Benjamin Tod Reveals Why Lost Dog Street Band Almost Split Before Recording Their New Album ‘Survived’: Exclusive

Lost Dog Street Band will release their new album Survived this week. The aptly-titled collection comes after a time when Benjamin Tod and his collaborators were ready to walk away from the project for good. Then, after recording a solo album, Tod found his excitement for the project revived. The newly rekindled excitement was contagious. Now, the band returns stronger than ever with a new album.

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Longtime fans of Lost Dog Street Band will know that Survived is different from the group’s previous output almost immediately. The sound is bigger and the production is much smoother. That’s because they changed their entire behind-the-scenes approach for this new album.

[RELATED: Benjamin Tod Calls Lost Dog Street Band’s New Single “Survived” the Best Song He’s Ever Written [Exclusive]]

Recently, Benjamin Tod sat down with American Songwriter to discuss the new album. During the conversation, he revealed the reason behind the band’s updated sound and why he was ready to retire Lost Dog Street Band entirely.

Lost Dog Street Band Was Almost a Thing of the Past

Since the initial single dropped earlier this year, there has been much talk about Lost Dog Street Band being “reinvigorated.” However, many fans don’t know just how true that is. After finishing their Lonesome Goodbye Tour in 2022, the band was ready to call it quits.

“Really, I was at such a standstill in my career with creativity and enjoying playing. A lot of that stems from my lack of cooperation,” Tod admitted.  “For the majority of my career, I really did not cooperate with other artists, I had a lot of mistrust with the general industry. I was kind of in an echo chamber with the people around me who felt similarly. ‘Put your head down, we’re gonna do it our own way.’ And that worked for most of my career,” he added.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Lost Dog Street Band’s Benjamin Tod Breaks Down the Band’s New Single “If You Leave Me Now”]

Then, Tod went a little deeper into why Lost Dog Street Band’s output was becoming less appealing to him. “Unfortunately, toward the end there, I did not enjoy the songs I had written previously,” he explained. Most of the band’s most popular songs are about the man he was more than a decade ago. Constantly reliving the trauma of his past and dwelling on those days was becoming less and less enjoyable for him. It was more than that, though.

“I was sick of singing about the person I was, I was sick of my guitar playing, I was sick of my voice,” Tod recalled. “My body physically couldn’t handle the stage anymore, fronting a string band. I have nerve damage in my arms that renders my hands useless to a point. I was having extreme health issues with just performing night in and night out on top of all of these other feelings.”

A Solo Record Saved the Band

In early 2023, Tod went to the Bomb Shelter in Nashville to record a solo album. “I got in touch with Andrija [Tokic], we got in the studio with some of the most legendary Nashville cats who are still alive and worked with them and ran that record,” he recalled. “It kind of lit a fire in me.”

[REALTED: Exclusive: Benjamin Tod Shares His Feelings on Lost Dog Street Band’s Upcoming Grand Ole Opry Debut]

However, two of those songs—“Lonely Old Soul” and “Son of Tennessee”—didn’t fit the sound of his solo record. Instead, they sounded like Lost Dog Street Band songs. As a result, he decided to take those two songs, pull some of the more popular Lost Dog songs, re-record them, and release the resulting collection. However, by the time he was able to get back to the Bomb Shelter with Tokic, he had written an entire album’s worth of songs.

“When we got back into the studio, it reinvigorated the whole band. Jeff [Loops] and everyone else was like ‘I kind of felt the same way.’ But, after being in the studio with the new material and the new feel and the new sound, everyone was on board,” Tod said. Thus, Survived was born and Lost Dog Street Band was saved.

Benjamin Tod on Recording Survived

“We brought in Richard Bailey who played with the Steeldrivers on banjo. He’s a Nashville legend and has run the Station Inn for years. We also brought in Sparrow [Pants] from the Resonant Rogues, who is a longtime friend of ours. Then, beyond that, it was the core of the band—me, Ashley, Jeff on upright, and then Ben Duval on drums,” Tod recalled of the recording lineup. “The only exception to that is John James Tourville who is in the Deslondes and is basically a hammer with all different types of instruments. He played the mandolin, baritone guitar, the steel, and all of the slide licks on the record,” he added.

“We ran it at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville with Andrija as the producer,” Tod said. “We ran live tracking for the first three days. Then, we did overdubs for two days. At the end of that week, we mixed and it was to the mastering facility within ten days which is a completely new concept to me,” he revealed.  “Every other album I worked on, I spent between four and eight months building. So, this was a whole new process and I liked it much better. It suits my soul much better. And, the product is better, in my opinion.”

Fronting Lost Dog Street Band Isn’t Benjamin Tod’s Sole Focus

It’s fortunate for the fans that the band found a way to make creating music enjoyable again. At the moment, being an artist—either with the band or solo—is low on Tod’s list of priorities.

“Being an artist is my part-time gig,” Tod stated.  “I manage 400 acres out here, I’m the vice president of a nonprofit. I’m a big community leader in Muhlenberg. I’m focused more on my marriage and my community and my impact on this world more than anything,” he explained. “I like tearing apart engines and running heavy equipment. I’d rather do that than get on stage. Part of me was like, ‘If I’m not enjoying this anymore, I can’t do it.’ Luckily, I enjoy it more than ever, now.”

Fans will get to hear Lost Dog Street Band at their full reinvigorated strength when Survived drops this Friday (April 26) via Thirty Tigers.

Featured Image by Starla Groves

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