Since you're from Royal Oak and so is RDW, where are some of your favorite places to hang out?
I really like the WAB. Anywhere in downtown Ferndale is cool. I just went to La Dolce Vita down on Woodward which is an amazing Italian restaurant. My favorite restaurant is Bangkok Café in Ferndale. Their pad thai is the best I've had anywhere. In Royal Oak I like Lost and Found Vintage, UHF, Leo's Coney Island. I love Royal Oak. It's one of my favorite cities. I'm happy to live there.
It seems that you're quite the multi-instrumentalist, how many instruments do you play?
I don't know. A lot. A lot of them are similar mechanically. Any sort of keyboard layout, like a glockenspiel or a synthesizer. I also play guitar and some other stringed instruments and my main brass instrument is the trumpet, but that also applies to flugelhorn and trombone. I'm proficient in most brass instruments.
What have been some of your favorite musical moments in your career so far?
Most of my favorite musical moments are in the studio. I love working on a song when everything clicks and it sounds perfect. Every layer you add enhances it more and it just feels natural and fluid. I like those moments and I also like when things aren't working and you've tried everything you can possibly think of and it's just horrible. You're at a point where you just don't know what to do, you might just want to scrap the song. And then somebody else will have an idea, I love moments that I'm not responsible for. I think that's what's really fun about music. Other people have different brains, they have different experiences, they have different song writing tendencies and that's part of the joy of working with Nate. They approach songwriting problems in ways that I don't and I'm constantly surprised by them and impressed and I love those moments because it reaffirms why we make music.
How did your new album Some Nights come together and how would you describe it?
We recorded it really quickly. Usually we take a lot more time. We worked with Jeff Bhasker, who is Kanye West's co-producer. His style is, if it sounds good it's going on the album, and if it doesn't sound good then it doesn't have the right part. So rather than obsessing over the details, we kind of flew through it. We finished the record in about three weeks, which is insane compared to the first album, which we took about four months on. It was scary at first, but ultimately it's a great way to work.
To describe the album I would say we're a band that has theatrical tendencies, we all like the musical theater and Nate has a very expressive voice. I would say it couples all that with a pop-rock sensibility that we grew up on, and also we like to think that it's a little bit more futuristic than our first album. We wanted all those pop-rock influences, combined with some hip-hop, just to be an amazing innovation of sound. | RDW
Fun. ∙ 4/15, 7 p.m. ∙ St. Andrew's, 431 E. Congress, Detroit ∙ 313.961.8961 ∙ Livenation.com ∙ $17