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Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles talks solo album ‘Day by Day’

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Timothy B. Schmit seen in performance with the Eagles at the Forum in Inglewood, California in 2014. Timothy B. Schmit seen in performance with the Eagles at the Forum in Inglewood, California in 2014. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

One of the most recognizable voices in rock and roll has just released an album that fans of the band with whom he’s most closely associated should seek out immediately.

Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles says his seventh solo record “Day by Day” is an eclectic collection of songs that came together organically. He had the songs, the studio, some A-list friends happy to pitch in, and he had the time to write and record during the lockdown and subsequent quiet spell that allowed this record to gel.

Schmit says he recorded the 12 songs on “Day by Day” at his home studio, “Mooselodge,” with the Santa Monica mountains as a backdrop.

Guests include Lindsey Buckingham, John Fogerty, Jackson Browne, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Benmont Tench, Jim Keltner, John McFee, Matt Jardine and Chris Farmer.

My big takeaway from “Day by Day” is that it sounds like a classic record. The songs, the performances and the production are uniformly superb.

It would appear that The Eagles are content to live on as a live entity only which is a shame when they have a gifted songwriter like Schmit in the band. For my money, “Day by Day” is a much better album than the band’s last effort, “Long Road Out of Eden,” from 2007.

I interviewed Timothy B. Schmit for this story and for my morning radio show on BIG 104 FM.

The Maine Edge: Is this album the answer to the question ‘how did you fill your time during the lockdown?’

Timothy B. Schmit: Partially, I’d say almost half of this album was written during that time because I had no distractions so I would go to work every day. The whole Covid thing has been a horror show for a lot of people and of course it isn’t over. I think a lot of great art was happening because we were locked down. I’d go down to my studio every day and some days were really slow. The whole creative process doesn’t flow smoothly all the time; you have to get through the harder parts. I recorded when it was safe to record and have other people around.

TME: When you write a song, do you sometimes hear the finished arrangement in your head before it gets recorded?

Schmit: Sometimes very clear from the outset and sometimes it develops as we go. As I write and record it becomes kind of obvious to me how I should treat the song. I might think about who I should have come and sing or play. All of the people who joined me on this record are friends of mine on various levels. Some are more acquaintances than anything. Everyone that I asked seemed pretty anxious to come and do this work for me, so I was very fortunate.

TME: When you have guests on your record like John Fogerty or Lindsey Buckingham, do you sometimes use them as a sounding board to play the material you’ve recorded so far?

Schmit: Once in a while, but it’s hard. Most people are probably going to say “That’s great, I love that” (laughs), you know? They’re being put on the spot, so I don’t do a lot of that unless someone asks me. Mostly everyone who came to play or sing on my album were there to work. I know this from personal experience because I used to sing on a lot of other people’s records. The idea is to please the artist. Is this what you’re looking for? Do you like it? I could do it again if you feel like it needs to go in another direction, that kind of thing. Jackson, John and the others were no different that way. They wanted to give what I was looking for.

TME: The protagonist in the rocker “Mr. X” has had it up to here with just about everything. What is that song about?

Schmit: It’s about that voice in your head that plants self-doubt or procrastination or anything that keeps you from moving forward. We all go through that sometimes. Should I do this or should I not? Meanwhile you’re not doing anything. I don’t suffer from depression, but I suppose the ultimate Mr. X is when you’re really down low because this thing has happened to you.

TME: There is a classic sound in the production of this record that reminded me a bit of how the songs sounded on your first album with The Eagles, “The Long Run.” Was that by design or just happenstance?

Schmit: I had no preconceived notions about any of these songs. You’ve obviously listened, and you can see it’s a very eclectic collection of songs. I didn’t try to do anything other than practice my art as it came out. There’s a lot of different stuff on here but it’s kind of how it worked out. I think we’re all influenced by what we hear and I listen to a wide range of music and I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s so eclectic.

TME: Of all of the songs you have written, is there one that is closest to your heart?

Schmit: A lot of my songs are very personal so I could name a bunch. I don’t try to do this, it just comes out. I write songs from my own life experience, so I begin there and if I need to elaborate or even make something up for it to make sense, I’ll do that but usually the seed is something pretty close to me.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2022 07:56

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