Am I wrong in saying that you guys did a survey of what people wanted to hear on the tour?

We did. We did.

How did that turn out? Was it surprising?

It was good. The one thing that kind of surprised me was that ‘Sunday Morning’ was the song that was most requested. I guess it was kind of interesting to us, I don’t know if it would be interesting for anyone else, the order of which the songs kind of played out. For the most part it was what you would expect, most of the singles kind of at the top, and then got into the deeper cuts. It’s probably just exciting for me, maybe nobody else (laughs).

It’s interesting to know what sample that is too; that’s generally gonna be your more dedicated fans.

Yeah, absolutely. People who are going to take the time to complete a survey.

You’ve been doing other production and writing work. Have those experiences of working with other artists fed into how you approach material?

Absolutely. I realized for myself that if I’m not working, if I’m not being creative, it just doesn’t work for me and I don’t feel like I’m doing anything. So I force myself into some somewhat uncomfortable situations that I didn’t have to be in, because when you’re a comfort zone of writing with your bandmates for so many years and you step out of it and start writing with other people, there’s always going to be road bumps, there’s gonna be moments where you’re gonna be like ‘why am I doing this?’ But I kind of worked through that and I got to this place where I really like working with a lot of different types of artists.

I think that I’m able to bring a different perspective to stuff they’re working on, especially with people who aren’t used to working or collaborating with one or two other people. I feel like I can bring something, and I feel like I take something away from all those sessions too.

Everybody writes differently, everybody gets motivated in different ways, but the one thing I found that runs though all the writing sessions is that for a song to really be real there has to be an emotional connection to what’s going on musically and lyrically. I think I’ve gotten to a good place of being able to find that we’re writing a song. I would say I probably learned that mostly from Gwen because she’s so good about being very sincere and kind of wearing her heart on her sleeve when she does lyrics. I feel like I’ve been able to take that to other artists, and also feel like I’ve learned so much from other artists and been able to bring that back.

As well as trying to maintain that golden ear where you know what works.

Yeah I think so. I think it’s all about just trying to be as honest as possible as uncomfortable as that may be sometimes.

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