Seth Bolt shares about how he kept his bandmates full and focused while making an album in quarantine.


Last August Southern Living reported on how NEEDTOBREATHE released their first studio album in four years, Out of Body. The Southern rockers finished recording the album just days before the initial shutdowns took place in March 2020. With the pandemic shutting down tours for over a year and keeping most of us at home, no one could have expected they would have another batch of new tunes was on the way. But the band was quietly working on a brand-new project soon after Out of Body was released.

For three weeks the guys all quarantined together in a house in Columbia, Tennessee, and created a record in a way they had never done before. Seth Bolt recently spoke to Southern Living about their experience. "We were isolated all together so there was an energy and excitement of just getting to be together again and also to be together in a place that felt like we had our own world," he said.

While they were not far from Nashville, the house became a self-contained secret hideaway for the band to reconnect after a difficult period of isolation and to make new music again.

"I feel like I get to go to summer camp with all my best friends and we get to make music and there was no pressure on the situation because we had just released Out of Body, and no one knew that we were recording. We sort of kept it a secret intentionally."

NEEDTOBREATHE black and white press
Credit: David O'Donohue

While they huddled together in seclusion, Bolt took on the role of house cook when they weren't ordering in from local restaurants. One of his dishes that was a regular in their rotation draws inspiration from one of Tennessee's favorite sons.

"The Elvis Wrap is kind of a combination of the Elvis sandwich, and this roll up that I remember eating as a kid. It's a warm tortilla shell, I put peanut butter on it, it softens up a little, there's banana, try to make it healthier with granola, yet the bacon is so full of flavor. And I put honey on that as well. So, I call it the Elvis Wrap. And for me, I would have one of those and then I would not be hungry for hours and hours and I could just focus on working and it gives me a lot of good fuel."

We now know, of course, that the band was secretly working on Into The Mystery, which is out now. The band brought a film crew along for their stay in that remote Tennessee house and the documentary taking us all inside the house will premiere in select cinemas for one night, November 3. You can get your tickets here. Check out the trailer below:

Bolt shared with us that the songs on this new album Bear Rinehart entirely during the early days of the pandemic, during quarantine. "I think the songs themselves and their content really do address a lot of deep things. From my perspective it seems like Bear just has an exceptional gift with really being authentic and honest about the really challenging, internal dialogue that most of us have."

Not only did the band itself go through a major transition when Bo Rinehart left the band, we have all just been through the collective trauma of this pandemic. Bolt hopes that this new music will serve as a way to begin the healing from all of the hardships both they and their fans have faced in the last few years.

"I was thinking about this the other day like there's this incredible intelligence that we're all aware of that's built into our DNA that if we get a cut or a scratch, our body will heal itself in the background and we don't have to even think about that. It just happens. But our emotions don't work the same way. It requires intentionality and it requires time spent thinking and processing and talking about it. Giving that hurt a voice. So for me, there are so many of these songs that Bear wrote that give that a voice for me."