W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M able sometimes. Some of that stuff we ratcheted back. Was that a result of anyone in the band being afraid that these new electronic components were changing the sound too much, or was everyone on board the whole time? I think that I was probably more resistant sometimes to using synths to make mu- sic, but I was willing to just be uncomfortable with it and let it move. Some of it was just trying things to see what happens and then being like, “I don’t know, this isn’t working.” For “Severed,” I actually tried playing synth bass on it and then was like, “What if I just play with a weird pickup setting and try and mute the strings and play differently.” So, going off on this tangent of “what if we all play keyboards or something” did inform where we ended up. Part of it’s a ratcheting back, but part of it is just like, “I see, we can go for this really different kind of sound where it’s not me playing the same bass through the same stuff all the time.” So, it wasn’t so much that we got scared, we were questioning things along the way the whole time. There are songs that we redid. I think that’s just part of the process when you’re trying a lot of new things. At some point, if you don’t go too far then maybe you weren’t experimenting enough. You’re just at the beginning of the new tour, and you’ll be playing some iconic venues. You’ve got the Ryman coming up, the Chicago Theater, Red Rocks… From a player’s perspective, do those venues deserve all the hype or are there some places off the beaten path that are your favorite to play? A little bit of both. Most of these places really do deserve the hype. The ones you mentioned definitely do. And I’ve been to most of them as an audience member and a performer. There is really something special about playing those. It’s easy to get first-time jitters playing those or almost make it bigger than it is, but those are all a big deal. [Laughs] There’s something really special about seeing a show in an iconic venue that’s really set up for a great experience. We try to put on a really good show and really bring it. So, playing those kinds of places is just a reminder that it’s fun to put on a big show and it’s fun to be in a place that inspires a big rock show. There are plenty “off the beaten path” venues that can be really cool, but one of the things about the iconic ones is also that the production is amazing. The staff is amazing because they do shows all the time with the biggest bands and the best bands, so the whole day is just really dialed. It helps to put on a really great show when everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. I’m based in Atlanta, and you guys will be making a stop here pretty soon. Do you have any favorite places to eat or drink in Atlanta, or do you need some advice? Well, I’m always looking for new spots, but I pretty much eat at Ria’s Bluebird every single time I go to Atlanta, since like 2004. That’s kind of my spot. A friend of mine’s mom used to run a restaurant called Cha Gio that was in midtown. I try to get to her house or her mom’s house...or sometimes her mom just sends food for me on the tour bus. So those are the two things that have to happen every time.