Cris Cohen: Of course, I want to talk about “Steadman's Wake.” Everyone is making a big deal out of the fact that it has been 20 years since your last album. What I'm wondering, though, is what were the advantages of that? What was the benefit that you found from having that much of a gap between recordings?
Doug MacMillan of The Connells: It's a good question because there were some benefits. We recorded a record in the year 2000 called “Old School Dropouts.” (I almost forgot the name of it.) And it's a good collection of songs. Basically, it was a collection of well-made demos, because we were getting ready to make what would have been our last record for our record label at the time, TVT Records.
And they dropped us, [laughter], which was fine for a number of reasons. We did not have the best relationship with them. That happens. You know. I mean, you've talked to bands. Every band has those problems. As a friend of mine in advertising told me once, "It's the crucial juncture where art meets commerce". [laughter]
It's like a really bad intersection, you know. [laughter] A lot of wrecks.
So anyways... we basically made a record from four-track cassette demos.
We hadn't made the (previous) records. We had no idea what we were doing as far as selling something on the internet in the year 2000. We could have used you. [laughter]
Back then, we just couldn't really get it out there. So things kind of slowed down. We didn't break up. We didn't stop playing. We just didn't play nearly as often. And plus, it seemed kind of clear that the demand wasn't there for us to do a month-long tour. Just the way it goes.
So I guess it was maybe five or six years ago, and I was talking to David Connell. He was talking about some of the songs on that previous record. He was like, "These are good songs and they need a proper treatment, proper recording." So that's what got that started.
Then Mike Connell had some songs he'd been working on. So we had enough material. We recorded the album.
So that was one of the benefits (of the 20-year gap).