On this special episode of The What Podcast, Barry and Lord Taco sit down with Thee Sacred Souls while on the Farm at Bonnaroo 2023. The neo-soul act run through their experience at the festival, how they got their start, and the ins and outs of their creative process.
"Growing up listening to the oldies and classic soul and doo-wop, it kinda falls into the music naturally," bassist Sal Samano explains. "I don't think it sounds exactly like the music we were and are listening to; I think it just naturally ends up in the music."
Elsewhere, Barry and Lord Taco make early speculations about Bonnaroo 2024 and give an anticipated update on Lord Taco's beloved bus.
Listen to Barry and Lord Taco of The What Podcast with Thee Sacred Souls or watch it via YouTube. While you're at it, go ahead and like, review, and subscribe to The What Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our shows, and snag our "Radiate Positivity" T-shirt on the Consequence Shop.
Photo by: David Bruce
Well, hello, hello, hello.
Lord Taco, how are you?
Hey, long time no see.
I'm good. How are you?
It's been a minute.
That's Lord Taco.
We're part of the What Podcast.
You'll notice our co-host and friend Brad is not with us.
Something illness has attacked their household.
He was sick and had to miss Bonnaroo and now his wife is sick.
So I hate to hear that.
Yeah, me too.
There must be something in the water up there.
Yeah, or the air.
I still think that smoke might have had something to do with it.
But they of course live in the New York, Brooklyn area.
So wish her a speedy recovery.
But Taco, here we are.
Three weeks, not even a month away.
Does it seem like it's been longer or we were just there to you?
It seems like it's been longer.
I was thinking about that, trying to count on my fingers and toes how long it's been
and realized it's only been about three weeks.
So that's crazy.
We did a show immediately following sort of a quick instant recap.
Now that it has been a few days, anything change for you?
Anything you keep coming back to or anything you especially miss or what do you especially
I just miss being there.
Any bands that you're now more fond of, less fond of, that it's a little bit away?
Definitely Portugal the Man, probably more fond of.
Of course, I'd heard them before, but that was my first live experience with them.
And I still think that was one of my favorite sets of the festival.
I think Tyler Childers was the one for me.
And of course we all agree that Korn was, you know, knocked it out of the park.
I've been trying to read a lot of the online comments and it seems a lot of what we felt
immediately following about those bands, but also that it seemed to be a pretty well run
event this year, right?
I mean, there were some people had some issues, of course, but I think anytime you get that
many people together, you're going to have some issues.
Overall, seemed like it was pretty well executed, put together.
A lot more chatter about the Boniflu than I remember seeing.
Maybe I just haven't seen it before, but it does seem like a lot of people came down with
something and were...
There was something going around for sure.
That's never a good thing.
I did want to ask, and Brad asked this a couple of weeks ago on the show, have you started
thinking about your wish list for next year or is it...
Not even one yet.
The only one for me, and it's because they were at Glastonbury, which sort of was in
the news immediately after, was The Pretenders.
I think that debut album is one of my favorite debuts of all time and have always been a
huge fan and I didn't get to see them back in the day.
I did read one thing about the Eagles just announced they're getting back together for
a final, final farewell tour.
I know how those go.
Yeah, that's supposed to last through 2025.
They're one of those I've never been a huge fan.
I don't know that I have any.
I'm not a huge fan, but...
But they would see them.
I think either Brian or Steve, didn't they drop the hint that last year when Stevie Nicks
was the headliner, they said that was kind of their backup plan because they were 99%
sure the Eagles were going to be their headliner that year and it fell through.
So that's two.
Otherwise, I'm like you, I haven't really given it a whole lot of thought.
It's partly because it's so early.
Kind of got to wait to see who's even available type of thing.
It's still way too early and for me, I've been a little busy with some projects of my
own that I haven't really thought about next year.
We'll get into that in a second.
But that's the other thing.
In addition to people on the social media talking about the Boniflu and stuff like that
and how well run it was is everybody seems very, very busy since coming back.
At least everybody in our orbit, right?
Things going on, but yeah, you've got big news.
And speaking of in your orbit and your universe, you got your bus back, right?
The bus is back.
I just took it on a trip this weekend and successfully drove it and drove it home, which
is always a big deal.
Getting there and getting home is kind of the goal.
Yeah, it's one thing to get there.
Yeah, it's another thing to get back.
It didn't always happen.
But yeah, last we got back about a week ago, Friday from St. Louis, we had to go pick up
So that's about a seven and a half hour trip.
And then by Tuesday, we had it installed and running.
So I thought that was pretty, pretty good, you know, to drive differently.
It drives a whole lot better.
Plenty of power, very smooth, no oil leaks, which I'm surprised at.
And you don't have to keep your foot on the gas when you come up to an intersection?
No, it idles perfectly.
I mean, just amazing how it drives when it's built correctly.
Well, good for you, man.
I know you're excited.
I'm very excited.
I've got some trips coming up.
And of course, you know, Bonnaroo next year, the bus will be back.
All right, cool.
So this week on our episode, while we were at Bonnaroo, we did a couple of band interviews.
This week, we're going to share the interview you and I did with the help of Bryan Stone
with the Sacred Souls.
And coincidentally, timing was right.
Our friend David Bruce, I am Bonnaroo, managed to take some pictures, right?
Yes, he did.
He always manages to show up right at the right time.
Yeah, that's really cool, too, to have that.
Nate Gale often takes pictures for us and with us as well.
And I think he was visiting with his daughter, left the grounds there for a little while.
But Nate's always a good help as well.
But it was a fun interview.
It was Alex and Sal and Josh.
And they're a San Diego based band, knew a little bit about, but not a lot about.
They had just performed an hour or so before they sat down with us.
It's kind of interesting to hear.
I always enjoy hearing bands' perspective of Bonnaroo in particular and festivals in
And in this case, I think what, only Sal kind of said he had some new of it a little bit.
The other guys, I don't think knew much about Bonnaroo.
No, they didn't.
And that's kind of a stark contrast to the other band we interviewed who had been going
to Bonnaroo even before they were banned.
Yeah, that's why I'm saying it.
I always enjoy, you know, kind of have some go-to questions.
That's always one.
And how they create their music is always another one for me because I'm just fascinated
by the different ways that artists can create.
And it was fun to hear their comments.
Yeah, it was fun to interview.
And you came strong with the last question.
I won't give that away.
I hope people will make it to the end because it was an obvious question, but it's one I
didn't think of and I just thought you nailed it when you did.
So they seemed to have fun with it as well.
Well let's get into it.
We'll be back hopefully with Brad next week with our interview with the Angel St. Queen.
That was a lot of fun as well.
And don't know when, but we still want to get David Bruce on to talk about his photography
and his photo project that he did.
The one he did this year, but also the ongoing one that he's been doing now since 2011.
We keep teasing to that, but I think it's so cool.
I'm anxious to talk to him again because he's always a great guest, always fun to talk to.
And we still have some other guests like that that I want to talk to.
Mitch, for one, we got to get Mitch back on.
He's our contest winner.
If you haven't listened to that episode, I hope you will before we have him back on because
he's kind of a neat story.
Never been to a music festival, much less Bonnaroo and rarely gets out of his home state
So yeah, I'm dying to hear how his perspective went.
Not about everything.
Making such a long trip and we need to get his buddy, whoever it was, went with him.
I know he brought a plus one, so be curious to hear from both of them.
Maybe we can get them both on.
We'll have to set that up.
So here's our interview with The Sacred Souls and hope you guys enjoy it and can't wait
to get ready for next year.
Seems crazy to even be saying that.
There's three weeks later.
Anything you want to make sure to talk about?
I think we've covered it all.
Just jump into this interview.
Enjoy it, guys.
We're back with the What Podcast.
I'm Barry, we're TACO.
We're here with The Sacred Souls.
So excited to have you guys.
We've got Sal, Josh and Alex.
Thanks for having us.
Thank you guys for doing this.
Especially you're about to perform, right?
Oh, we just did.
We've done so many of these.
I can't keep up with who.
How did it go?
How did it go?
It was good, man.
It was good.
We went through a 1pm slot on the farm in the heat.
A little different for a lot of people.
Yeah, it was fun.
My only thing is the distance.
I just wanted to be able to be closer to the people.
There's like a 15 feet distance for the cameras and things.
But it was fun.
My, correct me if I'm wrong, but you've not played Bonnaroo before, right?
It was our first time.
What was your thoughts and expectations?
Did you heard of it?
Did you know about it?
Was it on your list to do?
To be honest, I didn't really know of Bonnaroo until our merch person, Anna, she was like,
oh, he's excited for Bonnaroo.
Started showing me the lineup and I was like, oh, that seems pretty cool.
I never even really heard of it.
But it's kind of what I expected, I think, in a good way.
Yeah, I've heard of it.
I didn't go to festivals growing up.
So I didn't have the money for that kind of stuff.
So only festival situations I've experienced have been playing them with the band.
So I just was like, okay, cool, a festival.
I knew the name too.
Yeah, it's huge.
So we're happy to be here.
It's a blessing.
Well it's a big deal to us.
We started a podcast because we figured out we spent all year talking about it.
So maybe other people do and sure enough they do.
So part of what makes it different is it's a camping festival and it's a week long camping
So everybody's hair is hot, everybody stinks, everybody's sweaty, we're all tired.
It goes around the clock.
So I know you said you played at one o'clock on a Saturday so it's hot.
But a lot of people that we interview say that energy comes back from the audience.
You know, because bands realize you must be committed because you're standing out there
in the heat to watch this.
I know you said you were kind of the setback but could you feel that?
Does it feel any different for it being here than maybe some of the other venues?
Yeah, I felt that energy.
I had to jump off the stage and get closer to the people to feel it.
But once I did, yeah, you could tell that they're all there.
In general, I think it feels good to know people are spending their time specifically.
They didn't just happen across us.
They came to see us.
It feels good.
The other thing we talk about a lot on this show is that it's a festival of discovery.
The people who are here, they paid money to get here.
You know, I already talked about the commitment to the heat and the camping and everything.
But they like finding new bands.
They don't just go here, you know, the ones they already know and love.
So it's a chance for you guys.
Yeah, very open minded.
Before my next...
I'm hogging the microphone.
I've been doing it all day.
So you already played.
When are you leaving?
Are you staying for the whole weekend?
We're leaving tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow morning, okay.
I'll still be here.
I'll check out tomorrow.
I'm going to stay in Nashville for a week personally.
But the band is all leaving.
Are you going to see any more acts out here tonight?
Since you're here?
I'm just kind of wandering around seeing what happens.
I'll probably catch corn at midnight, you know?
But yeah, we take off tomorrow.
We got here at like at midnight, you know?
So we got here, woke up and now we're here.
At least you got some time to wander around and take it all in before you have to leave
I like the idea.
A little bit, if you don't mind.
I was reading and listening to you guys talk about if you don't mind how the sound came
I mean, you guys were into some of the same records and sounds and all that.
I mean, it's always curious to me how people, you know, getting two people together with
like minds can be tough, getting multiple people with like minds, they come together
I just found you were talking about the same things.
Yeah, we kind of came together over the Can I Call You Rose instrumental because I had
recorded that in my garage and posted a little clip on Instagram and Sal reached out to me
and we played a gig together at a DIY venue and we started talking about creating a soul
project based off kind of what he heard and what he liked and we started to talk about
our interests in the music and all that and got together and started recording other instrumentals
but we needed a singer so I had come across Josh and his solo stuff on Instagram as well.
So I reached out and we got together and kind of jammed on some ideas that he had but after
I showed him the track, he recorded it, the vocals on the spot and that's kind of it,
One thing led to another.
Does the sound you're making today sound like what you, and I guess I'll ask all three of
you, what you maybe heard in your head when you were getting together, thought this could
work and this is great and we seem to be hitting it off.
Was there a lot of curves and weaves or did it a pretty straight line today?
I think it definitely pulls from the inspirations that we were like listening to, like growing
up listening to oldies and Classic Soul and Doo-Wop and stuff like that.
It kind of falls into the music naturally but besides that, kind of knowing the direction
that we wanted to go, I don't think it sounds exactly like the music that we were and are
I think it just, like I said, kind of naturally it ends up in the music.
Does it feel like you're where you want to be or do you feel like, I mean obviously there's
something out there you're still searching for but you know what I mean.
We're not really searching really.
You're kind of just taking it as it goes.
That's the way we kind of got to where we're at, you know what I mean.
So right now I'm focused on just writing new material so I think that's always the important
thing is to focus on the music.
I'm hoping to have versions of myself unlock just as a musician, you know.
As a human, it's like we don't really know what time is but we use it and so I'm different
than I was when I was 27 at 33 and I'm just hoping that I unlock other versions of myself
as a musician along the way, feel blessed for any opportunity that we get.
Along those lines and thank you again for doing this.
We won't keep you much longer but I'm always curious about the creative process.
Like some bands go into the studio or the rehearsal room and they know, you know, the
song is complete in their head or the sound and then some go in and see, let's see where
it goes, you know, and it could go anywhere.
How do you guys sort of work?
First record, most of it was like demos in my garage and we take it to the studio and
work it with our producer Gabe and Gabe Roth from Dabstone Records and he helps with the
arrangements but not so much with the writing, you know, we kind of do our own thing.
I was just going to say sometimes, you know, like you had mentioned, there are a few songs
that, you know, for example on the record that were written in studio just or for example
like, you know, our last single, Running Away, that was written in studio kind of not knowing
that that song was even going to come to be.
Josh had brought, you know, Happing Well and it kind of came together in the studio, for
now kind of came together in the studio.
All three have, I assume it works.
Somebody says it's not working for me or that like, it's so fun to me to hear somebody say
I wrote this song, I think it's a pop ballad or I think it's an R&B song and then somebody
else says I think it's a country song, you know, and maybe it is but that's so neat to
me how it can do that.
Does that happen with you guys?
One of you maybe wrote a song and had it, thought it was this and then somebody else
said I think it.
I feel like early on that used to get on like it was harder because we didn't really know
each other because at the end of the day as a songwriter you just want to know that you
can write a song and that people like your songs.
So in the beginning if somebody's like this doesn't feel like it'll fit the record you're
kind of like oh well shit is it a good song?
But I think over time we've gotten to the point where we realize it's easier to be honest
about just like yeah that's probably not the direction.
I don't know, at least that's my opinion.
Having Gabe in there too to kind of humble you a little bit because at the end of the
day he does allow us to write but he does have his opinion and he'll let you know.
Alright, you got anything else?
Who grew the mustache first?
Did you have a meeting about it and decide?
I think when we both met each other we had, or all three of us, yeah forget it Josh has
a mustache too it's not just a beard.
No I think we all had them already.
We didn't shake hands and decide to.
Like some people think for some reason.
They're also my brothers.
For the record yeah.
They do look alike.
And it's a good look for the stashes by the way.
It is a good look yeah.
I'll let these guys tell you.
We like them.
It's a good question.
It could have been man that's a good looking mustache.
I gotta grow one.
Alright guys thank you so much for doing this and welcome to Tennessee.
It does cool off I promise you.
We've been here before.
Was it six months ago?
We've been here like three times.
Last time we played a venue called the Basement East.
It was last time we were here.
Alright well thanks again for doing this.
Thanks for having us.
And I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Have a great weekend.