Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show Host Kevin Cole, is “How the Game Is Played” by The Redwood Plan from their debut full-length Racing Towards the Heartbreak available through Fish the Cat Records.
The Redwood Plan hit the Seattle scene a little over a year ago and have since delivered two EP’s chock full of highly danceable rock tunes in the vein of The Gossip but with a vim and vigor all their own. Last month they celebrated the release of their first full-length album Racing Towards the Heartbreak with a party at The Crocodile. Fans of TRP might hear a couple of familiar songs on this album as they took and reworked a few of the tracks from previous releases and sprinkled them alongside new material like today’s offering “How the Game is Played.” The moment the synths and groovy bass line starts you know you’re in for a treat. Racing Towards the Heartbreak encompasses a lot of the changes the band has gone through in their personal lives as they worked on this album. Frontwoman Lesli Wood (Ms Led) dished some of the dirt on the new album as well as the inspiration for today’s song.
Wow, you guys have some big shows coming up (Noise for the Needy, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Bumbershoot)... what are you and the band doing to prepare yourselves mentally for these music festivals?
We’re practicing our asses off, that’s for sure. We have a new band member, William Brown, who debuted at our CD release show and is adding to the sound and the on-stage energy. We’re so excited to be a part of these huge festivals and we want to make sure we deliver. We’ll have some new songs, as well, so we’ll have something new for people that see us more than once throughout the summer!!
Your live shows and even your blogs/updates are so upbeat and full of energy. How do you maintain that level of zest? Do you think there’s a bizzaro world in which Lesli Wood is quiet and sedate?
I am never quiet and sedate in reality, that’s for sure. I’m definitely an upbeat person and I wouldn’t be able to get everything done in the time I do if I spent any time being negative about things. Every day has so much potential and I like to take advantage of every second of it. That goes from working on tours and songs to flying across the country with my husband to taking on new projects in order to keep my life moving. I’ve had such great results from all the hard work and energy. I’ve found it’s a pretty productive outlook.
You and TRP bassist Larry recently got hitched right? Does that make touring more fun for you having your other half there sharing all those ups and downs of life on the road? Does it affect the band dynamic at all?
Yes, Larry and I got hitched in March! We actually went on tour a few days after our (kickass) wedding and I have to say that it totally rules. Rather than getting home from tour and trying to reiterate all the stories and hilarity and banter and emotions, we’re right there together experiencing it. As a band, the four of us are definitely really tight (Betty was my best man at our wedding and Syd was our stylin’ chauffeur) so I think it just adds another level of connection as performers and songwriters.
What’s the story behind “How the Game Is Played?”
It’s about making the leap in a relationship in which two people are feeling like they should be skeptical and cautious but recognized that when they’re together they’re this amazing team. Rather than playing the game of this-is-how-it’s-supposed-to-go, they realize that it’s the best thing ever to just jump in regardless of what others may think. Each person is articulating what they want and need and those things are adding up to something really great. So they run with it.
I’d say it’s fictitious but I think it’s pretty clear that’d be a complete lie.
Is there a theme behind Racing Towards the Heartbreak? How did you come up with that title?
Racing Towards the Heartbreak was taken from my lyrics to “Tension in the Seconds.” It was Syd’s idea to name the album that and it seemed very fitting. The album was written over more than a year and a half in which many of us had a lot of different relationship experiences. Racing Towards the Heartbreak was a line that was initially contrasting other people’s approach to relationships, but as a title to this chronology of songs it’s a better reference to going full throttle into everything, for better or for worse. And fortunately, things had a really happy ending for us.
Indeed they did! You can catch The Redwood Plan at any one of the upcoming Seattle music festivals, but the Noise for the Needy event should be dynamite as Butts and NighTraiN are both on the bill.
Capitol Hill Block Party 7/24
Bumbershoot 9/5 at the EMP Sky Church
Their MySpace page and website have a few other dates outside of Seattle too so keep an eye on that in the meantime, here’s a video of Lesli and crew performing “Movers, Shakers, Makers” at The Crocodile.