Tuesday, June 19th 2012
Interviews: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Our interview started off at a picnic bench amidst constant radio streams, helicopters circling overhead, and the presence of press, artists and guests. No, this wasn’t some type of music business apocalypse, just Bonnaroo.
Every time we catch you live, your suits are so vibrant. Where does that style come from?
Josh Epstein: We’re fortunate enough to have amazing talent in Detriot and we both married amazing and talented people and they’re just inspiring constantly to our wardrobe and our ideas.
Daniel Zott: It’s great bouncing ideas off of them but I’ve always liked to dress up, since I was little. I’d go over to my cousins’ house and dress up in high heels because I grew up in a family of all boys and they were a family of all girls, so I’d go over there and just have fun. I’d let them do whatever and dress me up. I’d pick my scabs still; I was still a boy but they hated that part. But just carrying that on, still doing that.
Is that style and inspiration what spawned your cover of “I Will Always Love You?”
Josh Epstein: I think we were just feeling it. Bonnaroo always feels more like a love fest.
What’s been your favorite festival to play so far?
Josh Epstein: I think it’s kind of like, like ladies say when they’re talking about your children you can’t pick a favorite. Also, a lady never tells, they say.
Do you see yourselves as ambassadors to Detroit, like Eminem?
Daniel Zott: We’re better than that.
Josh Epstein: We have more of a reach.
You don’t have “8 Mile” but you could always make a movie…
Josh Epstein: Well, he lives at 8 1/2 mile; it’s kind of better than…
Daniel Zott: 8.5!
Josh Epstein: Yeah, 8.5!
Who are some of your influences from Detroit and beyond?
Josh Epstein: Motown, for sure.
Daniel Zott: It’s tough to say. I think I’m influenced by everything I hear. If I like it I’m influenced by it in a positive way and if I don’t like it I’m influenced because I feel like I learn what not to do.
Josh Epstein: What not to wear.
Daniel Zott: So in no particular order, without divulging I’m influenced by Counting Crows and Nickelback.
What do you think of Nickelback touring again?
Daniel Zott: In Detroit we’re not big fans of them. They played our halftime show on a Thanksgiving day game and there was a petition to get them off.
Did you sign it?
Daniel Zott: No, but I think people suggested we play it.
Josh Epstein: I don’t really take time out of my day to do things on the internet that aren’t checking messages and mail or playing scrabble against him (points to a friend.)
Josh Epstein: I dunno. He’s pretty good at it. You can’t sleep on him. He’ll sneak up, he’ll triple word you; triple letter, triple word. You can’t make a mistake; you’ve gotta play mistake-free ball.
Do you find inspiration through that?
Josh Epstein: Definitely. I get turned on by words. I’m turned on by this word: encyclopedia. Isn’t that a beautiful word? Or melanoma.
Daniel Zott: It’s a good word.
What happens after the tour? Any plans for a new album?
Josh Epstein: Yes! We are working on a new album. It’s coming out sometime but it’s definitely coming out.