On many occasions with live albums, it marks a new chapter in a band's career, a turning of the page so to speak.
The Who's Live at Leeds, U2's Under a Blood Red Sky, and the Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! are all live sets that come to mind when we think of band's that used the live LP as a fuse for bigger and bolder things.
However, with the Band of Horses' brand new live album, Acoustic at The Ryman, the bold plan was to have no plan. Keep it as straight-forward, and even -- perish the thought, musical perfectionists -- have mistakes left in. It sounds pretty darn courageous in its simplicity.
Speaking down the line from New York City, and sounding a little worse for wear after taking in a few live bands the night before, bassist Bill Reynolds talked to QMI Agency about playing for Canadian audiences, the groups they've toured with that have brought out their best, and what's in store for the band beyond their upcoming acoustic mini-tour (which has two sold-out stops at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre on Feb. 17, and Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Feb. 21).
How did the idea of recording your Nashville set for a live album come about?
We didn't even know what we were going do until about 20 minutes before we walked on. We sat backstage and talked about some possibilities and the whole thing just somehow came together. Our mindset was, 'Let's just make it relaxed, and if there are mistakes, it's okay.'
How is it different rehearsing for an acoustic tour as opposed to the fully plugged band?
I think we just write down ideas and decide that this is a section of songs that we haven't done, so let's just see what they sound like. We don't cruise through our whole catalogue, and if it is something we did acoustically on the new record, then we don't even rehearse it. We just let it roll.
You were very selective with the venues on the stripped down tour. Was this for sound purposes?
A lot of it is for sound. However, when you're playing the electric guitar, and you walk into a place and you see seats, you're immediately bummed because you're thinking these people are going to sit down the whole night. With this, we wanted to try something different and we decided to sit down on stage rather than stand up and try to rock people with acoustic guitars. Everyone else is jumping around with their acoustic instruments, we wanted to relax, and have the crowd do the same.
How do you like playing in front of Canadian audiences?
I love it. We always had a really good time there, they tend to have a lot of fun at the shows, and it’s a really warm audience. I wish we got to play there even more.
How has opening for big acts like Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket helped you along the way?
They've been awesome. Getting to watch a band like Pearl Jam, who are a well-oiled machine, you get to see how it's done. What we've learned from them is to just show up, be relaxed, do your job, and kick butt. What's inspiring is, with PJ or My Morning Jacket, they've been doing it a long time, and they still really enjoy it.
Will there be a DVD/Blu-ray release down the road?
Unfortunately, there was no video shot of it. We didn't even know it was going to be released, and then after, we all said, ‘S---, we should have.’
What’s the plan for you guys post tour? Any plans for a new studio album?
We're starting on a brand new record right after the tour ends in March. We have a lot of material already written. We got to strike it while it's hot.