Dandelion is out now!
Image: Elizabeth Miranda
Last week, Kansas City-based alt-rockers The Greeting Committee unveiled their sophomore record, Dandelion. We caught up with bassist Pierce Turcotte to unpack the album, using their music as a vehicle to share stories that aren’t always prevalent in mainstream media and so much more!
Tell us a bit about your musical background and The Greeting Committee’s origin story…
All four of us have a pretty different musical background! I met the rest of the guys in marching band and I knew Addie through mutual friends in high school. Addie and Brandon had started playing music together and decided they wanted to start a band. We all got together to play for the school’s talent show and we never really stopped playing together.
It’s been almost exactly three years since the release of your debut album, This Is It. How did the time between records help shape and mould what we hear on Dandelion?
I think the time between every album or EP we’ve put out has shaped the sound. Sometimes it feels like a moving target with the kind of sound we want to have as a band. The time in between albums gave us time to figure out how to do some of the things sonically we didn’t know how to do before. Our EP “I’m Afriad I’m Not Angry” shows some of that progression. Most of all, all that time gave us space to write and try out some things we hadn’t done before.
The record brings honest and relatable lyricism, documenting the grief and mourning of a past relationship, and the uneasy feeling of being stuck in life. What prompted this conceptual exploration across the record? One that takes listeners on a cathartic emotional journey.
That mainly comes from Addie’s writing style. Her lyrics tend to be very cathartic because they come from a very real part of her life.
Tracks like Ada offer up important moments, inspired by stories from the LGBTQI+ community. How important was it for you to use your music as a vehicle to share stories that aren’t always prevalent in mainstream media?
Out of all of us, I think that Addie feels the importance or weight of using our platform for good the most. She’s not always deliberate about purposely writing songs about other people in the way that Ada is, but as we were writing the music to this, it was obvious to Addie that the narrative of the song involved someone else’s story. We have a lot of fans who are LGBTQ+ and could relate to this song, so that’s where Addie really felt the importance and relevance of writing a song like Ada.
Walk us through your creative process when writing and recording Dandelion… How did the album evolve, are there any songs that didn’t make the final cut that could be released in the future?
We are typically very collaborative with our songwriting. We usually will all sit in the same room together and work on someone’s idea or just play music together. For Dandelion, we had just started writing when quarantine hit and we had to find a new way to write. A big chunk of the ideas came from songs we would write and record on our own and then send the mp3s via Dropbox, hoping someone else would like it. After a couple months, we started meeting together and going through some of our ideas. That was when we started to see what Dandelion would become. We self-produced a lot of the songs on our own before we took them to our producer Jenn Decilveo who filled in those missing gaps. There were definitely A LOT of half-finished songs that didn’t make it, but a couple of them will be released at some point!
You worked with the incredible producer Jennifer Decilveo (MARINA, FLETCHER, Bat for Lashes) and mixer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) on the record. How do you think your collaborators helped to round out the project and deliver the body of work we hear today?
While we did a lot of experimenting with sounds on our end before we sent the songs to Jenn, she really challenged these songs sonically and added the extra bits that made them pop. Her production style really came out for the song “Dandelion” which became a really fun song to listen to. Dave Fridmann really went all out on these songs. It’s crazy to hear some of the unmixed versions of these songs before Dave got to them. He really made these songs sound huge and interesting in a way that made them stand out from a lot of other songs. There was definitely some uncertainty with going this direction and making these songs so “blown-out” but we ended up being really happy with the finished sound, and we loved working with Dave.
Which three songs off the album would you pick to play to someone who had never heard your music, to make them an instant fan?
Bird Hall, Make Out, and “How Long?. I think these three show the diversity of the album the most!
What’s one line from the album you find at times could be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
Two lines stick out to me the most: “If God had a favorite, I wouldn’t be it” and “I’ll just stare out the window, a scarecrow to my own life.”
We’ve been treated to a music video for Make Out featuring Wrestle Yr Friends, where we find you guys going head to head in the wrestling ring. How do you conceptualise the visuals for the record and how involved are you in the process?
Most of the visuals come from our creative director, Hampton Williams, and Addie. However, the concept of the music video for “Make Out” came from Brandon and his girlfriend. Brandon and Addie were both really involved in the rest of the process as they worked with the director for the music video.
How important do you find the visuals when it comes to building and creating the identity of each record?
Addie is such a visual person. Whether it’s merch, videos, or album artwork, Addie is very meticulous that it fits the overall narrative of the music.
You’ll be performing a special album launch show in Kansas City, what can audiences expect from your live shows and will you be hitting the road in the near future?
We’ve been rehearsing a ton to get these songs sounding as best as possible. It’s definitely a challenge interpreting these songs into a live setting. The songs from Dandelion are going to sound different live than the recorded versions, but I think it will make people love the songs even more. People can still expect a fun and engaging live show, with a few extra instruments as well. Yes, we’re planning on hitting the road top of next year! Stay tuned for an announcement from us soon…
Movies and books! Really interested in the author Haruki Murakami.
As a band, we love Bombay Bicycle Club!
Album that has had the most impact on you?
I’ve been listening to Alvvays’ first album a bunch right now.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
“Doing my best”.
Best song of 2021 so far?
Happier Than Ever - Billie Eilish.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
What was the first song you loved to sing?
London Bridge by Fergie.
A song you would love to cover on tour?
Chop Suey by System of a Down.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Shrek 2 soundtrack.
First concert you went to?
Best concert you have been to?
First album you ever bought?
Endgame by Rise Against.
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
The shows we played with Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
Guilty music pleasure?
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I signed up to play clarinet in concert band in middle school.
Dandelion is out now!