Interview: Sherwood

The “Kings of Myspace,” Sherwood, are returning June 17 with Some Things Never Leave You, the first Sherwood record since 2009. The band is working with BC Music following a crowdfunding campaign that quickly met, and exceeded the band’s goals to this release a reality. The energetic pop-rock group has also planned some reunion tour dates following the album’s release. Click here for more tour info.
I recently had a conversation with Sherwood guitarist Dan Koch about their comeback,  writing the new record, and what fans can expect.

Sherwood Dan Nate JoeMany people thought they’d never heard from Sherwood again – what was it that made you guys feel like it was time to put out another album?

Mainly, it was that Nate and I had spent a good amount of time talking about what we would want to do, lyrically, with the album, and realized that we were in a very similar place mentally.  So, that led to us taking the idea of writing new songs more seriously, which led to these songs.

Are these all new songs, or were you able to use some old Sherwood material that wasn’t right at the time?

We were able to use one and a half songs that could have been on QU, but weren’t.  “Back Home” didn’t make the cut for QU because the chorus wasn’t working; we wrote a new one and now it’s easily one of my favorite tracks.  And “Believe” was written in the middle of the QU sessions, so it was kind of too late to include it on that record.  We also pretty significantly re-wrote the lyrics to both of those.

What did the writing and recording process look like with you the band members spread out in different places?

We did a lot of emailing ideas back and forth, and a lot of demoing things out before we got together.  I also flew out to Nashville twice to work on songs with Nate, and he came a few days early to track vocals, so we finalized lyrics together before he would sing them.

You posted recently the last time you toured flip phones were still cool. What’s it like getting back on the road as Sherwood again? Did it take some rehearsal time together to shake off the rust?”

We actually haven’t started full band rehearsals yet, but just pulling out the old songs and playing them has been really fun.  Mostly, it is coming back pretty easily for me thus far.  But the headlining set will be decently long, and I am filling in on bass for Fialta (opening band), so they will be some long nights for me!  I’ll be hitting the gym fairly seriously in the weeks before we head out, ha!

Outlasting flip phones and MySpace and still going strong. I’m sure people are asking “is this a comeback?” Do you plan to continue to recording or touring more following this reunion run?

Our hope is that the album will be received as well as it can, and that there will be demand for us to continue making records.  It ended up being a really satisfying experience, and we are really proud of the final product.  I’m at a point now where I just can’t wait to see what listeners think; I feel like I am in limbo until then.

Which of the previous albums would you say Some Things Never Leave You is most similar to?

It is probably closest to QU, but people have been mentioning that they hear a good amount of Sing, But Keep Going in there as well.  It is less “slick” than A Different Light, production-wise, and a little less worried about candy-coated hooks as that album.  Also, there is some new sonic ground that is distinct from all 3 previous records.

How has working on other projects in the last few years influenced this new record, lyrically or musically?

Speaking for myself, I noticed the biggest change musically — since I have been working in production music for a few years, writing music for TV ads in various genres, I felt a little more limber in terms of asking, “What could we try here to make this part work better?”  And then speaking as a collaborator, Nate having spent a good chunk of these off years writing songs of his own, he brought more to the table as a songwriter this time, so I felt like I had more good ideas coming from him that I could kick around in my own head.

Since you all are in the routine of “normal” jobs, is it fun to do Sherwood as more of a side project now?

Yeah, although I did take a good 1-2 months off from work to do the album, all told.  So it is somewhere in between a job and a side project for me. But it was all VERY fun.

What kind of themes do you cover on this album? And what does Some Things Never Leave You actually mean?

The title is a lyric from the song “Bottle It Up,” which is a song about nostalgia between two siblings, thinking about their childhood.  So it’s about that, which can of course also relate to our own experience with the band, with touring together, and growing up on the road and in the studio.  But then also, we are also saying that the way we were raised (non denominational Evangelical Christian for me, Baptist Evangelical for Nate) has never left us, even though we have left a lot of those ways of doing faith and a lot of those beliefs behind.  The way we were raised shapes the questions we have asked; it frames the conversation.  The album is largely about faith and doubt, growing up, slowing down, trying on a more silent way of living.

What, if anything, about this album may surprise long time Sherwood listeners?

Maybe the more overt discussion of faith, which was always more vague and hinted-at on previous albums.  Also, there are moments that get VERY heavy, about as heavy as anything we’ve done before.

Personally, what is your favorite part of the album?

My favorite parts are those super loud parts, ha!  I also like when things get kinda of gauzy, drenched in echo and reverb.

What can fans expect when Sherwood hits the stage on this reunion tour?

I don’t quite know yet, but it’ll be a long set, covering every record, and focusing more on the old tunes than the new album.


Sherwood STNLY
Connect with Sherwood:

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