New Slang returns with Episode 210, where I'm joined by singer-songwriter Cleto Cordero of Flatland Cavalry. During this conversation, we talk about Flatland's latest EP, Songs To Keep You Warm, working with the great Bruce Robison on projects, finding your true self in songwriting, Far West Texas inspirations, the new Panhandlers EP, West Texas Is The Best Texas, and Flatland's sonic journey over the past few short years.
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Note: Transcripts aren’t always accurate since they are computer automated and haven’t been edited for spelling, grammar, etc.
Thomas Mooney 0:02
Hey y'all welcome back to new slang. I'm writer Thomas Mooney. This is Episode 210, where I'm joined by longtime friend of the program cleddau Cordero of flatland cavalry. So yeah, it's most certainly been a minute since the release of an episode over here. I really don't think that like any of you really care why there's been such a long hiatus or anything, but I'm gonna give you a little explainer. I'll keep it short, though. Basically, I kind of felt like I got a little worn out by doing the podcast, basically two episodes a week for nearly like two years, I guess. And, and I don't know, maybe this is like a little too much projecting, but I kind of felt like I was getting lost within that monotony, obviously had a lot of really, really great guests, but I kind of felt like maybe I was mailing it in a little bit more than I would want to on something like this. And so yeah, I kind of had to have a little bit of a break. I had been working on a few other projects since then, and hopefully they will be coming your way pretty soon, sooner rather than later. But you know, it was also kind of time to blow off the proverbial dust off the old podcast machine and, and get the recording and releasing some some new episodes. As I mentioned, just up top we're kicking this one off with an old buddy and pow clitoral Cordero of flatland cavalry. This one we recorded Jesse yesterday afternoon. So it's incredibly fresh right off the presses, if you will. Speaking of which, there are newest EP songs to keep you warm. That was just released just about two weeks ago. cleddau and flatland they've obviously been super busy the past couple of years. Things really took off. Once they released Welcome to Country land back in. I guess that was July of 2021. And since then, it feels like they've been releasing music every few months or, or have been at least making a few cameos here and there. That's been of course, the far out west sessions back in May of this year. They did a Jerry Jeff Walker cover with Josh Abbott on one of his projects back in late July cleddau, of course, had some cameos on Caitlyn butts. What else can she do back in April? There is that New West Texas is the best Texas EP by the panhandlers back in October. There is that stellar cover of whiskey lullaby by cleddau and Caitlin on Caitlin's Sadie Hall sessions from last week. And then of course, this new EP that was released in late October so yeah, really full slate in I'm a little surprised that cleddau even had time to do this little podcast given the the schedule as of late. But you know, in seriousness, that has been a really pretty good stretch of music right there. And I think we touched just about every little bit of that on this episode here. Plenty of talk about the new EP and recording with Bruce Robertson, who produced the album, or the EP rather, and really that comfortability that they have with Bruce and recording at the bunker over the past few years and why it just made sense to take the songs to Lockhart and recording them and that organic setting. We touch on the far west Texas both as a destination for inspiration and for detaching and decompressing, recharging those batteries, if you will. And with that in mind, obviously we touch on some panhandlers among a few other things along the way. We'll get to all of that here in one second. But just a couple of housekeeping notes really, really quick. Subscribe the newsletter if you just come in across the feed. As you probably see there are about 200 episodes in the back catalogue that you can hear with the likes of turnpike troubadours, Mike and the moon pies, culture wall Charley Crockett Laney Wilson, Kelsey Warren Parker McCollum, Jamie Lynn Wilson, among a ton of others. Go back and listen to those if you haven't just yet. Listen and subscribe literally anywhere you listen to podcasts. Also, a little over a year ago, I released a book called the Lubbock way. It's all about a short but incredibly vibrant. Few years here in Lubbock, where the likes of flatland and Randall King and read che Han and a bevy of other singer songwriters were all gaining this momentum and then become kind of these you know, household names, if you will, and in country and Americana music. Essentially, it's kind of this blend of a behind the scenes mixed with this wall flower perspective about 25 ish nights and weekends out here. With these different bands and songwriters. We're getting down to the final stretch of copies left, so if you're interested in purchasing one, go check out the merch store. Speaking of which, there are a few T shirts and postcards and posters in the merch store as well. Go ahead and use the promo code damage goods all caps, no spaces for 25% off On your next order, that'll be good through the end of the month, all the links to all the socials and to the merch store and all that kind of stuff. They will also be in the show notes as well. And with that in mind, let's go ahead and get on to the interview. Here is cleddau Cordero of flatland Calvary. Yeah, well, for starters, cleddau Thanks for coming on. It's been a minute since we've talked about music and what's in the world of Flatland. Obviously, like, just a couple weeks ago, you guys released you all's latest EP songs to keep you warm. I know, like one of those songs mountain song is, you know, an older song, but I guess like the maybe the idea of this EP, the county came pretty quick for y'all. What, uh, what's kind of like the the origin story of, of doing an EP.
Cleto Cordero 5:53
So So yeah, man, it's good to be on the podcast, it's good to chat with you. It's been a while, like you said, I mean, the idea for the EP kind of came. The whole origin story is, initially we had mountain song as a recording, which that happening in and of itself was kind of like a, like a miraculous situation where we were asked to show up at Bruce's studio, to film tecovas commercial, they're coming out with like, a new line of boots and workwear and ranch wear and stuff. And so that was, I mean, that was all we were supposed to be doing there. And I asked Bruce like, Hey, dude, like, can we not, you know, feed two dogs at one bone? And just, you know, can we click record while we're there, and we're just gonna be wearing to cope with stuff, you know, essentially, and they can just kind of get us filming, wearing our stuff while we're actually doing some productive, you know what I mean? And so he was like, Yeah, let's do it. And so, from my understanding that we tried all the clothes and all this stuff, and I didn't know how much like, I didn't know how taxing that shoot would be. But apparently, I don't know if they scrapped it or whatever, they didn't get what they needed. Because when we got there, we just, you know, we got fitted and all that stuff, and then started getting to work on mountain songs or something, I just thought it would sound good in his studio, just having knowing what we know about, you know, sober heart of mind and worth my mind. I thought that mountain song would be a great song to track there just as a single. And so we're in there, and we're kind of working quickly because like, we kind of feel like we're like, doing to warranty different hats there. They he would like we just take a swing at Mountain song and we record it. And in just one pass man, it was one of those rare, like, captured lightning in a bottle, you know, like it's the true performance of the song. And I remember when we're done with that session, it was just that that's that track just stood out and was just felt really awesome and classic sounding and we just held on to it for a long while, like, I don't know, we had it for several months, and I didn't know if we're ever going to release it or anything. And so you know, fast forward a bunch of time. That to COVID video that tecovas commercial never came out by the way, I guess we were too occupied doing that but fast forward. In the we have like I'm telling you it's about June of this year 2022 And I'm just really exhausted. And I slammed my head back on the pillow and I remember like you just like flash like a revelation just like bam bam bam like this the kind of stuff that comes to you you don't really think about it or kind of planted or crafted it was just like I was downloading all this whole plan and was like you have now in song he loved the recording. Why don't you you have a bunch of songs you've been writing and you know, a bunch of remainder songs and that are all kind of this kind of missing you kind of cousins and stuff like this heartbreak kind of echoes and why don't why don't you just go to Bucha studio and you're gonna have mountain song, pick five other songs and, you know, maybe it's called songs to keep you warm or something, it's just like, has that studio is really warm sounding and so I just, you know, brought it to management's, you know, the idea to them and the band and they they thought it was cool and you know, we just kind of started setting it in the motion and it was a one of those things that you know, just I don't know why but I just always felt like an EP was kind of like going backwards or whatever. But in this instance, I thought that making an EP was like just perfect. It was just like, you know, fall and winter doesn't really last that long. Kind of put out a A project that kind of showcases that emotion and everything. And that's really kind of how it came to be.
Thomas Mooney 10:10
Yeah, well, the thing I like about EPS, in my mind, or my opinion is always been, you know, some, some concepts, you know, are only five or six songs long, maybe they're only four songs. And, you know, like, if you have the songs for, for a 10 song concept of a, whatever, that's fine, but like, you know, don't just fill it with filler, just for the simple fact of trying to get to making you today a quote unquote, full length.
Cleto Cordero 10:42
Yeah. No, totally. Yeah. Go ahead. No, yeah, but I've always felt that we've made since combat, you know, we started, we always got to put out a full length, you know, and so, I would just always thought, release full length albums, you know, just in, I would write the songs, and they would kind of stick together which ones they want it to be, or however, the theme was going to turn out. And for the first time ever, I just had so many extra songs, and we're kind of in between album cycles, and I don't, you know, an EP just felt appropriate, and it felt appropriate to release it with the seasons. And, you know, it's like, still, I'm not thinking of this, like, you know, like, business wise, like, oh, like, stay relevant, all this stuff. And I'm just thinking, you know, like, you got songs, give them to the people, you know, Yeah, hold on, hold them over until we can, we have the loop tour that starts next March, that's going to last till summer is over. And then maybe we give them a full length at the end of the summer, you know, but this is just seems like a good idea. Just do it and give good music to the people. And, you know, I've said this on a bunch of interviews, since I've talked about this project, but it's really my my thought processes, like, you know, the summer you have festival season, slinging beer, and, you know, some things never changes the vibe, and it's, you know, it's luck, and people are excited. And then all that stuff kind of festival season's over. And, you know, there's, you don't play outdoors as much and all this stuff, but people are still consuming music. So I just thought it would be natural to turn the page and, you know, give them something that fits that season. And it's not bangers have, you know, the upbeat variety?
Thomas Mooney 12:27
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, you mentioned it kind of, you know, obviously being there in between full length records. And, you know, you have all these songs that are that are sitting around, is there something to maybe also, you know, wanting to record these songs, while they're fresh in your mind and fresh within like, you being excited about them. Because, obviously, like you can write something and years go by, and you're maybe not as excited about a song you've written in the sense of either just being excited about it, or, you know, that you're not necessarily the same kind of person, you were because you're older, or in a different place, or a different mindset. Is there something to that as well, as far as, you know, wanting to record these songs while they're still relevant in this moment of your life?
Cleto Cordero 13:23
Yeah, I think, you know, a lot of the songs were an old ideas, actually, they're old, old hooks, old ideas that I bring the songwriting sessions and for the sake of not showing up at the empty handed, you know, and they turned into songs that I loved, you know, and they were little pieces of me still, you know, 23 years old, 24, they wrote the first verse, or the chorus, or whatever. But I have a lot more skills now than I did a lot more understanding, I guess, of my life, or my interpretation or perception of life. And I think being able to add that, to that, that little piece of, you know, who I was, I think is, is pretty cool. You know what I mean? I'm still the same guy, but I've changed a bunch, you know, obviously, that's the thing that you get to grow and change as you you know, you get, quote, unquote, older, but I just have always, always thought that there was anything that I had really ever written kind of had a little piece of my DNA that, you know, that I would that I would be proud of, you know, even revisiting, you know, years later or whatever.
Thomas Mooney 14:36
You know, obviously, this record right here you did with Bruce, who's no stranger to the flatland camp, and obviously, you mentioned a couple of the singles that you guys have done and obviously panhandler stuff. And I think like one of the things that we've all kind of grown to understand about Bruce Robinson being the producer has been obviously there Is the it's at the bunker, which is no digital shenanigans whatsoever. I think like the one thing we've learned about, Bruce's process has been how you can't like speed it up, you can't go overly quick. But it's overall, like it's an art and an app. It's an interesting kind of thing where it feels like it goes rather quickly, you guys make decisions, and you kind of go with them. And it keeps it organic in that way. But like when you're actually in the process of recording, you can't go too quickly, because you I guess, like, you can't go through quickly, because it's the just the process is, you can't speed it up because of the technology, I guess is what I'm saying. Does that make sense?
Cleto Cordero 15:57
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's, uh, it definitely challenges you to be very present to use your senses, you know, outside of like to really listen in. When you go back and listen on tape, there's just something profound about about it, compared to Pro Tools and staring at the screen and, and all that stuff. And like, you know, confident everything, which is like, you know, when you do a bunch of takes, and you put it all together, and it's like, there's some bad, it's just an authentic like, factor to it not in like, turn your nose up at other people from using digital technology and all that, but just have like, the sense of like, Oh, dang, like, that's really what we sound like, you know what I mean. And I remember during during mountain song, there was a part where we tracked it, you know, it was too much going on at one time. So it's like, alright, we can't obviously track all of us at one time. So let's just get the bones you know, like drums, bass, acoustic guitar, retracting then the vocal, like they're tracking with me. And then we'll punch electric guitar on top of it, and fiddle or whatever have you. And then I remember, there was a spot in the middle, where there ends up being that snare hit the ruin, before that last course, video and perfume in the moment. Jason didn't play anything right there. And like, I don't know, if he was like, hesitant, like, you know, there's, there's a lot of, quote unquote, pressure of like, Oh, dang, this is real, it's on tape, you know, like, be intentional. And so there was just a big hole in that space. And I'm like, man, it sounds like there needs to be a snare hit, and then you know, and then he's in there. So we punch that snare hit later. And, you know, for him to hit it, he could hit it timidly. And you would hear that in that recording, right? But when you hit it the right now, it's like, oh, that's what it needs to be. And I think it kind of something about working with tape and analog, really changes your perception of what you're actually doing. It's not just like going in there and taking the 100 tracks, you know, and just picking the best ones or, you know, there's something intentional, you know, what sometimes, you know, magic stuff happens by accident stuff to you, and there's stuff that you live with on the records, too, that are not terrific. Totally, I might be a little flat or whatever, you know, but it's like, I just think it's so cool. It's literally like, the space and time we captured it, you know, and it's like stuck in that tape. And that's what people are listening to.
Thomas Mooney 18:21
Yeah, obviously, like, there's, there's something to the we've talked about how tape is just significantly warmer, it's more organic. Obviously, that ties into the, the feel of the songs. You know, what, what happened? What how is Bruce when, when something is kind of not working? What's the Have you picked up on any little things where he not necessarily tricks but you know, ways the reset or refreshing the, the arrangement or, or make the song Get to the point where it needs to be? But what's kind of like, those conversations like with Bruce, where he kind of makes the song go back on track.
Cleto Cordero 19:07
Yeah, I mean, at times, like me, because we're a band too. So a lot of opinions in the room and stuff and you know, versus wants to tread lightly, not, you know, like, let us work and do what we do and just capture authentically who we are, you know, and then there's any discrepancies or you know, should we go to that court or whatever, like he's good at way it in and being honest of like, I think there needs to be another course or there needs to be something here and he was very valuable in those regards of helping shape the the arrangement or something to to give it the most effect, but I think yeah, I mean, he really is good at just like being laid back and he'll he'll tell you if it's good enough for Bruce kind of felt like, you know, that's fine by me because sometimes it's, you get decision fatigue, you know what I mean? And you're like, I don't know, is that good? Is that shit? I have no idea. I can't I don't even know wanting more and he'll, he'll shoot you straight and be like, No, I think it sounds great, you know, or whatever. And he's, like said he's kind of laissez faire, like, kind of laid back a little bit and stuff and super easy to work with. And it was is, like say the studio is kind of it's not Hi Fi like, it's like Lo Fi. It's like kind of like Indian, you know, arts and crafts, the you know, I mean, where it's like, it doesn't, the recordings don't have to be perfect. As long as you're capturing the performance of the song, I think that's where he's the biggest about is like, we're capturing the performance of the song Not, you know, not piecing it together, or whatever. I think that's kind of what he was very adamant upon. And and that was another thing that I kind of learned about to you is like, like so much if we said goodbye, the first thing I did was so fucking magic. But I sang a word weird because I started thinking about it, and I sing it differently. And there's no way to, you know, fix that. And so I did two more takes and then think that chose the third one. But but they were the engineers like I don't know, man. It's just like, I mean, how many times can you evoke that emotion, like, in a row? And I'm thinking, Man, I didn't I never thought about that, you know, like, I never realized that. That's what we're doing. You know, it's like, turning ourselves into little tuning forks of emotion to capture that magic, you know, versus like, just singing it perfectly in pitch and whatever. Yeah, and they can hear it in there. They're like, ah, the first one was the best one. But this one's really good. Don't get me wrong, but. And I was like, I thought, you know, but they're like, you know, like, No, this is really good. But I'm telling you, the first one was, it's always usually the best one. Because I can say that it's hard for your body and your organs to like, recreate that feeling over and over and over and over again, you're not a robot, you know?
Thomas Mooney 21:56
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, it's, it's like, you know, if you're like, in sports, like, if you're a basketball player, and, you know, in practice, you practice the game winning shot, you know, at the end of practice to try and win it. It's not that you can't replicate that for the game, you know, over and over and over again, you know, sometimes it just, it just has to be that one moment. Which, that's what I was actually wanting to kind of get to is, you know, when a song is so personal. I know, like, who's in the studio is all these guys who are in your band, or the producer or the engineers? And it's not like, there's a lot of people in the studio at the at that time when you're recording, you know, songs that are maybe super personal. But how do you get to that? I guess maybe back to that, like, original kind of feeling. When you first wrote the song, how do you get back to that, that moment to to evoke that emotion?
Cleto Cordero 22:58
That's a great question. I mean, sometimes all that other stuff is very distracting. And, you know, that the what I love about it so much, I think and why I'm drawn back to it again and again, is that I feel like it's, it brings me back to the core of like, the human spirit that I have, like, the towers, my body, my little, my meat body is redeliver I call it you know, like, the spirit part of human being, it's like, like, I'm connecting with that when I'm going to those places and the songs and like, delivering it, were like, in when I'm writing, you know, I'm feeling it. I'm like, lost in this, like, in the ether, you know, and, like, my mind's like, tapping into it somehow or something. And, and that's where I feel like I'm the most, I'm the most myself and maybe that's why I'm addicted to going back and chasing it and stuff. But you know, and that's also like, kind of a sacred thing to you know, like, sometimes, you know, like, you might need a little privacy to be like, Hey, guys, you know, tracking this one acoustic like, you know, go hang outside or do something, you know, but you kind of just got to you got to bear it all, you know what I mean? And not not be afraid or self conscious? Or, you know, I mean, yeah, and guys were that way, my bandwidth. It really made me feel that way. But there's just sometimes too, like, you just, it's just you and the guitar in the room and your soul, you know, that that answer your question a little bit?
Thomas Mooney 24:29
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, as you're kind of saying like before, it's hard to replicate those same. You know, the situation the scenario of getting back to when you first wrote that song of, of why you wrote that song and trying to because obviously, like, I mean, therapy is like a real thing. And I'm not trying to like, you know, compare songwriting fully to therapy, like going to therapy, but you know, In a lot of therapy, you you're trying to revisit old trauma to, to help fix and get over. It can be maybe similar in a similar way of when you're writing a song, or when you're trying to record a song trying to get back to that those original intentions, you know, and, you know, it can be hard to sometimes visit that place, especially if there's a lot of, you know, just even people in the room or like, you know, obviously, if you're trying to do that on on stage with, you know, a ton of people out in the crowd.
Cleto Cordero 25:37
Yeah, no, man, I've heard. I said, I think there's a part of me that wants to be perfect, that's a perfectionist, it's like, I gotta sing in pitch, I gotta seem perfect, I gotta do all that and you hear like producers and such, they, like man like To hell with all that being perfect man, like, sometimes a vocal take or something, if it's got the emotion in it, and it's a little flat, but it's got this grit or something like, that is what I think there's this human, the human element within us that I think human beings to in the crowd, connect to, when and when it's real, and it's authentic. And, you know, us. We haven't always been the band that we are today, you know, like, we've come a long way. And we've always tried to, we strive to continue to, you know, become better musicians and singer, songwriters, all that stuff. And I'm proud of where we're at today. But like, even earlier back on, I know, people would make comments of like, man, like, you guys are really good live, or, you know, and Caitlin would tell me you're a good life singer, when I had these like complexes, like, I'm not a formal singer, Luoma fraud, I suck. I don't know what a sound like, I haven't found my voice, you know, all these Bs pessimistic thoughts, you know, and she's like, she's like, No, you're a great life singer. And what was she saying is that I think, when all else fails, you know, I just, I'm trying to emote that song and just, you know, let that lightning out, you know what I mean? That's like, I think that that is what people travel, pay money to go witness and experiences that human emotion you know, the all the different myriads of them you know, from the lows, the blues to you know, those happy love songs and all that stuff. I think that kind of comes out in the, in the performance part of it that said, yeah, just I think that's why I'm drawn back to it again, and again, just makes me feel like a human being it makes me feel good. I don't, whenever I don't talk about stuff, I keep things to myself, you know, trying to be perfect, it's just not not a good way to exist, you know?
Thomas Mooney 27:41
Yeah, it's very easy to you know, obviously get stuck inside your own head. And, like I have that problem with with a bunch of stuff where I'm working and it's all those flaws that you see where no one else really sees. Or maybe they didn't really think of it as a flaw and you're just trying to make every sentence perfect every you know, enunciation as far as like even on the podcast goes perfect and you know, it's very very easy to just go I'm not going to put this out or I'm you put it off and obviously you can't live life like that if you're trying to make everything exact and you know obviously Perfect One of the things I was thinking about when you guys announced this EP was obviously you've already mentioned it this is supposed to be kind of like the winter fall feeling around a campfire round the the fire inside the house you know drinking some whiskey to keep warm obviously that kind of makes you think okay well this while I'm gonna release something that you know is the perfect temperature for the the fall and spring as I was kind of getting my notes ready though, I was kind of thinking well is it actually like our have you guys already honestly kind of done that already with the the far out west sessions? Since that was kind of a a summer project? Obviously, you can go either way with that question. Either looking forward or going back but like what what are your thoughts about maybe this EP being a you know, kind of maybe a little bit of a opposite of of what you guys already done? And then maybe going forward?
Cleto Cordero 29:26
Yeah, I mean, I thought historically everything we've ever released was like without with the exception of Homeland Insecurity that was a January release which that record is kind of it's got a lot of milk in it you know, but come May was released to me Come May is that spring project already you know, it's it's that youthful love summertime love all that stuff. And humble folks, me was very summery. So it was Welcome to Country land. But yeah, just we had never done anything like a follow up and I just, I'm really glad that we followed that hunch You know, but I don't I mean, I just like sit I feel like we have we've already had a lot of like, you know, be like fun stuff and that for whatever reason I don't know why subconsciously I think that's what you think everyone wants like, oh man, you gotta write the bangers No, you gotta write the the happy stuff yada yada but there's, you know, I just tried to write the best song I can no matter what day it is, and then they'll find where they need to exist and live and the themes and all that stuff kind of sorted themselves out, naturally, but for the next record, man, I think I know we're talking about songs to keep you warm, but I'm just I'm excited to see what we explore, you know? Next, you know, what, what kinds of genres can we ban what kind of sounds can we get out of the band, because I just I really believe just won't be like a Swiss Army Knife band, you know, and versatility and get people may claim to oh, well, I only like this flavor only like this country music and like, that's fine, you know, but for the most part, variety is the spice of life. And if you get a little bit everything, there's something little something for everyone. I think that I don't know, I just I'm really excited to make that next record, too. Because I think songs keep you on like, set just hold you over until, until we you know, droplet for another full lp in people's laps that will just continue to show the evolution of the band.
Thomas Mooney 31:29
Yeah, I mean, like, it's one of those things where I think we all like cheeseburgers, but you imagine having like, a cheeseburger for every meal.
Cleto Cordero 31:36
Thomas Mooney 31:39
The Far Out West sessions, obviously I mentioned, kind of like that was kind of like a project y'all go did in the spring summer. Obviously, like, you know, the Swiss Army Knife aspect of the band that you already mentioned. We do see flatland really growing sonically on Welcome to Country land. But I would say, you know, Far West sessions is almost even a more detailed or maybe more specific. We have like the microscope on showing off the different sounds and the talent of the Sonic qualities of the band, even though you know, it's obviously a, you know, way more organic, and not even in the studio session. Setting. What, uh, what made y'all want to do that, as a project,
Cleto Cordero 32:33
you know, I think that was another kind of get music, get music out of it, you know, extend the album cycle, if you will, and get people more recording. So listen to more different variations of that. And that wasn't my idea to go out there. I think Jason had that idea. You know, go out, let's go out to close, you know, family's land out there and read for it. And I guess they thought there was a story to tell, you know, with that. And Pac Man, I was glad to get to go out there and do that. You know what I mean? Yeah, I wasn't I wasn't the brainchild of that that project. You know, I just showed up and try to I tried to frickin sing my best and, you know, with no monitors are out in the field, you know what I mean? But, yeah, I love the way that it came out. Like how vivid, like, the videos came out. And just the quality of them and took the chair back, I think was super magical is one of those one take sessions. And yeah, just think, I think that was initially the things that came in, like, let's, let's be a bit more creative outside of the normal studio album and do something different than we haven't done and, you know, because our YouTube content was really, really not that great. So I think we're just trying to do our part to you know, pitch pitch what we want to be who we are to the public, you know, I mean,
Thomas Mooney 33:57
yeah, well, I think like it also, you know, it gave a moment to highlight, you know, a little bit more of, you know, Adam and more of Wes on federal and, and more read on guitar as far as showing what other kind of sounds that are there in the band, and give a little bit more refresh. And we keep on using the word organic spin on a song that is, you know, already having a studio version and just to have it a little bit more twitchy and a little bit more raw, more visceral.
Cleto Cordero 34:34
Yeah, no, totally. I mean, man, a lot of people are unfamiliar with that. That countryside too and the other guys in the band, you know, perhaps maybe not getting as much Limelight you know, but that was a great a great a, in a barren kind of humble form, right? Like there's no there's no tricks or anything. It's just these guys, you know, being the great musicians and I'm glad to get to showcase them and those records because everyone's come a long way man since we all got started.
Thomas Mooney 35:07
Yeah, no Absolutely. Did you guys do that like over like a week or did was that returning back? Every once in a while I'm trying to get those
Cleto Cordero 35:17
now man we knock those all out and maybe four days three days or something like that I wasn't Yeah, we went out there I can't even tell you when but it was like March or something like that. It was springtime in the desert, which I thought was just whoever plan that out for that workout was I mean there's like a TEALS are in bloom and around here again. And it was just magic Dude, it was so cool. And I don't think we ever released it. They might admit they may release it but Wesley and Reid did a showcase I think it's called show comes for well at that at the church that's right down the street that I used to go to Easter mass growing up when they used to go down there and my grandma still lived in Redford. But they went down there and played that song and then they they came back and I remember we're sitting there in front of my grandpa's house just waiting for them to get done. And then they came back and like it was so it was like surreal like a out of a movie but I mean no joke man like rat behind and they're pulling in with the van and the U haul. And like right behind him just like all this wind and they just brought his like what did you guys upset some spirits over there? What was completely still for like an hour, dude. And then they come and the winds right behind him. It's blown with them and it starts blowing that little that Cordero sign. And country is if you watch that video, it's making that noise and it was not creaking before they showed up. It was pretty, pretty magical. I don't know what that was. I mean, coincidence, call it what you want it but it was it was notably like, steal and indifferent. And then they left the church and it was not and I might do what did you guys do?
Thomas Mooney 36:59
Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully
Cleto Cordero 37:01
they hear that that they catch it? It's pretty cool. Yes, no, no. Next time he's seen ever has it?
Thomas Mooney 37:08
Yeah. Well, I mean, it's something about obviously, the desert, Far West Texas. It can be super quiet, it can be super isolated. But I think surprising for a lot of people is they can also be super loud and super, you know, what, you know, just rushing with with sound as well. And, you know, it can just spin it can turn on a on a dime. I remember, you probably remember this to a couple of years. It's probably more than a couple of years, we were going up to Tulsa for New Year's and we stopped in Turkey. And you guys played a show there. And we're after the show, we're on Main Street and it was so quiet. And you were I remember you talking about how eerie it was. But how you had never really experienced that in recent years as far as being on a main street and and just being just total silence. Remember that?
Cleto Cordero 38:08
Yes, I do. Man. You just brought that to my memory. I do recall. And I was in Turkey probably last month or whatever when the panhandlers played in kitty quay. And it was that same feeling we're walking down there the streets two or three in the morning and it was just so pure still quiet. It's just such a you just don't get that that often, you know.
Thomas Mooney 38:31
Special. Yeah. The so like just Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. One time I was reading this article and I think it was Texas music magazine. And it was about Marfan how music was coming to Marfa a bunch during that time. And I guess this is probably about like 2005 and he was talking about how he had gone like on a job jog around, in Morfa round like the downtown area or around the courthouse or something like that. And he stopped and he was like, Man for the first time. Like in probably 30 years I heard my heart beating like outside, you know, wow. You know, it was one of those things where you really think about that like you can get a quiet space inside but like you know being outside and being so quiet where you can actually like hear your own the inside your internal heart beating outside and actually feeling it and how like I guess he talked about like, just how obviously that's refreshing but you feel more grounded to the earth that way and and whatnot.
Cleto Cordero 39:47
Yeah 100% I think a lot of people get lost in that clamor inside their brain you know that they don't you kind of lose sight of those, those those experiences like that, but whenever they do happen to you, man like said it's just it's like you're getting retuned acclimated to the, to what the bigger picture that we're a part of, you know, it's just man a similar kind of situation happened to me one time at at Brewster studio where it was very quiet but the session ran a little late. We never recorded too late out there. This is a panhandler session, I think and it was like a full moon. It was so bright that it was like casting shadows on the ground from the oak tree that's right up front of the, the studio and I just, I just had this like, you know, those little epiphanies I was like, man, I was like, I've, I've never witnessed growing up like, I've never seen this. I've never, I mean, don't get me wrong, like, there's no trees that exist in West Texas, but there's not big ass oak trees, like not, not where I lived. And that was like, I just made me realize that like, the like, the sentiment of West Texas was like, people, they always talk about the people and the nature of them the gentleness and kindness and all these things. And I had this like, revelation that was like, I've never experienced moonlight, you know, shadow from, you know, Moonlight from a tree. And I was like, there's never been any, there's nothing to hide from that there. You know, there's nothing to hide behind. It was like, I was just thinking, like, there's no trees. And so everyone's kind of open and barren, you know, kind of in a way, or I may be making a stretch, but it was just like this idea that I had, like, just like, I wonder if that's what people are the way they are in West Texas. There's nothing to hide behind. You just yourself, I guess.
Thomas Mooney 41:34
Yeah. The Yeah. I mean, you got to turn your back to the wind, right. Vernie kind of shelter sometimes. You know, that whole thing? Yeah. Oh, yeah. I think there's something similar to what I was thinking about. When I went to summer camp in Fort Davis, and I was a summer camp counselor in Fort Davis for a few years, right out of high school. And you know, this is like a horseback riding kind of summer camp. And we got on these trails and stuff. And, you know, you're you're off and pasture and whatnot. But, you know, sometimes you get out into the openness, and it's super hot out there during the day. And I always think about how, you know, how, in some sense, like how miserable it was, but then I would think like, man, and think about like, if it was just 100 years ago, and you're working like on an actual ranch out here. You know, how much better off we have it right now kind of thing but I was thought about it being like Jason shade how like, you would try and ride to like, where the clouds were to block the sun out. And yeah, like, you'd sometimes want. Hopefully, like your horse was moving at the same pace as the clouds were so you wouldn't be just being beaten down by the sun, that whole thing.
Cleto Cordero 42:58
I love that. That's hilarious. Yeah. That makes sense to you. And then, you know, all the all the space to you. I mean, you could see coming from miles away forever. A lot of time to deal with any intruders or anything like that.
Thomas Mooney 43:13
Yeah. Well, have you ever seen the movie? The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It's with a bracket. I don't know. I've never I've never watched it. Okay, so like, it's a long movie. But the cinematography on that is just incredible because they do like these long like wide open space shots. But they do them for like a long time. And then they speed them up. So you feel like those clouds moving and like you just see all the you know, the blades of grass being blown in the wind and in the foreground. But then out in the background, you see these big massive clouds, you know, moving over the landscape and watching the sunset and gradually moved down and it's such a beautiful big film I get it makes you feel so small. Seeing all these giant landscapes, they go planes open range and mountains in the far off distance, that kind of thing.
Cleto Cordero 44:18
Yeah, I love that map to check that out. I think that's sounds awesome.
Thomas Mooney 44:21
Yeah. And the soundtracks are really really great too, was Trent and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Atticus Ross. Did I think that's why one of the first ones were no no, I'm totally off on that was not them. It was Nick Cave. That's who it was. Anyways,
Cleto Cordero 44:39
yeah, check it out.
Thomas Mooney 44:40
Yeah. You mentioned panhandlers. Obviously, you guys released an EP just the other day. West. Texas is the best Texas. I remember when Charlie was riding with y'all. And he said something to the effect of while Josh was wanting him was wanting to write a song called West Texas. is the best Texas and I, you know, kind of, you know, I have to admit like I kind of rolled my eyes and thought. I don't know about that. But then, you know, I heard the the very first little demo that Charlie sent over and was like, well, actually, that's not too bad. That's sounds kind of fun. And then like you guys made it more fun, even since that first little rough iPhone cut. What was your first thoughts about, you know, going back in the studio and, and doing some more panhandler songs, but specifically, you know, I felt like you guys maybe leaned a little bit further in on the West Texas isms. This time
Cleto Cordero 45:41
around. Yeah, no, man, I was excited to to create another record, like see how we could follow up that one that we made, which I know is very, on the, you know, melancholy, sad little, like, kind of somber at times slower. So I think there was kind of a subconscious desire to, you know, add a little more spark and life into it. And I think we successfully did that. But yeah, there's, you know, lots of West Texas stuff, which, you know, I'm from there. So I love all of it. I'm proud to be a part of the project. And, you know, I don't, there's always like this, like, feeling or fear or something of like, you know, like, oh, like, you know, as we've been a band that's traveled across the whole country, you know, what I mean? Like, we've literally been across the pond and all this stuff, like, you know, the whole, like, Texas country ban all that kind of stuff. Like, which I don't I don't do we're country band from Texas. Yeah, I mean, I'm always gonna be that, but like, Yeah, as far as, like, the scope of what we write about, like, you know, flatland is like, just lifestyle. It's just life. You know, it's not really necessarily Academy, this country project about a particular region or whatever, but that plan handlers is, you know, that's what it is, you know, so it's like, there was just the freedom to, you know, I don't know how many songs we can write about West Texas, but while we're doing it, you know, like, Hey, man, let's write the best ones we can. And so, I don't know if we'll ever, you know, imagined, you know, in the future diminishing returns might be a thing, but hey, man, this is it feels new and fun and fresh, and like, breathing life and the places that never are spoken of like Valentine, and you know, Marfa and all this stuff. I just, I'm really proud of the different pictures we painted. And you know, how they're all totally different. And yeah, I'm just like I said, it's, it's a bonafide West Texas country project. And I just, I think it's a like I said, I love the second record. Have you got to hear the full thing yet?
Thomas Mooney 47:44
No, no, I've not yet. So, one,
Cleto Cordero 47:47
I know a guy with the link. Okay. Yeah. I'll see what I can do.
Thomas Mooney 47:54
Yeah, well, I love the obviously, I'm from West Texas, too. And there's just I'll never not be like happy about something from West Texas. And, yeah, I do love the sometimes again, maybe it goes back to that whole concept thing that we're talking about with an EP or whatever. before. You know, sometimes when you do set those parameters, it opens up things more so than you ever imagined before. And, you know, I think like the the well was pretty deep as far as stuff for West Texas goes. I mean, every once in a while I'll text one of my buddies. You know, an idea about is this a panhandler song or is this like, and I'll just have someone else who's from West Texas. It was, for example, Craig Ehlo, you know, the basketball player who famously got shot on by Michael Jordan, the three second at the free throw line shot to knock them out of the playoffs that one year back in like 87, or something like that. Anyway, he's from Lubbock originally. And I said, Craig Ehlo is that like a panhandler song? Or is that one of our old buddies here from from Lubbock, Texas. Is that a will? Felty or Daniel Markham song? You know? Because I could see either y'all writing that song or them. Hopefully nobody writes a song though. But you know, just jokingly like, throwing out songs, like, like that out.
Cleto Cordero 49:25
No, yeah, I mean, like, then how it all evolves? You know, there's everything's kind of connected in a way and we're all connected to Kevin Bacon. You know, we can write a Kevin Bacon song. X is anything is possible. Yeah. No, man, I remember. Like, there's you know, Midland jamboree. I was like, I was excited that that song was written and then I was equally poor. It's like, dang, man. I wish I wish I would wrote that song. You know what I mean, which is, I'm not even upset and like, a sliver of the, of the word of the meaning but it was just like Again, like it's freaking great Psalm, you know, and I'm from Midland, it's shit. I've written a song about Midland, I guess tall city blues, but not hitting on the nose. You know what I mean? But like I said, it's a song about West Texas. And that's where I'm from. So I'm, I'm, I'm excited about it. I'm happy about it. And I hope you know, I hope we're able to play and stuff and outside of our normal flatland, and Josh Abbott and William Kadri. And John Baum, and like outside of that universe, like we can all still play shows together like is really see this thing come to fruition, you know, and we all from the very beginning told ourselves, we were going to, you know, our projects, where would it come first, you know, and so we've honored that too, but I'm excited that we, even for the couple shows we have booked like, you know, Billy Bob's and extra county theater. So I just hope you get to really play at West Texas one of these days and urge to keep keep it going. And I just think that musics especially the vs studio, it's got that kind of timeless factor to it, where it's just people can enjoy it for lots of years to come. You know, we can play shows around West Texas or wherever. So
Thomas Mooney 51:13
yeah, well, what are you saying?
Cleto Cordero 51:19
I was saying I mean, I don't know. You know, how many records can Ehlers gonna make? I don't mean, yeah. Oh, but I'm just I'm glad to be a part of it right now. And you know, that we're making music and excited about it and people are excited to you know, it's it still feels like it's a hidden jam. I don't imagine that whatever. Well, I don't want to say that I want to sell myself short. But like, I imagine people are still figuring it out, I guess. Yeah. Like Lady Gaga. Yeah.
Thomas Mooney 51:49
I mean, Lady Gaga even showed off different sides of her herself as the years went by the Tony Bennett record, the A Star is Born stuff. I mean, come on. Even even then we discovered new parts of, of the Lady Gaga image icon. What I was going to ask, though, was obviously like, the four of y'all have ties the West Texas, either from here spend massive amounts of time here. So there are parts of West Texas that you appreciate that you love, all that kind of stuff. But when you're from a place, it's very, very easy to also just miss some of the the magical things that that are happening right before you because you just kind of taken for granted. With this project, you know, guys like Charlie or, or Eric Dylan, have been part of the writing process throughout. They they come from like, you know, different parts of the country. Do you think like maybe there's an aspect of them pulling out really cool things that maybe y'all forgot about? Or took for granted? Because, you know, they're coming from a different perspective.
Cleto Cordero 53:08
Oh, yeah, I think anytime you get anybody outside of the core DNA of what it is, like, you're definitely gonna have, like the, for the for the good. Yeah, I think there's great of like, trawler stats of West Virginia. My understanding, you know, he's got a lot of that bluegrass, and I'm in stuff and those kinds of elements and Eric from Kansas, you know, Kansas, kind of mirrors what Lubbock looks like or you know, some of those Panhandle you know, rural towns, you know, just kind of got similar features but yeah, I think you're just getting to work with whether it be them or other other good songwriters you just whatever, like as long as you bring the best songs to the table, that's that's always my highest priority.
Thomas Mooney 54:03
Yeah, no, absolutely. I guess it was last week. Baumann came in I was playing at blue light, and they did the Chilton song I think like he's done some other things. He's taken a couple of the panhandlers songs and throw them in the set. Have you done that lately? Or have y'all done that? flatline? Have y'all thrown a just like you know, a solo show kind of thing where anything?
Cleto Cordero 54:31
No I haven't done that yet. People have requested Panhandle slimmer or show it requests was Texas Am I but we just hadn't. It's definitely would be a moment. And I definitely imagine it will happen. I just hadn't intentionally done it yet. Or like we played Midland Odessa i think we could throw in West Texas, the West Texas or something that you know what I mean? Like we have that for Arsenal to it's another palette of color that we can paint with, you know, yeah, but well I just got a lot of flatlines on display to you.
Thomas Mooney 55:02
Well, that's that's what I was asking him to say was what's uh, you know, what are those songs that are kind of deep on the, the the catalog that you haven't played in a long time that people were kind of going. I've never seen such and such at a flatland show where you play it. And are you also able to play like something that's, you know, like a deep cut?
Cleto Cordero 55:25
Yeah, I think so. I think it's just where we put it in the song where we put it in the setlist. Like we just tried to go from moment to moment. And the other day we played because it's October and around it usually in October is when we play live in by moonlight, you know, and so we played that played it very well. And our guys were like, you know, they're like, oh, man, no one cared, or no, you know, they were literally just staring at us, which I think you can become accustomed to habitually, you know, getting used to the habit of people smiling and clapping and going crazy. But that's not always, you know, sometimes people go to the concert, just listen to a song and have an expression of space, you know, but I'm proud that we're, that we're playing the song, you know, we're playing songs that you know, that we're gonna play this one for us tonight, you know, be like this, you know, here's, we do that one pretty women. We've played. I'm trying to dust off more of the, you know, to keep it fresh and everything like that, like said that I just think there's a place in the set where we can have like a you call it and just, yeah, like those, those deep cuts, because that, you know, I do believe that. I mean, the Spotify metrics will tell the truth, like they'll show which people are listening to the most popular songs, but then there's, like, years from now or songs like that, that. You just want to play. Like in the right moment. I think we have a lot of stuff that we can pull from different markets, different places, like we played in a war where we played in some kind of Honky Tonk. Oh, that was in Stillwater, or like at a tumbleweed dance hall. So we played a no view yet. We're, we had been playing goodbye, kiss, and it was just like, you know, going, being intentional. So
Thomas Mooney 57:10
yeah, I guess it's one of those things where, you know, I guess there's two camps and maybe three camps on on how to set lisco You can just play the same show every show and have like, you know, two songs that can be, you know, an acoustic break somewhere in there. Or you can just be all different things no matter what. But I got I kind of imagine that if you guys are doing like a different setlist every night, it still has, like you have, like, you know, trios of songs that just naturally have to, or should go together here. And, you know, two songs that should go together here or whatever, just to make it easier. Like as far as like, you know, swapping guitars and stuff like that, or, you know, keeping the same mood. But what, uh, what's kind of like you always were what's what is now like your, your, the way you guys kind of build a setlist?
Cleto Cordero 58:09
So we have been, you know, guilty of playing the same shit over and over. And that that drives me insane. You know, I don't like, I like changing it up. You know, I think we're trying to, but logistically, there's more to the equation now than there ever was, we have a lot, that you gotta be programmed, you got, you know, what I'm saying? There's just other stuff, like some of the requests that the band, you know, like, I have a song bank of, like, in like, stuff like that, that we've run into real real real time stuff. Like, I'll call it old song. And, you know, it's, fuck, man, I haven't dusted that sucker off, you know, and so, that kind of shows through and, you know, even for me as well, but like, just being, you know, setting ourselves up for success, like, you know, things that we're going to do in the future, like, have like a song Bank of 30 songs that asked the guys hey, at any point in time, we should know, all of you know, at least know these songs, like, you played on the records, like, let's, let's, let's let's be proficient, right, and so, having a bank of songs that we can pull from at any time, and then you know, return I think gonna get to the point where like, because there is value in the way that I'm trying to follow the leader. How does the you go watch, you know, guys like glue combs, all these people putting on shows, you know, they, they spend a lot of time in the rehearsal hall and they build the show, and they add lights to it, and they go in and take that show on tour. Granted, they play a lot less dates than we do, right. But it's like, they've worked out all the moments, all this stuff. And they take that show on tour, and then when that tour is over, they go back to the rehearsal space, right? And they re refigure it all up. I think that you need. I'm finding that you do need that time to do Need to build the best show possible that people come out and go holy moly, you know, it's not just, they're going out there and just playing songs, right, like, people moments. And I think that that's kind of what we've been Ultra intentional about is like, we'll know, during the show when we're playing. And like, I'll just think we're doing the same thing, right? Like, we got to do something different right here in the show, and I'll try to remember, like, we need to do something different, and somebody else needs to start the song something, you know, acoustic moment cover. So, I think just, and, you know, being intentional, like, like, we're on our, I guess the EP is, you know, our fifth project, I guess, or, I don't know, three full length albums. Yeah, it's our fifth project. But how do we fit all these songs, you know, 90 minutes, and I think it's just like, yeah, let play what people want to hear, but also, like, challenge ourselves artistically, to play what is current, you know, like, we just put out parallel. And so like, I've been starting the show off with parallel, it's like, if you don't know the song, you know, we're never gonna learn that if we if we keep playing the same old stuff, you know, so I want to challenge ourselves creatively to continue to play like, what we're promoting and like, our current stuff, you know, but I don't know, man. Yeah. Just to give giving people moments, you know, I think and you learn, you learn through trial and error and through experience, and I'm proud of the show that we have now today. Like, I feel like before, like said, we just reclaim sets, you know, we go out there and playing a gig like we're just playing songs and you tell stories. And when you start off, that's what's what you do, you know, you just some people, you know, watching like, I watched his bill. Dude, he didn't say much at all. He just, you know, the slides go black after each song, but they're shredding in the musicianship speaks volumes, right? I just think there's, it's whatever of each artist is different to you know, and I think we have like a entertainment factor to us as well, like, you know, play to the people in the very back row to you know, and that's within us. And so I don't know, we've had to learn all this as we played the bigger and bigger crowds, you know, like, oh, day, man, I thought we were just like a little club band, you know, and then you're playing in front of big feet, big audience, and you got to rise to the occasion and realize that requires more, you know, to get their attention and stuff. And so I don't know I love all the songs I told the guys to as I came in for any of you guys want to come up with a setlist? You know, I will play whatever I like, I'm biased. I like the song. So yeah. On the play, whatever, you know, meaning, I don't know, I just I think there's infinite permutations to put on a successful show, you know, so just try not to once it once it gets too stilted, then, you know, it's kind of time to get off the road. And, you know, give yourself a break, and you go sharp and you're short and you think, again, think about it again, and do it a different way. Yeah.
Thomas Mooney 1:02:56
Oh, absolutely. I guess like the last time I saw y'all play was last year. And it was those two Midland shows that you guys did, and Midland and Amarillo. And then you guys did Jazz Fest, like a month later, which was obviously a longer set than then opening for Midland. But what I'm building up to is, I don't think we've talked about it on the podcast, but we've talked about it before. And I just, it's all connected to this. What we've been talking about was previously, those Midlands, the reason I'm bringing up those mid intros, I don't remember you guys really doing it then. But you guys used to do all those little interludes and like, little build ups, that felt like remixes of the song that you're about to go into, or the song you just came out of, that I thought was like maybe like, you know, I really didn't see anyone else really doing that kind of stuff. And basically, what I was gonna ask you is like, Do you guys still kind of incorporate a little bit of that in there? Or has that been something that, you know, you've phased out as well?
Cleto Cordero 1:04:06
Now, I mean, you just reminded me of that idea. And that's something that I want to bring back, you know, just just totally, totally put that to the wayside. I think I used to do it for summertime love, I would do an intro like a whole different, you know, versus Elden tell him the story. I think a lot of that comes from listening to John Mayer growing up. I think he did a lot of that stuff, just creating a song right there on the fly. Or, you know, writing the whole nother prequel to it or something and just given people a musical jam experience to write and then and then bam, hit them with the song that they love, you know, so I definitely need to bring that back when he reminded me to do that.
Thomas Mooney 1:04:46
Yeah, so just the brainstorming guy over here, you know,
Cleto Cordero 1:04:50
yeah, dude, that's good. I literally asked myself all the time. What can we do? What can we be doing differently? Like, what what are we doing that? What's working and What can we improve and that's definitely something to add back into the show. There was one time I think maybe when I stopped doing it is because this guy was being an asshole to me. And we played a little abysmal place and some someplace I won't even name it but, and the guy was just like, great pick you or John Mayer. He was just been a dick and I was like, Oh, man. Yeah, I guess you're right. And then I just stopped playing that intro. Every game.
Thomas Mooney 1:05:24
I'm gonna find that guy. Yeah, the not to I'm gonna go back to an old story here to to pat myself a little bit on the back with this is kind of reminded me of when you guys were very first start now. Humble folks had already come out believe. Or, or maybe it was about to come out. And I told you guys, man, what you need to do is like, start the set off with. I think it was dev off my back. And I said, like, just get Jason up there. And just or like, maybe it was coyote or something. Just have Jason, start that beat. And then like, you just add instruments as you guys go. And you're like, well, that's kind of a cool idea. And I just thought like, Oh, we're just too drunk guys at the blue light right now. Never gonna happen. And then you guys did it the next show. And I was like, see? Good idea guy right here.
Cleto Cordero 1:06:13
Yeah. The guy? Yeah, we did that at the street party there at blue light where we built coyote from ground up. And yeah, I mean, we have that in us, man. It's like that garage element. You know what I mean? That I think, you know, I'm trying to bring back like, some of that stuff, you know, don't build a song, like showcase the band, you know, showcase the elements of the band, and put it all together. You know, like you're making that cake better as a, oh, Adam Gago says, you know, you gotta add all the elements together. We're baking the cake boy.
Thomas Mooney 1:06:49
Obviously, like, you know, you mentioned already five, this is the fifth project. You guys have been around for a minute. I don't have like, how many years? I guess what, like, you guys started, like, 2014 ish. It's almost like we're almost coming on, like, two days or a decade now. Obviously, you're, you're the chief lyricist. But like, has anyone else kind of taken a and presented new songs like, written from them from by themselves? Or, or suggested like, like, I guess what I'm asking is, you know, as you know, Jason or, or read or anybody been like, Hey, I've got an idea for a song. Let me let me lead sing on whatever it has any of that kind of stuff been brought up? Or have you guys gone down any of those avenues? Yeah, Jason and
Cleto Cordero 1:07:39
Reid had been the only ones that I'm aware of. They're writing songs. Reed wants to release his own project. I believe, like his if there's songs fit flatlands kind of at those and down to pitch him or whatever, but if his voice has ever, you know, shot that on the fly on record, I don't have any issues with that at all. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah, just naturally, you know, how we started out was just, that's right, and songs in my bedroom and took them to the band, you know, and so that's kind of where the spring is from, right. But then I encourage everybody in the band to write songs and the best songs, you know, let the producer decide. He's gonna you know, what we record and Jason's spoken about, you know, having a grand desire to sing on a song kind of like, I think he was inspired by listen to the music, but the Doobie Brothers, there's a concert of them playing. I don't know if it's their last concert, but they're playing like in California. And if you don't, if you're not even familiar with the Doobie Brothers, most people don't even know what they look like, right? Like, it's like a diverse group. And it's like, all of a sudden, the drummer gets up and sings their biggest song and it was like, Holy shit, man, that was epic, you know, and I don't know if that was the catalyst or whatever. He just, I think he, you know, has desires to record a song or you know, whether it's on flatlands record or, you know, whatever. Yeah, but that'd be cool man up, I would love to see everybody you know, spread their wings and you know, and know what it feels like to create something and to you know, that to emote it and sing it like I think that's that's something that every human being should be able to pursue, you know,
Thomas Mooney 1:09:25
yeah, well, the reason I ask is obviously like that's kind of like you've seen we've seen plenty of bands do that where you know, more seasons as as a band gets more season they more songwriters, you know, evolve and come out of the out of the band and specifically for y'all I mean like something very easily that we talked about obviously, you guys become better musicians, songwriters, and all that stuff, but you guys have been able to add actually, like really saw Khalid harmonies over the years to that's not necessarily something that you guys were incredibly great at at the very, very beginning. But you guys have all kind of found your vows the way y'all can sing together.
Cleto Cordero 1:10:13
Yeah, man, I'm excited. I'm proud of those guys, they gave a they have a desire to striving to want to be better as well. And to, you know, make what we do be the best it can be. And so like everyone's been, you know, working on that stuff. And John and Reid and I hear that from a lot of people that man, this harmony sound great. And what's crazy is I never hear it, because I'm fucking seeing and listening. So that's encouraging to hear man I'm in. Yeah, I'm just like said, Maybe we continue to grow and evolve and, you know, move onward and upward. And I used to have, like, some grand desires, like, oh, we gotta be like, oh, we'll make it right. When we get on a tour bus. Oh, we'll make it when we get in years. Oh, you know, and it's like, Dude, we've already made it, man. I mean, we get to make a living, playing music and writing songs and recording them. And I was made aware. A guy named Dr. Baker, he produced the Josh's front row seat album and session with him on Josh Abbott and friends don't make you want to. I was hanging out to him the other day, and he was telling me that we're of less than 1% of the Kenyan population can earn a living, writing and creating music. And if that doesn't get you excited about anything, then you need to check your poll, sorry, go do something else with your life, you know, and I'm like, Hey, man, thank you for reminding me that, you know, so I'm just hoping to make another great album, you know, write another great song, give it to people, let them listen to it and do with it what they wish, you know, like, like, a poor working lot harder jobs, doing stuff that they don't necessarily want to do. And I've been a part of that. And so I just want to do my part by creating and, and living to the fullest, you know, maximizing my potential and bringing the guys whoever's willing to come along for the ride, you know, let's go to the, the grass with the greenest grass that's got our name on it, you know, and just, yeah, you know, that at least that's what I've always always felt about it, you know? And so, I'm back said, I'm grateful to be reminded of that statistic.
Thomas Mooney 1:12:27
Yeah, no, absolutely. I only interviewed Billy Joe shaver one time, and it was pretty early on for me. But one of the things that I remember him saying, and you kind of have to remind yourself every once in a while is is, is this is the, he was saying how, at one point, like he was like, the most humble songwriter I've ever met, or interviewed. And then he was also like, you know, very, very, uh, sure of himself and very, you know, bold about him being a good songwriter. And of course, you know, Billy Joe shaver, great songwriter, but he kind of walked both those lines at the same time. And it was this, like, he would say, Man, I don't know, like, you know, I just write songs, yatta yatta. I don't know how they come to me. What, whatever kind of thing in real humble about where a lot of these songs came from, but also very aware and assured of his talent. And one of the things he was talking about, and, like, I'm not really a religious person, but one of the things that he was saying was how, you know, God put me on earth to write songs. And his whole kind of thing was if I'm not writing songs, then I'm not doing God's will, essentially. And yeah, I think like, anybody can appreciate something about that. About, if you have the, maybe not necessarily the full on talent, but the desire, if you're looking to do a certain thing, you know, you gotta go 100% Basically, because, like, it's very easy to kind of forget how easy how good it is, you know, everything's good. Is it hard? But, you know, there's a lot of things that are a whole lot harder.
Cleto Cordero 1:14:19
Totally now, man. Yeah, I think that's very, that's really cool story to hear. And, you know, I could, in a sense, kind of, you know, just try I try my best to try to learn you know, as much as I can and I'm not naturally the most amazing singer or the best songwriter or anything like that, but I just I think our parents raised us to to not quit you know, and to try your best and give it your all if you're going to do something you know, and that I know for certain, I don't know if God put me on the search to write songs, but I know for sure I'm not supposed to be a baseball player or NFL player or Are they and so it's like there is there's maybe an element of truth to what he was saying. But like, where it's like, you know, when you know what, what you feel like you're supposed to do you just get to wake up and do it every day and try your best and, you know, like, it doesn't have to be some extravagant thing. You know, there's a lot of amazing human beings wake up and they build houses every day. They, you know, they paint beautifully, and they do all this stuff, man that, you know, work on diesel engines and stuff and like, have that kind of, you know, that skill and all that stuff. Like, there's lots of artists walking around, you know, that you would never imagine, you know what I mean? But yeah, I mean, that's a that's a cool story, though. Hear about, oh, Billy Joe shaver manna. I'm grateful that we had a chance to open up for him in 2016. That was, that was special. And I had heard the name. I was talking about Billy Joe shaver. It's somebody else today, ironically. And, you know, it was like, I didn't know his songs were by the and all that stuff, because I was a youngster in green. But after watching him perform one time, I was a mega fan, and I wouldn't listen to like his stuff, because he just, he just said it, man. He was there talking to people and telling stories, making them laugh, you know, playing the songs, and he wrote them, and he led them and just, yeah, man, I don't know, whatever that little X Factor is, you know, I think you said it was God's will run him through him or he believed in that was good enough for him, you know?
Thomas Mooney 1:16:28
Yeah. Well, I mean, it's the Joseph Campbell, follow your bliss. I mean, whatever your bliss is, you know, as long as it's not hurting anyone else kind of thing. But yeah, you can find whatever you're passionate about, like, that's the, the key of it all. Because, you know, I think, like, there's plenty of people who if they were writing songs, they could be miserable writing songs, because they didn't like it, even though it may be a glamour or more glamorized aspect of our, our culture or society. They'd be, they'd rather be, you know, working with their hands, and doing stuff that someone else is not fully on wanting to do. But you know, whatever. I feel like I'm rambling on here, but I think we're on the same page.
Cleto Cordero 1:17:14
Yeah, no, totally. I think you're I don't think you're rambling. But yeah, I think that there's I concur.
Thomas Mooney 1:17:22
Yeah. Yeah, I think this is probably as good of a spot to end as any. It's been good talking with you today. And you know, we'll have to do this again.
Cleto Cordero 1:17:35
Likewise, yeah, next time I'm passing through love it go. I'll give you a holler and it's good to catch up with you Mooney every time and I mean, it's worth its while to consider almost 20 years you know, that least we've been you know, around the same
Unknown Speaker 1:17:52
watering hole and stuff you know, and it's it's cool to still get to know you man and grateful for
Thomas Mooney 1:17:58
for the funny stories and stuff like that. Absolutely. All right. Thanks for listening all the way to the end of this episode. Be sure to check out flatlands latest EP songs to keep you warm. They throw in some really cool merch out to celebrate the project as well. So yeah, go find that. Check out the latest panhandlers up West Texas is the best Texas while you're at it. Go order a copy of the Lubbock way if you haven't bought one just yet. And yeah, I'll see you soon for another episode of NewsLink
Transcribed by https://otter.ai