The past three years have not been kind to Futurebirds. The group lost their original drummer and battled burnout brought on by their hard-charging touring schedule. To make matters worse, the band members left their comfy home base of Athens, Georgia, scattering to several cities, including Atlanta and Nashville. “It was kind of a low time,” recalls guitarist and vocalist Thomas Johnson.

So when the 6-peice rock band began writing songs for their new album, they knew that a big change was in order. They eschewed familiar studios in Athens and retreated to a secluded compound just outside of Richmond, Virginia. There, Futurebirds recorded the songs that would become Hotel Parties, a sometimes brutal, but ultimately cathartic, album that documents the band’s struggle with… being a band.

Futurebirds (minus the band’s unfortunate pedal steel guitarist Dennis Love, whose gear was accidentally shipped a 2 hour drive away to Eugene, Oregon that morning) joined us in the OPB studios and performed songs from Hotel Parties. The three front-men of the group, Thomas Johnson, Carter King, and Daniel Womack, also sat down with me and chatted about playing 4th of July gigs in Canada, recording in a studio haunted by Confederate ghosts, and the story behind their “accidental concept album.”

Watch videos from the session via VuHaus and play and download MP3s of the songs here:


Audio recording and mixes: Zack Carver-Gustin and Steven Kray
Video editor: Jarratt Taylor
Videographers: Sam Smith, Gerard O’Sullivan, Claudia Krogmeier
Executive Producer: David Christensen