Music News

High and Mighty

Page 3 of 3

Right now, McDonald is in the midst of assembling his band to record a second full-length disc; it's a geographic juggling act, because the group's new drummer, Joe Burkhart, lives in Detroit, while Royster still resides in Denver. "I think we go about things kind of backwards," he explains. "We did this last tour just to practice songs before going into the studio to record them, rather than the other way around. Usually you practice the songs first, get them tight, go into the studio and then go on tour... I don't know. I think I'm backwards. Am I making any sense?"

Yes, tons.

"I tend to ramble a lot when I smoke pot," he says, sounding nearly philosophical. "Like, when we were in Esperanto, um, let me get a glass of water here... When we were in Esperanto, let me see... I lost track of what I was saying here... Let me catch my breath. I'm just completely rambling here."

Of course, no thoughtful rumination on songcraft or vintage recording techniques would be complete without mentioning the Beatles -- a group that, until recently, McDonald disregarded. "I always thought they weren't that good of a band," he confesses. "But over the last year, I've really gotten into the Beatles. I picked up George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, which is amazing, and I've been watching that eight-video Beatles Anthology. Have you seen that part about the making of Sgt. Pepper? There's like, this full orchestra being recorded, people dancing around the studio on acid and throwing flowers and shit; Mick Jagger stoned out of his mind..."

McDonald pauses to savor the cannabis-enhanced afterimage. "Dude, that is the coolest thing I think I have ever seen."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller