In about three weeks, the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will be releasing a joint CD/DVD release, Together. Since I interviewed Ernie Haase the last time Signature Sound released a project, I took a recent chance to interview the other three members of Signature Sound, baritone Doug Anderson, bass Tim Duncan, and lead singer Ryan Seaton.
DJM: Though there aren’t many, there are several examples of quartets recording projects together. What makes this project distinctive?
Doug: I think what makes this project distinctive is that two groups that are worlds apart stylistically can come together and work together to make one great sound and one great project.
Ryan: Well I think that GVB, and EHSS are worlds apart as far as style goes, but when you put us together it creates a unique sound that I think people are going to enjoy.
Tim: We had Bill Gaither and Lari Goss. That’s like having Michael Jordon and Larry Bird on the same team.
DJM: How did the dynamics change–both in the studio and live–when you were singing with eight singers instead of four?
Tim: It is such a huge sound……. it just made it that much easier to sing with the other 4
Ryan: You learn to listen more closely because the blend has to be there, and live you have four
other guys to play off of, double the energy.
Doug: At first you are two different groups, but when you realize that you are all on the same team and you have the same goal its like you just doubled your strength. When we stand up there together it is a unified statement that we are and there is something really cool about that.
DJM: Do you sing four parts throughout the project, or are there instances where we can look for six or more parts?
Tim: I’m really not sure ……Lari and Bill came up with a lot of things ……..I do real good to stay on my part. lol
Doug: You can count on a lot more than just four part harmony. There were times my head was spinning to even know what I was supposed to sing. In the end it all comes together and it is a BIG sound.
DJM: Do you have any funny studio stories from the recording of this project?
Doug: There were pranks being played all the time and we laughed a lot, but we were in there to work and we were paying attention most of the time.
Ryan: One night we were almost done with this song we had been working on all day, and Guy had just finished so he left, and I guess that Wes thought that he was done so he left without really letting anyone know, and as soon as he had left, Bill thought that there should be another part on the song and he wanted Wes to do it and when Bill found out that he had left we all just froze and to ourselves started praying for Wes. Needless to say Wes was back in a flash. I think it was a lot funnier for us than for him, and we still give him a hard time about it.
DJM: Over time, as groups introduce new songs, they eventually have to phase some of
their older songs out of their live shows. Of the songs you’ve recorded but no longer stage, which one do you miss singing the most?
Doug: The song I miss the most is Dawning of That Day. It was the song that first got peoples attention and I still like it.
DJM: Of the Cathedrals’ songs Signature Sound hasn’t recorded yet, what is your favorite?
Doug: Wedding Music, Step into The Water.
Tim: Wedding music or this ole house
DJM: Do you have any personal favorite song on the project? Doug: Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus
Tim: Great Day.
DJM: The way some stages are lit, the performer cannot see the audience. How do you compensate and connect with those audiences?
Tim: Usually you can see the first 4 or 5 rows …..you kinda feed off of that. But I go by what I
Doug: You just have to go for it. It’s almost like being in the studio. You got to put that feeling
into it because they are out there and they are listening and watching.
DJM: Bill Gaither has said that he wants to record music that will still be played in fifty years. Fifty years from now, how do you think future Southern Gospel fans will remember this project?
Doug: I think it will be a Benchmark. First, Bill Gaither’s name is on it and second we had to much fun making it. I am very proud to even be associated with these guys let alone sing with them. Wow. I think people will pick up on that and if nothing else say, “Hey look, Those guys are having a blast.” And we are!!!!!!!!!
Tim: I think it will go down in history books as 1 of the greatest recordings of all times.