AUSTIN DAZE: Tell us about Lemonade and what it means to you?
G LOVE AND SPECIAL SAUCE: It’s our new record. This was a cool record for us because we tried to start out doing a regular G Love and Special Sauce record and we just started reaching out to musicians that we knew. It started with Leo Nocentelli from the Meters and then Ben Harper. That kind of got the ball rolling and we ended up with a lot of people playing on the record. So, Leo, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Donovan Frankenreiter, Tristan Prettyman, Blackalicious, the dudes from Los Lobos, Steve Molitz from Particle, Kyle from Slightly Stoopid, Jason Yates from Ben Harper’s band–a lot of people played on the record. What kind of set it apart from previous G Love records was the amount of collaborations that were on the record. It still comes off as a G Love record so that’s pretty cool. We were able to invite and collaborate with a lot of incredible musicians but still keep our identity on the record.
AD: Your touring schedule is crazy – how many shows have you done this year?
GL: Since the record release, we started in August. This is the second glass of the Lemonade tour. This year is pretty busy for us in general. We toured a lot even before the record came out. This year we’ll do maybe 200 shows, 175, something like that.
GL: I do what I love so I never try to admit that I have a job. It would seem like a lot of work if I felt like I was working. The travel is a lot. I have a five-year-old son so I try and juggle a heavy touring schedule with trying to be a good father and get home to be with him. I’ve got plenty of drama with my ex and that s**t definitely weighs me down sometimes but at the same time, it’s just life. The older you get the more heavy things you have to experience in your life and you just have to take it in stride and not let it get you down.
AD: Tell us about the relationship you have with your fans.
GL: We like to interact with our fans. There’s been a couple of times in my career where I’ve been frustrated with different things creatively, business wise, that involved making music, and I was just like, “Man, I don’t know if I can take this anymore.” Any time I had moments of self doubt a show would be really euphoric and remind me of why I’m playing music. Or a fan would reach out in a sincere way and just say ” Your music is important to me because of this and this.” Really the fans–without trying to pander to the audience too much–the fans and the crowd are very important to me. It’s funny, you get addicted to crowd reaction. You get addicted to what the crowd gives you and it’s a dangerous thing because the music has to come from inside of you. Being on stage is where the vibes have to start. But once you learn more and more how to work a crowd you realize how you can manipulate the vibe of the whole audience without even playing a note. Whether you just say something funny – you know how to get people hyped up. It’s amazing. A microphone is a tremendous power. I always feel like when you are on stage you have 45 minutes or 2 hours or whatever it is, and this group of people, you’re all in the same situation together and I’m the person that can really dictate where that whole experience is going to go. Even if everything is against you: the sound, the heat, you’re sick, maybe your band isn’t playing that good, maybe the crowd’s off, maybe the room sucks, you can overcome any of that. At the same time if you have a great situation where everyone is playing great, the fans are great; you’re like, “Oh my god I could also f**k this up.” You’ve just got to play it.
AD: Tell us about Philadelphonics.
< GL: That's just our company and the name of one of our records and our crew. Representing Phili--our home town--and bringing the phonics, man.
AD: How do you feel about Austin?
GL: It’s great. It’s been a really supportive town. We’ve had really great shows back in the days at the Liberty Lunch and Stubbs and Emos and Antone’s. I played La Zona last night. Of course City Limits–we’re like a staple here; knock on wood. We’re 4 out of 5 years. We have a great relationship with Charles and the promoters and everything. I think more importantly, our music bridges a lot of gaps. This is kind of an eclectic festival and we’re kind of a quirky, eclectic band. We kind of bridge a lot of musical styles and I think it works well at a festival like this. You have such opposite sides of the spectrum: Lou Ann Barton and Gnarls Barkley. We’re a real melting pot. Sometimes it kind of upsets me that we bring too many flavors into our mix – the sauce has a lot of ingredients these days – but we keep it live and we like to put on a good show and it’s all good.
AD: What’s next for you guys?
GL: We’re going to get ready to wake up and get on stage and put on a great show. We have the new CD out so that’s cooking. We’ve got some good momentum but hopefully we can pop one. I have produced a new John Hammond record. He’s my major idol and influence and I produced him this past year. Otherwise just kind of focusing on promoting the new record and the band is sounding great and we are just cruising. ***