Local bands are the epitome of where some of the greatest rock bands alive have begun. I wanted to get a look into the minds of the creative method behind Capital Sons. I had an opportunity to interview them regarding their new four-song EP album Tempest. For those that are not familiar with an EP album, it is called an extended play record, usually referred to as an EP. It contains more tracks than a single but fewer than an album or an LP record. I honestly had never heard of an EP album until Tempest. But the short album packed a perfect little punch with songs like “Revolution Road” and “Rains Came” as a magnificent follow up to their previous album Rose Colored World. I sat down and listened to songs to get a feel for the tone album and decided to ask the guys what the drive was behind creating the album and the message for each song.
All Music Magazine: 1. How has the reaction to your latest Album Tempest been?
Keith Raney: We’ve gotten very positive feedback from both fans and music industry pundits. The number of streams and video plays has been some of the best numbers we have seen for any release.
All Music Magazine: 2. How long did this album take to make from start to ﬁnish, recording-wise?
Mike Jueneman: We spent maybe ﬁve days in the studios to record the four songs. I say studios because we recorded two of the songs at Signaturetone Studios in Minneapolis, and the other two at Essential Sessions Studios in Arden Hills. Since we weren’t under any kind of time constraints, we decided to try out a couple of diﬀerent places/people and see if there were any noticeable diﬀerences with the ﬁnal results. It was an interesting little experiment and we got to see how diﬀerent people take their own unique approaches to the recording process.
All Music Magazine: 3. What kind of ‘sound’, production-wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Rick Paukert: We actually went into two studios: Essential Sessions and Signaturetone. Capital Sons recorded Rose Colored World at Essential Sessions, and Keith had worked with Signaturetone in the past so we knew both studios would produce a high-quality result. Overall, Capital Sons’ music style isn’t overproduced and has a very organic, analog sound. I recall talking to both producers about how I always enjoyed the ‘70s vinyl albums with that warm, dynamic sound and I think they imparted some of that into our two recent recordings.
All Music Magazine: 4. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Rick Paukert: Generally, both producers act as coaches, directing the process and coaxing the best out of the band, but they go about things in diﬀerent ways. Brad at Essential Sessions’ style is to experiment and lay down several tracks, instruments, and ideas. He then pulls out elements until he is left with the mix he likes. Adam at Signaturetone on the other hand likes to capture as much of the track as possible live in one take. He’ll then go back and do additional tracks that were needed to complete the sound he’s after. He’s very eﬃcient and doesn’t record much that he doesn’t use.
All Music Magazine: 5. Are you pleased with the ﬁnal outcome? (sound – production wise)
Rick Paukert: Yes, very pleased with the outcome from both studios. Both producers are true professionals their studios are top-notch. Tempest and Rose Colored World are the two best-sounding Sons’ recordings. They aren’t as compressed as our earlier EPs. Of course, some of that is due to the evolving styles and tastes as well as recording and playback capabilities. Today’s HD streams are way less compressed and have more dynamic range than they used to.
All Music Magazine: 6. What are your favorite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Rick Paukert: Good question. One thing I like about Capital Sons is how we explore substantive subjects from unique points of view. On the most recent ‘Tempest’ EP, the humor Karl put into ‘Moderation’ always cracks me up. That song is really tongue in cheek and I like the ironic situations the song explores. “…Now I just look forward to my dinner.” A funny line about a serious subject. And there’s nothing moderate about the number of notes I crammed into the verse rhythm part.
‘Crushed’ is an interesting twist on the romance song. It’s a love song and a breakup song all in one because you have a couple that is in two very diﬀerent headspaces about their relationship. You really need to listen to the story. I also love all the diﬀerent parts to the song and how it is so pop-sounding despite the melancholy story. I can’t wait to release the video for this one.
I have to go back and mention a couple of lyrics from Rose Colored World since they would top my overall favorites list. If you work an oﬃce job you gotta love the line, “Not another damn meeting the rest of my life.” However, I’m going to have to tell Karl my silver sports car is my ‘rescue.’ We have a lyric video for this song, and it involves a driver Rescuing These Days.
And my number one favorite Capital Sons lyric is, “Rainbows, unicorns, and Jedi masters.” But I’m not going to tell you which song – You’ve got to go listen and ﬁnd it to ﬁgure out how we worked that clever gem into a song.
All Music Magazine: 7. Any overall theme of mood that you’re trying to capture while writing songs?
Karl Obermeyer: I try not to force any moods or themes while writing. I generally start with a riﬀ I like and then write and form the lyrics based on whatever words come out of my mouth when ﬁrst singing a melody to the song. That way I capture the essence of the song in its primal form.
All Music Magazine: 8. Does your vision for coming up with music get aﬀected at all by time?
Mike Jueneman: I think the pandemic deﬁnitely had an eﬀect on ‘Tempest’ as a whole. For starters, it wasn’t necessarily even planned at the time. But we were in lockdown, so instead of constantly rehearsing for the next upcoming gig, we found ourselves with a completely clear calendar and decided to look at it as an opportunity to write new music. Having no deadline other than those that were self-imposed allowed us the freedom to try out multiple studios and take our time with the process as a whole.
All Music Magazine: 9. How would you describe the sound of your new album to any potential new fan?
Mike Jueneman: It’s basically just us. Two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals are the main components. We did invite Jesse Mueller to come in and sprinkle his keyboard magic over the songs once we had the basic tracks down. It deﬁnitely added a nice dimension that we don’t normally have life, but that was about it. We didn’t do a ton of overdubbing or a bunch of eﬀects. We’re a classic rock and roll band playing the kind of music we grew up listening to and we hope there are others out there who miss that sound as well.
All Music Magazine: 10. Who are some of your inﬂuences in this album?
Karl Obermeyer: My inﬂuences are all across the musical landscape, but recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Spoon, Kings of Leon, Houndmouth, Arcade Fire, Doves, Blur, Pulp, Band of Horses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Black Angels.
All Music Magazine: 11. Who directed the “Rains Came” video
Mike Jueneman: Ryan Wideman from Paradyse Photography directed the video. He’s a great guy to work with and he’s busy putting the ﬁnishing touches on our next video as well. Fun fact about our Rains Came video, one of the main scenes shows Karl walking through the rain and singing the song. The band ﬁlmed all the studio shots in early spring, but then as luck would have it, we had a summer of historic drought. So, it took months before the stars would align to allow for rain and Karl and Ryan to be available to ﬁlm. But it eventually worked out and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Ryan knocked that video out of the park.
All Music Magazine: 12. If someone has never seen the video, how can you describe it in one sentence?
Keith Raney: A throwback style video in the vein of early MTV videos.
All Music Magazine: 13. What was your inﬂuence behind writing the song “Rains Came” and the setting of the video?
Keith Raney: The song is about moving on from a failed relationship and realizing the power and freedom a person can achieve by not dwelling on the past.
As for the video, we really gave the director Ryan Wideman the freedom to imagine the story and create his vision from there. Over the years we have found it best for us to focus on the music and let the ﬁlm directors do what they do best.
All Music Magazine: 14. How is this album different than your last album Rose Colored Word?
Karl Obermeyer: One major diﬀerence is that ‘Tempest’ is an E.P. and ‘Rose Colored World’ was full-length. Another major diﬀerence is that we now have Keith Raney on bass and backing vocals. He’s been a wonderful addition to the group, and he wrote both the lyrics and the structure of our song ‘Rains Came’ on ‘Tempest’. That’s also a ﬁrst for us.
All Music Magazine: 15. When do we expect another album?
Keith Raney: We have plans to get back in the studio in January of 2022 so we should deﬁnitely be releasing a new E.P. sometime next year.
1.) Revolution Road
4.) Rains Came
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