October 10th 2019
A tour bus at Hammersmith Apollo
Old Dominion, so called as four members have links with Virginia and ‘Old Dominion’ is the nickname for the state comprise of lead singer Matt Ramsey, Trevor Rosen on guitar and keyboard, Whit Sellers on drums, Geoff Sprung on base and Brad Tursi on guitar.
Initially formed to showcase the songs that the individual members had written for other artists; Kenney Chesney, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton,. Kelsea Ballerini and Dierks Bentley to name a few.
The UK audience first got to know them following a highly successful after party set at C2C in London in 2016. Since then they been back with Thomas Rhett and had their own headlining shows. They are very well liked in the UK and before their show at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith Kate and Colin chatted to them on their tour bus.
Kate: The first time the UK were aware of you was when you played the afterparty at C2C a few years ago. It’s been quite a journey since then. I interviewed you a couple of years ago before your gigs supporting Thomas Rhett. You’d literally just got off a plane following the CMAs. What’s changed since then?
OD: Non-stop touring and another album about to be released.
Kate: Matt, I read that in February you did a Dave Grohl and fell off the stage!
Matt: No, I didn’t fall I had a hip operation. The way it showed up was, I used to jump around the stage a lot. I jumped and when I landed there was a lot of pain in my back, my hip. There wasn’t any specific tear that happened right then. That’s how it showed itself. Over time it got worse and worse.
Kate: A lot of guitarists do that don’t they? Jump and leg split in the air? Do you practice that on a trampoline?
OD: We have band rehearsals, vocal rehearsals and jump rehearsals!
Matt: I don’t jump off things so much now.
Kate: You get to an age when you don’t bounce as much as you used to! I heard that Dave Grohl lent you his throne for some gigs.
Kate: How is the tour going?
OD: We started in Stockholm then Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam.
Kate: How were they?
OD: They were amazing! It’s the first time that we have been in Europe, we’ve not really been much outside of the UK in Europe. They were in clubs. We had a blast!
Kate: They’re cool cities aren’t they? Im going to see Keith Urban in Stockholm.
Kate: Your new album is out in two weeks. What are your favourite tracks? Obviously, you’ll probably have different ones?
Matt: They are always changing. At the moment, mine is ‘My Heart’s a Bar’
Brad: Mine is ‘Hear You Now’
Trevor: It’s so hard to pick one, I think ‘One Man Band’.
Whit: ‘Midnight Mess Around’
Kate: It’s my favourite as well, It was ‘My Heart is a Bar’ but it’s now ‘Midnight Mess Around’.
Matt: What happened? Why did you change?
Kate: Ha ha! Ah I liked the ‘Midnight Mess Around’ because it has more of a soul vibe to it, you and your girl rather than a having a good time, party feel track.
OD: Sure, that’s a good answer.
Kate: I like that beat on it, I’m not to sing it but… (Laughter)
OD: Go on.. (much laughter)….
Colin: You can be the support act!
Kate: Luckily, they have Jordan Davis for that! You’re sacked Colin! ha..
Kate: What’s your writing process as a band? Do you write organically? Do you site down and write for a a set day? Obviously your touring a lot so do you write on the road?
OD: It’s all of them. We moved to Nashville to do that, to write songs for other people. It’s not as industrial as it sounds. Its always organic. We have to write on the road because of the nature of our schedule. We write together on the road, we bring other writers out with us. When we are at home we write with the other writers that we write with. A couple of songs we wrote in the studio. ‘Make it Sweet’ and ‘Hear you Now’ we booked the studio and decided to write a song and record it in the same day. That’s what we did with ‘Make it Sweet’ we wrote it one day and recorded the same day, the next day we did ‘Hear you Now’.
Kate: Did you have an idea of the song beforehand?
OD: We just treat it like a normal writing session. For ‘Make it Sweet’ we had the title in our head before that. We sit in the studio. Our phones are full of ideas.
Kate: Technology must be great for that.
OD: It’s the same as in High School you jam with your buddies and you find a groove.
Kate: Then you all chip in with ‘that rhymes with that etc..’?
OD: Exactly! You could write a song..
Kate: I know what I like to listen to but I am not very creative myself.
Colin: Do you get inspiration form when somebody says something to you?
OD: All the time.
Colin: You keep it in the back of your mind?
OD: You have to write it down or you’ll forget it.
Kate: Of your three albums if you had to chose one track from each album which track would you chose? Obviously you have covered your latest album.
Trevor: The first one, for me personally, would be ‘Nowhere Fast’ (Meat and Candy).
Brad and Matt: ‘We got it Right’ (Meat and Candy).
Geoff: ‘Break Up with Him’ from the first album as it ‘brought us to the dance’.
Whit: I cannot remember what was on the first one…
Kate: We all loved ‘Snapback’ after hearing it at the afterparty at C2C. It’s such a good party song. I remember us wondering what a snapback was before realising it was a baseball cap.
Matt: From the second album it’s a toss-up between ‘Not Everything’s about you’ or ‘Still Writing Songs about you’ that’s a difficult choice.
Brad: I’m going with ‘Broken Heart’.
Trevor: I’ll go with that too.
Geoff: I’ll go with ‘Not Everything’s about you’.
Whit: ‘Written in the Sand’
Kate: I guess they change over time. Have you been playing the new songs a while?
Matt: They do change over time. We haven’t played all of the songs live as yet.
Kate: Oh really?
Matt: Yes! We have a week…. (laughter).
Colin: What tine does band practice start, Ha ha ?
Kate: What music do you guys listen to in your downtime?
Geoff: I like the older jazz stuff.
Kate: Like Duke Ellington or later?
Geoff: One generation past, so Miles Davis, that kind of stuff.
Matt: In the States we have a travelling turntable with a vinyl collection that travels with us.
Kate: Wow! That’s cool.
Matt: In our dressing rooms. We have all kinds of music that we listen to.
Old Dominion kindly recorded a sweet message for our friend Keely to wish her well.