Our debut EP: COMMON GROUND was a little like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Each of the songs were relatively complete contributions from different band members. Listening to it together, we think it makes it that much stronger product and represents a great springboard to working together on new material.
The influences for the EP are very diverse. Sean’s tune “Work With What You Got” is a straight up funk tune. It starts with the bass line and forward-ahead drum groove. It features a minimal rhythmic guitar and organ pulled together with the call response that is repeated throughout the song. The tune is really about making the most out of what you have available. Isn’t always ideal and you make it work.
Billy’s song “Freedom 35” is very much an upbeat dance song with a bit of latin influence that maybe became more apparent due to Aaron’s affinity for latin rhythms. This tune is super fun to play and gets people moving.
“Common Ground” is one of the ones I wrote and it’s about the polarized climate we’re in right now. Everyone focusing on the things we don’t agree on when really we all have a lot more in common than not. When we can focus on those things we have in common, I believe we can deal with our differences more effectively. The music was intended to be a simple funky rock tune. It was an exercise in not overthinking the music and just letting it happen.
“Fly Back Home” is another one I wrote and is about the struggles we all face in life, moving forward with our dreams despite the obstacles that inevitably lie ahead. Do we submit to the comfort in effort to avoid failing at what you desire the most or do you continue to push past all the noise, in hopes that it will lead to your ultimate goal… success. The music was inspired by a Mike Stern tune called “Wishing Well.” I fell in love with that melody and became inspired to write something like it. Although the end result is different, there’s an ethereal nature to the song that keeps in the spirit of the inspiration.
“Promise Land” was really the only song that was a collaborative effort and it is the song we are most encouraged by as a band. The lyrics were inspired by an experience I had going back home to escape the turbulence I was going through in my “new life”. While there, I was reminded why I left in the first place and was eager to get back to my “new life” and continue my pursuits.
Musically, the guitar was very much a percussive acoustic style groove which probably came from my affinity of that style of playing. Once Sean laid down his bass line it really highlighted his funk influence and the song took on another identity. Then Aaron came in and added a completely different feel with a strong rock groove that really drives the song. Billy finished the tune taking it to another level with his synths and his dance arrangement in the bridge.
It was truly a blast working all these songs out and hearing them come to life in the studio. I think we’re all in agreement that it’s a product that we are just stoked about and can’t wait to release it for everyone to hear.