It's not really a message at all. It's three very huge words, and people define them for themselves. This is life right here - what you consider to be love, your views on death, and those things put together.
-Brock Butler on PGroove's new album, LIVELOVEDIE
Photo by by James Harris

To Shed Light
Discussion of the studio leads to talk about how for the first time many of the songs on LIVELOVEDIE were written in the studio with the collective input of every member. These include the yet-to-be-played-live "Dust" and "Save For One." Butler observes, "That's ["Save For One"] just another song we gave our best shot. The lyrics are very general. The last part I wrote on my way down to the studio. I didn't hit any lights or construction (which inspired the lyric):

There's few things as nice as an early morning drive
There's no construction and no lights
Save for one, the natural light of the day

"There's a lot to be said for having a nice, little drive in the morning, and not to be stuck in traffic," continues Butler, who pokes a little fun at me, saying, "But I guess you wouldn't know about that in New York City, huh?"

The band are quick to sing the praises of producer Robert Hannon (OutKast, Ludacris), who they first worked with on All This Everything. McDonald discusses another sign of their continued maturation, "We did for the first time what's called pre-production. We went into Tree Sounds Studios with just the four of us and Robert Hannon. Robert would be in the control room and the four of us would be out in the cave working on new songs. Basically, [we took] songs we hadn't even talked to each other about, just ideas we all had, and kind of pieced them together. Then, Robert became this fifth ear."

Mother Nature's Sons

Brock Butler by Dave Vann
Speaking to the Butler and McDonald, I am impressed by how clearly the vision for this album seems to be in their eyes. I can tell they care deeply about the new album, a departure from their previous efforts — musically, stylistically, and even environmentally. Recording in Paul Diaz's Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta, the band managed to make the album in an environmentally friendly way. The official press release reads:

"Perpetual Groove (PG) is taking a ground breaking, passionate approach to making music while leaving a positive impact on the environment, and setting an example for not just their fans, but the entertainment industry as a whole. PG is the first band to take extreme steps in making their products and business as environmentally friendly as possible. With LIVELOVEDIE... they have gone where no major labels has yet. The album is the first to be produced using renewable energies from the recording all the way down to the manufacturing having zero negative impact on our environment."

The packaging is made from 100-percent recyclable materials and soy inks, too. Butler says the environment is an important issue to the band but says, "A lot of these things we're being guinea pigs for, and we're able to do that. We're not in the biggest position, we're not on a major label, but we're willing to check out some alternative ways of doing things. Because everyone at Tree Sounds is so generous with their time they help facilitate a great many things. That just affords us the opportunity to do a lot of the things we're interested in anyway - the renewable energy resource being one of those."

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