RR: Lest I forget, bassist Stu Brooks is another fine contributor on several tracks.
EK: Stu is the master of tone. I love his playing. He knows all the right spots to play in—just rhythmically always in the pocket. He has a lot of different styles, too. He’s obviously a great reggae and dub player with Dub Trio. He’s one of the coolest guys ever, too. We went to Berklee [School of Music] together. We’ve been playing together for a long time, a long time. He’s awesome. He’s always on tour the last couple of years, and that’s the only reason that I haven’t played with him live as much as I want to. He
was a major part of [ Reminisce ]. A couple of the tracks that we recorded in those sessions that he’s on are going to end up on other projects, too, so, you’ll be hearing other tracks with me and Stu together soon.
RR: You’re involved either producing or performing with a lot of acts in your Royal Family Records’ stable. In fact, you have numerous dates with several bands coming up in the next few months. How do you prepare for those dates, and how do you keep your head together during all of these various projects?
EK: (laughter) Head together—I’m not sure if that actually happens. I’m just kidding. We try to have as many rehearsals as possible, but it’s hard. People live in different places. It’s all about in that off time, finding time to, first of all, relax, and then find the time to go through some of the music, think it out, and spend some time practicing, which I just started doing again.
Before it was like…you get so lost. You’re just trying to get product. I’m either producing or recording or writing. Lately, I’ve been trying to set aside time to practice: “there’s some different ways I could interpret this song.”
It changes as time goes on. It’s a learning process. I’ve been touring for about 11 years now, and I’m just figuring out the best way to do it. The great thing is that I don’t get bored with what I’m doing. (laughs) I love playing with different people and playing different music. It inspires me, and makes me excited because when the band is excited on stage those are the best moments. Lettuce just played this past weekend at Mountain Jam, and we hadn’t played together in a while. We did two sets, so we had to breakout a lot of music that we hadn’t played. We did a daytime set, and then we did a late night extended set. It made us break into all of these songs that we hadn’t played. Not that it was the tightest of tightest of sets, but the vibe was amazing. We were digging into these grooves, and interpreting songs in different ways. It was great, even though, sure, we might have been tighter at the end of a six-week tour, but there was something about the freshness of the music we hadn’t played in a while, like playing brand new music, which brings out that vibe.
RR: What other projects do you have coming up?
EK: I’m producing a lot of stuff. I’m writing and producing a lot of stuff for other artists.
We’re trying to do more and more of that. Also, get into the studio with some different people. Adam and I went down and worked with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, and did a bunch of writing for their upcoming album, so I’m looking forward to hear how that comes out. We’re mixing Nigel Hall’s album, and doing the finishing touches on that. I’ve been producing that for a couple of years now, so that’s going to be a nice one to finish. It’s like giving birth on that one. (laughs) Lastly, I’m working on an acoustic project by myself. I might sing a little bit on that stuff. I’ve been writing for that, but, also, some acoustic instrumental stuff, so I’m looking forward to getting that together. I’ve been chipping away at that, and slowly putting some arrangements together. (laughs) It’s kind of a lot. I’ll try to find some time to get some sleep in between all that.