Delaney Canfield (CleveRock): I feel like that’s something that can be really difficult, especially for someone who’s been doing it for a number of years, to have that realization. I feel like that has to be all the self-work and not something that someone’s tapping on your shoulder or telling you what to do for your career.
Drew Holcomb: There’s a lot of therapy in there; a lot of long conversations with my wife and friends over wine, cigars or, you know, going on hikes. There’s just life. You’ve got to have to live life to sort of have wisdom and perspective on it. And, that sort of feels like what this is. I mean, obviously, there’s always a little trepidation of like, “Man, I hope I hit the mark.” When you release something, you feel a little nervous about it, but it didn’t feel that same sense of nervousness while making the work. I just felt freedom. And so…it was definitely the most satisfying creative process we’ve ever had as a band.
Delaney Canfield (CleveRock): That’s awesome. With how personal this album was, do you have a process for determining what is a “Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors” release versus a “Drew Holcomb” release since you also release music solo?
Drew Holcomb: Pretty much anything that’s just “Drew Holcomb” is collaborative with my wife. That’s sort of the only stuff I kind of separate out that she and I would go and release music together, which we do a couple of songs a year, maybe. Everything else for me has been with The Neighbors. I’ve never even really made a proper full record with just the solo moniker, except for my very first record, which doesn’t exist on the internet because it’s not very good and it’s before I met my band!
Delaney Canfield (CleveRock): While we’re are on that topic… One of the things that I loved that you did was the Kitchen Covers album with your wife. I was so curious about how you decided what songs to do for that because it’s such a wide range of artists you cover.
Drew Holcomb: It started with artists that we have toured with. It was Avett Brothers, then it was Johnnyswim, then it was Willie Nelson, Ben Rector, and NEEDTOBREATHE. All of a sudden, we’re like, “Wow, this is this thing [the pandemic] is going to last longer than a couple of weeks.” It was just picking songs that I love from multiple genres. We did anything from Bruno Mars to Joni Mitchell, to Louis Armstrong to an old hymn on Easter. All sorts of stuff. Basically, I’d spend 2-3 hours a day in my studio or office just going through songs I love and just honing in on one and deciding to record it. There wasn’t a ton of intention with it other than to play songs I love and then songs I thought would sort of challenge me creatively. It was really interesting to see what connected with people, and certain songs went viral, other songs were just with our core audience. It was just an interesting time with everyone sitting at home. All our shows had been canceled. We figured, let’s not sit around and mope about it, let’s do something. Next thing you know, we did like 65 of those in like 78 days.
Delaney Canfield (CleveRock): That is so fun. Did you find covering any of these artists influenced any of your personal writing?
Drew Holcomb: I can’t necessarily point to specifics, but I think any time you’re diving deep into great music, it influences your own capacity for like chord structure and lyrical thoughts and how to build a song. It absolutely influenced this new record in ways that I probably was not even aware of…That may be what led to the diversity of style on this record is Kitchen Covers.