Q: Tells us a little about how Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions came to be.
Jack: “The Best Intentions” started as a name I would use when I got booked to play a show and wanted to play with a band. It was somewhat of a joke for the best musicians I could find that were willing to play with me. However after recording our first record under this name, the line up solidified itself. Garrett (bass) was my college roommate and played drums in a band we were in back then, Laura (vocals) was a good friend who happened to be in-between musical projects when I started this, Josh (drums) was a friend of Garrett & I’s who would practice on G’s drum set when we were in college, Devin is married to one of my wife Elizabeth’s good friends and I discovered (after inviting him to record guitars on our first record) that he is one of the best multi-instrumentalists I know, and James and I met at a camp in Northern Michigan and when I found out he plays keys I asked him to join. It was really a hodge podge of relationships at the start but they have all become some of my best friends over the last 5 years.
Q: How is this third album different from previous projects?
Jack: Beyond working with a new producer (Jake Rye), during a pandemic, and over the course of two years rather than a couple weekends, this project was different because these songs were some of the first that we recorded before ever playing them live. This may have added to the writing/recording experience because we were able to try out sounds and layers that we normally wouldn’t work into a live show. Songs like “Free” with its choir or “Welcome to the Party” which has a 4 part harmony and a dozen instruments on the outro, are definitely products of writing songs without trying them live first.
Q: “Dad Rock” is a very dynamic album carrying listeners from high energy rock with “New Holland” to more folk inspired tracks like “Florida Man”. Is there a standout track from the album that means the most to you?
Jack:“New Holland” definitely feels like a definitive track for us, one that points to us really finding “our sound.” I would say that is definitely the “standout track” and that’s why it was our first single. However, my feelings towards tracks shift every week or so. I think “Florida Man” is one of my favorite lyrically, “Free” feels so powerful and was so fun to collaborate on that one with my friend Robert Phillips, and the ending of “Found My Way” still feels as gigantically anthemic every time I hear it.
Q: How has being a Michigan based band influenced your sound?
Jack: People outside of Michigan may not know this but there is a thriving music scene in Michigan and in particular in Grand Rapids. Even though there isn’t a “Grand Rapids sound” per se, the support and celebration of local music here definitely gives us the ability to develop our own sound over the years. Though we may sound nothing like either of them bands like the Soil & the Sun or La Dispute helped cultivate an environment of genre blending that we are a product of for sure. That being said, I grew up in Orlando, FL during the heyday of a lot of Americana Rock artists in Central Florida like Gasoline Heart, Mike Dunn & the Kings of New England, and Matt Butcher.
Q: If all the band members were on a season of Survivor, who would win and why?
Jack: In a real-world survival situation, Laura outlives the rest of us hands-down. However, if all 6 of us were on a season of survivor, either James or Devin would win because they are some of the hardest working and kindest humans I know. I think Garrett and I are too competitive so we’d be kicked off first, Laura is not competitive at all so she’d be next and then Josh would send a message to group asking what time the tribal council is 45 minutes after the tribal council.
Q: Finally is there anything coming up from Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions that we should keep an eye out for?
Jack: On July 30th we are releasing an acoustic track that was cut from the record called, “A Driveway Liturgy” and we’ll continue to have weekly videos on our YouTube throughout the Summer. Outside of that, we have a few local-ish shows in the works and we’re hoping to have some Spring/Summer tour plans and new music in ’22.
Interviewed by Brittany D’Amore
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