Bird Streets (Q&A)

John Brodeur worked with Jason Falkner and they created something special. Something special? It’s BEAUTIFUL!

At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?



I knew Jason Falkner for a number of years before we finally got into the studio together. So when that finally happened, there was a very natural, easy flow to the creative process.

We made “Direction” that first day and both felt right away that it was really strong, and that we should do more. “Betting On The Sun” was another one that was written and recorded very quickly. By the end of the session, we were congratulating each other on how good it was.

On the last day of mixing, we invited 8 or 9 friends to come by the studio and listen back to the album, and each person named a different song as their favorite. That’s when I really knew we’d made something that has the potential to reach a lot of people.


Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?



This could easily be a Top 40 list. But, a few that jump to mind: Elliott Smith’s “Waltz #2 (XO),” because it just stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it. I remember sitting in my car for about 5 minutes after the song finished so I could hear the DJ identify it. Elliott’s music deeply affected my creative path. It just seemed way too pretty to be on alternative radio in 1998–true songcraft was scarce on commercial stations–and it made me 1) immediately buy all of Elliott’s recordings, and 2) write at least a half-dozen songs in waltz time.

Another one is Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally).” It’s such a lively-sounding song, but it’s full of these little suspensions and neat twists in the progression, and it has a rather difficult and surprising melody. And the lyric is incredibly mournful. Apparently, it wasn’t autobiographical, and I can’t decide if it makes me appreciate it more or less. A 21-year-old kid fabricated that? Unreal.




If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?


Foo Fighters, because, I mean, who wouldn’t want to play with the Foo Fighters? And Neil Young, because he is my spirit animal and it would be a blast to watch him perform every night.

The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?



In many ways, at least from my perspective, it already is a success. Working with Jason was a career highlight, and Bird Streets is by far my best album–I mean, it’s not even close. Having the record out on Omnivore is a real badge of honor.

The reviews have been really generous, our single is picking up traction at radio, and people from all over the world that I’ve never met are e-mailing and posting on our page about how much they like the record!

Even if the momentum dies down in a few months, I can take pride in having made music that a lot of people enjoy.


If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?



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