A FEW WORDS ABOUT JEFF & LAURA COVERING A FEW SONGS BY NEIL YOUNG
JEFF: Laura and I have known each other since we were teenagers skankin’ our buns off in the same VFW halls, church basements and high school auditoriums sorry. We’ve played in each others’ bands on-and-off throughout this marvelous millenium and under the immense stress of the music industry and oh boy, let’s not forget these difficult times, our friendship has not collapsed. It is strong, like a sicky thicky beam of steel!
LAURA: May I interject here and state for the record that I did not skank? I was merely a spectator. But I will agree that our friendship began strong and it REMAINS very strong.
JEFF: Much like our friendship, Neil Young’s songs have existed for a long time - some would argue, they’ve existed for even longer. For a while, I knew I was supposed to like Neil Young but a lot of the “standards” admittedly are not for me*. Eventually I asked Laura and her husband Mike to get me started somewhere, and months later, I would spend nights traveling alone on tour with After The Gold Rush on repeat in my headphones, simultaneously allowing me to feel grounded and as if I was floating away. As I dove deeper into his catalog, more and more records of his would bookend my days - giving my band buds something chill to sleep to on a morning drive or slowing me down at night as I space out in front of my record player.
LAURA: I’m so glad Jeff finally got sucked in. For me, Neil Young was playing in my house for as long as I can remember. My favorite record being “Comes A Time” which I think for sure influenced my love of harmonizing. But it’s kind of a hard task to get someone to love something as much as you do when it’s just this thing you’ve always known and appreciated. I’m happy it worked!
JEFF: Seth from Polyvinyl has joked that I like “sad Neil” and I have claimed on multiple occasions that “I hate it when Neil rocks.” But I don’t. I love it when he does anything, because no matter what the project is it always feels honest and pure. He is a famous-as-fuck songwriter that could sell out a basketball arena at the drop of a hat even though he’s always sticking his middle fingers up at the world, his audience included. That’s the kinda shit we’re into.
LAURA: I think it’s just so different when he rocks. I get that the two are such opposite ends of the spectrum but they still have the same underlying emotional content. I feel like Jeff and myself, as songwriters who grew up in punk rock, have a similar thing, where you can be very sweet and beautiful, and then at times, kind of ugly and heavier, but it’s always the same voice and the same intention at the end of the day.
JEFF: Laura and I have been talking about doing a few EPs of Neil Young covers for years. It’s an excuse to have fun making music together and we both like fun and music in case you missed it. It’s also nice to hang out and create (sorry) instead of just talking about “oh my god did you hear what this stupid dipshit did on tour? I hope their band takes us out.” We finally both had time away from the road this summer, Laura heroically made the trip down to my apartment in Brooklyn a few times and we’d feverishly lay down a bunch of tracks. I like hearing Laura play guitar and she convinced me to sing quieter than I ever have. We had a few friends fill in some details and we quickly had this EP you’re listening to. I hope it’s not too long before we make another!
* yes I understand this EP starts with two title tracks.