Rocky Votolato
Rocky Votolato celebrates the release of his second solo record on Second Nature Recordings this Sat Nov 10 at the Paradox with Suffering and the Hideous Thieves and Hudson Falcon.

Tell me a bit about the new record--where you recorded it, with whom, how you've developed since the last one... "I recorded it at Studio Litho in Fremont with Matt Bayles. It's definitely a lot different from anything else I've ever done... The sound has changed a little, and some of these songs could more easily fall into the folk/country category than previous work, but I think more than anything the songs just seem a bit more grown-up. Over half of the record ended up being tracks with the full band, which is way different from the stripped-down approach I took with my first full-length."

Who was in the full band? "Dan Dean--ex-Sharks Keep Moving--played the drums, and Morgan Henderson--Sharks Keep Moving and the Blood Brothers--played bass. I got to work with a bunch of people that really made the record turn out better than I ever could have hoped: Rosie Thompson sang backup vocals, Seth Warren from Red Stars Theory played violin, James Mendenhall from the Prom played piano on a song, and my brother Cody helped out with some extra guitar stuff."

How do you balance work, kids--all that domesticity--with two bands? How does it influence your creative processes? "I think it's just a matter of keeping the priorities straight. I know that the family comes first and my wife is really awesome and supportive of what I'm doing, so I get a lot of freedom to work on music stuff when I'm not at work... I think that meeting my wife, having the kids around, and really growing up has definitely had a huge impact on my perspective and the way I write songs. And I think you can hear that on this new record."

Interview by Hannah Levin