Interview: Medeski Martin & Wood – Unconscious Musicians (w/ John Medeski, Billy Martin, Chris Wood)
Aural States sat down with Medeski Martin & Wood while they were in town for the 2009 Traffic Jam Festival to discuss their new three-record series, Radiolarians.
AS: I’m curious about the new approach to writing and recording music that you used for Radiolarians. This year, rather than recording a studio album and then touring in support of the album, you wrote the tunes on the road the previous year and then recorded and released a new live album every 4 months.
Chris Wood: I mean, we never ever really did it like that, really. I mean, you know, we loosely did it like that, but we never had, sort of, like the latest tunes that were hits. I guess we trained our audience early on by just playing whatever we want, when we want. *laughs* They sort of get what they get. But I think for this process, part of the incentive to set it up this way where we write new music, tour, record, three times is that it is a way for us to write a whole bunch of new music together. And we didn’t have the constraints of a tradional record deal since we were doing it ourselves. We put out a lot more material, and we’ve always wanted to do that becuase it’s so long in a traditional record deal between each record. It’s like a year and a half sometimes, and by the time the record comes out you’re already sick of the music.