Tag Archives: Interview

Ones To Watch / Knights – Interview

North London based four-piece Knights come with a fine dose of energy, passion and highly impressive pile of genuine rock sound. The band have been taking the Camden music scene by storm and building a strong fan base on the way. They’re about to release their self titled EP, produced by Tristan Ivemy, and celebrate its release with a launch party at Barfly in London on 12th November. The record, available to stream on the band’s soundcloud page, dominates in powerful melodies, fierce riffs and excellent vocals all the way through. The five tracks will take you on an amazing musical journey created by who’s to become your new favourite band. There is a strong potential of Knights becoming the next big thing on the UK’s music scene.

Digs (vocals, guitar), Jesse (drums), Oli (guitar) and Tom (bass) introduce their sound in our following interview and talk about the EP, influences, dream tour, soundtrack of their lives and more.

Could you tell us the story of how you all met and formed Knights?

JESSE: Digs and I started as a two-piece. We met through his girlfriend, and started playing, after a few gigs we wanted to develop our sound. After some auditioning and a few more gigs, it just seemed right with Oli and Tom, the energy, the banter and the ability. We gelled straight away.  

How would you introduce your sound to MGMB’s readers?

DIGS: It’s essentially rock music but I think we’re all influenced by different things. I listen to a lot of metal and heavier stuff, and Jesse loves his crazy time signature stuff.  I guess we sound like an English Foo Fighters, that sort of thing.

TOM: When I think of our default setting, it’s like strong energetic beats with pounding bass lines and chuggy guitar riffs, but having said that, we are not afraid to show our emotional sides either.

You’re about to release debut EP. How would you describe this record and what was it like to work with producer Tristan Ivemy, who’s worked with artists such as Frank Turner?

TOM: We’re all really proud of the record. We feel like all the tracks work well together – it’s a good representation of where we are as a band right now, but having said that, we would love to show everyone the rest of the deal!

OLI: Tristan is great to work with. He really knows how to capture our sound. It’s the first time working with a producer that has been so much on the same page as us.

JESSE: Tristan helped us to make the songs as good as they can be. He just unlocks our full potential. He never stops banging on about Portsmouth football club though…..

DIGS: He’s a great guy, and really patient with us. To know his background and who he’s worked with, it’s really a privilege to record with him.

Could you tell us a bit about each of the songs on the EP?

TOM: ‘Sidonie’ was written slightly differently to the rest of our songs. Usually, Digs will write a loose structure with a chord rotation and a melody and then we write our parts around that. With ‘Sidonie, Jesse wanted to write something in a 5/4 time signature, so we started with the drum beat and then wrote everything around that. It’s a bit hard to get your head around at first, but when it drops back into the second verse it’s like, yes, I get it now.

DIGS: ‘Let it all out’ has a lot of different parts to it, so it was probably the one that took the most effort to write, butI feel like we were rewarded with a great track. It’s got a lot of energy, and a big chorus, and you weave in and out of the different sections, like a roller coaster.

OLI: ‘Come back in’ was one of the first songs I had a role in writing, so it’s always going to be a bit special for me. It’s one of our more upbeat songs but it still rocks. The ending on that song is insane, when Digs’ vocals step up, and we all go to half time, its a fun one to play.

TOM: ‘The fear, the sweat’ shows our dirty side! Its got a slow, heavy, pounding sound that just makes you feel filthy. You can jump to it, grind to it, strut to it, just get your groove on!!

DIGS: ‘Middle of nowhere’ is very much light and shade. The verses are sparse and melodic and then it steps up into this noisy, furious, relentless chorus. Its about depression, and I think we can all relate to it, like ‘I try again to climb the overhang’, and trying to get back towards the light.

Take us through the usual band practice. How do you normally work on the songs?

JESSE: We usually take ages to set up and then rip on each other a bit and mess about, get all that out of the system and then we’re ready to play.

OLI: We go through our live set a few times to make sure everything is as tight and ready as possible. Then spend a bit of time developing new ideas that we might have or jamming at the end.

Are there any particular bands or artists who influenced you to start playing music?

DIGS: I guess my first loves were Nirvana, and Pixies. I liked all the heavy stuff like System Of A Down, they really got me going, cos of the contrast between beautiful soaring vocal melodies and harmonies, against rocky guitar riffs. When I started writing, it was a lot heavier than it is now. Biffy’s ‘Blackened Sky’ made me go and buy my first guitar.

TOM: Blink 182 were the first band i really got into, so i suppose they’re what started it all for me. I went through a big AC/DC phase and i suppose Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys are also important bands on my musical journey.

Why should people come and see you live? What are your main strengths while on stage?

TOM: I think we just all really feel it. For half an hour we’re going to put everything into trying to entertain you. We are going to put ourselves out there and if you like it then you can put yourself out there too. It’s a chance for everyone to let go and do what they feel like for half an hour.

DIGS: We’re up there to have a good time and try and get the people moving. Jess is great to watch because of his enthusiasm and crazy drumming faces! Those poor drums, they take a real beating.

What would your dream tour look like and which bands would you want to be joined by?

TOM: My main ambitions at the moment are threefold: 1. Be a guest on soccer AM. 2. Go on Jools Holland. 3. Play at the Koko in Camden. As long as they are stops on the tour then anything else is a bonus. I’d like to hang out with Alex Turner and Josh Homme. I know they’re buddies now and I just want to see what they’re like together.

DIGS: When we started out, I think we all have agreed on supporting Kings of Leon. But now  I think we all idolise Biffy Clyro, so to play with them would be amazing.

If someone was to make a movie about your life, what would the soundtrack be like?

TOM: Hahahaha that’s tough. Can we have our music or is that a bit self righteous??? Maybe like a big orchestral score but with loads of electronic sound effects. Like a Star Wars opera. Someone should do that. Star Wars: the opera.

DIGS: I love the soundtrack to ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. That mixed with ‘Lock Stock’ would be great. Definitely some Ocean Colour Scene on there!

Do you have any special plans beyond the release of your EP?

DIGS: World domination hopefully. Like Pinky and the brain.

JESSE: There are a few things in the pipeline but nothing concrete yet. New Years Eve at the Barfly, UK tour, Great Escape festival, Hoxton Bar and Grill in January. We are really just working towards building our fan base and getting a strong team of people around us.

Links – Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud

Ones To Watch / Interview – George Barnett

If you haven’t heard of a young musical genius called George Barnett just yet, then take a note right here. A few months back, this talented 19 year old English singer-songwriter and producer have caused quite a storm with his remarkable cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, that has reached nearly 8 million views on YouTube and got praised by both Pharrell Williams and Nile Rogers. Some say it’s even better than the original. Agreed.

George has been making music since the age of three and drumming was his first love, until he discovered that he can actually also write and perform pretty good tunes. So far, he’s gained a huge success with his two self released EP’s and a full length, and right now working on his upcoming EP ‘Animal Keeper’. He’s recently unveiled a new video for the title track, in which you can admire the various musical skills of this young musician. The great thing about George is that he can perfectly master any type of sound while keeping it fresh and always interesting. Clearly, there is nothing less to be predicted than a very successful future ahead of George Barnett.

In our following interview, George talks about getting into music, upcoming EP, touring with Frank Hamilton and his future ambitions.

You’ve started to make music when you were three years old. Can you tell MGMB about the journey since and becoming aware that making music was the right path for you?

Yeah, my mum used to run a nursery and there was a lot of music there. One day a woman called Jane came and played piano for us and I was hooked from then on. I knew it was the right path because really there wasn’t anything else that interested me as much.

You seem to be able to play every instrument there is! One of your great achievements is the UK national title ‘Young Drummer Of The Year’. So when exactly did you realise you also wanted to write songs and sing?

Until a few years ago all I wanted to do was drum. But then I thought maybe I could write some songs, so a couple of years ago I started writing. I wrote a lot of songs before any of them were good enough to show people.

You’ve self released two EP’s and a full length already and have recently unleashed a new video for ‘Animal Keeper’, the leading track of your upcoming EP. How does this one differ from your previous work in terms of writing and the sound?

It’s definitely more rhythmic – and hip hop influenced. The percussion and claps are loud but the tempo isn’t fast, which makes it groove. It’s less of a nice melody, more of a dirty riff.

You also shoot and edit your own videos. And they say men can’t multitask! Was it the same case with the video for ‘Animal Keeper’?

Yeah. I really like to do everything myself, I am really particular about editing the videos – they have to work with the song. This time I wanted to make it a bit differently. I wanted the video for Animal Keeper to have the same homemade feel that my videos have, but I wanted it to be a step on from that. So I had the concept. I usually position the cameras myself but I wanted more movement so I needed someone to hold the camera! I worked with a guy called Will who lives locally to me and makes videos. He was brilliant to work with. And it meant there were two of us setting up the shots. Then I took the footage and edited it to the track. It took ages actually.

Tell us about the Daft Punk cover of ‘Get Lucky’, which is amazing by the way. How does it feel to get 8 million views and to know that Pharrell Williams and Nile Rogers have seen it? Have they given you their opinion on it?

Yeah, it was a surprise that it got so much attention. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rogers are aware of it – they both sent me nice messages.

So what’s the best environment for you to create music and are there any other artists that have influenced your work?

I mostly get a song late at night and it’s not until the next morning that I know if it’s worked. I don’t really get influenced by anyone directly but like I said, Animal Keeper is much more hip hop influenced than previous songs and I’m listening to a lot of hip hop right now. Sometimes it’s not an artist that influences you, it can be a book, a film, a poem, a painting or an experience.

You’re in the middle of UK tour at the moment? What’s it been like so far and what do you enjoy the most about performing to a live audience?

It’s been amazing. I’m supporting Frank Hamilton and he’s great to be on the road with. Me and the band are half way through it right now and just had a day off, which we needed as a few of us were getting colds but really you just want to keep going. You can spend a lot of time in your room writing and recording but playing live and seeing people in the crowd who know the words is really good. Yeah, we’ve played gigs before obviously but it’s nothing like the experience of going from one venue to another up and down the UK night after night. We’ve become pretty fond of Travel Lodges and know the best place to get a good breakfast in most of the major towns and cities!

How do you spend your time on tour when having a bit of time for yourself?

Well this time around I have been mixing the other tracks for the Animal Keeper EP. It’s quite difficult to do that when you’re travelling. I’ve already missed my deadline – twice. Otherwise it’s eating, sleeping, having a laugh, unloading and loading equipment and recently drinking loads of honey, lemon and ginger – and we’ve all been eating raw garlic too to fend off colds.

And finally, what’s the biggest ambition for George Barnett?

To carry on; this is what I do – I’m not much good at anything else. In the future I’d like to make a film but for now, to continue making music and videos and to enjoy doing that. You have to be connected to what you do – a song has to mean something to you or to someone else. That’s the most important thing. That’s the ambition.

Catch George live on the following dates

05/10/13   Thekla, Bristol

06/10/13  Boileroom, Guildford

07/10/13   Komedia Studio, Brighton

08/10/13   Joiners, Southampton

10/10/13   Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Singer-Songwriter Interview / Matthew Fowler

If you listen to the mesmerizing debut album ‘Beginning’ from Orlando based singer-songwriter Matthew Fowler, you’d think it was done in a recording studio. But the truth is, it was recorded in his parent’s kitchen with some of his close friends. Matthew wanted to challenge himself and with no recording experience, he’s made an album worth admiring by even the most established artists. His storytelling, beautiful melodies and hypnotic vocals create a very special atmosphere. Matthew and his music possess a unique charisma and you can feel the heart and soul he puts into his work. Being blessed with such a grand talent, there is no doubt this 19-year old musician will soon get the recognition he deserves.

Find out more about Matthew and his music in our following interview and listen to his album ‘Beginning’, which is also available for a free download on Bandcamp.

How would you describe your music to the UK audience?

It’s essentially a singer/songwriter album with roots in folk music.

What got you into music and made you want to pursue a career in it?

Even as a kid, I was obsessed with music. I remember having conversations with adults when I was just a kid about Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Frank Sinatra and how they made me feel. I think musicians have always been people that I looked up to and wanted to emulate. The first time I picked up the guitar was when I was 14. I got one for my birthday (the same Yamaha I still use live) and that was really it for me. I don’t remember even consciously choosing to play music, I think it just happened.

Your debut album ‘Beginning’ is available for a free download. What made you decide to give it out for free?

In this day and age it’s really easy to get the music you want to listen to for free. I just would rather people go through me to do it than the torrents because it gives me a chance to connect with the people who want to listen. I think they repay you in other ways – maybe coming to a show or even showing the album to their friends. In the long run, that’s more important to me.

Can you take us through the recording process of this record?

Recording was something I had absolutely no experience with, whatsoever. Apart from voice memos on my phone, I never recorded anything before, so I really had my work cut out for me with the making of this album. I knew I didn’t want to go into a studio, I wanted to see what I could do with a bit of time and a couple of cheap mics. So the recordings were done in my parents’ kitchen, and most of the songs were tracked live. I think there were only a couple of parts here and there that were added in afterwards, but the majority of the songs were recorded with all of us playing together.

It just always sounded the best to me – the most natural, the most energetic, the most emotional performances always seem to be captured through that shared energy. I had a couple of friends help me with the recording and mixing process here and there, but I did most of it myself, which I’m really proud of. I learned some things from other people, experimented on my own, and figured out how it all worked. So at the end of the day, I made the album that I wanted to make, and I was the one responsible for it. It’s been really cool actually when people ask me where I went to get the album recorded, and I get to say that I did it in my parent’s kitchen with a couple friends and a lot of sleepless nights!

Is there any song or two on the album with a special story behind it, which you’d like to share with us?

Well there are definitely a couple of stories about every song. But the first track on the album, “Leaving Home/Open Road” was inspired by a road trip I took in high school with a couple of buddies of mine. We had time off from school for spring break and drove from Orlando to the Grand Canyon and back in like 8 days or something. It was the first time out on the road in that fashion by myself and it really inspired me. Seeing the world the way we wanted and experiencing nature in its purest form. It was really life-changing.

Which other musicians would you class as your main influences?

Well obviously the legends like Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Van Morrison have been greatly influential on my music. I would say recent artists like Glen Hansard and Damien Rice have also had really huge effects on my music. I remember pouring over everything Glen Hansard had done and loving all of it. He’s definitely my favorite musician, and I think we share the same outlook on what music and performing are all about, I think that’s why I really connected with his music.

How often do you get to perform live and what are your favorite parts of playing to a live audience?

I honestly try and play live at every chance I get. That’s my favorite part of music. There’s something about playing for total strangers and getting them to feel the words and emotions in a song that is so wonderful. It’s great to be able to connect with people in that way. You can never predict how a live show will go. Sometimes it’s really intimate and intense, sometimes it’s lighthearted and rambunctious. I like the changes and never knowing what to expect.

What is the music scene in Orlando like at the moment and how do you think the type of music you’re making fits in?

The music scene is interesting. Don’t get me wrong, there are great bands coming out of Florida. Really fantastic bands coming out of Orlando, but it’s not the typical place to find people playing the type of music I play. Florida is a lot more open to Rock bands, Funk and Soul, and more bluesy stuff than Folk music. A lot of punk as well. That has been my experience with it. So it is challenging sometimes, but then again, it’s great to win over people who might not necessarily listen to my genre as often. To get people on board who are relatively new to the particular style of music I play.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve been listening to Dawes’ new album quite a bit. I think it’s excellent. Also, “Home Again” by Michael Kiwanuka has been on repeat in my car. I think the album is so beautifully done, truly one of my favorite records right now. Other than that, nothing really new has been catching my ear as frequently as those two albums. For whatever reason I’ve been obsessed with “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I remember last month there was like a whole week where it was all I listened to.

Are you planning to record or release any new material in the upcoming weeks/months?

Well, “Beginning” was released in June, which is pretty recently. So I don’t think I’ll be releasing anything very soon, I don’t want to rush into a new album. I want to take my time for the next one and really focus on having quality songs – not  that “Beginning” didn’t – I just don’t want to put something out because it’s expected, I want to put something out when I’m ready and confident about it.

Links – Facebook, Twitter

Ones To Watch / Interview – Frank Hamilton

After last year’s success of the #OneSongAWeek project, the DIY singer-songwriter Frank Hamilton has had quite a journey. He’s released the whole 52-track album, an EP recorded on the London Eye, collaborated with artists such as Ed Sheeran and Newton Faulkner, sold out shows at Barfly, The Garage and Borderline, built a large loyal fan base… and the accomplishments just go on. Right now he’s in the middle of his own 17-date UK headline tour and is set to release a new 4-track EP called ‘Summer’ on 7th October. Frank’s engaging sound and lyrics reveal the broad talent and uniqueness of this hard working musician who paves his way for a bright future.

Frank took some time to tell MGMB about his upcoming record, making of his latest video, fondest musical memories and more.

Your EP ‘Summer’ comes out on 7th October. How would you describe the record?

A taste of what’s to come but also a nod to the past. The first track is a big production of a #OneSongaWeek favourite, the second is a brand new and a halfway-house between the first track and last year in terms of production and the third track is a cover of Teenage Dirtbag (featuring Brendan, the guy from Wheatus), that combined the DIY recording and ‘random feature’ elements of #OneSongaWeek.  The fourth track is an awesome remix of ‘Summer’ by a chap called Draper.

Could you share some special memories from the recording journey of this EP?

The first track was recorded in David Gray’s studio in Crouch End with an uber-talented producer called Richard Wilkinson, so that was a nice step up from last year’s project (which I recorded at one end of my living room).  The third track was also really special – the moment Brendan from Wheatus sent over the vocal of him singing on my cover of one of the greatest songs of all time. Totally surreal!

You’ve recently released a video for the title track ‘Summer’. How was the filming of this video and where did it take place?

It was shot between Holywell (the town I did some growing up in), a local pub called the Tram and Social and my flat in south-west London. The whole thing was pretty nuts. I’ve never had the opportunity to make a proper music video before, so it was weird to see lots of people running around and making things happen on my behalf. Notable moments include meeting the little version of me (called Harry) and driving alongside a car at 40MPH so we could film one of the closing scenes!

How do you usually work on your songs and what motivates your songwriting the most?

It changes from song to song, to be honest. Some of them are ‘5am with an acoustic guitar on the couch’ jobs and some of them fall out when I’m walking home from the train station.  In terms of motivation I tend to enjoy people – watching and thinking too much…

When did you first realize you wanted to become a musician? 

I used to steal the mouthpiece from my brother’s trumpet and run around the house playing the theme tune to Robin Hood, so maybe that’s when it started?  Enema of the State (by Blink 182) was the album I heard that first made me want to buy a guitar and start writing songs that meant something.

What are your fondest musical memories up to date?

Can I pick a few?  The #OneSongaWeek live show (featuring a load of special guests) was pretty special… and then finishing the project itself.  Doing the #LondonEyeEP, playing Hyde Park, having a sell-out tour… and so on.  It’s weird because this year has felt like really hard work and it’s only when I sit down and answer questions like this that I remember it’s actually been quite exciting. The highs and lows come quite thick and fast, I guess.

If you could share the same stage with any musician, who would it be and why?

There’s quite a few but I’ll go for Davey MacManus (from the Crimea). I’m a huge fan so I was really stoked to do a song with him last year but we’ve never performed together and probably never will (since he’s just quit music to work as a volunteer nurse in South Africa).

What’s your favourite lyric or quote by another artist?

The moonlight reflections that colour my mind when I sleep

And the lovesick rejections that accompany the company I keep

All the razor perceptions that cut just a little too deep

Hey I can bleed as well as anyone but I need something to help me sleep.

– Adam Duritz (The Counting Crows).   Genius. 

Which places are you looking forward to playing the most on your upcoming UK tour?

It’s more about the people than the places themselves.  Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Guildford, London, Newcastle… I’ll stop now before I end up listing them all.

What’s the main accomplishment you’d like to achieve with your music?

Just to be able to carry on making music and not have to worry so much – I’m still totally DIY so there’s a danger that if I take my eye off the ball the whole thing will fall apart. Also pretty much every decision goes through me (which is a bit stressful), so one day I’d love to only have to worry about the music and not all the politics/other nonsense that goes with it.

You can still catch Frank live on these following dates: 

01.10.13 – Waterfront – Norwich

02.10.13 – Institute – Birmingham

03.10.13 – The Garage – London

05.10.13 – Thekla – Bristol

06.10.13 – Boileroom – Guildford

07.10.13 – Komedia – Brighton

08.10.13 – Joiners – Southampton

10.10.13 – Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter

Interview / The Senators

Phoenix based group The Senators are a true gift to all indie folk/americana music lovers out there, touching hearts with their well crafted, engaging melodies and wonderful story telling.  Their sound carries great elements of a traditional folk and acoustic blues featuring a mixture of instruments like harmonica, banjo or trumpet.

The Senators master folk music with a real sense of tradition, musicianship and family connection but most of all, one that brings us a great pleasure while listening.

Jesse Teer (vocals, guitars) introduces the band to the UK and tells us about making of the band’s amazing debut album Harsher Than Whiskey/Sweeter Than Wine, plus stories behind their favourite tracks,  songwriting, Phoenix music scene and more.

How would you introduce yourselves and your sound to the UK audience?

We’re a five-piece from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona.  All of us grew up in AZ and we really think of it as home.  Lots more than just coyotes and cacti, there’s actually a pretty good music scene in bloom here, and we’re excited to be on the forefront of that.  The Senators are Jesse Teer (vocals, guitars), ‘Rooster’ Teer (bass, harmonica), Joe Bitz (trumpet, keys, guitars… all the instruments), Bryan James (banjo, lead guitar) & Jason Yee (drums).

We’re really drawn to that gritty old Americana sound, the stuff that was coming out of Memphis and Sun Records, old American acoustic blues and traditional folk.  You can definitely hear these elements as a foundation of what we’re doing.  But we don’t try to rehash… I think we’re writing music that’s pushing the genre.  It’s very exciting to have interested listeners in the UK… we know the folk scene is booming out there.

It’s been over a year, since the release of your debut album Harsher Than Whiskey/Sweeter Than Wine. How would you sum up the past 12 months?

This year has been a lot about learning as we grow, and it has gone by in a blur.   As a completely independent/DIY group we’ve recorded the majority of our second album, started touring regionally in the Southwest, played some great shows, met some fantastic bands and have made some great fans.

As much fun as we’ve had, there have been the obligatory growing pains.  The way we’ve responded has made us even closer and better as a group – I think you can hear that in our music and see it in our live show.  We’ve realized that what we do is about family, and that’s what keeps us going.

Is there a certain track on this record, you’d class as your favourite or one that has a special meaning or story behind it?

Two of them really stick out to us, but we’re pretty biased!  We’d love to hear what you think after listening.

‘The Sea and Its Floor’ was one of the first song concepts I had with the project.  I spent a lot of time drifting around before settling back down in Phoenix and beginning the project.  This song means a lot to me personally. It’s almost a homecoming song, about making amends and realizing the value of home and family.  I like being able to talk about something very personal like this using some very traditional imagery that’s universal and approachable to all our listeners.

‘The London Bridge’ is another one that sticks out. The old London Bridge (which was replaced by the London Tower Bridge) was actually purchased and transported to Lake Havasu City in Arizona.  It is a very odd thing to have sitting in the middle of a desert. I was driving from Los Angeles back to Phoenix and saw signs for the bridge, so I had to check it out.

I was working on a song dealing with distance at the time, and the idea of this old bridge sitting so far away from its original purpose.

We made a trip up to the bridge to shoot the music video for it; it’ll be out in the next month and we’re excited to share it with our fans.

What was the recording journey of the album like?

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We tracked the entire album ourselves and it was an adventure.  We have a great on-location setup, so we recorded in a good variety of places.  We learned pretty quickly what worked and what didn’t. The freedom involved in the process really gives the album character.

It was a departure from the normal recording process, and getting the album together brought us together as a group.  The songs were originally all co-writes between my brother Rooster and myself while he was out in Memphis.  We set out to work with some great musicians to fill out the concepts as we began to record ‘Harsher/Sweeter’, and we ended up finding our sound with them.

How do you normally work at your songs and how do you share the responsibilities for songwriting amongst you?

I write the lyrics and concept with an acoustic guitar.  I usually record the basics right away, so we have this library of newly written acoustic versions of a lot of our songs.   Sometimes I’ll chip away at an idea until its right, but often songs will sort of just present themselves in a finalized sort of fashion.   Those are always the best ones.  As a writer, it feels like I’m tapping into something either deep within or outside of myself when it just flows like that, it’s an eerily addictive sort of experience.   Then I’ll give the songs to the guys, and grow them from those acoustic concepts into a Senators song.  I love watching that process as it unfolds.

Who’s the first person you think of, that influenced you to make music?

We all have our own separate musical heroes, but Johnny Cash is the epitome that we all share.  We really respect what he did for music; he did it his way and had a legendary career. That resonates with us… we love the music and don’t mind if it doesn’t fit into one single box.

Our (Jesse & Rooster’s) father kept us really active with music.  Some of the first songs I remember singing along to around the house were hits from Zeppelin, Clapton, the Stones … great stuff from his youth.   I guess this really planted some seeds.

What do you love the most about performing live?

Being on stage and playing in the moment is the best of times for us.  We’re not just connecting and creating on stage, but we always try to make that same connection with our fans.  That’s what we aim to do, to make each person in the room a part of that moment which we can share.  It’s a moment that can’t be replicated and it belongs to everyone.  We think that’s pretty special.

What is the music scene in Phoenix like at the moment?

We get most of the national/international circuit bands here in Phoenix, and at that level Phoenix is a solid music scene.  For Indie or local music, the scene is definitely growing and it’s exciting to be a part of it.  Crescent Ballroom (Stateside Presents) is one of the meccas of the local music scene and one of our favourite spots to play in town; Frank Turner played at Crescent when he was in Phoenix.  We take the stage there regularly and always have a great time.   There’s a great fan base here that supports a very ‘revivalist’ genre: we have a few groups coming up in town that are really tapped into more vintage sounding blues, rock, folk, etc.

What’s your view on today’s music industry in general?

We like where things are going.  The industry is in a new place – it’s never been easier to get music out to listeners, and independent artists have a stronger voice than ever.

Are you working on some new material and planning some more releases?

Right now we are going back to re-track and re-master our first album.  We plan for the re-release of the album in October of 2013; we will offer the entire album (with a new track or two included) free to the world to download and share.  The more folks that are listening together, the better.

We have our second album (Battle Hymns) in final stages of recording while we are getting ready for the re-release of our debut album ‘Harsher Than Whiskey/Sweeter Than Wine’.  It’s tough to sit on new songs and ideas, we are secretly dying to share them with everyone.   Aside from music, we’ll have some new videos out soon, stay tuned!

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