Why Ryley Walker Wanted to Cover an Unreleased Dave Matthews Band Album

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Soon after Ryley Walker introduced that his newest album could be a back-to-back cowl of the Dave Matthews Band’s unreleased-but-leaked 2001 LP The Lillywhite Sessions, the 29-year-old indie guitarist headed over to Antsmarching.org, the positioning the place Dave’s followers dwell.

“There have been a couple of individuals in there that have been like 'F--k this man. He’s coming at this for the incorrect causes,'” Walker says. “[But] I made this document for Dave followers. It wasn’t born out of irony. It’s a loving tribute. Everyone who performed on the document grew up within the suburbs and have been huge Daveheads. [He’s] a part of the pop zeitgeist.”

Named after famed producer Steve Lillywhite, who Dave Matthews Band was working with on the time, The Lillywhite Sessions leaked to the web within the spring of 2001, and featured a variety of songs like “Busted Stuff,” “Grace Is Gone,” and “Diggin' a Ditch” — songs that had but to make it to an official studio recording, although that they had been labored into the band’s stay set at that time. Many of the songs would ultimately be re-recorded for Dave Matthews Band’s 2002 album Busted Stuff, which didn’t function Lillywhite because the producer, however as a substitute British producer Stephen Harris.

Walker recorded the 12 songs that seem on The Lillywhite Sessions in a four-day burst again in January 2018 in Chicago, whereas he was ready for the discharge of Deafman Glance in May, his fourth album of unique materials. But the challenge wasn’t a spur of the second endeavor; he had been kicking round this concept for some time. And it took months of pre-planning, the place Walker says he listened to The Lillywhite Sessions “about 500 occasions” and labored for 2 months straight, getting down the preparations. Initially, he simply performed together with the unique recordings. But ultimately, he discovered the inventive path he wished to take it, describing it as “Dave by the filter of Drag City data.” He’s referring to the Chicago label, in addition to a post-rock sound that bands like Tortoise and the Sea and Cake draw from — together with labels like Thrill Jockey and Touch & Go.

Covering an one other artist’s album begin to end isn’t a brand new idea - the Flaming Lips launched an album in 2014 referred to as With a Little Help From My Fwends, a trippy track-by-track tackle the Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 2015, Ryan Adams’ coated Taylor Swift’s smash 1989, releasing it whereas Swift was nonetheless supporting that on tour (the 2 typically chatted about it on Twitter whereas he was nonetheless recording it). Releasing an unreleased album that was leaked to the web provides a twist to this, although.

At the time, Matthews wasn’t too happy with the leak, telling Billboard in 2002 that it equated to “a painter discovering his portray on the market in a gallery earlier than he's completed it. It was an enormous violation."

Dead Oceans, Walker’s label, alerted Dave Matthews Band’s administration early on concerning the challenge — and getting their blessing wasn’t tough in any respect. “It was greeted with open arms and supposedly Dave himself has put an ear on it,” says Dead Oceans’ A&R Eric Dienes. “And whereas it was most definitely out-of-the-box for us, the companions right here have been nearly instantly into it. Budget was permitted in, like, 24 hours. I imagined it as an much more experimental album that what Ryley turned in. He retained its preliminary integrity and really feel — and used among the themes of The Lillywhite Sessions to inform about himself.”

Walker says he doesn’t have any plans to work the music into his stay units, however he does hope that paying homage to the Dave Matthews Band will throw some individuals for a loop.

“Dave is probably the most punk because it will get,” Walker says. “He doesn’t give a f--k about radio hits. He has his personal fanbase. What makes it extra enjoyable and engaging is that we’re masking songs solely hardcore followers would know. And it does make document nerds upset, which I respect.”