That is an interesting analogy.
Chris Poland: But, I mean, I can’t play the way he plays. Even if I fuckin’ sat down and tried for a million years.
Jake Cinninger: I don’t have the strength in my left hand to pull off Chris’ power though. It’s all pull-offs and hammer-ins.
Chris Poland: But I want to tell you. He’s tricky—he’s got a right hand like a drummer. He’s a freaky drummer man. At the end of the session, we’re all tired, everybody’s like, “Alright man, let’s go.” Then he sits down at the drums. And I was like, “Dude, do you want to play drums in my band.” If he played drums at home, it’d be stupid.
Jake Cinninger: It’s cool. If Kris gets sick at a gig, we could pull right through with Umphrey’s with me on drums, so it’s kind of fun. I’m almost waiting – I might throw some clear eyes in his drink. I think I’m going to play drums tonight.
Chris Poland: Does that really work?
Jake Cinninger: I don’t know – I saw that in a movie.
Jake, how much preparation did you put into these songs before the recording sessions?
Jake Cinninger: What was cool was that we got together at my studio up in Michigan with Chris and Joel. We sort of pieced together a few little bits, we recorded them and we had them on disk so that we could figure out what riffs would work that we would take out to L.A.
Joel Cummins: So I had a couple chord progressions that I brought to the table, and Jake had a few, and we kind of worked at it before hand so we had a few different sections of things to bring out.
Chris Poland: It made all the difference in the world because what it did was it gave us momentum. All of a sudden we had two songs – we were like, “Hey, we’re somebody.”
Jake Cinninger: It’s like, “Hey, if we just came up with two songs in three hours, we could probably do another two songs in three hours.”
Chris Poland: Yeah, and we did.
Jake Cinninger: I mean, musicians are the laziest people in the world but when you get in that working blue collar environment where you got to get something done…
Chris Poland: These guys [in Umphrey’s] aren’t lazy at all. You know that.
Joel Cummins: It was easy and fun, honestly. It felt like it hanging out with my friends, making music. And what Chris said earlier, Kris just really put his best foot forward on these takes and gave us a nice bedrock to kind of build on.
Chris Poland: It didn’t matter what style we threw at him. A lot people, a lot of drummers especially, don’t want to be told how to do something. What’s great is he’s a drummer. When he speaks to Kris he almost goes, “Ahkahapukatekapukaja.” And then he goes, “Oh yea, ahakakhputakaja.” I got it – of course.
Jake Cinninger: It’s like the old if you can say it, you can play it.
You mentioned before that you might be doing some more recordings soon. Is that something you’ve figured out for next year?
Jake Cinninger: Yes, hopefully this coming May, we’re going to pen in a week where we go out to Chris’s studio. He’s got a bunch of new gear—we’re going to do it at basically the same studio, his rehearsal/studio spot—and just do almost the same sort of thing and see what we get. Keep that sort of tradition going – almost the chemistry of what it is that we did on the first record and carry it into the second.
Chris Poland: But we have a label that is interested too, so they’ve already offered us to do it.
I’m sure it’s the same feeling, like having two songs or more – you have a label interested, you have the momentum now…
Jake Cinninger: I guess we’ve got to get busy. It’s great!
Chris Poland: I think it’ll be really good, because I think everybody is going to have ideas to bring to the table this time because we know what works.
Jake Cinninger: I can see us getting a little more progressive—a little more avenues and then blow up the wide open jam, and then go back to that a little more complexity. Have a little bit of that old school complexity, prog-fusion thing in there and see what happens with it.
Chris Poland: I’m into that. I’m a slow learner but that’s ok, we have four days.
Jake Cinninger: We’ve got all that new technology – slow it down half speed. We’re safe man, we’re safe.
Imagine if you had two weeks. You’d have a double album.
Jake Cinninger: If we had two weeks in the studio, that’s like six records.