G. Love | Eating Right and Exercising Daily

prof G.Love_75

He loves comic books, claims to be heavily influenced by the philosophy of Marvel heroes, and quoted, “with great power comes great responsibility.”





prof G.Love_500

Photo by Emmett Malloy

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard new music from G. Love, also known as Garrett Dutton, and even longer since he’s performed or recorded with the band Special Sauce, but in my interview with him this week, it was clear he hadn’t lost a step. He’s as affable, intelligent, and passionate as ever, though perhaps with a bit more of the wisdom that comes naturally with getting older. The last few years have been rough in some spots for him—including a broken engagement that lent itself to lots of songwriting—but he sounds as if he’s in a good place now. He is focused on a new tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s first album, and a new album, Sugar, out April 22. He also openly talks about how cool it was to have his 12-year-old son join him on stage to play drums.

“I can’t get over it!” Dutton told me, speaking of his son’s turns on stage in front of sold-out rooms. His son loved it, both the stage as well as being on tour with his dad, who told me how cool it was to see that side of his son coming out. With touring with a tween (albeit obviously a very cool tween) in mind, I asked him then if things have changed in the 20 years—half his life—since he first started touring. Is he better behaved when he has his son out on the road? Dutton laughed, something he does easily and without hesitation. He admitted that in his younger days he might have recovered from things a bit better, but now he follows his dad’s advice of “everything in moderation”—most of the time. He has learned in those 20 years, however, and he informs me that, in his view, the key to a successful tour is to “eat right, exercise every day, and you’ve got to put the work in on the music.” He continued, acknowledging, “If you can party and get away with some late-night shenanigans, then more power to you, but ultimately you want to be fresh and have a great show up your sleeve for the people.”

Dutton and his band mates will no doubt have that on this tour. The first set of the night is the first, self-titled album in its entirety. Dutton says they are trying to stay on task and true to the record, playing with heart but also a set list—something they’re not used to. “It’s a little bit daunting at first, but now that we’re in it, it’s so cool. All of the nuances of the songs are coming out.” The second set will include songs from Sugar, along with whatever else they want to play. While it will no doubt be a blast for the audience to see the band let loose after the first set of trapped inside their self-inflicted “box,” as he puts it. The first set is very disciplined, “and the second, we really let it all hang out, because we’re ready to let it all hang out.”

Dutton seems likely to enjoy that part of the show. He tells me that performing is “always the best part of my day. If I’m feeling sick, or bummed out about something, I get on stage, even if I’m in a spot where I say, ‘I can’t imagine going on stage right now.’” He is also a person who does not come across as one who would hesitate to express himself. He is amiable and speaks freely, about everything from writing to trying to mix business with music and not coming up short in both. He loves comic books, claims to be heavily influenced by the philosophy of Marvel heroes, and quoted, “with great power comes great responsibility,” in reference to a posting on Facebook he had made that had garnered some flack. It’s easy to see how his music can be complex but appear effortless, something at which his live shows excel, as well. While you know he’s put a significant amount of thought into what he does—musically and beyond—he appears to handle it all while maintaining a sense of peace about himself.

It’s very clear that the music helps him maintain that. “Music is always like that for me, an escape,” Dutton told me, in reference to writing about tough subjects that may not seem to lend themselves naturally to music that is generally upbeat. “Every song helps you through a moment in your life, and that’s the purpose of that song,” he continues, adding, “It doesn’t have to be a great song, or it could be a hit, but you write it from a true place that helps you deal with something or celebrate something.”

It seems as though Dutton has a lot to celebrate these days—something that will no doubt be evidenced in the show, and for (at least) another 20 years of G. Love & Special Sauce. | Teresa Montgomery

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