I came across the solo project of Jim Diotte, Between The Pine, not very long ago. And as usual I can't for the life of me recall how... oh, wait, I remember, I'm on 8oH Records mailing list and this tiny internet label had recently offered a 3 track EP for free download by Between The Pine. Anyway I hadn't heard, or heard of Between The Pine and when I saw the name it appealed to me. Now the music appeals to me and I thought I'd try to get in touch with Jim Diotte to ask a few questions. *Sixeyes previous post on BTP is here.
*Sixeyes: Is the music you record as Between The Pine any different from what you've been writing all along? I mean, since you began writing songs?
Between The Pine: Well I recently just under went a name change. I used to call my solo junk "These Dungarees". It was a bit more upbeat and pretty raw. Not like Eddie Murphy's "Raw". More like 'one try' takes and bad recordings. I'm not sure I'm much further away from that still, but I've been taking this a bit more serious than I used to. So, I felt I should retire that name. So, to answer your question, yes and no. I've been learning a few more instruments and I think each one brings a different feel to the songs.
*S: Are your influences obvious to others, do you think? Or would listeners be surprised if they knew what music inspires you? What are your influences?
BTP: My major influences come from my friends. There are some outside classic bands and recent bands that inspire me but I'm not sure if it changes what i'm doing too much. Maybe it does though. Probably does...I don't work in a cave. But the hugest impact on me in my writing has probably got to be my best friend Aj Pyatak (Gannon - http://www.mygannon.com). I've been learning from him since I met him in college in NY. We played in a few pick up bands together, but where I really picked up tricks were from watching him record and listening to his albums. He's too good. He's one of those guys that just loves music for the sake of music.
*S: I believe that you record in your basement at home... is that right? So, is Between The Pine a one man show? Do you play all the instruments and mix the tracks?
BTP: Yes, I record in a small basement studio I built and in my apartment at times. Yes, I'm a 'one man' guy. I play all the instruments, but when it comes time to mastering I send all my tracks to AJ Pyatak, mixed as close to what I want as possible and then have him remix and master.And I'll ask him to add vocals in the background and play bass on a few tracks. I've also been getting my wife to lend her voice. She's got this amazing voice and I need to use it more. She helps cover up my shrill voice.
*S: Will your solo project be getting more attention, or will you be splitting solo time with band time? How many bands are you in right now... just the one?
BTP: I am always writing songs and it used to be that it would all go to my solo project. But now that I play with these amazing guys, I have pretty much been bringing those songs to them. But some songs fit the "number 1, i love you" sound more while some are better suited for "Between The Pine".
I'm currently in 3 bands. "Between The Pine" (my solo), "Number 1, I Love You" (full band), and "The Horse's Mouth" (my father-in-law's band, I play the drums and ukulele). I also get together with a few other guys and we goof around. But I just show up with a ukulele or guitar and just play along.
*S: You're located in Rhode Island, do you play many shows in the area? Are there places to play, or do you as a solo act, or with the band, have to go on the road?
BTP: Yeah Lil' Rhodey... I honestly havn't played many solo shows as "Between The Pine". Actually I think only one, and it was on a local college radio show (90.3 wuri - guerrilla rock) at 12am - 3am. So I'm not sure if that counts. I wasn't really in front of anyone but maybe 2 people. And I think those are the only 2 people that would show up anyways.
My full band has been playing out more recently. I've been dedicating more time to that. It's still growing and evolving so it's been pretty fun.
RI actually does have a bunch of places to play and we've been playing anything that comes our way. we don't have any plans on going on the road right now but i guess we would if we were offered something. but I doubt it...
*S: What does 2006 hold for you? Recording, performing?
BTP: I am currently in the middle of recording with all 3 bands. I am trying to get a few small shows for "Between The Pine" and have a few shows already lined up for "Number 1, I Love You". We're playing at the AS220 in Providence on January 28th, 2006. We're hoping to add a few more people to the roster for that. My father-in-law's band also has a few shows lined up as well. So it's starting to get pretty busy, but I enjoy that.
Between The Pine home page
Myspace Page - a couple more mp3s here.
Between The Pine Track List
[full length CD available from Hot Rod Porta Records]
1. Please Sit Down [via 80h.com]
2. I'll Carry On My Father's Joke
3. Bronze Shoes
4. Shoot Me In The Spine
5. Robbie, Brute Of The Brawlers
6. We All Know Where You Are
7. She's Got Eyes Upon Her Back
8. We Awoke [via 80h.com]
9. There's No Room For Light
10. Capo 8