NEMA-nominated rock group by the name of Three At Home just recently released their newest album titled Playlist. #Notarecord.; a collection of seven songs written during the age of COVID dedicated to changing the way we as musicians have adapted to the changes we have been put through in the last year.
One track in particular caught our eye. Just Like This is an upbeat piano forward tune that is reminiscent of Charlie Brown in the beginning but soon becomes a heavy driving anthem. Alternating vocals between male and female voices create harmonic simplicity that draws in the listener just to blast them away with a powerful duet in the chorus.
We got together with Three At Home and had a little chat with discussing many things related to how they have been so successful through the age of COVID. If I shared all of it with you, we'd be here forever, so I'll just stick to sharing the juicy goodness with everyone.
FITT: How long has Three at Home been together and what inspired the name?
Three At Home: There is evidence that we have known each other for much longer, but we remember meeting at an open mic in 2013 and bonding over the fact that we’re both parents. When “Dearly Departed” by Shakey Graves & Esme Patterson was getting regular radio play, Mary asked Dann to cover it with her. It went so well that we decided to form a band, and played our first show together at the beginning of 2016. By 2017, we had started writing and playing together regularly, and the rest is history.
We're always curious what other people think our band name means, but really, it's an homage to our families, because when we go out to play a show, we each leave behind a spouse and two kids -- three at home.
FITT: What is your latest album, playlist. #notarecord, all about? Is there a common theme?
Three At Home: There isn't a common theme, per se, but we did have some musical goals in mind. Back in 2018, we played a release show for our EP, Perfectly Unclear, with a loud band (including a horn section!) for a packed house at The Burren in Somerville, MA. We had been playing as a duo for a couple of years prior to that, and still do, but realized that ultimately, that’s where our music sounds best. We wanted that to come across on the #notarecord.
A few of the songs were solo tunes for each of us that got absorbed into the band repertoire. (Dann actually released “We Were There” and “Two Roads” previously as a solo artist.) A lot of them were tunes we’ve been working on over the last several years but haven’t had a chance to record and release. We threw in some electric guitars and an organ, and the whole thing started to have that cohesive sound we were hoping for.
FITT: Now let's get to your story about how you've persisted through the age of COVID. Tell us a little bit about what that was like, give us some insight as to what you had to accomplish to change what it means to be a musician.
Three At Home: The original intention was to have a release in July in Boston, with some shows in Chicago and Austin scheduled around it, and we were starting to plan for that when COVID hit. Adding to that frustration, because of family circumstances, we weren't in each other's quaran-bubbles, which made it more complicated to do things in person as a band.
One of the things we learned early on is that there is no right way to do any of this music stuff. As we were starting this band, we weren't approaching our music careers in the conventional way: we each have kids, families, mortgages. We couldn't throw caution to the wind, jump in a van, and drive around the country. That didn't mean we stopped; it meant we pivoted. It meant piecing songs together over text messages and voice memos while waiting for the school bus. It meant posting on social media while the kids had a snack. It meant late nights and early mornings and occasional very long practice sessions. And it meant trusting one person to pick up the slack when the other couldn't.
We finally realized that 2020 was going to mean pivoting again. During the quarantine, we released one single a month up until a private virtual listening party on Zoom in December 2020, and released the whole collection of tunes digitally at the end of January 2021. Our plan continues to focus on post-promotion rather than pre-promotion, and we've been optimistically planning live, in-person shows this summer and into next year. We're even printing the whole thing on vinyl -- yup, playlist. #notarecord on a record, because who doesn't enjoy something cheeky and ironic?
Through constant communication with our fanbase, we acknowledge difficulties and feel incredibly supported by a fantastic group of people that continues to grow. This path has always been about connection and community, and when we've been transparent, authentic, and willing to show up, we've seen fans, friends, and colleagues do the same.
FITT: Has Three at Home done any live streams or events like that to continue staying in the loop throughout the last year?
Three At Home: Have we ever, haha! Massachusetts announced a state of emergency around March 12th, 2020, and on March 13th, we played the first of a weekly livestream series called SpotiFriday LIVE. From our respective homes every Friday evening, we would each play a handful of cover songs on a theme, broadcasting on Facebook Live. We would accept tips on PayPal and Venmo, and gave half away to various good causes that would change periodically. And because we missed the banter, we would even hop on Zoom after we were done and broadcast to Facebook just to chat about whatever we wanted with each other. A friend dubbed it "Three At Home At Home," and folks hung out and talked with us in the comments, which made it so much fun.
SpotiFriday LIVE has been a real haven for us, a way to stay creative and sharp while dealing with the realities of pandemic life. And we've grown a strong community around it, with regulars who show up each week in the comments, putting in requests and leaving us tips. They've helped us keep the proverbial lights on while giving us the ability to donate over $1000 to charities and struggling local venues and restaurants. Livestreaming gave us a way to connect with fans nationally and globally, and at the same time, in a very intimate way. And on the occasions last summer when we were able to play together safely outside in Dann's backyard, that community was there for those, too.
The show is still going strong every Friday at 6 pm ET, now on both Facebook and YouTube Live. We recently started bringing on musical guests using Streamyard, so now we get to show off our very talented friends to this beautiful community and share the love, which feels incredible. As the world reopens and it becomes safer to play in-person shows, we still plan to keep SpotiFriday LIVE going in some capacity, but we aren't sure what it will look like just yet.
FITT: What can we expect from Three at Home this year?
Three At Home: The next thing in our minds is continuing to get playlist. #notarecord out to people and have them be excited about it. We’re planning a proper release party for the fall AC (After Covid) and even a tour for April 2022 from Nashville to Austin. This June, we’re headed back into the studio to record a hand