AE: What was the recording experience like?
AM: It was great; we made the whole record in about nine hours of studio time. It was very quick, very different than the other kinds of records I make for singer-songwriters where it takes months. This is a very quick, live recording of us all together at once, and a lot of times going with the first take.
AE: You just finished a short East Coast tour to support Boom Tic Boom. Any plans to hit the road again? Maybe a West Coast trip?
AM: Yes! Right now I’m planning on coming out west in December, which I know is a long way away, but it was the only time that I can get the band all together! Each player has their own projects and/or recording/touring with other people — Todd is touring with Ani [DiFranco] and I’m really busy touring with Brandi Carlile right now. It’s hard to get everybody together, but we’re planning on December.
AE: You’re slated to tour with Brandi Carlile through the summer — including two Southern California dates with Lilith Fair. What does that mean to you? Is this your first Lilith?
AM: It is my first Lilith! I used to tour with Natalie Merchant years ago and I joined Natalie’s band right after Lilith Fair’s stops. I just missed out on the first Lilith Fair, but this time around I’ll definitely be there and into it! I’m super excited. To me, that was such a groundbreaking idea that Sarah McLachlan came up with; a real groundbreaking festival. I just hope that people grab on to now it like they did in the late ’90s. It seems like a pretty good lineup.
AE: Brandi said in an interview that you’re the best drummer she’s had and that she’d love for you to "marry the band." Has there been a formal proposal?
AM: [Laughs.] Not a formal proposal, but she keeps egging me on to move to Seattle. There’s a house that’s actually for sale not too far from where [bandmate] Timmy [Hanseroth] lives. But I’m a pretty hardcore New Yorker and it would be pretty hard to leave Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll just buy a country home out there.
Photo by Lisa Warne
AE: You’ve recorded and toured with some amazing artists — Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant and Brandi. Do you have a favorite memory that stands out?
AM: I toured with Ani for about three years. One of my favorite moments is the time Animal — who is Ani’s best friend and often comes out and serves as her nanny since Ani has a baby now — was opening one tour on the West Coast, I think the show was in Seattle. We always like to play pranks on each other and the very last night of our tour, while Animal was singing on-stage, me and the production manager, Michael, went out — we weren’t completely topless, but I just had a bra on — and danced behind Animal.
Photo by Christine Unten
Then, another time in New Orleans, Toshi Reagon — a really close friend of mine — was opening and me and Michael decided to go out in our underwear and had this fake marriage ceremony while Toshi was singing. I was the guy and he was the girl. I had a bow tie on and he had a veil on and we had the whole ceremony. [Laughs.] I always encourage nudity on-stage! That was pretty fun. Animal was always running out naked, too.