South Carolina is home to some of America’s greatest historic stories. Every city has a story, from Charleston to Greenville, and even Lexington. It’s something we as South Carolinians tend to pride ourselves on. The Restoration, our November band of the month, is a perfect example of this pride. I spoke with Daniel Machado, a native of Lexington, SC, about the band and all the exciting news they had.
SCENESC: You guys have been around the local scene for a little while. For someone that has never heard you guys, describe your music. What would you say your big influence is?
DM: We are an Americana band that writes concept albums. We try for every project to have a concept or story, and choose a time period that we try to relate our music to, or use as an influence. Collectively, I would say our biggest influence is whatever we are into that we aren’t getting enough of in popular culture. For example, if I’m not getting enough Dixieland jazz, you might get a song like “Sweet Talker” off our new record. As far as the stories go, we love to read and we love TV, so everything from [William] Faulkner to Breaking Bad influences us.
SC: You guys have a ton of exciting stuff coming up in the next couple of months. Let’s first talk about this music video. What can you tell me about that?
DM: The video is for “There’s Something in the Woods” and “Sweet Talker”, the first two songs from our new album Honor The Father. The songs kick off the story from two perspectives: the Lexington County Sheriff as he investigates a grisly crime in 1954, and two high school kids at a church fall festival in 1937. Most of the video will represent the narrative, but there may be a bit of the band playing as well. There are always details from our stories that don’t make it into the lyrics of the songs—we aim for the video to show some of these details as well as a few other perspectives you won’t be able to get from just hearing the album.
SC: How awesome was it getting to use the same camera that they used to film The Hobbit? (RED Camera)
DM: We are in pre-production now, but everything is on-schedule. So we haven’t technically used it yet, but we are still planning on it. It’s really exciting.
SC: What is your view on Kickstarter’s? You guys obviously funded your project, but how much is too much money to ask for?
DM: Well, I’ll start by saying this is our first time using Kickstarter. We really enjoyed it, and it was the only way we could afford to produce a video as a companion to the album. That being said, it has always been our personal preference to fund our audio recordings on our own. It’s nothing against other bands, but that’s just how we prefer to go about funding. As more people start to use Kickstarter, I think the key is to use it for types of projects your audience may not already expect to get from you. For us, that was a companion short film.
SC: On November 9th you guys are releasing a brand new album called “Honor The Father“. What can you tell us about that? What is the concept of this album?
DM: The story takes place in Lexington, SC in the 1950s. The first song introduces the county sheriff, interrupted from his regular patrol route when a young boy runs from the woods and describes a terrible domestic dispute he witnessed between his parents. The sheriff follows the boy into the woods and from there I don’t want to say much more and give anything away.
With the project there were a couple different things we wanted to do. One: it takes a very long time for an independent band to complete a project. By the time we had gotten everything going for the second album, over two and a half years had gone by since the first. The first album was partially set in the 1800s so people tended to associate us with that period, but back in 2007 when the band started, we never intended to only focus on one time period. We really wanted to differentiate the first and second project. The fifties have always been a time I’ve been interested in—it seemed like the right fit for what we wanted to do musically and for the story we wanted to tell. Story-wise, we wanted to do a murder mystery. The biggest challenge was attempting to create suspense and a big reveal only through song. It’s not like a movie where you can clearly see a plot twist or ending, so that was our challenge. I’m not sure if we accomplished that, but we’re excited to see how people react.
SC: I read on your website that your last album actually got used in classrooms as a teaching tool. What is that about?
DM: It was mind blowing to me that anyone would want to do that. Jonathan Sedberry, a professor at Spartanburg Methodist College is about to use it for a third year. The album was inspired by a lot of literature that you might encounter in English 200 or 300-level classes. When I was in school, I had a couple of professors that would teach literature with pop culture. Jonathan says that teaching Constance allows him to cover the same themes while breaking from traditional reading assignments for a portion of the class. This is a dream-come-true for me because my English courses were such a big inspiration to me. I was afraid that pedagogical folks would scoff at the project while mainstream audiences would find it too academic, so I’m so happy at least a few educators have found it useful for teaching and that other audiences have embraced it as well.
SC: You guys are also playing the Free Times Music Crawl. Any particular band you are excited to see?
DM: I am terrified to single anyone out. Basically, I’m getting older and I feel like at this point I have a friend in every band. I’m really excited to be able to walk around and just hear everyone. I will say, before I was in his band I think I would have said Marshall Brown. I was a fan long before I was in the band.
SC: Any last words/jokes?
DM: I don’t really have a joke on stage. We do usually open with “Desperado” and I pretend to have a thick country accent, but I don’t really know if that applies here.
UPCOMING CHANCES TO SEE THE RESTORATION
Saturday, November 3
Tin Roof Columbia
The Restoration (8:30-9:00)
Saturday, November 9 – CD RELEASE
Tapp’s Arts Center