In the store | The Stepkids – Troubadour
A week ahead of the September 10th release date, Spin.com is hosting a listening of The Stepkids new album Troubadour, and advance LP, CD and digital download is available exclusively at Stones Throw.
Jeff Gitelman (guitar, vocals): The lyrics can be interpreted many different ways. For one, the gamble of love. “Are you a lover / Or a master of the fling?” You’re taking a risk. It’s also about Grey, and his gamble of being in the art and entertainment world. It is a big gamble. You literally gamble your whole life away.
I was playing with Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder prior to the Stepkids. I had to throw away my whole career and risk it on a garage band with my friends. Everyone kept telling me pragmatically, “Don’t do it, Jeff. You’re making a lot of money. People would kill to play with Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Why would you leave that stuff behind?” But some chemical in my brain kept telling me to just follow my gut. It’s a huge gamble, but everybody gambles. If you’re not gambling, then you’re obviously not going to win.
Dan Edinberg (drums, vocals): It should be obvious we were listening to a lot of Earth, Wind & Fire and Steely Dan, music where jazz is an essential part of what makes it pop. We tracked that song live as well, so the drum, bass, and guitar are just all played in one take. We actually even used sheet music in the studio.
Edinberg: That song represents the journey we took from the first album to the second, because when we started it, we were still using the same methods as the first album. By the time we got back from tour, the three of us got really hip to other different types of music — techno, house, modern hip-hop. So that really affected how we finished off the production of the song.
Gitelman: Stylistically, it shows our love for George Clinton, but we really wanted to make it a modern sound, not just copy what George was doing back in the day. For a while there was no guitar at all on the song. I was playing the drum machine; Dan was playing bass. I played guitar my whole life, and I just got sick of guitar songs. I was more interested in helping produce the sound of the song that didn’t always contain guitar. But when we went back, we figured that I probably should be playing guitar, considering that a lot of people are not able to play guitar the way I’m able to. So it’s probably better for the world that people do what they’re specialized in. [Laughs.] I love Andre 3000 and his guitar-playing, I love him to death, but if those are the only people taking guitar solos, then we have a little bit of a problem. I should probably be doing what I’m good at.
Read/hear the rest at Spin.com: “Album of the Week: Stream the Stepkids’ Vintage Yacht-Funk Jazz Odyssey, Troubadour”