Where did the name Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. come from?
Basically, Josh wanted to come up with a memorable name that was kind of fun and light hearted because we didn’t know we were going to go on tour or be a serious band. We were just getting together and recording songs. It comes from a very laid back place. We didn’t think the band was going to be anything at that point. It was just something fun.
Were you surprised to see the band get so much attention?
Yeah, we’re definitely surprised. We’ve both been in other bands for ten years. To get together and do this and to so quickly have a lot of people talking about it enough so that we get to tour on it is a total surprise. It’s the perfect irony of life that you can work really hard at something and take it really seriously and then you try something for fun and people embrace it. We’re very grateful for it.
What is recording with only two musicians like?
It was really freeing. We recorded the album in my basement. With two people you just focus on the song and whatever works. There aren’t designated roles. There’s no ego. You don’t have to worry about someone playing a certain instrument and wanting to get their part in. I think that really helps to put the focus on the actual song. We do whatever the song requires. We didn’t have to add guitar if we didn’t like it because there isn’t a guitarist in the band. It’s just two guys trying to make good songs.
You just released a music video for the song “Simple Girl.” How did that go?
It was a lot of fun. Filming reminds me of being a kid. We just wanted to have fun. We both enjoy playing pick-up basketball. I think, for both of us, we really try to stay imaginative like little children. I think doing music videos is a fun way to return to being a kid. We had a really good time.
One of our other staff members was at Lollapalooza and fell in love with your cover of “I Will Always Love You” as I was with your cover of “God Only Knows.” What drew you to those songs?
One of the main reasons we do those songs is because we like referencing old pop tunes, when pop was a good thing and it wasn’t a dumbed down chord change or the same recycled sound. I think there’s something beautiful about pop during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even early 90’s. There was a complexity in those songs and now it seems like the radio isn’t as inviting for those types of songs. Maybe they’re starting to open up a little bit. But I think that’s the reference, these older pop songs that were more complex but still reached a great audience.
Do you think you’ll ever put out a full length or EP of cover songs?
Maybe, once we get enough in our arsenal. Recording in our basement makes everything a lot easier. We can turn things out very quickly, we don’t have to go through a big machine to get things done. It’s just the two of us getting together. So yeah, we could definitely do that. Maybe we’ll have to wait for a few more covers to have under our belt.
Are you excited to be on tour?
Yeah, it’s fun. We stepped up and added one more song and we’re a little more laid back. This tour has been a lot of festivals so it’s been a lot of fun. We played a San Diego festival, we’re playing Austin City Limits, and we’re playing POPPED! Festival in Philadelphia. This tour is full of festival dates and it’s a lot of fun to get a chance to see other bands. This tour has been a good one for sure.
How have the songs been translating live?
They feel really good. We bring a drummer which brings a lot of energy and we’ve been playing a new song which people seem to like. We try to make the show worth people’s money. We try to have lights and all sorts of effects and other fun things. They’re all homemade. We don’t always have the budget, but we have the ideas. I think it’s really important that we try to incorporate them as much as possible. I think the songs go over really well, especially paired with all of the little production things that we do.