Donovan Woods

Posted by on

Award-winning singer-songwriter Donovan Woods—who splits his time between Toronto and Nashville —has been rapidly garnering esteem for his heart-tuggingly beautiful ballads, like the recently released duet “IOWA” (which Wheel of Fortune would credit in the form of Before and After “Aoife O'Donovan Woods”).  In this latest installment of GITM, with additional guest-host Brad Kennard, Woods sits down to chat about a songwriter’s unique challenges in the age of Covid, his unique and exciting collaborations with dancers and visual artists around the world, and the ethos behind his own record label.  Fun is abound, with dichotomies of relief/revenge, hospitality/rudeness and kindness/cruelty swung around freely like confetti.  It’s a party!

Full Episode Transcription

Tom DeSavia [00:00:03] Hi, I'm your host, Tom DeSavia, join me as I interview guests from music and entertainment from around the world about what they're up to right now. Stay tuned because we're Gone in 30 Minutes. Hey everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of Gone in 30 Minutes. Today is a very special Hands Across North America episode. We're very happy to bring you. I'm going to come to the talent last. But joining me as my very special co-host today is my work brother and good pal Brad Kennard, coming all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Say hello Brad.

 

Brad Kennard [00:00:37] Good day, everyone. Great to see you fine, gentlemen.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:00:40] Good to see you, man. And joining us, the meat in our sandwich, the reason we're here, artist, songwriter, all-around nice guy coming all the way from Toronto, Canada, not USA. Mr. Donovan Woods, hello Donovan.

 

Donovan Woods [00:00:55] Hi. Hi, guys. Hi, guys. Nice to see you.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:00:57] What is it like? Is it like tomorrow in Canada already?

 

Donovan Woods [00:01:00] That's right. Yeah, it's tomorrow. It's still locked down. We're still locked down. So it's not even yesterday. It's just like, yeah, it's not great here.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:01:10] What are you doing right now? What's going on right now?

 

Donovan Woods [00:01:12] I'm in my studio. It's hot in here. And I'm thinking about turning the air conditioning on, but it feels early to me. We have a real, Canadians have a real like, we're stressed about that, about putting on the air conditioning. That stresses us out for some reason. I don't know why it does. But it stresses us out.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:01:29] You're stressed about putting ice in soft drinks, too? I never really understood that.

 

Donovan Woods [00:01:36] That's right, we're stressed about that as well.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:01:37] You go there and you get like one ice cube. I love your people. I do. But whenever I go there, I'm like, it's it's frozen water. It shouldn't be that, you know.

 

Donovan Woods [00:01:44] Well, we don't want to put too much in there. Some people don't like it, and some people have sensitive teeth.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:01:51] We salt and pepper a sandwich like it's like it's nobody's business. I mean, I don't understand where these values come from.

 

Donovan Woods [00:01:56] Yeah, we do do that. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know what that is. But I'll tell you one thing I love about the South and about Nashville in particular is that everywhere you go, they give you a big glass of ice water as soon as you arrive because that's what you want when you arrive. And it's wonderful.

 

Brad Kennard [00:02:12] You know what? It's there to cut all of the grease, and it's just to get you started to make sure that you can survive.

 

Donovan Woods [00:02:21] But it's so nice, one of those big plastic cups. And here in Toronto, you'll have like one of those fancy bottles with, like, room temperature water in these tiny, it's a nightmare. The south, it's like I feel better there in many ways and in many ways I feel not better there. But I feel like when I go there, I feel like the restaurants are designed for me. I feel like, you know, I miss it this way. I feel very stuck in Canada right now.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:02:49] Well, I like any time a Canadian goes, "you know what's better about America," which you just don't hear that much. Ice water! Donovan Woods [00:02:54] Oh, I have a long, long list. I have a long, long list, which is interesting.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:02:59] Well, us keeping Joni Mitchell and Neil Young's probably not on there.

 

Donovan Woods [00:03:04] I mean, Neil...

 

Tom DeSavia [00:03:06] We just kind of said, no, no we're [00:03:08]gonna… Laurel Canyon.

 

Donovan Woods [00:03:09] Well, I mean, why would Joni move away from Los Angeles? I mean, it's Los Angeles.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:03:14] But we fully claimed it. We've like sort of said, you know, like I think they were born under on Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon.

 

Donovan Woods [00:03:21] It would be so interesting for people to see where those two were really born. Like, I think they're really from the, from the prairies. She's from the, she's from Saskatoon, you know. I mean, like, that's where my wife is from. It's like it's very different from Los Angeles it is not the same, it's a really different place.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:03:41] And it's called Saskatoon, which is like a Warner Brothers cartoon sound.

 

Donovan Woods [00:03:46] It's not like a cartoon, I'll tell you. But it's getting better. It's beautiful in some ways.

 

Brad Kennard [00:03:52] Now, are they doing or do they do covid in Saskatoon, or you know there's parts of America they don't do covid they just aren't in there.

 

Donovan Woods [00:03:58] They're just not doing it?

 

Brad Kennard [00:04:00] They just don't believe it exists.

 

Donovan Woods [00:04:01] Oh no they're they're doing it. They're doing it in Saskatoon. We're doing it all across Canada. I don't, I'm not sure whether they're in a wave or not, but we're so. Ontario is so Ontario centric, like Toronto is. It's the rest of Canada's complaint is that all we care about is ourselves and it really is true. But here there's a big, huge wave going on. So. Yeah.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:04:23] Oh, well. And so how long, you're a cat that's used to traveling and you two met in Nashville. Yeah?

 

Donovan Woods [00:04:30] Yeah, we met. Well I wrote some of my first songs that I wrote in town with a with a writer named Abe Stoklasa who was writing for Big Yellow Dog at the time. Or I think when we met he wasn't even signed yet, but uh and Brad worked there at the time and that's how we met for the first time. Yeah.

 

Brad Kennard [00:04:46] Yeah. Been stalking Donovan ever since. Kind of literally.

 

Donovan Woods [00:04:53] You know, it feels good. Feels good to be watched.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:04:59] I mean you were coming to the states on a regular, very regularly. How long has it been since you've been over?

 

Donovan Woods [00:05:06] Well I started going to Nashville I think like seven years ago now, seven or so. And I was invited there by the strangest circumstances. The bass player from the band Sugar Ray heard my album. His name is Murphy Karges, and he was working on a making a record label with the football player Aaron Rodgers, and he wanted to meet with me, and this all seemed fake. I remember he sent me a message on MySpace, I was like, this isn't real. And then he said, we're going to fly you to Nashville to meet. And so I was like, OK, well, they sent me a plane ticket. So I was like, I guess I'll go. I think I'm going to get mugged when I get off the plane here. This doesn't seem totally real, but it really was them. And so then I had a meeting. I met a whole bunch of people in town and I did my first couple of co-writes. I knew that co-writing existed, but I didn't know, I had never done it, and I didn't know that it was something that I would want to do. But I had always, I knew what publishing houses were because I looked them up on the internet when I was a kid, because I thought I wanted to be a musician. But I you know, I was looking in the mirror and thinking like it's probably not going to work out for me in terms of being a celebrity, so I should try to be a songwriter, period. And I remember looking up whether that existed, and I remember learning about Warren Chappell and the Brill Building and these types of things and being very excited about it.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:06:31] And then from that point, you've been coming to our shores a lot. We could call them shores, right?

 

Donovan Woods [00:06:38] I don't think Nashville has any shores.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:06:40] We would come in to the Nashville shore.

 

Brad Kennard [00:06:42] There is a place here called Nashville shores here, by the way, it's actually called Nashville Shores.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:06:46] Really?

 

Brad Kennard [00:06:47] Yeah. It's on Percy Priest Lake, it's a waterpark.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:06:50] Okay, so you'd sail over from Saskatoon to Nashville. You'd get on your sailboat. You'd come over the Strait of Halifax. And so it's been a pretty regular clip for you, though, hasn't it, since then?

 

Donovan Woods [00:07:06] Yeah, I came like, you know, I'm there. I added it up one time. But I think in total, I've been in Nashville for a year and some amount, but just not compressed altogether, but all spaced out over time. But I spent a lot of time there, and I feel like a local now, like I complain about traffic and stuff and how they keep knocking down big houses and building two tall, skinny ones, you know, I'm like up with the things so I feel like a local. But, you know, I'm not there that, I mean, I haven't been there in, like, a year right now. So that's a drag.

 

Brad Kennard [00:07:40] We haven't seen each other in at least that long, and in that time, I mean, you were used to coming to Nashville and doing the collaboration thing. I mean, in the midst of all of your other travels in support of your albums and your records and stuff. But you stop through here a ton. What about, what about like writing songs and collaborating now? Are you, how are you feeling about it all? I mean, I know that we've talked a little bit about it, but like, what's what's what's really going on up there?

 

Donovan Woods [00:08:05] I've been enjoying Zoom quite a bit. Like, it's really, it really is more suitable to the process than I would have guessed. And the first you know, the first one is uncomfortable probably. But if it's with people that you know and you have a sort of shorthand with, it works really well. I've been writing with people that I've written with in real life, and it's just sort of feels totally normal on Zoom, which is great. So I hope that that can sort of, I mean, if that can stay as part of the mix of what songwriters do, I think that will be interesting. And it'll maybe free up some opportunities to be able to write with people that maybe you wouldn't have been able to be in the same town with. But I've been writing with people like me, Lori McKenna and Matt Nathanson and I have a very regular date together on Zoom, and it feels like we're getting together like it feels just like old, just feels like a hang. It's great. It's been really great. So I'm not bothered by it. But I do love my times in Nashville. I do love being getting immersed in it. And, you know, I just love the hang of meeting writers and talking about the gossip in the town. You know, I miss that part. I also miss my apartment there.

 

Brad Kennard [00:09:15] Yeah, exactly. Well, Tom and I were talking about this with somebody recently about like the anxiety of going back, like kind of like, I don't know, like do I shake people's hands? Like, what do I, do we hug and do we I mean, do I even want to go back to work. Never mind the commute and so forth. You know?

 

Donovan Woods [00:09:32] Yeah, I wonder. I wonder. I mean, that'll be hard for Americans more than it will be hard for other cultures who really don't hug as much as you people do.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:09:37] I hug. I hug a lot.

 

Brad Kennard [00:09:41] There's nothing wrong with love. Come on, man.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:09:43] Brad and I are both big huggers. And it's going to be, it's going to be tough.

 

Donovan Woods [00:09:48] Yeah. Because we don't we just I mean, there's some people I hug, but not everybody.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:09:54] Did you ever hug Brad?

 

Donovan Woods [00:09:56] I think I think I probably hug Brad.

 

Brad Kennard [00:09:58] Probably, yeah, why not?

 

Donovan Woods [00:09:59] I can't think of any specific instances, but I would anytime I would anytime.

 

Brad Kennard [00:10:04] Not that memorable. It's fine. It's fine.

 

Donovan Woods [00:10:05] It's totally fine.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:10:09] We do have a bunch of mutual pals and you just mentioned, so Nathanson was on the show not long ago and I have no linear memory in Covid, so it was last week in November 2013. Some point. But he does hold the record for the most F bombs on the show.

 

Donovan Woods [00:10:26] Oh yeah, yeah. I can imagine.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:10:27] Yeah, I literally had to go, I'm like, can we, can we do this? And it was great. So it aired. It's our one with parental advisory on it.

 

Donovan Woods [00:10:35] Oh, that's good. Well, yeah, he's I mean, he's a chatter. He's got some things to say about pretty much pretty well every subject. He's got a lot to say.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:10:44] He and Kevin Griffin, both, who both pals and both been on the show. I mean, should be focusing their time on their talk show.

 

Donovan Woods [00:10:53] I was told about one time at dinner between Matt Nathan's and Kevin Griffin and another guy I know, Ed Robertson, who's the lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies, that those three guys went out to dinner. And to me, I was like one, I thank God I wasn't there. Two, who led the conversation? Because that's three guys that definitely are the funniest guy there. And if they're not, they're going to work real hard to make sure they are. Yeah, and that's I mean, that would have been quite a dinner. I'll tell you, those three.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:11:30] That would be amazing.

 

Brad Kennard [00:11:31] And you're tight with all three of those dudes?

 

Donovan Woods [00:11:33] Yeah. I've hung around with all three of those guys, confident fellas.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:11:40] And it doesn't feel like, I mean, that's one of the things that we've talked about on this show that I think's amazing. You know, the silver linings, as everyone says out of this thing, is it really hass strengthened that idea of kind of community in a different way than we got than we've been used to it. Like your communities can be global now and your community can be you can be at home and still stay in your community.

 

Donovan Woods [00:12:01] It definitely feels like that. Yeah, I mean, it feels like I mean, Lori is a person that I get to write with. Before this, I would only write with her once or twice a year and now I get to do it all the time. I feel like I know what's going on with her, feel like I know what's going on with her husband. It's great. It's like wonderful. It does really feel like staying in touch in some ways and in other ways it's like, you know, it's what it is. Sometimes you get the work tape, and you realize that nobody was singing the same melody for the full four hours, but, you know, it's close enough, it's pretty close, it's surprisingly manageable.

 

Brad Kennard [00:12:34] You think you'll keep doing the zoom thing once, once, whenever this ends?

 

Donovan Woods [00:12:38] I will do it. I don't think they are, I think Nashville people are so sick of it that they won't do it anymore. That's my gut feeling about it. Because they like to get, they like to have a lunch and have a hang. And do you know, I mean, I get it. So I could, I would certainly be willing to do it, but I think I'll understand if it is gone almost immediately and forever.

 

Brad Kennard [00:13:00] Has it changed the way your process has worked at all? Like if you get an idea and you're like, oh shit, I've got something, you've got an idea in your head, will you immediately like ring someone up rather than wait for a session and just be like, let's just jam something out? Is it giving you that instant, sort of?

 

Donovan Woods [00:13:15] I have like a pretty good radar about what, like about what, what is going to work in a co-write situation and what I'm going to keep for myself now, and I'll keep a lot of stuff for myself, and every once in a while I'll be in a co-write and I'll throw out something weird that I was sort of keeping for myself, and it will work, you know. Yeah. I mean, there there are instances where, you know, there are writers that I know. I have a friend of mine, Travis Wood who is a writer that I know really well, and I could say, "hey, do you want to just start, this is an idea, do you want to start this?" And we can just, yeah, that's the thing you can jump on in 20 minutes and just start something. Whereas you really had to just sit around with ideas before. But it's a nice feeling as a songwriter, it's a really nice feeling to have like your memo section on your phone, have two or three good ideas in there. I mean that's a good, you just sleep better when you've got a couple.

 

Brad Kennard [00:14:07] Do you ever have those moments where you're sitting there and everybody's just kind of staring at each other, looking at the screen, well what do you got? And you know you've got this idea that you're like, I'm holding this, I'm holding it, I'm holding this. And then you're like, OK, so I got this idea. Does that happen?

 

Donovan Woods [00:14:20] Yeah, I try to get, I really, genuinely try to give my best to everybody, regardless of what it is. I know that's not really the case in Nashville anymore, but I do try to give my best ideas to everybody. You know, the best idea that I got. Because one, I do think there is a shelf life to them and my excitement will wane on them, or I'll just forget about them in a lot of ways. But there's still that, you know, doesn't matter who you write with, the famous people, it doesn't matter who it is, everyone has that, like, moment of doubt before you say it out loud for the first time. When it's only existed in your head, you thought of it as you were falling asleep, you thought of some turn of phrase and you went, oh, I'm a genius. This is why I'm the real deal. And then you wrote it down. And then when you go to say it out loud, especially, you're about to say it out loud in front of a bunch of other songwriters that you love, the feeling of like you look at it, you go, this is nothing. This is nothing. So I have had a thing that I was really excited about and then the moment before I thought to myself, I got to not say this because I think it's too weird. But but generally I just say it anyway.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:15:25] Does your inner artist and inner songwriter battle each other a lot? It knows it's like hold it for yourself. No, it's mine, you know, or give it to them.

 

Donovan Woods [00:15:34] Yeah, it used to. It's used to more than it does now. Now it feels like all the boats rise no matter what. I think I'm really grateful to have an artist career, even though it's just what it is. It's not you know, I'm not selling out Red Rocks or anything. But, you know, maybe I would play Red Rocks maybe someday. But, you know, I'm so thankful if I love a song I can, I have like an outlet for it. I meet so many people in Nashville who go, oh, I love the song that we wrote. And they get to trot it out at around every six months or whatever. And that's just such a, I love I love to be able to put it out, which is, because not everybody is going to appreciate every song. And sometimes people are wrong about songs, you know, sometimes people who just don't understand it. And, you know, I just love having an outlet to be able to put it out, and mostly so I can put it out and experience the feeling of getting revenge on someone for doubting the song. Just revenge is it for me. I love it. This is a great feeling to me.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:16:31] This is what we're learning about Canadians. They're perfectly keeping fresh water from you and they're hell bent on revenge.

 

Donovan Woods [00:16:39] Yeah we love it. Don't you love revenge, though? Getting a little revenge? The two best feelings, relief and revenge. Right? Like when you when you think something bad is going to happen and then it doesn't, that's, there's nothing better than that.

 

Brad Kennard [00:16:53] Agreed.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:16:53] Right.

 

Donovan Woods [00:16:55] And then the second good feeling is when you really exact revenge on someone and you know they feel it. And you see in their face that they go, oh, I was wrong and he was right. Oh, what a nice feeling.

 

Brad Kennard [00:17:06] But I think the delivery that you Canadians have is, it's very sneaky, because everybody talks about Canadians as being so kind and sweet and nice and I'm sorry, but you're proving this all to be wrong.

 

Donovan Woods [00:17:16] I think the Canadians are bigger pieces of shit than anybody really appreciates or understands. I find, and I know that I know that I'm fooled by Southern hospitality still, like I will sometimes be fooled by the niceness of a restaurant host and somebody will be. I remember when my,Chip Petree, who was my lawyer. We were out for dinner and the woman was talking to us with this. And he was like, I was like, she's being so nice. And he was like, she hates our guts dude. She's so annoyed with us. And I was like, oh, like, I don't have that Southern hospitality radar where it's rudeness through kindness. So to me in the South, I'm like, everyone is so wonderful down here. But in Canada there's this sort of like a different distance like. It's just we're just crueler to each other. We really are crueler to each other in a real way, and I don't think it's really true that we're that nice. I think we're kind of like resigned and cruel in a way that Americans just can't even perceive. You know?

 

Brad Kennard [00:18:16] I think it's that. It's that.

 

Donovan Woods [00:18:17] Yeah.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:18:17] I've been there a bunch, and I've always, I've been fooled by your kindness, but now I'm realizing it's sort of got this Taken sort of undertone to it. It's sort of.

 

Donovan Woods [00:18:25] Yeah, that's right. That's right. No, we're not actually doing this.

 

Brad Kennard [00:18:28] Liam Neeson-y.

 

Donovan Woods [00:18:30] And you know where the most of that is, and I'll get in trouble for saying this, but it's Vancouver. Those people can be so nice to you. And you can be on like a two hour hike with the people from Vancouver and then you get at the end of the hike you're like, oh it was wonderful, and they thought you were an asshole the whole time.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:18:45] Is this where the revenge fantasies come in? Because I was going to say, like you said, the most satisfying thing is revenge. I don't know that I actually get revenge that much, but I get it in my head. Like, you know, like in a movie where they do the staged robbery first and then they actually do it. It's just completely botched. Like in my head, the revenge is perfect. But then when it actually sets out, it's usually, it's not that good.

 

Donovan Woods [00:19:05] It usually falls flat. Here's the reason why revenge doesn't pan out most of the time. The other person doesn't care, even half as much, as I cared about the thing that I was mad about, you know, but I still like it.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:19:21] Let's go. We're going to run out of time so fast. There's so much we want to talk about. Let's talk about your artist side. What's going on. How are you doing with that during this time? What's, what's up?

 

Donovan Woods [00:19:30] It's fun. I mean, I put out a record in November that came out in the way that we didn't want it to. Of course, we wanted it to come out with this big tour and all this stuff, but it came out sort of in the pandemic. And but, you know, it's still getting its attention. It's getting it streams, it's the fastest streaming record I've ever released. It's doing really well in terms of people hearing it and listening to it. I just never got to tour it. And those songs are seeming so, it's just like they're kind of getting away from me or something. I don't know what the feeling is. I just never toured it, so they never locked into being mine or something. And then just last week, I released a song, a duet with Aoife O'Donovan that she and I wrote together over Zoom. And uh, and it's doing really well. People are really liking it. And it's nice because I'm really fond of the song. I'm really fond of her. I've been a big fan of her for a long time, so to be able to do a song with her was a real thrill.

 

Brad Kennard [00:20:24] You have, I have two things. Number one, tell us the name of the record, the album that was out November.

 

Donovan Woods [00:20:29] The album was called Without People in November. Yeah.

 

Brad Kennard [00:20:32] And then the thing about Aoife, like you actually do a lot of collaboration. You're writing and doing a lot of artists collaboration with other people.

 

Donovan Woods [00:20:40] Yeah. I mean, I have another an EDM song with a guy called Dabin that comes out at the end of this month. Yeah. I love it. I mean as much as anything I can do, I want to do it. And the fun part for me is that I'm on my own label. So there isn't a lot of barriers. I mean the Aoife, the song Aoife and I wrote, we wrote it and recorded it and like a month later, it was out. To me, that's the funnest, you know, to be able to just do, make decisions and do things, you know, and get the things out quick.

 

Brad Kennard [00:21:12] It feels like that's the no barriers thing is like a big part of all of the things you do. Because, I mean, you're talking about the Dabin thing, you're talking about Aoife, and they're completely different artists.

 

Donovan Woods [00:21:24] You couldn't find two different songs to put out back to back, two more different songs. Yeah, it's quite yeah. It's fun. I mean, I'm a big fan of all. I'm just a music fan and I have always. Collaboration is like, it really brings me joy, it really brings me a lot of joy, because I'm so tired of my own ideas and I don't know about, I'm so tired of myself, you know, I'm tired of the things that I am obsessed with and like revenge and these types of things, just like working with another person, is such a joy to me to shift your perspective. And I love it and I always want to do it as much as possible. Also just introduces you to new fans, you know.

 

Brad Kennard [00:22:03] Absolutely. The other, the other thing about your collaboration, I mean, talk a little bit about with people. So the album was Without People, but the with people project that you did?

 

Donovan Woods [00:22:13] Yeah, we had, you know, we had all this money slated for that record to promote it and, you know, we just thought, what is the point of putting my head on a billboard when there's nobody even walking by anymore? So we just said there's probably a better way to spend this money. So we hired a whole bunch of artists to make individual pieces for each of the tracks. And then that gave us a video for each of the songs. There's like a video of the artist creating the work, and that was really fun too. Just a joy to see what everybody came up with, and I'm a big painting nerd. I'm a big fan of painters that's, if I could pick a skill, that's the one I would pick. And just to be able to have someone paint something based entirely on what their song made you feel is like what I was really thrilled by that. It was a really fun way to promote the record and made a lot more sense in a time when so many creators were out of work.

 

Brad Kennard [00:23:04] Yeah, it's an incredible, it was an incredible grouping of art mixed with all your music. That's just a super cool way to to have somebody rethink, and like you said, how they feel about the song as they're hearing it.

 

Donovan Woods [00:23:15] Yeah, and I always think the songs are so like, I think they're so esoteric and smart. I'm like oh nobody will get this or what I mean here, and then everybody they're like, you mean this, right?

 

Tom DeSavia [00:23:29] And then they go on the revenge list.

 

Donovan Woods [00:23:34] Then I write them down.

 

Brad Kennard [00:23:37] Is there any where you were like, wow, I didn't expect that at all, like that's not what I meant at all.

 

Donovan Woods [00:23:42] I thought there would be one or two where I was like, what is this guy's missing the point in a big time way. But every single one we got, I was like, yup, they nailed it. That was such a surprise, but so, so fun.

 

Brad Kennard [00:23:54] That's awesome. And then you mentioned about being totally independent and it's kind of been a point for you to be to really have take pride in owning and doing your artistry yourself. I mean, you've got a team, but you're also your own label.

 

Donovan Woods [00:24:10] Yeah. I mean, I just the way that streaming works, I mean, I have really enjoyed streaming because of it. I've really enjoyed the shift to streaming. I love to learn about it. I love, I just love how it works and how it functions. I love like the transparency of it. I love watching my numbers go up on release day. Like it brings me joy. So I, I think it's the way that artists nowadays can take a hold of their career in a way that maybe they couldn't have previously, I can understand why someone who has already signed to a label would be disillusioned by that, but I love it. I've really been enjoying it.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:24:47] And to go with what you were saying earlier and we've talked about this a lot because I think it's healthy, it lets you explore this sort of musical psychosis, which doesn't necessarily, like a label might not understand how to put a bunch of things together on one record or how to release one thing after another and was saying it's funny. I think that's one of the great things streaming has brought to us is because a lot of my favorite records as a kid were all over the place. But they made sense artistically. They were from the same artist and I didn't worry about the song that was a rock tune and then a country tune and then a soul tune being on the same record. Yeah, because they fit. And then we got into the world of pre-iPhone marketing and that started to happen less. And I think it's you know, with few exceptions, most people are not so tethered to a thing. But we almost became that. And this time has allowed us, I think, to explore that more, which is, you know.

 

Donovan Woods [00:25:42] I think that young people see genre a lot less than we think that they do. Or maybe I kind of think I get the sense that the play listing by that sort of functions by mood rather than by, you know, has sort of done something to their thinking. They don't, I don't think they really have those hard set rules that we had before. I'm amazed by the things that my music gets called everywhere. And I don't I just think it's sort of we're moving into a genreless kind of soup of everything together, which is exciting. But, yeah, I think if I was on a label, I mean, we had a lot of label offers and they never really made sense. And I think you're right. I think if I was on some of those labels that we said no to, I think they would be kind of confounded with sort of moving into a very serious folk lane with Aoife, which is like, her folk following is very real folk Americana music, you know, real folk fans. And then just like three weeks later putting out an EDM song. I mean, it doesn't really make a ton of sense, I think. But, you know, I think it's just it still feels like my POV and it's still my voice, you know? I'm surprised, I'm always surprised by artists like how different their songs can sound, and really the thing that you love about it is just their voice, you know, just their voice is there. And if it's there, it's like Maren is a good example of that. Maren doesn't not sound like Maren on that song with Zedd. It sounds just like her. You know, and that's what we love about it. We love just Maren's voice period, you know.

 

Brad Kennard [00:27:22] Yup. Agreed. Agreed. So last thing, I think we're getting close here and we could probably go all day long here. Do you have the name of the label, what is the name of your label?

 

Donovan Woods [00:27:37] Oh my label is called Meant Well, but I mean there's no reason to look it up. I'm the only artist on it. You could look it up, but it's just me.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:27:47] The guy obsessed with revenge called his label Meant Well.

 

Brad Kennard [00:27:50] That's exactly what I was going to say. I love it.

 

Donovan Woods [00:27:53] Well you know what I mean. That feeling of like you know people go well you meant well. I think that, I think is a really funny you know, nobody really ever gets that.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:28:03] But I'd like, but first time on this show, certainly. And maybe the first person I've actually encountered who admitted really and I know you know each other well, but we've only met casually a couple of times over the internet, to admit that you're based in revenge, and I respect that so much. And now I just want to hang out with you even more, and just plot revenge.

 

Donovan Woods [00:28:26] Don't you think the music industry is like, I feel like the music industry is built on revenge. Like, I feel like it's just.

 

Brad Kennard [00:28:31] Absolutely.

 

Donovan Woods [00:28:31] When someone doesn't return the email and then you go, I, I calmly take down the name. That's where, and then I go that's it.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:28:40] I think you're just listening to Stopin' Tom Connors and just knitting something and making everybody get along. There's a reference you'll have to Google folks. We are running out of time. So we got one last question for you. Sure. What should the folks out here, our listeners, what should they be reading, listening to, watching, eating? You've got some recommendations for us?

 

Donovan Woods [00:29:00] Okay. Yes. Listening to, the thing that I've been listening to right now is, and I'm sorry to say this, I've been listening to jazz a lot in the lockdown. As I drive around, I'm listening to the new jazz playlist on Spotify and I will steal melodies from these jazz songs. Don't tell anybody that. Nobody will ever recognize these melodies. But there is like I have never liked jazz before in my life. And here's what I realized about it. If you put it on in the car, while you're doing your errand, you feel like a sneaky detective or something the whole time. And I like it. Watch? My wife and I are watching that Mayor of Easttown show with Kate Winslet talking in a Philadelphia accent, and we're loving it. We're liking it very much. And and I mean it, eat. I mean, I don't know, this is regional. But if you're in Toronto, I mean, we order a pizza called Defina Pizza. It's in Toronto. Defina Wood Fired Pizza. And the guys who work there are rude and they do not appreciate your business. But the pizza is so good that you keep coming back even though they treat you like crap.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:30:08] So Americans go there, put on some jazz, wash it down with some lukewarm water, plot your revenge, maybe steal some ideas from a jazz guy. They'll get revenge on you. Full circle.

 

Donovan Woods [00:30:20] What a sum up!

 

Tom DeSavia [00:30:23] Donovan, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Donovan Woods [00:30:25] Thanks guys I appreciate it. Thank you.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:30:28] Brother Brad. It's always good to talk to you, daily, and especially when other people can watch us do it.

 

Brad Kennard [00:30:32] Great to see both of you guys.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:30:35] Gentlemen, thanks for joining us. To our to our fan, we'll see you next time. We're Gone in 30 Minutes. Say goodbye, boys.

 

Donovan Woods [00:30:43] Bye.

 

Brad Kennard [00:30:44] Bye.

 

Tom DeSavia [00:30:44] This show was presented by Craft Recordings. Thanks for joining us for Gone in 30 Minutes. Produced by Laura Saez. I'm your host Tom, and we'll catch you next time.

 

← Older Post Newer Post →