Modern Men of Pop Month continues with one of our favorite up-and-coming acts, who we've affectionately dubbed "The Ultimate Touring Partner." Stephen Day can do it all, and we're digging into his musical fun-bag this week. We'll talk about a few favorite tracks, and the diversity of his latest project, "The Shapes I'm In." Also In this episode:
“Just based on his face, I would trust Stephen Day in any industry.”
- Mustaches and Musical Diversity
- The John Mayer artistic leap
- Acting with Allen Stone
Covered Songs: "Dancing in the Street," "Twenty Two and Some Change," "On Top of the World"
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(This transcript is provided by tiny little baby robots, so it may be imperfect. But hey, who isn't?)
Turn up the radio and sing along time for another Great Song. This is the Great Song Podcast. Last season's greetings and welcome once again to the Great Song Podcast. I'm Rob Alley, J P and we're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music. We're going to tell you what makes them great, why we think they're awesome and why you should too.
J.P. how you doing today? I am doing fantastic. We are smack dab in the middle of modern men of pop mud, and I can think of no artists to better sum up somebody that is relevant now modern in the Nashville music scene than the artists that we're talking about right now. He's a man. He's what I categorize modern.
And that he's got some modern sound and he is a diverse me and Rob were talking about before, how he runs the gamut. Rob made a great day and night analogy. And so we're going to it. It was wonderful. You'll just have to trust us on that, that it was. And so typically we highlight one song. We're like, we're going to focus nails on this song, but there are multiple facets that we want to touch on.
So we're going to kick it to a song by Stephen Day. Rob, tell him what song we're talking about and we're going to take you guys somewhere. Let's start with dancing in the street from the album guests I'm grown. Now, this is dancing in the street by Stephen Day, he was coming down. She, he was staring back at the street.
It was dark, but I could see in the morning, see the friend.
I saw your feet off the ground. Listen to how long it's five then staying on the base. Five has not left the base yet.
Ah, man. So good. So that's what we'll call kind of middle phase arrow wise of Stephen Day. Cause he's got stuff that's earlier, which we're going to talk about. We're going to talk a little bit about 22 and some change, which is an early project. One of my first introductions to him was on one of his first, his first albums with 20 tunes and change.
His most recent album is called the shapes I'm in. And we're gonna talk about a song called on top of the world for just a little bit in there. So we're going to kind of run all things Stephen Day for just a little bit. That, that he may not be familiar to a lot of our listeners. And so it is something that we love is if we can play a part in like expanding you musically a little bit, this is one of those, I didn't know who he was.
Until J.P. was like, dude, you've got to check out this guy Stephen Day. Right. And I think we talked with him about, he was the last concert you saw. Right for dependent, but it was Jordy Searcy was the last, but he was right before. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So he, you know, you kept telling me, dude, every time I go see this guy, Stephen Day, he's just incredible.
He's going to blow your mind, check him out. And so but he he's based here in Nashville. And he's not like a Nashville guy, you know what I mean? But but he's, you know, kind of headquartered here in Nashville and his audience is still growing. Like when we say modern man, a pop, like he's what? 25 maybe, maybe he's like still very much on the rise and you're going to hear a lot about him in the future.
So if we can be the ones to kind of introduce you to Stephen, we are more than happy to do that because it's going to happen. Somebody is going to do it. You know what I mean? It's like, if you don't know him yet, you will kind of, yeah, exactly. So if we can be the ones to make that handshake, then we're super happy to do it, especially as we all those of you all outside the country that may have not had as much access to him.
You're going to fall in love with this guy. Okay. Absolutely. And so like we said, incredibly diverse. In his styles, he could just as easily, you know what, I'll save it. I'll save it. Let's talk a little bit more about him, introduce you to him, and then we'll play you some more and you can kind of hear it.
Absolutely. And I got a way to kind of tie into that because we were talking about the time one of the times I saw him. So, and this will tie us into the first song I was going to talk about, which was 22 and some change. 22 inches of change. I saw him at your FA a favorite venue. I went to see an opener a band called Pacific.
So my wife went to see this man. She loves this band Pacific huge fan at the exit end, and I got hooked on his tunes. There it's his favorite venue, which is the exit in, I saw him April 29th, 2019. So play a little of the track of 22 and some change because in the video. It's the last video of that show that I was at.
So it's really cool to know that I'm in that crowd and it's, and then I'll pause and I'll do a, meet the band section on that band because that's what I researched. And I happened to be there for that. So play a little 22 and some change from Steve. I don't want to, don't want to get
Something and the melody is kind of,
my mom and dad. Why is it so hard to
miss one? Don't feel bad.
Just want to have fun. Okay. Now to give some, some clarity there, he has an official video, which has this guy, while bill Hawkins is dancing around. It's awesome. But there is another video which is this love this. Showing of that. So that's the one I was in reference to, but from a secretly wild bill Hawkins or AMA so yeah, good stuff.
And that's some, that's some, a little bit earlier a little bit earlier Stephen Day than some of the more modern stuff that we're talking about, but I want to play the jingle because I want to introduce that band. Okay. Real quick. So let's play the jingle real quick. I'll introduce that band and we'll keep trucking along.
Great. Let's meet them. It's time to meet. Hey, mama. Let's meet the man.
all right. We're going to meet the band that played on 22 and some change. And I know this because I'm at the end of the video, he lists the band, so he makes it easy for us. So on keys, Andy kata on drums. Corey scooter Spicer backing vocals, Hadley, cannery, and Holly Hamill on electric guitar, Jimmy green, and on base Travis dykes and on vocals and acoustic guitar.
The guy you're going to love Stephen Day. So yeah, this so Stephen is, first of all, go follow Stephen on Instagram. It'll make your day because he's one of these guys that. His music doesn't necessarily show his, his like personal personality. You know what I mean? Like his music shows that he's a serious artist and musically very, very talented and all these things.
Right. But then there's another side of him that comes out on social media that you just don't get through the music. You know what I mean? He's got. Goof balls. Funny, funny. And you're going to hear it in the interview, but this guy's, this guy's hilarious. Yeah. And so he's got, you know, I don't know. And he, he just has this face.
I don't know how else to say this except to say. I would trust Stephen Day in any industry. That's good. Does that make sense? I would. I would, you know, I would trust him to write me a Great Song, but just based on his face, I would also trust him to sell me insurance, my accountant outright. I would trust him to like guard a shopping mall.
I would trust him to watch my kid. You know what I mean? He just has this look that makes me go. I believe in you, what you can be. My youth pastor clean. Like, I don't know, man. And he also has a very rare facial feature, which I don't know why I'm getting this specific, but Hey, whatever. He first. We talked last week, actually last week's stumped.
The genius was about Monday. And I'm going to put Stephen day's mustache, mustache up there with anybody musically in history. I mean, Howard stash has a Freddie mercury level mustache. Right? It's fantastic. But the thing you get with Stephen's mustache is when he shaves it, which he does from time to time.
You don't lose anything. I don't, I don't trust him any less. I won't see it doesn't become a different persona. Like he, he doesn't lose the trust factor D stashed. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's not the same as like a what's his name? Sam Elliott. When Sam Elliott shaves his mustache. You can't tell he still has a mustache, even when he doesn't make sense, his lips just always have a mustache.
Right? Sam Elliott's face always has a mustache, whether he does or not, but it's not like it's also not like Tracy Lawrence, Traci Lords country, singer from the nineties had a mustache that you could hear. I mean, you could hear that mustache. But when he shaved it, he was a turtle. That's nothing. There was nothing there you were like, please dude, grow that back out.
You know what I'm saying? But Stephen, it's like, I'm good. Either way. I lose nothing from you when you shave this. But you also don't just look like you have a permanent Musk. You know what I mean? Somewhere. This is the kind of commentary. That's why you came. That's why you guys got here. Song Exploder. Let me just tell you this.
Okay. Richard Cash airway is not giving you this. We talk about silk shirts and mustaches and all the things that you care about the music industry. This is stuff is important to the music industry. At 1 22 and some change commentary real quick, not to go play off of that. So I was thinking, where was I at 22?
And some didn't like, whoa. So I just graduated Lee university. 2003. So y'all can do some math on how old you think we are there if we hadn't told you that. But I was remembering what was the album? I listened to the GRA the day I graduated. So I was, I can remember it cause I have this story now I should graduate.
Well, yeah. So just think about ballpark. Oh, where you would have been 2003. Where were you when you were not graduating? I listened to the meteoric album by Lincoln park watches, nothing. There's nothing more, more further than Stephen Day, then Lincoln park. So let's play a little Lincoln. Yeah. You know what though?
I will say. To just to, just to further our narrative here about Stephen days, diversity. Okay. Because his latest album, the shapes I'm in, which has another another song that we want to talk about, that's called on top of the world. It's a matter of fact, let's start say, this is the opening track from Stephen day's latest project, which is called the shapes I'm in, this is on top of the.
Which gives you another shade, right?
Good. I'll tell ya. You've heard three different guitar sounds on the three songs that we play and they're all three, so good.
For the stratosphere. So here he's finally resolving that five chord five set as a pedal tones on hazing in the street. It never left. Yeah.
And if that doesn't say it for an album. Right. Like I now don't remember last year, right before all this, then it's like, and that's a good, that's just a good written song. There's nothing that you hear. That's like super flashy. There's no like ridiculously shredded guitar solo or anything, but that's just a good song.
Absolutely. And so to write a good song. So to our point about his diversity, okay. That's track one of the shapes I'm in let's fast forward, just two songs in two songs we're going to get from on top of the world to this. This is ride off of the shapes.
to me, it dreams come this tape.
this is part of the joy Daniel Powell to kind, I mean, owning your mind. I love a Daniel powder reference, Daniel powder river. How often you get those? So like, this is part of the joy of being an artist in the, in the ultra modern age, is that. Stephen can do whatever he wants. Right? Whatever. He feels like putting on an album, he can put on an album.
There's not. Corporate suits being like I'm not here in a single or, you know what I mean? Or we need to lean away from this and toward this, a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah he's he's self-directed. And so literally, if he goes, I want to put a trap thing on my album, I'll put a trap thing on my album. And of all the challenges that come with being a modern musician and having to do develop like multiple, multiple revenue streams and ways just to kind of survive as a musician now The other side of that is the freedom that you can enjoy as an independent artist.
That was, that was never before possible if you wanted to make a living. Right. So he can literally just go, what do I feel like today? Who do I feel like today? I'm going to write that. And what you end up with is this body of work from him that is so incredibly diverse. That it's a thing. If you listen to Stephen Day long enough, you're going to find a vein of his it's yours.
It's something for everybody. Like he could just as easily, you know, he could go on tour with John Mayer. Or Michael bublé or Meghan trainer, and be equally at home and fit just as well with any of those artists. You know what I mean? It he's got stuff. He's got enough stuff that makes sense in all these different things that if you saw him at a Harry Connick show, He would be great.
You know what I mean? But if you saw him, he's the ultimate touring partner. Yeah. He could compliment anybody. He, I mean, Alan Stone, he's done stuff with Alan Stone. He's got a fantastic version of back of my hand that he did with Alan Stone and you know what I mean? So he could, he could literally compliment anyone else and.
You know, bring some people into their audience and also probably gained some people by association, you know, and other artists. So, I mean, that's how he hooked me is my wife went to see somebody else and it was like, man, I like this guy better than the guy we, that the people we came to see. Yes, exactly.
And so, okay. So just one, one more. From this next album. So we just went from on top of the world to ride in two moves, right. In two presses of the fast forward button. And so then we go from ride into holy ground, which is this next track, which is here we go. Another shade,
different guitar tones, just a different. Her daddy and drive a black rain. Come on, by the way, this song is
in the shade on Sunday. So it's cool. When church gets out and he says, well, one makes it whole. And now that's honestly one of the, one of the. Thought provoking songs of the whole album. Like, it sounds like rock and roll fun, but if you, if you dig into the lyrics it's yeah, it's, it's, it's pretty serious.
But so that, all that to say Stephen Day is amazing because he is equally credible in all these different veins. You know what I mean? And his voice is versatile enough that he could be like the. You know, the sort of blue eyed soul, you know, whatever. He's just got, he literally has something for everybody.
I, this is what I said before we started as it Stephen Day he's a whole month, you know, like he's got everything. Which is a great segue into our let's play stuff. The genius we're going to play stump the genius days of the week trivia
All right. We're going to play step the genius days of the week trivia. So, and I'm going to try it in obviously, and we are a music podcast, so sometimes, sometimes, so there's a couple of music questions in here, but not many there's we got five questions. Let's see how Rob does on days of the week trivia.
All right. Manic Monday was a hit for what group? The, the bangles bangles one for one by prince Monday. Is the only day of the week with an anagram. Do you know what word is anagram of Monday? Do you know what an anagram is? Where you rearrange the letters and you get a different word? It's the only one with an anagram.
That's interesting. Do you know what word you can get from Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday. No, I don't dynamo. Oh, wow. Okay. Days of the week. Do you know what day of the week is named after Norse? God of thunder? Yes. That would be Thursday, Thursday, Thursday. There you go. Thor's day. Monday Monday is a hit by what group?
All dang it. See, I was already singing it before you bet. I don't know who they're in a bathtub. Is it like I don't know that is the mamas and the Papas. So two for four so far. So this is the, put us over. All right, let's do this over the Mendoza line. Here we go. For some reason I put out I did ABCD and I made this question E N F for summary.
So here we go. This is twice. If I get it wrong, I get another shot. That's right. Who was Robinson? Caruso's companion. Wednesday it's Friday. Oh, wow. Wow. Is that my golf Friday? That's a thing from like, my girlfriend, days of the week trivia. I told you at home, let us know how we did there is there, there's gotta be a song for every day of the, he week, Monday, Monday, Monday.
Tuesday's gone. Sure. Wednesday, obviously you've got like Rebecca Black Friday, Friday night Sunday ban ban rector. Sure. Oh yeah. Let's talk about this new Ben rector. Trent modern man of pop with Snoop dog on his drag. It's so funny Saturday. My wife said the other day, that Snoop dog is like water.
You know how water just fills any space? That's what Snoop is doing right now. He's just expanding into any available crevice. What Stephen Daley could do. Snoop is doing that's right. In 20 years, we will say about Stephen Day, what we say now about SU. Snoop. Remember when Stephen Day was on the Snoop album?
Yeah, that's good. I can't think of any but obviously yes, Sunday there's w Friday, I'm in love Saturday in the park, Saturday on the Saturday, leave the car. So we just did Wednesday and Thursday. Right? What are we, what are we missing out there? Y'all let us know. We're not going to spend too much time or anything, but I guess Thursday's kind of boring.
Data sing about isn't it, it doesn't feel like a song Wednesday. There's gotta be a Wednesday song for sure. Some sort of hump day. Let us know we need a Wednesday song and a Thursday song to round it out, just so we can satisfy our own curiosities. Couple other notes on Stephen Day, we've been doing in our, our modern men of pop a month.
I've been talking about some of their Spotify stats since that's kind of a different metric than like billboard or whatever for, for these like, you know, ultra modern acts. So a little bit on Stephen Day, if you go to his Spotify page, you're going to see that he has. 619,780 monthly listeners and 43,425 followers.
That is pretty solid. It's more than mine by a little bit. We'll just say a little bit. His top five songs on Spotify that come up are Autumn's song from his first album dancing in the street which we played if you were the rain also from his first project on top of the world and his live version of back of my hand is actually his fifth most popular track on Spotify.
I want to go back and make one more note about 22 and some change. That's kind of originally what we were going to focus on. And then we got digging into his, his, you know, stuff even more. And when we got, yeah, we got to talking to did a game time, like last minute, literally like 30 seconds before it's like, yeah, we're like 22 in some changes in Omaha, Omaha doesn't fully like show.
So, so we decided, but I did have this note on that one. I'm going back and I'll, I'll play you a little bit. About it, but here's the, so here's 22 and some changes. You can feel a little Morgan, but I feel like the chorus really, especially betrays the tempo of the song. I'm going to hit this chorus to feel.
Okay. It feels so chill. So you would not go, oh yeah, that's a fast. Right. Does that make sense? But it's 137 beats a minute. Okay. So that's, that's, that's kicking along pretty good. And so you got to love you got to love a fast song that doesn't feel fast, right? It doesn't feel rushed at all. Yeah. It doesn't feel like, I mean, that's a rock tempo if you just heard some drums playing that and you know, that's a fast song.
So for some, for some context of that, I'll throw you some other songs at 137 beats a minute. Okay. How about Veeva? Okay. That definitely feels right. The loud horns. Right. That feels faster. Beat it. This is the same tip. It was big. It is. But you would never go, oh yeah, it feels the same. Yeah. That feels like beat it.
You know what I mean? Somebody told me by the killers told me that that's what this feels like to me. That's that's that? Where you want it, my journey, right? So weird and beautiful day by U2 all at this all about production. If you brake, if you are, you know, smart and how you bring down your dynamics of production, you can get a completely different feel.
So props to Cory, scooter Spicer on drums or Faiza when he's playing that online. Well, all right. So we hope you've enjoyed sort of our introduction. We dip the toe in the water of Stephen Day, tried to show you some different shades, some different side, but now we're going to talk to the man him self.
We're going to talk to Stephen Day. We'll be back at the end to tuck you in, but first stop, whatever you're doing. Whenever I see you. You're at a red light. I don't care. They can wait. Okay. The people behind you can wait, put it in park for a second. Okay. Be safe. Don't be stupid. Put it in park. Pull out your phone.
Turn on your your flashes. Yeah, your hazard lights. Okay. And go to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow us at Great Song pod on all those fun platforms. And you can join the Facebook group. Great songs and the great people who love them. If you want to be involved in some of our more personal Facebook shenanigans or if you want to go the extra mile and help us produce the show, you can go, you can do that by going to patreon.com/ Great Song pod.
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If you want to go throw some support our way at patreon.com/ Great Song pod. We're going to go talk to Stephen Day and we'll see you again. On the other side, this is the Great Song. Ladies and gentlemen, as promised, we are here with Stephen Day, he is the voice inside your head, telling you all the things that you feel about the things that you love and the things that you're nervous about and the things that make you sad, he's the soundtrack to your life.
And so we're so excited to have you with us today. Thank you so much. Oh, man. I'm so happy to be here. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk to you. I know you know that you have a rabid fan base because you talk to them all the time on Instagram. You're very active and it was that like a, did you just, is that just something you did or is that something you thought this would be good marketing if I'm like, you know, talking to all these people on Instagram.
I mean, you know, during COVID we started doing more like Instagram lives, which is like, definitely feels a little more connection based with, with an audience that's through social media. And that was super fun. I did it way more at the top. Honestly, I'm hoping to get back into that. It's been a little crazy, like making a record and, you know, life stuff happening.
And so I'm super excited to just. Get back and keep moving with talking to people in the, on the, on the social medias. I mean, you do that everywhere. I was looking at like, even on your YouTube comments, you always reply, which is amazing. Thanks for as a, somebody that likes to see involvement. Thanks for taking the time to reply to everybody's comment.
That's amazing. Yeah. And I mean like sometimes it's, it's super, it's super like. You know, sometimes I want to reach out to those people. I do try to be grateful for you know, people, if they're reaching out and being heartfelt. For sure. One of the shows I saw in 2019 was you I saw you at the exit in, I didn't actually go to see you full disclosure.
My wife loves Pacific, so we went to see Pacific and you close the show and I was like, who's this guy. He's amazing. No way, man. That's so awesome. Great show. And then you did a video of. Like you made a music video of it, which was so cool. And I was like, oh, cow I'm there. That was really cool. He was the guy that the camera was shining.
So brightly off lights were shining. So brilliant. I love it. What's your, what's your favorite part about playing live and connecting with a live audience? There's just, there's just an energy and I think everybody feels this way about live music. There's just an energy about it that can't really be matched in any other.
Venue like location? No, it's just like playing a song, live your musicians, maybe, you know, playing at the top of their caliber. I feel like I can go to a place that I, I can't in other, you know, whether it be the studio or, you know, just playing at home, it just feels like, sort of like a sacred. Thing, you know, it's like, I think musicians across time would agree with that.
It's just kind of like this thing. When you put a crowd of people in front of you and turn the music up, it's sort of like a magical thing. I've seen a, having seen you love. I think you playing a guitar, gives you extra energy. I know Robin said that he likes to play behind a guitar like. I like to watch the, what I feel like your guitar playing brings out an extra energy in you onstage who are some of your like guitar inspiration.
Who's your guys that you aspire to either be like, or who you learned from. Sure. Yeah. I mean, John Mayer is like top of the chart for me. He's he just, I just grew up on him. And I think just as every other, you know, guy, my age or girl, my age, he was just, he was on pop radio and I, he was probably the one that started my digging into other realms of music.
And so it's funny. I think some people give him, give him slack because he's like this pop star, goofy guy, you know, on some level, but you, you watch him play. He's not, he's not just, you know, pop star he's he's he's a guitar hero. Yeah. And cheat code. I did my, I did my homework. So I know room for squares is kind of what opens you up.
Did you can you play. Yeah. I like, yeah, I haven't done it in a long time, but I remember when I was in high school, maybe even middle school, I was like, how does he do that? That was like one of the first songs I was trying to figure out on the guitar. Yeah, let's go. Okay. So I'm trying, I'm trying to do a little math here.
So listening to room for squares, this fetus, when he started, remember squares came out in like 2001 or something. And so what. 96, train up a child in the way he should go. That's the way it shouldn't be right there. That's fantastic. Oh, you're so young. Stephen. You're making me feel super old. Like, no, no, that record just kind of snuck up on me, man.
I, I, nobody really showed me it. I just came across it, I guess. You know, honestly at that point probably. Like continuum was out. And so I was hearing that's probably what I can't remember, but that's probably what sent me back through his catalog and room for squares was sort of, I feel like the moment where I was like, oh, this guy does what I want to do.
He like moves music. At a very high caliber into pop music. That's really good. Okay. We talked about guitar, inspirations, songwriter inspirations, as far as, you know, not necessarily people that you have, like tried to emulate or whatever, but just other than John Mayer, who, who made you go, man, that's a real song right there.
You know, I think that's, that's one of the things it's I songs are like my. I feel like they're the thing I'm looking for always. So it's like, I don't always have artists that like specifically write the best songs. It's just like, when I come across a good song, that's like, what lights me up? And it doesn't really have to be.
Certain anyone I'm trying to think of other writers, you know, it's funny there, I went, went through like an obsession of Glen Campbell in the past year, maybe year and a half now. And I realized that a guy named Jimmy Webb wrote just about all the songs that I love, like on camera. And I would say he was a massive.
I don't know much about them because I still haven't really looked into them because, because I really do love Glen Campbell as an artist. So I think that was one of the first moments where I was like, oh, this song writing, matched this artist in a way that. It just would have never happened. Had it not been for that song writer, you know what I'm saying?
We played a game today in Wichita lineman was in there and Rob nailed it. Yeah. Good gracious. Like some guys it's like sort of the Elton John, Bernie Toppan. I realized they were both doing some of the writing, but like some people just fit. Some writers just fit certain artists and, and, and, you know, you love to see one of those.
Sort of songwriter artists, partnerships that goes on for years and years and years, and they build this big catalog together. It's just, I don't know. It just feels too. There'll be parts of of these that we do where we take a section and we just kinda gush on things that we like about the artists.
So this is going to be me just kind of like bragging on Stephen Day for a minute. So sit back, grab your popcorn and say, oh, thanks. That's nice. Or man, you're way over shooting here. So every way first single off that album is so good. Start again is probably my favorite track on that album because I think the guitar work is magic.
All because of you, if you jump ahead to 2 32, some of the best whistling you'll hear on any album is right there. So that's good stuff on dancing in the street, the rollerblading section. How many times did you wipe out recording that rollerblading section? Good. I don't know how I made it through that.
I literally don't. I think we bought those rollerblades from Walmart, like the day before. And the last time I had rollerbladed was like in high school, maybe middle school at a. So it was like suddenly on asphalt, like just rocks. I can't believe I didn't end up in the ER that night also follow up question to same video.
Do you remember what food you landed on in the international market and restaurant? The Thai food? Do you remember what you got? I know it was some sort of noodles. They have, they have like a, it's not Sesame chicken. It was like a. It was definitely chicken and noodles. Drunken drunken noodles. That's what you get.
Oh my God, that tune was produced by Quinn Redmond. I mean, he's kind of a legend. How did you line up with Quinn? That's pretty cool. He is a legend. He's also a Nashville guy. I don't know if you guys have met him. But. He working on that record with him was so amazing. He took those songs and that was sort of the first record that I, I mean, it was, it was my first record, you know, my first full length record and I was pretty nervous to even do it because my first EAP, when I was like 18 or 19, kinda did really well on its own.
And there was, there was nothing really behind it. It just kind of happened naturally on Spotify. And so I was really nervous for a long time to write songs, you know, and like do it again. So working with him, I think he settled a lot of the. Anxiety. And we just, we just went in the studio and came out with this product that I think is amazing.
It's great. What's the, what's the, I know some of your later stuff you've been producing yourself and kind of you know, doing that whole thing. What what's different for you about the process of working with a producer versus self producing? Well, so the original songs and sound EAP that came out during the pandemic.
Was really my first attempt ever at like a self production. And I got, you know, I had logic and I hadn't really done any self production other than like garage band in high school. And so it was just like this, I felt, it felt really free. And I felt like the pandemic gave me that moment to just try something new and.
I don't think I would've ever done it, had it not been for the pandemic. And so that self production experience I think it, it helped me grow in some ways that like, oh, I can trust my gut on some or, oh no, that's actually, I think I got a clearer image of preference, if that makes sense. And like what my strengths and weaknesses.
So, so that was, oh my goodness. I feel like I just learned so much from that experience. And the next record, the new record that's coming out was produced by a guy named Micah talks, who is a legend just period. I mean, I, he took the songs that I brought him and just elevated them in a way that I can't even.
I just, I'm so grateful. I'm on 22 and some change to one more followup, the official video with with wild bill Hawkins and the overhead projector. Perfect. Who, whose house with all the golf balls is that. That is bill. So, so it's funny. We were talking about Quinn that's his grandpa. And when, when we were in the studio, he was like, man, I just, I want to see my grandpa dance to this song.
Yeah, and it was, it just ended up being so perfect. And I love that video, man. Let me ask you this. You're, you're an artist who has who has likely, and hopefully not yet reached his peak on a, on a commercial level. Right. What, what are the challenges. Of being an artist that has achieved some notoriety and success, but it's still, you know, your, your star still rising and you're still trying to make more people aware of what you're doing.
What are some of the challenges that come with being sort of where you are on an industry level? Yeah, I feel like with this album, I was feeling, it's funny how with like the level I'm at, I already feel. This, this pushback of like, well, I want to keep the fans. I have, you know, like I got to keep the fans.
And so that, I feel like with this album, I was like, you know what? I want to make exactly what I want with the EAP too. And the album coming out, it feels like I've come to this place where I'm at peace with making exactly what I want. And if people like it, they can hop on the train or they can hop off.
You know what I'm saying? I feel like that is one of the biggest and probably never ending back and forth of being an artist is kind of like, man, like I love the people that have come this far with me, you know, and I appreciate them listening and them telling other people about it. And so it's like, you don't want to lose those people, but you also hope that the people that are with you respect your creative control and.
We'll we'll like go somewhere with you for an album and trust that you're going to put out another one might have, you know, and I feel like that's what happened. I feel like I listen to music that way. So when I, somebody that I love, if they put out something that's not my favorite, I'm like, I can still see the artists that I love in the work.
Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. And so I, I think that's one of the hardest Things to balance right now. Follow up question that as somebody who's already peaked and you're on the way down, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. No, man. You're killing it. We love where we love where you're going with your stuff.
You know, that's interesting. I've never understood people who are able to like totally write off an artist after one album. That isn't exactly what they think it should be. You know, there's so many things, so many elements to an album kid make it something different from the choice of producer to just the songs, you know, or whatever, a change in personnel to put it back full circle to what we were talking about.
There's a lot of people after born and raised with John Mayer that were like, Nope. Yeah. Like what is this? But I was just like, you we've, we've stayed the test with it, grow with your artists. Right. Like expand with them, you know? Yeah. And I, I can't imagine how much that. I mean, I don't know him, but I can't imagine how much that freed him up, you know, doing that whole project.
It's such a jump that I'm sure he would like, there's no way that he wasn't like, I have to do this. You know what I'm saying? It feels like one of those things that he was like, oh yeah, this isn't going to go that well with some people, but like, I have to do this. Yeah. That's the only, there's no like good commercial reason to just take a left turn like that, you know, there's like he had to be driven to.
All right. I don't have a, really a choice about this. This is where I am right now. And it's odd to speak on it. I have two friends that I could hand pick right now that say that's their favorite John Mayer album. So that's why you make it not just for yourself, but there's people out there that'll grab onto that and love it.
So, exactly. Yeah. Let's see, who are some of your dream collaborators? Who would you like to work with? Other than me and Rob, like where, other than the present company excluded. Yeah. I was going to say both of you individually. If you guys know Anderson pack. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. He's he's a dream of mine.
Leon bridges is a dream of mine. I'm trying to think. I mean, mayor, obviously I just sort of mentally got to a spot where I was hearing you and Leon bridges together and it almost, almost had to just take a moment and recomposed myself, and that would really be special. That would be fantastic. I actually, I feel a lot of like, I feel kin with Leon bridges and a lot of ways, because I feel like every time he does something, I'm like, oh, I hear.
All the things I listened to in what you do. And so I just feel like I hope to cross paths with him one day. For sure. Love that. We'll be cheering for that as well. Yes. Yes, absolutely. Speaking of dream collaborators you were part of the, I don't know exactly what you call it. Extravaganza doesn't quite cover it.
But the Alan Stone Christmas festival film, concert, spectacular. Do you guys want to, that I've gotten to watch part of it. I've not been able to find, get all of it to watch it. But I did watch your your podcast episode with him and then your live version of back of my hand, which was fantastic.
And kind of you know, I imagine kind of a dream thing tell us a little bit about how you got hooked up with Allen and, and then, you know, I guess you guys were sort of, you kind of. Together for like a week or so to film this, you know, to film this Christmas thing, tell us about that whole process.
Oh man. It really, it really was a dream. I, he was literally one of my biggest heroes in high school. And for him to, to call me out to do that, I, it was like probably the most surreal moment of my career. As far. Yeah. You know, we had this whole like DM Instagram thing that happened and it happened so fast.
Like we talked on Instagram and then he was like, oh yeah I'm gonna, I'm gonna fly you out for this Christmas special. And. I think it must've been, it was, it was like late fall. So it was like right around the corner. And I was like, really, okay, here we go. But, but also, you know, it was a pandemic, so nobody was doing anything.
So it was like, oh, I guess I can just like go cause flights, you know, we're, we're back up $3 flat. Yeah. Yeah. And so I We got an out there and it was a really small crew, so it was like COVID conscious and everything. And he had his friends like owned a, a restaurant venue that we were in and filming the things in for that week and a half that I was there.
And it was a blast. Like I have like all these like characters that I'll do. And so if you guys get a chance, We'll watch the F the film that they made. I was like, nervous to go. Cause he, cause he, part of it was, Hey, like we want you to be a character in this screenplay. I was like, okay, I've never done that before, but let's, let's, let's do it.
I think he had seen some like, you know, goofy thing that I'd done online. I dunno. And so I get there and I'm like, man, I hope these guys don't think I'm a lunatic. Like, because, because like I went full, like goose bozo on that and it was, it was so fun, man. It was so fun. Yeah. Yeah. You're definitely our kind of people.
We were a lot of times, like we have to control our energy a little bit. Cause we get excited. We're like, oh, we default to goofiness. That's where we land. But while we're talking about it, make sure if you're listening, make sure you give Stephen a follow on Instagram because it is a lot of fun and he does a lot of fun stuff.
Actually. Can you tell, can you tell. Exactly. You, you kind of glossed over your DM exchange with Alan, but I know from listening to the podcast episode with him that you, can you tell us exactly what you sent him in his. Yeah. I th I think it was just a picture of me, like, like, you know, like sitting like this.
And I said, I S I think I said trying to hang or NA, and I woke up, I woke up to the DM of him, like yeah. And it was a picture of him like this, like full, double. Yeah, back at me. And it was like, oh my brother, you know, it was so funny. That's fantastic. I love that. That's great. May, may, you know, that's just something you wish like for all your friends is the opportunity to work with somebody that they really respect.
You know what I mean? Like, that's just a thing that you want to celebrate for everybody that you see to be able to have that kind of experience. What kind of thing that is? Let's see. Random questions. What's the last vinyl. Ooh, probably it's been a while. I, I thought you were saying, when you said that, I thought you meant like stain it's been awhile.
I was like, are you kidding me? But with stay in big Aaron Lewis fans, you scare me there. Okay. Go ahead.
I feel like, you know, I'm, I'm like on the vinyl train, but I'm not always buying them. So it's like pretty rare when I do, what was the last eight track you bought? I honestly think it might've been a Glen Campbell vinyl. I don't remember the name of the album because I feel like when he was making records, it wasn't as much like this is an album, that's a project it's.
It's like kind of all the hits at the time. Here's him in a Jean shirt and it's all the same. So it's good. Yeah. But I think it's, I think it's got gentle on my mind on there. I mean, it's, he's amazing. His voice is one of my favorites. That's awesome. Yeah. Well, we have one question that we ask everybody.
Stephen, you've been awesome. Hope you've had a lot of fun hanging out with us. You're good. You're good people. One question that we ask everybody. So you're on tour. You go into a gas station. What is your gas station? Snack food. And while you're thinking of it, I'll tell you mine. I get a three Musketeers bar when I was growing up.
My mom would say, you could have any candy bar you want, and that is the most answers. They're all the same price. So I got a three Musketeers bar. What is your gas station? Snack. Food of choice. Yeah, this is so funny. I feel like I end up talking about. Sour gummies every time I'm like interviewed. And so I think people think I'm like, people probably think I eat them for like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sponsored by sour gummies.
Maybe that's what it is. I hope it's common, man, because like lifesavers sour, gummies are my favorite snack. It's not even, it's not even like sustenance, you know, at this point, And I can't, I can't eat a full bag because it's just, it makes you feel bad. You're like 30 minutes after you're like, I should not have done it, but while you're doing it, you're like all in.
And then they're just gone like that. This episode is brought to you by lifesavers government, little logo popping up at the time. Wait, is it a lifesaver shirt? Your words? What do you even get that? You know, though, it's refreshing to talk to a guy who's young enough to be like, yeah, lifesavers, gummies. A lot of people are like, why drink a water?
Or I don't get off the bus. Yeah. Or, or you know, oh, just some walnuts. Thanks. You know, whatever. Like, no, all the junk, we like that. That's good stuff. That's outstanding. I think I'll probably slow down on the sour gummy train as I get older. They're not going anywhere. I'm going to tone it back. I'm not going to get the sours.
I'm just going to go ahead and go. All sweet. Just normal gum. That'll be your transition. That's right. That's when you'll know, you're really maturing as a, as an, as an, as an adult. You're like, I'm a grown man now, easy on this hour. It's easy on the sour and I'm gonna do this album called, born and raised.
Here we go.
Thank you so much for hanging out with us for a little bit today. Have a great rest of your day. We appreciate it. Thank you all. Cheers. This is the Great Song Podcast. And that was Stephen Day, a trustworthy gent if ever there was one, I think that's what it is. He's got the kind of face that you see of like hops back on the face.
You know, I just can't get away from. He's got the kind of, you know, when you see like old drawings of like boxers with mustaches and they were like, just shirtless men with their fists up, you know what I mean? He just has that sort of, and it makes me trust him. I don't know why I protect you as well as guard your financials.
I feel like I am super trusting of like boxers from the thirties. I don't know whatever it is about. I just feel like you can just take me anywhere. I believe you. All right. Modern men of pop month continues concludes next week. We got one more for ya and it's going to be a doozy. Can't wait to see you again next week.
But you're just going to have to wait. I'm sorry. We can't do this. And if you guys have enjoyed this, we know this month is a little different than what we typically bring it to you guys. We always try to sprinkle in some, some more classics for, for those that enjoy that, but this has felt good. This has been nice.
Picked up on something that you've either learned or jumped along and come on board with us. So this has been fun. We're not abandoning the classics. We're just trying to expand everyone's. We just want to make sure you guys know what's out there right now. We don't wanna get stuck in the past. We don't, we don't live in the eighties.
We don't live in the. You know what I mean? I mean, we still listen to it. We visit a lot, there's good stuff happening right now. And we want to make sure you guys know where you can find it. So we'll be back next week with one more week of modern men of pop month. And then we'll do something from like seventies.
We'll cover some baseball or something after that. Well, we'll see what's happening next, but another gimmick. Hey, you know, we're good. We're good at the gimmicks. All right, we'll check you guys next week with another great episode until then. I'm Rob. J.P. go listen to some music.