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Interview: Smug Brothers release new EP—and share the philosophy behind recording short songs

Smug Bros.jpg
Photo by Emily Farmer
Smug Brothers, from right to left: Kyle Sowash, Kyle Melton, Don Thrasher, and Ryan Shaffer

Don Thrasher and Ryan Shaffer of the Dayton band Smug Brothers spoke with WYSO music intern Peter Day ahead of the release of their new EP, Emerald Lemonade. Thrasher is the band’s drummer and Shaffer is the guitarist. In the interview, they talk about how Smug Brothers songs are written, and how their recording process has changed over the years. Shaffer, who joined the band this year, talks about his musical background and how he was recruited to the band by Thrasher. The musicians also talk about why they often record short songs–Thrasher notes the influence of Elvis Costello and Minutemen– and why they still record and release their music on tape.

Smug Brothers’ new EP, Emerald Lemonade, is available now on cassette or online streaming platforms. They plan to release a full length record next year. The band will perform live on December 16th at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton, and December 17th at Cafe Bourbon Street in Columbus. Both shows begin at 8:00pm.

Watch the music video for the lead single from Emerald Lemonade, “Pablo Icarus,” starring Don Thrasher as Icarus and directed by Ryan Shaffer:

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Peter Day began working in public radio in the summer of 2019, when he first interned at WYSO. He returned to the position the following summer, and served as the program director for Yale University’s student radio station for the 2020-21 school year. Now he works as an assistant to WYSO music director Juliet Fromholt and provides additional production assistance to senior producer Basim Blunt. Peter is a life-long Yellow Springs resident. In his free time, he likes to play music and walk in the woods.