Certain bands exhibit a musical approach that’s expansive while providing a variety of material for whoever is listening. They don’t like to stick to a certain format or genre, but they …
Certain bands exhibit a musical approach that’s expansive while providing a variety of material for whoever is listening. They don’t like to stick to a certain format or genre, but they do like to have a fun time while performing. That essence can often be contagious with the audience feeling the same way and The Daybreaks have a knack of achieving that every time they take the stage. For folks looking to experience this, the band has a show coming up at The Blue Room on 2197 Broad Street in Cranston on September 22. From 7-10pm, music from various eras and decades will be encompassing the venue to make for a blissful way to spend a Friday night.
I had a talk with guitarist Brian Knoth ahead of the show about The Daybreaks’ creative vision, another project he’s involved in that has an EP coming out and the band’s plans for the remainder of 2023.
Rob Duguay: The Daybreaks have a very fluid sound that ranges between, blues, soul, jazz, Americana and old school rock & roll. What initially inspired this approach when you all got together to start this band?
Brian Knoth: I think we all share a love for those kinds of music and those wide-ranging genres, but really what it comes down to is that Allison Green, who is our vocalist, will come up with ideas for tunes that she enjoys and really loves to sing. Then she’ll bring those ideas to me and then I have to figure out how they’re going to work for the band while coming up with charts and making sure that we’re on the same page. A lot of it really does come from us, her taste in music and the sort of music that she enjoys singing. Then as band members, it just so happens that we all sort of love that music too, so it works pretty well that she selects songs that we really enjoy playing. We love all those styles.
RD: On The Daybreaks' social media, there are a few videos that depict the band performing on the lawn by the pedestrian bridge in Providence and on a deck at an establishment somewhere. Who had the idea to have these settings included in the videos and where was the latter one shot at on the deck?
BK: If it’s another outdoor one, that one on the deck is actually from a gig at Moniker Brewery in Providence. That was a really fun one, we were out on their patio during this super nice, bright, sunny summer day. I’m the guitarist in the band and I’m sort of the band leader for lack of a better word because I have to sort of translate what Allison likes to sing and bring charts to the band. I’m also the videographer too and the one who books the gigs and all that stuff, so I’m someone who has to wear many hats to promote this band the best I can. I think last summer I felt like we were really starting to gel as a band, everything started to fully form and all the pieces came together so it was an opportunity to really get some footage that I thought could help us moving forward.
RD: It sounds like you’re a jack of all trades with this band. Outside of The Daybreaks, you have another project called Bubble Pod that has more of an electro pop vibe. How did this collective come together to make such interesting music?
BK: It’s cool that you’re actually putting a name to the music because I’ve been struggling to kind of put a name to it. That collective sort of came together through an idea I had with a lot of musical sketches that I’ve been generating over the years, but then with the pandemic I felt like I had a little more time to really dig into those sketches and think about fleshing them out a bit to create fully formed tunes. At that point, I started thinking about who I really wanted to bring together to make this music and my friend Kerry Schneider from Somerville, Massachusetts, who is a great vocalist and doesn’t get a lot of time to pursue music because she’s so busy with her career, I’d been wanting to work with her for a while. I also really wanted to put my other friend Eric Hastings, who also plays drums in Evening Sky and The Daybreaks, together with Kerry in some way. I was actually able to get a grant from both Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, so I got some money to pay these really great musicians who also happen to be my friends and get them together on a project.
Kerry and Eric had never really worked together and I love the way Kerry sings. She’s a great improvisational singer too so that was really helpful for the songwriting process. We brought Nate Cronin in as well on the keys, organ, Rhodes and some synthy stuff too, so it was really cool to put these people together who really hadn’t worked together before. That’s sort of how it all came about, I had these ideas and I wanted to bring in some people to flesh them out.
RD: A week after The Daybreaks' show at The Blue Room, Bubble Pod is going to be releasing their Passing Through EP via Bandcamp on September 29. What was the experience like making this record? Is there any specific vision behind it?
BK: It was kind of a mishmash of processes in terms of recording this whole thing. I recorded guitars and loops while doing some programming in my own home studio. I would send ideas to Eric, he would record drum ideas in his home studio which he calls “The Grapevine”. Then from there, Kerry would come by and we’d improvise vocal ideas, I’d sort of edit it together and we’d form the songs through that process. Kerry ended up doing the final vocal takes in Eric’s studio while also doing some additional layers with piano and some other stuff with keyboards at Big Nice Studio in Lincoln with Nick Dussault. Then once all the pieces were together, I wanted another perspective in terms of really fleshing out the mix so I went back to Big Nice to get that done with Nick.
Then we got it mastered at Old Colony Mastering with Scott Craggs. It was a lot of pieces from a lot of different places that all came together and really coalesced through the mixing process.
RD: I can definitely see that from everything you just said. After the show at The Blue Room, what are The Daybreaks' plans for the rest of the year?
BK: After what’s going to be a really fun show on the 22nd, we have another one at The Blue Room on October 27th. I think that’s going to be part of a Halloween Bash to kick off the Halloween weekend and we also have another one in November on the 17th at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits at 10 Sims Avenue in Providence.