The boys from Dinner and a Suit – Drew, Jonathan, Joey, and Max – sat down with Sydne before their show last week at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC and talked about pretty much everything. We took a vote on pro-cloud or anti-cloud sentiment, got an update on the last time they called their moms, surveyed which band or musical celebrity they would take on in a “friendly fight” (which quickly devolved into a ping pong match), and discussed what their dream suit OR dream meal would be (or both, apparently). Check out some highlights from the conversation, and listen to the interview in full below!
LISTEN HERE (starts at 00:25:00 minutes) | OVERVIEW BELOW
GGG: Let’s talk about the Stay EP. I found that it was recorded live-to-tape. Could you explain that process?
Jon: It’s kind of how they used to do things, some studios still do. Essentially, a lot of studios will when you record nowadays is just do track-by-track. So Drew will record drums to a click track, and then Max will record the bass, one at a time; and you layer it. It’s cool too, we’ve done that in the past, but we were just trying to find some way to shake things up, and the way that we were going about doing that was meeting different producers. This particular producer that we worked with, Paul Moak, that’s his style is to still do things live-to-tape. What it does is just forces you to concentrate, and it gives you a different sound because it is everybody all in the room at the same time, and you need to focus on your performance a lot because if three out of four people had an amazing take and you have one bad note in there…
Drew: We rehearsed for a good month and a half before we even pressed record.
Jon: It was cool! It was a good experience. So that was how we did all the instrumentation and the vocals are still dubbed over afterwards (just because of the room – we were all in the same room so there would’ve been sound bleed essentially for me to sing and play guitar). It was a good experience; it challenged us for sure.
GGG: Is the full length – the next one – on the horizon?
Jon: Something is on the horizon. I think we don’t wanna exactly spell it out yet just cuz we’re not exactly sure, but there will be more content coming out, whether it’s singles or EP’s or something, there’ll be more music in 2015 for sure. It’s just kind of a matter of logistics.
GGG: I know you’ve probably talked about your band name tons of times before, but I have a question after you can give me a quick recap of that.
Jon: Essentially, [Joey and Jon’s great grandparents] were immigrants from Italy and lived here during the Great Depression Era in America, and she [their great grandma] worked at a clothing factory as a seamstress, would take home old suits that were like ripped up or whatever that they were throwing out and then fix them up. Then she would invite people over who had just lost their job, or missionaries, or people coming home from the war, and make them dinner, and then custom make them a brand new suit from this old stuff that she had since she had the ability to do that. In that time, getting a new suit and a full stomach was a big deal ‘cuz if you’re looking for work, looking sharp is important. So we grew up hearing that story at random family gatherings and stuff, so it was just a name that came up; “dinner and a suit” was sort of like the theme of the story, and when we were trying to think of a band name, that’s what we landed on.
GGG: Did the philosophy of bringing people in, and giving them a dinner and a suit, letting them go and helping them out, does that follow somehow what you guys are doing or is it just a cool family story?
Jon: I think we were raised in an environment that’s like, give what you can – or even maybe in some cases what you can’t necessarily afford to give – to show love and build that community. I think so. You know we try and live our lives to benefit everyone and not just ourselves. As far as music, I think that’s a big reason why we got into music in the first place was just how it had a positive impact on us as teenagers or preteens or whatever. So I just know what it’s like being in high school and listening to bands that I really connect with for whatever you’re going through. I think that’s sort of a goal for us is to connect with people in that same way, but not necessarily giving out food at this point.
GGG: Free suits at the show tonight! Hey!
Jon: Exactly. There’s a piece of pizza under everyone’s seat at every concert. No one’s looked yet, though.
GGG: What would you choose either as your dream suit or your last meal?
Joey: That’s easy, I would choose Vietnamese Pho Soup.
Drew: You gotta have some fresh summer rolls.
GGG: Are you guys all having the same meal?
Jon: Umm yeah that’s fine.
GGG: No one picked the suit option? Really?
Jon: What about, could we do Iron Man suit?
Drew: I got it. Killing two birds with one stone: how about a suit made out of food.
Jon: NO! WHY WOULD YOU WEAR THAT?
Drew: You could just eat the cuffs!
Jon: I would say Iron Man Suit. I’m gonna be the only one that says that.
Joey: [aside] I would choose Robert Downey Jr.’s birthday suit.