, and it's a one-room studio modeled after Sun Studio. It's an old ballet studio, and when you walk in there, it looks like you're walking into 1955. The place had rotary telephones, old Coke machines, and all the microphones were super old; it just feels like you enter a different time when you enter that room. We loved working with Mark because he's wonderful and out of his mind.
Joshua: He dresses in black every day, with a little cross pin in his shirt. And it looks like he's always wearing the same pair of clothes. He has the Roy Orbison outfit down, and I think he actually has Roy Orbison's sunglasses that he wears every day.
How'd you guys land the music spot on the Memphis CVB commercial?
Nick: To be honest with you, Chris, I don't really know. The only way it could have happened is if they approached us, but I don't really remember how it all went down. We said yes, of course, because it was an honor. But honestly I don't remember who was having lunch to make that happen for us.
Joshua: I think it came from the Grizzlies connection that we have. We played one of those Grizzlies games where you play on the balcony during a game. That may have opened the door. That commercial has been running for like three years now, but they just keep putting us on.
What was your reaction the first time you saw the commercial?
Nick: I heard about the commercial from friends and family, but it was a year or so before I actually saw it, because I didn't have a television at the time. I have a television now, but no cable. But don't worry about me, I'm not just sitting alone in my apartment. I'm doing fine.
Joshua: I felt excited about it but also insecure at the same time. I feel better about it when little kids like my nieces or the kids I've taught at the School of Rock come up to me and tell me they saw me on TV. It's still an honor.
Would you say that the commercial has helped you guys in terms of exposure?
Nick: To be honest, man, we had toured for six years at that point, even quitting our jobs so we could just tour full-time. Without ever leaving the couch, that commercial has done more for us than any of that touring combined. The opportunities that came after that commercial spot have been crazy.
Yeah, there are times when I'm watching a Grizzlies game and that commercial comes on four or five times.
Nick: My brother says the same thing, and he lives in Texas. I've honestly never seen it live. My dad taped it and showed it to me once.
Joshua: I should probably add that now I mute it when I see it.
This new album was six years in the making. What took so long? Were you just touring constantly?
Joshua: I feel like it's okay to talk about this now. We were in a record contract with Ardent, and it got real muddled up and tied up, and we were unable to release new music. In a nutshell, that's the nicest way to say it. It just about drove us mad; we almost gave up. When you're writing songs and songs and you can't release them, it's frustrating. But we love Ardent records, and we hope they do well.
Nick: Sometimes things just come to an end, and luckily [the record label] Thirty Tigers swept in and fixed everything.
How would you describe the emotions that are at play on the new album?
Joshua: I think a big part of what's conveyed on the album is a product of being with each other and the producer for 30 days straight. It got to be heavy. We started to miss our families, and we were forced to come together in that room. There was a bit of a dirge, but we just played through the pain.
When you go on tour, you normally try to spend some time alone, but there was basically one coffee shop in Valdosta, so we always wound up at the same place. Being in the middle of nowhere in Georgia was also a factor.
At this point would you consider yourself a touring band based in Memphis, or a local band?
Nick: We will always be a local band, but we are a local band that had to go on tour to stay together.