Together with Colin Brooks, they make up the triumvirate of songwriters who front Austin’s Band of Heathens. What began as a loose collaboration of jam buddies has led to two live releases, Best New Band honors at the 2007 Austin Music Awards, and finally, a self-titled debut studio album.
How did your partnership start?
GQ: We all had gigs with our own bands at [Austin club] Momo’s on Wednesday nights, one right after another. We got to know each other, hanging and playing in each other’s bands.
You must bring different ideas to the table. How does this work?
GQ: We all toss ideas around and give them a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. EJ: What’s fun for me is writing a song and seeing what becomes of it, how it morphs in the band. Because a song takes on a completely different form if I’m to perform it on my own.
Well, intentionally or not, with your studio release and the launch of your own record label, you guys are a band now. Any regrets?
GQ: [sarcastically] No, just the fact that I have to hang out with Ed and the band now. It’s kind of draining. EJ: This is a pretty high-stakes industry, but by focusing on writing good songs and giving good performances, everything will take care of itself.