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A brief chat with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.


Detroit indie pop band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on October 28, we we spoke with Josh Epstein about what we can expect.D

Yellow Scene: How’s Detroit doing right now?

Josh Epstein: I went to the Motown Museum today. I live in Los Angeles now, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that, but Dan is still here with the rest of the band, and I come in for at least one week every month to work with everyone. I don’t feel like I’m too far removed from it all.

YS: Concerning the new song, “James Dean,” it’s been said that you’re embracing a mellower side – is that fair?

JE: I think there’s some mellow stuff on all of our albums. What I noticed, that I guess I hadn’t fully been aware of, is that people gravitate to the thing that you give a push to on the internet. Whether it’s the first song that comes out – you can’t put out a song that’s not a single anymore because everyone assumes that it is. It’s not a single – it’s just a song we made. I think that’s natural. With the way that people are listening to music, you don’t necessarily get through to all of them.

YS: Do you like playing Colorado?

JE: I love it. I think Colorado’s a beautiful state, and Denver’s always been one of my favorite cities. The fact that marijuana is pretty much fully legal there now is pretty cool, and most of the people in our band don’t even use marijuana, but it’s progressive and smart of them. Obviously, it’s working out. It’s always sunny, and if you like nature you can be physically active. Some of the people I admire most who are making music, like Nathaniel Rateliff, are from there. It’s really cool. We got lucky enough to be invited to play a couple of festivals at some of the ski resort towns, and got to hang out and go skiing. For Michigan guys, we’re used to skiing on landfills. Being on those mountains was just beautiful.

YS: What are your plans for the set?

JE: We’re doing new stuff actually. This will be the first time we’re trying to do some new songs live and test them that way before we record them. We’ve got a new touring member, and I’m really excited about getting out. I feel that we finally have enough songs that we can do anything we want with the set. We can make one that’s a little bit more contemplative, or we can do a super high energy set. So we can play around. I think we’ve finally got a system for playing everything where we can change things on the fly – we don’t have to come up with set lists anymore. It’s going to be really fun.

YS: When the tour’s over, what’s next?

JE: We’re recording our new record on all the breaks. We’ve been recording a new record, but on the breaks we’ll finish it. In December, we’ll finish it totally, then we’ll lay low in January and February, and then we’re going to come out with the new record.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. plays with Miniature Tigers and Madi Diaz at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28 at the Fox Theatre; 1135 13th St., Boulder; 720-645-2467; $15-$17.

Pic by Catie Laffoon


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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