Back in June, rootsy blues-rock band The Daybreakers released their first full-length album. Since the release of the album, the group has been playing shows frequently within the New England area and getting airplay on radio stations across the country. We discussed the band’s passion for playing live gigs and the process of recording their LP with bass player, Matt Schairer.
You play both small pubs and crowds of 500 plus. Do you prefer the intimate gigs or the large ones?
The bigger the better for us. We are constantly striving to improve our reach and book bigger and better shows. The small intimate gigs are great as they provide the opportunity to showcase some different songs and subtleties, but the big shows are always the most exciting.
You’ve played many shows in New England. Do you have a favorite spot in the area to perform?
We have played the past three summers as an opener at Indian Ranch. That is always a great place to play. We have also had a lot of success at a local club in Franklin, MA called the Black Box. They have booked some big time acts in that room and we have had a fun time when we’ve had a chance to put a bill together there.
Is there a track off of your debut album that is your favorite to play live?
“Hard To Explain” is the single off the newest album, and that has been really going over well at our shows. We have stretched out a bit on the end and let the guitar players do their thing. Kyle sings a great lead vocal on it and it’s a lot of fun.
Which track typically receives the best response from audiences?
The cover songs! Ha. We have been lucky in that we have had awesome responses from the audience on a lot of our original tunes. Some of the first ones we ever recorded always go over well, like “I Don’t Know Why” and “It Ain’t Easy.” People who have been seeing us for four years know those ones by heart, and it never gets old to see people singing along to your songs from the crowd.
If you could play a gig anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
Well, we are in the process of trying to book a little tour for this summer. Maybe we can answer that better after we get out and see the world a little bit. Hoping to do a week or two in June and July and make some headway across the US.
Is your song writing process collaborative? Does one person focus on the lyrics?
We have two main songwriters. Kyle Murphy writes a lot of the songs and I write a lot too. We pretty much write them on our own, but always bring them to the band with the idea that things can change once everyone puts their parts in. We have been writing a lot of new songs for the next album and it has been a great collaborative process. Dave Deluca, who produced our first two records, is playing guitar for the band now. He still wears his producer hat at rehearsal and comes up with interesting ideas for the new songs. We were working on one of Kyle’s new ones this week, and Dave and Joey came up with a really sweet halftime-Bonham-sounding thing to play over the verse groove. It’s a blast.
How has your sound and song writing process evolved since the release of your EPs?
Well the band is different now. Our original singer, Corey Routh, stepped away from the band and Kyle has taken on role of lead singer. We have brought Dave into the fold and he sings some leads and a lot of harmonies. We also have been playing with a keyboardist, James Fullerton, who adds a jazzy New Orleans vibe to the pot and pushes everybody in a little different direction.
Our sound has developed from being a pretty straight ahead rock feel, to a much more rootsier sound. We are going for that Allmans/Stones blues rock thing, and every once in a while I think we come pretty close.
What were you listening to while recording your full-length album?
A lot of the Stones and the Allman Brothers, The Band, Sam Cooke, and Mellencamp. I am sure a ton of others. Kyle has a great jazz background and a terrific ear for melody. I listen to Bruce Springsteen and John Prine and the guys that can tell you a novel in 3 minutes. Then I try to write songs like them and Kyle tells me there is no melody. He’s usually right, and I have to go back and rework it. We also have been digging some modern records from Jason Isbell, American Aquarium, Mail The Horse, and a bunch of other great roots rock bands.
To see a list of The Daybreakers tour dates, visit their website.