Interview: Dave McSweeney of Greenhouse Lounge. AURA series.
We sat down with Dave McSweeney of Greenhouse Lounge, an electronic trio that has roots in Jacksonville, FL, to talk with them about where they came from and where they’re going. Formed in 2009, this live electronic group features drums, bass and guitar and spans genres including jam, funk, jazz, breakbeats, and dubstep. Our conversation covered everything from AURA Music Festival to a hydroponics store.
When the band was in its inception stage we rehearsed in the back room of a hydroponics store. We tossed around a couple different names a few months later and Greenhouse Lounge had a certain ring to it. We eventually decided to go with it. The name means more now than just a practice space at a hydro store, but we never would’ve known that way back in the day. Pretty cool how it has come to encompass different emotions and energies over time.
How was Greenhouse Lounge formed? Has your sound progressed over the years to a point where you thought to yourselves, ‘this is who we are’?
Greenhouse Lounge was originally formed when I moved back to Jax [Jacksonville] from Orlando in 2006. We really don’t consider the true formation until Zach and I were introduced in 2009. The band has gone through many transformations throughout the years. The highs and lows of being a band are what have made GHL stronger and tighter over the years. From reggae and rock jams to experimental dubstep and a style all our own, we’ve learned so much and are extremely happy with the dance music we are making these days. Who knows what’s in store next, though. Just have to wait and see.
We had a great time catching your set at last year’s AURA Music & Arts Festival. What was your favorite part about the festival?
My personal favorite part was getting to spend time with a lot of friends and artists from the northeast. It was really cool that Daryl [Wolff, AURA's founder] brought down a lot of bands from the Philly and NY area. I don’t get to see as many of those people anymore, so that was great.
There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll all miss the peacocks from last year’s festival, but…..Suwanee!
What are you most excited for with the change in venue? Do you think it’ll have any affect on your performance?
Well if it has any affect on performance it will be a good affect. We absolutely love the SOSMP and have grown there as a band over the past four years. It will only make the festival that much better.
What’s the strangest venue you’ve ever played?
We played a venue that shared a wall to a strip club once in Satellite Beach about 3 years ago. That night got interesting to say the least.
If you could tell patrons three things before catching your set at AURA, what would they be?
Have fun, be safe and Ray John!!!
What are some of your primary influences for making music? Who’s the most played on your iPods? Do they differ?
That is a question with a multitude of different answers; both Zach and I have different and many of the same musical influences. We both are heavily influenced by 70s/80s funk/soul/r&b but also love some great hip hop from today and yesteryear. I have a huge love for a plethora of jazz new and old. Really it just comes down to being a soul driven by music day in and day out.
If each of you were going to spend six months on the International Space Station and were only allowed to bring one album, what would it be and why?
That is a really tough question, I would probably bring something like any Curtis Mayfield, Jamiroquai’s Synkronized or Herbie Handcock live in Japan 1975. I love some funk so any of the above mentioned would do for me but that sure cuts out about 80% of the other music I love so again that is any extremely tough question for us.
What can we expect from Greenhouse Lounge in the future? More Touring, recording, a combination of both?
You can expect to see Greenhouse Lounge more active than ever. We recently started working with Nimbleslick Entertainment and Deathwaltz Media Group along with new drummer Scotty Zwang formerly of Sonic Spank. We’ll be touring way more and have a new album coming out later this spring. So watch out we’re comin’ for ya!!!