Cris Cohen: I want to start off with the new single “Sweet Spot.” How did that tune come together? And was it always the plan to have everyone take a turn doing the lead vocal on that?
Barrett Smith of Steep Canyon Rangers: No, that was not always the plan. It just happened that way. Graham wrote “Sweet Spot,” for the most part. He started “Sweet Spot,” let's say. Graham has a lot of songs that he’s started that are working their way through the Steep Canyon Rangers’ arrangement machine. And he has a lot that he hasn't given to us I'm sure as well. But that was one that had started making the rounds.
Come to think of it, I want to say, from the very beginning, Graham pictured that with different people singing different voices maybe. I don’t know. The way this band processes a song… at this moment, almost every single one of them comes from Graham. They may come straight from Graham and go straight to the stage. More likely, they're going to go through one or all of us. We process it and it turns into this, it turns into that.
And then, with Woody leaving the band... We went into the studio and recorded that single because Woody was leaving the band. I'm not sure we really knew why we were doing that, but we just thought. “This is an intense moment for us. Let's go record stuff.”
Cris Cohen: “This is our comfort zone, this is our soothing blanket,” so to speak.
Barrett Smith: That’s what we do. It was soothing and also a little exciting. Because if there's something that can really put some juice emotionally in some song or some recording session, it's almost like, “Let's harness this power while it’s potent.”
Cris Cohen: I never thought of that, but that is an interesting take on it. “Let's take advantage of our emotions in the moment” kind of thing.
Barrett Smith: And we did. And some of the lyrics that came out expressed that. Because in the end, we all did contribute to that. Woody wrote one of the verses. My wife and I wrote one of them. Graham kind of edited all of them. I want to say Mike Ashworth maybe wrote one. And then as far as who sang what, we did that the way we always do things in the studio. We just kind of jump in, produce ourselves, and let it fly.