Few artists today make music as smooth as Cautious Clay. For this week's episode of The What Podcast, Barry and Brad spend some time with him discussing his influences, his journey to becoming an artist, and how he makes his music. They also talk about how he has developed as a lyricist.
Guest: Cautious Clay
I don't know if you're like me and I pray to God that you're not. When you find a new artist, you go all in, over and over and over. A couple years ago I stumbled upon Cautious Clay. After a couple of UPs, he now has a full album, multiple festival stops, and a chat with Barry Courter and Brad Steiner. It's the What Podcast. It starts right now. The Will Us Be Gone music. We said it's time to gather round And tell everyone We're maybe ever gonna be enough We're maybe ever gonna be enough The What Podcast. Which bands this year that matter? There's Lord Taco back with us. Barry Courter, thanks for dressing up. I'm Brad Steiner. Welcome to a new venue for me. Barry Courter, your digs look pretty good. Oh, you've got the Bonneroo shirt on. Look at you. Got my Bonneroo shirt on, man. I'm getting ready. Barry, I've got shocking, startling news. Brace yourself. News! New news that will shock you! Lord Taco's wearing a PBR hat. You know, the man is committed and I respect that to the end. He's consistent and he's committed. The man, he is the most consistent friend of mine. I mean, I can always count on Russ being the same guy no matter what, doesn't matter what day of the week it is, no matter what's going on. I count on Russ being the same guy no matter what light throws at him. You think he's gonna try maybe a, you know, a wine cooler? No, he isn't trying a wine cooler. Why would he ever do that? Some new seltzer or something like that, you know, one of these craft beer places comes out with a new seasonal. Russ, have you ever had a seasonal? What was that? Sorry. Just trying to figure out how to get another PAP. I figured you'd just like to go to the bathroom again. I thought you might have just had one too many PBRs and took a little blasted tinky break. No, I gotta work first. Does work involve PAPs? It does not. I wish it did. Come on. We all know. No, that's what we were just bragging on you, how consistent you are and how much you can PAPs. Well, I've got the hat on. I know. So my question was, have you ever tried a seasonal craft anything from any of these people who are working so hard to come up with all these new things? Have you ever tried that? Yeah, there's an award-winning lager that's pretty good from a little brewery called PAPST. It's tried some different variations though, by the way, and you haven't liked any of them. They've had the extra, which is like what, 8% or whatever. Then they've got the light. They did the coffee. You hated the coffee. Don't really like coffee. Yeah. The seltzers aren't too bad. What's amazing, Barry, is I think that we realize how most people listen to this show just like Lord Taco. Not at all. Not paying any attention whatsoever. What's that? What's that? Oh, you're talking to me. Got it. Barry, you know... I think I heard a word I recognize. I don't care. I don't care what happens today. My spirit will not be broken because one of my favorite people that have come out in the last few years is joining us shockingly on the show today. I don't know how we got him, but I know even if you are not a fan, if you don't know who he is, that's fine by me because when I heard Cold War for the first time, I said to myself, I'm going to be on this kid forever. Cautious Clay, our interview today for the show. I think the kid's going to be a massive star, right? And I think that we're going to be looking back here in a couple of years and say, I can't believe he came on our podcast. I can't believe he showed up to do a dumb interview with these dopes. Yeah, there's been a bunch of those, actually, but I would put him in there. Yeah. I think Devin fits in there. Devin Gaffillion? Yeah. I mean, one day when he really blows up, it's going to happen, but I feel as though this is Cautious Clay's moment. Again, Cautious Clay is not his real name. His name is Josh, but he's our guest today on the What Podcast. I don't really know. This is my problem, Barry, and I think that I can probably have this problem. I'm probably going to have this problem when we talk to somebody else that I like a lot in that I don't really know what I'm going to say to this person. Hey, I love the album. Other than that, what am I supposed to do? It's the Chris Farley. I've told you. That's my fear. That's my fear is the Chris Farley. We're in the Beatles. You're in the Beatles. How was that? Cool. What was that like? The new album from Cautious Clay is out. It's called Deadpan Love. First album of his. He's had a few EPs before this, but the big song a couple years ago was Cold War that really put him on the map. And now he's finding himself on festival lineup after festival lineup. One festival in particular, a little thing called Lollapalooza. Probably a big look for him. Made one of the biggest shows he has ever played. Talk to him about that. But have you been able to listen to the album yet, Barry? Oh, I think I actually have a surprise for you when we get him on. So yeah. Oh, yeah, I've listened. I've listened. He's a well, it's not that kind of but yeah, I think he's terrific. I love I know you're about to go with this. No, you don't either. You and the lady did some dirty. If we haven't, we will. OK. And we won't be the only one. Now, I love what I love about it is it has such a there's a lot of them that we that a lot of music out that has an old school feel to it, but doesn't have quite as much a new school feel to it as his does. If that makes sense. Yeah, I think something completely different about it. I hear you. I mean, I think that yes, and I don't disagree. I would almost say that for the people that do a sound sort of like what you're describing these this this throwback sort of sound that feels familiar that feels comfortable immediately. Oftentimes those artists don't have a second act, right? They don't have a second pitch in their in their repertoire. They are that sound and they're just gonna just be that sound forever. You can hear in his stuff how this starts to progress, you know, I almost I hate using this this description, but it feels and I know this is like Ixnay on the Kanye, but it feels Kanye ish like you heard the first albums of Kanye is like I know where this is going and this could be that big. That's the sort of thing it feels like to me. Now, I don't you know saying that he's going to be the next Kanye is probably a stretch, but it feels that way where you can start to hear the seeds being planted is where it's going to go in the next couple of years. No, you're you're exactly right. And it's so not fair to and I don't mean to disrespect some of those guys who have that old-school feel. It's just you know, it's one of those classics have have all the great rock songs or pop songs been written type of arguments and we can go around and round and round. I don't think they have but there are a lot of artists and you and I have talked about them and talked to some of them that have that old-school feel and sound and like you just said, you kind of no disrespect, but yeah, what's next? Yeah, what's the second pitch? What's the second pitch? You got a fastball, but do you have a curveball that can change? You got to have the third pitch. Yeah, the second one. Yeah, you better have a third if you're going to if you're going to yeah, that's a I think you mentioned that the other day in a conversation and that's a great analogy. Why do guys can you know hit 95 and above but if you don't have a change or a curveball or something all speed you, you know, you're one and done. So well, oftentimes what happens is if you don't have the fast if you just have the fastball the next pitch is taking my shirt off and that's where I get so irritated with with some bands when all the sudden they're shirtless on stage. There's a reason because they don't have anything else to keep your attention with. Yeah, I know that sounds so shitty of me, but I hate a band that takes their shirt off. It's the reason why I hated Maroon 5 so much all of a sudden this guy's naked. Why is he naked? I didn't see this pitch in the road. Did you taco? I had I missed the I missed the detour sign didn't see where this is going. I didn't see that we were going this way. But yeah, no, you're right. I'm with you. If a band takes a shirt off, they got a problem. If we start doing this podcast with no shirts on we've completely ran out of material. All right, let's let's do this cautious clay on the what podcast which bands this year that matter. Josh, I'm just happy you're here. It looks like we got you mid-session. Are you recording something right now? I was doing a little bit of recording. Yeah, there's a this is artist I've been working with who French producer who we've been sharing stuff back and forth and it's this pretty big guy who hasn't done some stuff in a while. So we're trading some yeah, I like I like that. I like that really coy big guy. I don't know what to say because like he hasn't released music in a long time. He's like he has definitely a pretty large profile. Yeah, on yay Kest got it. You know the the the thing about you and we'll get to the pleasantries here in a second. I just want to make the no known the thing about you is you literally write your stuff at your house and you're literally at your house. Yeah, well, I'm at friends. I'm actually at my my girlfriend's parents house right now. We're just okay. And you travel with gear. Yeah. Yeah, I have like a whole setup right here. I would show you but it's my laptop. No, I don't it's nice of you. I went I went I made Courtney Barnes Courtney walk around his house and introduced me to his parents. That was an absolute disaster. Mom was naked. Dad was drunk. All hell was breaking loose in the house, but it is I'm not going to ask you to do that. And it stuff of anyone. Yeah, well good for you for bringing it back up Brad. You know, it was a gentle nudge even just in case he wanted to I was given the opportunity just in case you wanted to yeah, there I'm sure that family's trying to forget it. Yeah, sure. You bring it up. That's good. Okay. Let me I'm going to make this will start will start to go around the horn. That's Lord taco Barry Courter. I'm Brad Josh. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I love you with all of my heart. I think that this new album is brilliant. Your EPs are brilliant. I rarely dork out about artists, but you were after Cold War hit man, you just got a whole bunch of people out of nowhere saying I I'm all in on whatever this guy does and you haven't disappointed since so what's weird for me is that, you know, I go all in on our artists so early and so quickly and you're just you're still getting like new people by the day. Like for instance, you just got Barry Courter today with an album. It's a weird the weird moment. Yeah, I this was my intro and and I was going to do this because Brad, I don't think I've ever said this to you before but here here goes. Okay. Okay. There's a reason I've never said it to you before and you'll figure it out in a minute, but I can't wait your eyes are like weapons. Your lips could teach lessons. Yeah, don't use them so reckless because for you, I'm helpless. You mean that about me. You got to take caution. You know that I'm all in a chance of me to fall in. You know that it's often but if you don't want to stay, please stop moving this way. Come on. Yeah, come on. I've heard that those lines before it's a it's a hot hit, man. It's a hot hit. I hope the rest of the I hope the rest of radio follows me down this path because I'm all in. I'm all in on this song, dude. I'm all in on it. How does that work for you? Josh to be honest. I mean, I I was really just putting myself in this position. That was probably the hardest song for me to write and sing on the album not not because it maybe was the most personal or like had the most like connection with me, but I think it's something that like I've genuinely felt in my life being in relationships and so like that that's something that I've always liked to do with songs is sort of try to encapsulate that feeling and in a way where it's like, okay, you've heard the story before but we want to tell it in a different way. If you if you don't want to stay, please stop moving this way. That's pretty strong. Yeah, it's it's it's definitely wordplay. It's definitely a part of like my process and it was exciting. Like I definitely it was cool because I usually tend to write in a way where it's a little more poetic, but I do have songs that are a little bit more direct like this and so it was just like a nice way to the the new album notwithstanding get to that in a second, but starting from where you started being a real estate guy trying to just make some stuff at your house. The thing that was always interesting to me about your story is not the obvious which was you weren't in music. I mean nobody's in music until they are it's that you created a community of SoundCloud people where I know it feels as though that you've taken the not the beaten path to get where you are but it feels as though now this is now the beaten path. This feels like the way that people are doing this now creating the community online create controlling their entire operation and really letting people come to them instead of rushing out and signing with insert person here doing 400 dates on the road. You really did your work all by yourself. Yeah, no, it definitely I mean it certainly wasn't all by myself, you know, like there's always a team of people who support you but I felt like I certainly had a great foundation to begin with and I think it started with just the fact that like all of the elements of the music was pretty self-sufficient for me. And as you mentioned like I started on SoundCloud as a producer and so it was a very DIY kind of producer thing that was sort of blossoming right around when I started to you know, make music fully from my computer. And so that whole process has just obviously expanded tenfold since then. So it's it's cool because I just I don't know I'm sticking with it, you know, and I feel like not for any other reason other than the fact that it like you're saying it's this it you know, I can control the path that I go down, you know as an artist and man it feels like you've got all the I mean confidence is one thing but you have a lot of confidence. I mean you've got to really feel like you can to do what you did right to just whip up you've been doing it in your house and you're making music but to believe in yourself so much that you say to yourself I got this I know I know Cold War is not going to just be it. I've got more in me and so just hang tight. It'll get there eventually. Yeah. Oh man. Yeah, I I appreciate you saying that. I certainly feel like it was like, you know, the first song I released and then of course that's like the one that people gravitate towards but I think like I was certainly passionate about continuing my career as a musician and not sort of being this like, you know, one dimensional type of artist. So that's like, you know, we toured a lot and we've we've, you know, spread the word like obviously on shows and in and doing different things, you know with fans and things like that. So I think that's kind of where my head lies is that like I'm going to be in this for a long time. And like I'm going to have a lot of different types of periods of music that I make. So this is just the beginning. I guess Brad and I were talking before how much we both appreciate your music and both both feel like there's a lot. There's a big future for you. Thank you. Where do you now? He's got our seal of approval. I know right. I'm retired. Yeah, cash or credit. Where's the where's the Jack and send it? Yeah. No, it's it's that it just some artists come out and it feels great, but it feels like it's a moment thing and you like them and you hope it continues but doing the doing it ongoing is not always easy. Where do you see and I've asked this of artists usually on the tail end or the middle of a process. Do you have a path in your head or do you think you plan? Do you have goals? Do you have a path? Do you and if so, where do you see yourself on that path? Does it feel like a beginning? Do you feel like you're in a middle? Do you feel like you got a long way to go? I feel like I'm sort of in the early beginning or late beginning early middle if that's like a this sort of like specific but I feel as though like there's a lot that I still want to say, you know as an artist so like like there's a second album. I really kind of already beginning on there's a little EP that I'll probably release before, you know, my next tour in February. So like there's things that I'm like interested in exploring but I think I also realize that as an artist I kind of come at it from the perspective of reference points and like I've listened to so much different types of music that I feel like a lot of ways. I also feel myself in the next, you know, 10 to 15 years being just like a, you know, a Greg Kirsten style, you know, writer producer for other artists and sort of bringing this sort of like reference point that that, you know, I can help to to really like uplift other artists and make songs that are really like strong but also like unique and succinct because I think that appeals to me. Josh sort of sounds like you're describing Pharrell. Yeah, true. I mean, he's he's a huge inspiration for me a hundred percent. So yeah, I mean that's that's without a doubt. I know and I mean the the path is obviously there and I can't I can't I said this to Barry, you know, it's very often times you hear somebody and you say to yourself this is really good for this moment and that feels like a fastball. I wonder if that dude's got a got a curveball. I wonder if he's got a slider. What if he's got to change up? I wonder if they ever have a second pitch and all too often we find out that some of our favorite bands, you know, they're probably just going to be there. You know, it's very rarely that you know, you can you hear an Alabama Shakes and then you see that next album coming out like that just nobody saw that coming, you know with with Cold War and then the subsequent EP and another EP and then this today the album now. You see you see the the possibilities. I don't know anybody that could listen to this and not say oh this guy is going to be here for a very very long time. You can start to feel the seeds being planted to Barry has a pretty good point here. I can imagine you've already not just written the next album, but you've already felt the next tour. You already know where the next stage shows going to go. Yeah, you know, I mean, it's you know, that's somewhere somewhere. I mean somewhere along that line. Yes, there's there's certainly images and ideas and and things floating around and I think that like that spark is really the only thing I have because like if I don't have that then yeah, like the every other element of this process is is pretty daunting. You know what I mean? I can't so you wouldn't do that without having you know, some sort of like, okay. Yes, there's something I can connect to here. I just love this juxtaposition and I'm so glad Brad brought it up. I mean, we're talking to you about this and you're like like you said you're in your girlfriend's parents house. Yeah, I know creating music for somebody else. I just love the juxtaposition of it all, you know, because it's all in the it's all up here, right? I mean, it's all in your head. It's definitely. I mean, I think a lot of a lot of the things that even were on this album were experiences based on experiences that I had, you know, this year and for example, like the song I was just reflecting on this like with the song box of bones like that song started off because my my girlfriend's in medical school and she had a cadaver lab where she brought home half a human skeleton and they had to like go through all these parts of the body and then I was like, oh my gosh, like we're all just boxes of bones and like I wanted to reflect on the idea of like the human experience, you know, we're happy. We're sad sometimes we're stupid, you know, and so like the lyrics aren't all that crazy, but like it's it's sort of like if you think about yourself being inside of a head and just like hearing all these voices and they just like, you know, it just I wanted that to feel like an experience like you were just like what it's like to be human. I love that. Okay. So if you take box of bones, what was the next step after that you've come up with the with the philosophy of the song you've come up with the kernel you've and now it's time to nurture it and grow it and put some water on it. What's your next step after that? So so really it's it's just like that song was sort of I mean, I don't know it depends on how you want to talk about it, but I think like the it was sort of born out of that feeling of being human and then like it's like like the tracking of my voice. I had sort of been playing with this idea of like having a ton of my one one singular voice. That's like doubled like 28 times and then I sing the main line and it's just like almost like you can't tell if it's the main vocal or if it's a backing vocal and then there's sort of this break this kind of like break and it sounds like oh these voices are just kind of talking and then just boom you're into this other section of the song where it's like you hit you you hear like a really big bass hit and it's like a clap and it just felt it just feels like you're in a total different part of your brain, you know, like, you know, it's like almost like oh I was over here and now I'm over there. So it's in at this moment. Did you have any lyrics already written and ready to go? No, no, it was all just at once that song in particular not that doesn't always how that's not always how I write but that's all in particular was sure but this feels like this feels like a theory that you had already worked up in your mind. They're like, oh, I think this is going to work for this exact thing that I have just been thinking about exactly. What was the first line that you put on the paper when it came to this? Did you did you start with that moment or did you try to work around that moment before you got there? I just worked around the moment as it went to be honest. I I knew I had sort of and this is sort of also from the perspective of I've been sort of playing with this idea of a huge vocal sounds that are sort of like quick slapback like almost like almost like a very intimate sounding vocal but it also sounds big at the same time. So I've been playing with this sort of concept as a producer for some time. And so I wanted to just think about what it felt like to be human and feel like upset or like feel like oh my gosh, like I don't want to talk to anyone but then also thinking about the idea of like, okay, I'm a quirky guy. Like, you know, I'm in my head blah blah blah. Like I make new friends like my name was Ross, you know, just like stupid stuff like this, you know, where it's like it doesn't take itself too seriously, but it's it's just like it's reflecting the ideas that are in my head and for that for that period of time. This is this is so so I mean I could see this going a lot of different ways. You could take it, you know, when I I have a friend who's extremely neurotic who explained to me one time. He said you ever walk into a party and you hear a hundred voices all at once and you can zero in on one of them. And I said sure and he said that's my head all the time. Yeah. So there's that's a little bit nerdy. Why is everyone in this room insulting me? It wasn't you actually but there's that neurotic angle. You could have gone or there's the other angle where we all have different voices in our head. We're all I mean, I don't know anybody who's just one voice, you know, one thing exactly type of thing. So at what point in in this did you did it become not neurotic or neurotic or did or did you steer away? You know what I mean? Did you say like, oh this could go I mean this could be civil. This could be crazy voices or it could be honest. I wanted to make it sound beautiful but also a little bit like kind of dark and a little like grungy at the same time. So I think with my voice, I just try to you know, sing certain melody certain ways. But then, you know, like if there's you know, like when the beat kind of there's a very specific moment in the song where like the beat just stops and it's no longer like anything it's just voices kind of like, oh, I'm shocked. I don't know what's going on and then and you know, it's almost like you're saying like you're in a party and then you kind of lose your train of thought and then you're like, oh, I'm back, you know, and then oh, what's that like I'm in my head like like I'll burn a bridge just to prove I'm lost like I'm just I'm the worst part of myself right now, you know, and then maybe it's like, oh and then I'm in love like, oh, there's something about us. There's something about this experience. So it's just like my my brain is just like it's it's just a train of thought. Is there a possibility because you come from a producing background and you come from a guy that's just making soundscapes at the house. Are there times where you create something you make something and you've got this beautiful palette that you could put something on top of it. You're like, no, no, it's just going to live exactly like this. Yeah, there was a time when I did that. It's not it's it's been some time now because now it it just takes a long time to do stuff like that, you know, like so I I will it's sort of like, okay, like I could make, you know, prep a bunch of meals for the week, but it's like, am I really going to do that? Like, no way. Yeah, yeah, because then you also have to remember where you put them and yeah, yeah, pull them out. Yeah, that's a good point. So when you when you take this show this album on the road and you finally break quarantine, you're starting to do a live show. You've done plenty. You've done plenty of shows. What's your band like these days? Are you going to travel with the same band or you got a whole new thing? You're thinking it's it's going to be a few different things, but it's it's a similar band for sure. We're going to have for a few of the shows depending on kind of like timing there's going to be an additional percussionist and keys player the person who does both and I'm going to be playing guitar and in fluid and sax and the band will kind of have similar roles, but like certain people will step into certain roles at certain times just based on what you have to do by the way, Barry if you didn't know Josh, he's ran track. He's a pole vaulter. He's a flautist. He's a sax player. He's my FedEx driver. The guy has can literally do anything you can play. You can probably pick up any instrument you want to right now. How could you well maybe but I don't know. It's the recorder. How you doing? I record that, you know funny you're saying that right now honestly Brad because my I have a new sound years engineer person were bringing on and she has actually just volunteered that I use her bass clarinet and I'm thinking about taking her up on that because I love the sound of the bass clarinet. Yeah, and I think it could be interesting. Who knows? I'm in New Orleans. I'm in New Orleans. We say no to any sort of horn or wind instrument for sure. Yeah. Yeah, I'm back. Sorry. My cat keeps coming in and out of the room. She has something to say I was going to ask. Yeah, you can play those instruments classical instruments when in your life did the idea that you could write lyrics like what I just read earlier in wildfire, you know, when was it like, oh, I can do this too. And so man, it took me some time because I didn't always like I actually started writing lyrics probably when I was like, I don't know 20 1920 maybe okay, but they were bad later. They were later later much later, but they were bad and I was into poetry. I think that was a right around the same time. I got into poetry and like a lot of like Ocean Viong and EE Cummings and you know little sonnets and things like that. I was into that. I never like was passionate about it, but I thought it was fascinating to see how people could just jumble words together in a way where you could completely understand what they were saying, but they just said it in a way that most people wouldn't say it. Yeah, I just thought that was so interesting. Yeah, but you said you were bad at or it was bad. I was how did you say you say what bad would give I want an example. No, I don't know. You don't you really don't it was bad. It was a bad like I mean just bad. It just didn't make any sense. Yeah, it wasn't like you were like everybody was dying like I had a I had a fiction writing class that I took and and literally there was one woman who every story she wrote somebody got cancer and died. Oh, I mean that was just her go-to. Yeah, that's bad. That could be yeah, I mean or or you know, it's it's my I'm dying. I love you. If you don't love me back, I'll die. Yeah, that's what I mean. Are you that? I mean, yeah, I don't know. I feel like it's walk back into that party again. It very well could have been to be honest. It maybe it was bad for a different reason. It was just bad because it didn't make any sense. Yeah, but how did you say to yourself? I want to keep doing this because anytime that look this is the difference between me and I don't know anyone successful whenever I find something that I am not good at as a man. I could be doing that ever again. I'm pretty much done with that for the rest of my life. Why did you you kept going at it? When did you feel confident in it? I mean, it was it was years. It took years probably three years because I started maybe sophomore year of college like banging away at the piano and singing in just really bad, you know, whatever. I didn't know what I was doing. I was just I was experimenting with it. And so there was a long time before I was as good at song. Like I started producing a little bit before I started songwriting and then when I started a song right like I kind of tried to merge them together. But it it took a lot of time and effort. I think I I think what it would end up happening was I just realized I was like, okay, like some of this stuff sounds cool, but it doesn't make any sense. So I need to make it make sense. And then when I did that it took you know, like that was around the same time. I started to write blood type in and I had a really great person who ended up becoming my manager talk with me about the whole process of songwriting not like process of songwriting, but he sort of like helped me find a voice find a voice in a way because I just didn't come from that world. Like I came from like the the beat maker producer super in the weeds producer kind of thing. Did you see did you seek him out and he find you so he found me because I produced a song a remix for Billie Eilish like super early like, you know back in 2014 like I had more SoundCloud followers than her and like it was this whole thing where she her and her brother reached out to me to do a remix of ocean eyes and when that happened they were trying to get signed to record label and my manager worked at the record label where they were going to sign but they ended up not going there and but then like my manager knows Billie Eilish is manager from like being on tours and bands and random stuff and I guess he just he ended up calling me because he got my number somehow and I was literally like at my real estate job and then we just started talking and he was like he was like the suit guy. I didn't really know if I could trust him or not, but like right that's where I was about to go with this is like when did you finally start say or taking what he was saying to heart because that's not an easy conversation. I've got best best friends in the world. I'd love to tell hey, you know that one song you do that's going to work. Yeah, it was like a little bit of it was a year and a half before I went back, you know, eventually we're like, okay, like I can trust this guy because I mean I he wasn't the first person I'd met who worked in the music industry who was like hey do this remix for like free and you know, or like we'll pay you a grand and then we won't pay you, you know, and it's like, okay, so I had sort of had this experience of people in this world and so it took me some time to trust him, but he was he's also probably one of the most musical non musical people I've ever met if that makes any sense. He doesn't play any instruments, but he has he has his very good instinct around music. And so I think I think at some point I just kind of connected the dots. I was like, okay, I'm in this really weird niche world of like music producers and like super avant-garde jazz stuff and he's in this world of like pop music like big-time stuff and I'm like, well, I love pop music. I've always loved that as a kid like I was really into Green Day and like little Bow Wow and random stuff as a kid. So like I think I just put the I connected the dots. I was like, okay, there's a way for me to like express myself and sure these worlds sure and it's something that we've touched on with touched on with other guests on the show before is that there is commerce part of this right there is a marketing part of this and you know, we all can you know find artists that we love that just are putting out things that just make them feel good. But if it's not connecting the dots for a right a marketplace then no, it's we know the answer to that exactly and it's it's it's a hundred percent like that's why being an artist is also like can be very like tumultuous and crazy because there's no like right answer to anything. You know, you can do things for the most selfish reasons or you can do things for the least selfish reasons but then be both could could lead to failure or success. So it's just like you really just have to like follow it in a way that feels earnest and in a way that feels like it's true to you because if it's not then it's going to be a pretty unhappy ride, you know, so I I I've always just felt that way was there a line or a moment or a song when you thought, okay, that's not bad. This this this this work that I keep doing. I'm getting there. Was there was there a moment? It's interesting you say that because I remember well, I was working on my first EP blood type when I was I was working at this company called apartments.com and I remember sitting in my room like listening to I think I was listening. I think I was listening to Cold War like literally I was listening to Cold War. I was like, this sounds pretty good. Like this sounds pretty good, you know, and then and then I was like man this blood type song sound like Spanx, you know, like and I started showing it to my friends and everyone was like man you should like this is really this is really dope. You know, like they they were very much into it. Some of them who were already like in the music industry or like new people or whatever and they were like you should like put this out like are you like doing a label or whatever and I just I don't know. I didn't really have a plan at that point, but we we yeah, I kind of just realized I was like, okay, like these people have no agenda at this point. So if they're telling me I should do it, I should probably do I've asked other artists how they know when a song is finished and everybody has a different answer but one one guy and I don't remember exactly who said I kind of know it is when I'm driving away from the studio or to the studio and I'm listening to it in the car and I know all the words and I can sing along with it and it just feels right that kind of sounds like I don't want to put thoughts or words in your head, but that sounds like when you're listening to Cold War you're thinking, okay, this feels okay. Yeah, maybe you know exactly. I mean, I thought it sounded I was like, oh, this is cool. Like the thing that appealed to me most was honestly the chorus because I was like it had that break and I was like that's unique. Like I've never heard that before. I remember thinking, okay, I've never heard someone just like break in a chorus and then do this weird like vocal, you know, harmony thing and I was like, okay, well, that's cool. You know, I was like this is interesting. Yeah, but I didn't I didn't think it become what it would, you know, what this vulnerability is really freaking me out because it takes a level of vulnerability for you to say. I mean, I think that I do something that's good every now and then I don't want anyone to hear it. I don't want anyone to hear it because it may just not be that good. That's what I'm just so scared of and the ones like the artists that I love so much are the ones that are so unbelievably confident. They they and while they're so confident, they're also maximum vulnerability, right? Whether it is in songwriting whether it is, you know how they how they present their their work all of that just feels like just so scary. I don't know what I'm gonna say, but like the idea of like saying it giving it to a friend of yours and saying to yourself even hey, I really like this. But what if what if I know I like it? Yeah, I mean I hear you. I I definitely it was it was sort of for me though. I think what gave me the confidence was really just the fact that I had been doing it for you know, I was 21 at the time and I think I'd already been doing it since I was like 16. So I was kind of like, okay, like you didn't make a double into a good song time. Like I know how to like make something slapped at this point. So right maybe like my voice might be weird or I don't know like I just started to like mix my own voice and I think that was kind of where I was like, okay, maybe there's so you know, so I have that confidence based on just experience. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I mean with all that without that being said, you got to feel on top of the world excited about the new album. I mean, I don't need to give you any sort of you know, compliments that you haven't already heard or you're not going to hear a million times but there's got to be a lot of places on there that you're really really proud of. I wonder if there's one in particular that may hit a little bit too too close to home that that you almost don't want to talk about it so good. The song. Yeah. Yeah, I mean to be honest, I think spinner is probably the most genuinely personal song for me just because it kind of just relates to like I think the life of being an artist. It's like in the abstract and and sort of like the difficulty but also just sort of like the the like the the fact that you have to kind of like make something out of nothing, you know, like you have to spin the truth about the ones you care about you have to spin the truth about you know, the the experiences you have, you know, because it creates experiences for other people that will never know you and so I think that song I feel like stretches very deep into my soul and sort of deep into how I continue to make music and how I am able to like release music because I separate myself from the music I make up on purpose because I love it so much. I can't I can't like I love that song, but I can't like like listening to it. It's like, okay. Yes, it happened. But like after it's out like I'm it's cool. You know, it's not coming up on the live set, huh? I think it will. I think it will. I think we're going to do a different version of it actually but that yeah, we've asked that question of other artists who've written very very personal songs. What's it like to have to get up and sing it every single day, especially really really emotional ones. Yeah, to be tough. It's tough. That's I mean, that's why I just said like I can't like I separate myself from the music I make on purpose because if I really let it get to me if I really think about what it means to me then it's like it's harder and then like yeah beating yourself with a hammer every single day. Exactly. You can't do that. You can't I've learned that you can't like well specifically specifically wildfire. That's got to be it feels personal. It feels like it's about a certain person. Yeah, a specific person and I wonder if it is and secondly, I wonder if that person is still in your life and if not, how hard is that going to be to come back to every time? Yeah, to me to be honest that that song was sort of a song that I wrote about a feeling that I've had with a particular person but that person isn't really I mean they're around but I don't yeah, it's it's sort of how does the girlfriend feel about songs like that? You know, she realizes that it's it's what I have to do and so I think she's sort of come to terms with that because because it is often oftentimes when a stand-up comic gets on stage and starts doing the my wife does this routine. You know, they got to go home. They got to go home to the wife and say I didn't really mean any of that. Yeah. Well, I did write one song about my girlfriend on the album. So it's you know, and generally there was one that was inspired by her. So, you know, I feel like I get I get some passes. Okay. Did she did she request at least one? Did you make the quota? You can't make requests. You can't make requests. It just happens. You know, I'm an honest just just in case you will ever date me. Yeah, exactly. Look, I don't want to keep you too much longer. I can't wait for this. You are the single reason I'm going to Lollapalooza even though it's the biggest work event of my year. I you know, the reason why I'm going is because at the bottom lounge I will be there because I want to see this show so bad. Yes, it's going to be fun. You are you have been one of my I will say and Barry could probably answer in another conversation, but I've got two fines of the last three years and I'm super soup for three three fines of the last few years. I'm really really proud of one is salt finding salt maybe like my mind blow and watch out product they put out on a regular basis like Pumas being the first guy to ever play black Pumas on the radio feels just like like Goosebumps and now Cold War into this new album. It's cautious clay. I love this project so so much and I can't honestly thank you enough for being on the show. I very rarely like I said dork out about stuff like this. I'm a big big fan and I really do hope and this is a selfish beg for anybody that may do this for a living watching or listening to the show. Please follow us down this path because songs like this my industry has got to start finding and supporting because we don't get many of them and when we swing and miss at it. It makes the next time we try to take a swing at it even harder. So I'm trying my ass off to make wildfire at least work here. I hope it works everywhere else too because I absolutely love it. Thank you so much for it. I appreciate the words. It's really good and and Brad talking about dorking out my my daughter who's about your age. She said oh my God. I love cautious clay. Please tell him hello. Oh man. Yeah, and and I'm a big fan and Brad Brad's not making this up. He said yesterday. I think we were talking about who's the artist that you list. What's the album you go to when you don't know what it is you want to listen to but you want to just start your day the on-ramp he picked cautious clay. So I mean, yeah, it's there's there's a couple artists that I always go to that that like I don't know where I'm going with this path, but I'm going to start here because I know it's going to lead me to something good. It's like James Vincent McMorrow and cautious clay are sort of my are my on-ramps black Puma's there on my on-ramps to wherever I'm possibly going to go but you know, boy that's enough of Pat and you on the back. Thank you. Love. What are you guys doing? By the way, what are you in the what are you and the parents doing today? Oh, yeah, parents. What's everybody doing? Why are you there? You have been hanging out on Martha's Vineyard and just kind of tough gig chilling. Yeah, I can't complain. So I'm just kind of out by the water and working on during the day and then usually just cooking something and you're so kind to give us so much time. Oh man. Okay. Thank you so much. Of course, of course. Cautious clay on the what podcast when we say which bands this year that matter one for me cautious clay is the band that matters the artist that matters the one that I am I'm singing the singular artist that I'm going to Lollapalooza see is him maybe Britney Howard. I like a lot. Ready. So you better you better not let her here. Do you guys have a relationship? You better be careful. I know if she finds out if she finds out it's over. No, man. What a great guy. It's so amazing to be talking to these people and for them to be so open Devin Gaffillion, you know, we had a month or two ago. I was just so in love with him and the stuff he told us and now today, I mean, I've done this a long long time and typically a newspaper interview is 1015 minutes and they're pretty they're good, but you don't get to to get inside a human being like we can with this when we have a longer form and for him to you know, literally be in his his girlfriend parents bedroom and take a few minutes and just open up like that is pretty incredible. I I read an article a couple of days ago when the album came out. It said why are cautious clay song so damn catchy there is you know, I think that there's something worth exploring with what he said about finally talking to this person that could marry how pop sensibilities are put together with where I was writing and how once I figured that part out things started to expand for me. It just feeds back into what has now turned into be the theme of this entire season of the what podcast is how to make a hit, you know, finding finding the right person who can give you the right amount of suggestions in the you know, the understanding that this is unfortunately a marketplace no matter how much so many so many people want to argue in it hate the fact that it's a marketplace it is and but it's also art as we just heard it is an art and commerce is the devil of some people and I get that you know, but he's good at it. Yeah, that's the thing. I think that's the point the ones that are really good at it. You don't even care. You don't even give a damn that there's there's commerce parts of it. He's good point. Yeah, yeah, and he's going to get better and that's the other thing to feeling I I get all of the energy in my life comes from when I feel as though I've caught somebody right at the beginning, you know, the reason why I love Alabama shakes so much because I felt like I I grabbed them the first show they ever did as the Alabama shakes was in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you know, you feel when you grab them in that first moment and you feel like you're on the upswing. That's when it really starts to make you feel like you're part of something, you know, yeah, there's that and it's just plain fun to watch, you know, it it's so much we've talked about this earlier. It's so much for me. It's more fun to watch and see where it goes than to talk to somebody who is already a legend not that that's not fun, but it's just weirder to look back. That's a good that's a good way of putting it. I it's harder really thought about that way. I didn't either till just now, but I mean, you know, it's like asking it's like asking an artist. Did you know back in 1970 you were changing the world, you know, which is a question people like me ask all the time and of course they're going to say no, they were just in it. So it's it's more fun to see this kind of thing and and know they're in a moment and then see where it goes. I if that makes sense. That's great. Totally makes sense. Good fun. Good fun. Yes, it was. It was fun. I mean the great work. I mean, look, I when I I'm not going to make it. I'm going to make it clear when I'm really really really into something because I almost don't know how to put the words together half the time, you know, because when I dork out it becomes great work. I don't know. It becomes great work. Yeah, though that wasn't a door. You'll know it when I read, you know, when I really really really love something and I really really love cautious clay. So boy, that was a highlight of the year. If if you got anything else, should we should we wrap up what else we got today there? Gentlemen, let's do it. Thanks. I think you're ready to go. Thank you for your show today. Taco Taco best show ever solid man as always. Yeah. Yeah.