Monday, August 27, 2012

Flow, Your Meteor, Lorin Madsen, The Direction

Posted By on August 27, 2012, 11:59 PM

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On a rare cool August evening, with a gentle breeze making its way through the city, I found myself at Kilby Court with some unexpected surprises. --- For an unknown reason, probably for the simple idea that they wanted to have some fun, it was Cowboys & Indians night at the all-ages venue, in which your ticket price was comped down to cheap if you dressed up -- which made for an interesting setting at the bonfire until it was put out way too quickly.

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In any case, the evening brought us four awesome acts from the indie-rock scene: Flow, Your Meteor, Lorin Madsen, and The Direction, who released their brand-new EP at the show this past Friday. Today, I interview all four acts for the blog and showcase over 300 photos I took of the show for you to check out in this gallery here.



Flow (John Freeman, Donovan Gallagher & Nic Allred)

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Flow on Facebook



(For this interview, Flow chose to answer as a band.)



Gavin: Hey, guys. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Flow: We are a three-man band from the town Bountiful. We love to share love through our music.



Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Flow: I guess the same as everyone else -- our parents introduced us to music, rock & roll. Our influence comes from the classics such as Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Doors and Cream. Best live band I’ve ever seen was Jethro Tull.

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Gavin: How did the three you come together as a group to form Flow?



Flow: Six years ago, it was only a two-man band, Nic Cowan and Nic Allred. Members have come and left and through time. Flow has become the three-man band it is today.



Gavin: What was it like coming up with the kind of psychedelic blues sound you've created?



Flow: It’s a wonderful feeling to play music straight from the soul; we get together and make a little noise and a psychedelic sound is made. The blues is just our natural style, it’s the only way we know how to play.

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Gavin: How has it been for you as a group to tour around the state and build up your fanbase?



Flow: It’s been an interesting experience. It’s fun to meet people sharing the same thrill as playing shows; hopefully, we’ll be playing for a long time, only getting better along the way.



Gavin: You've been together almost two years but haven't released any albums. Are you looking to put anything out in the future?



Flow: We do have a demo but it is not professional quality. Making studio albums costs a lot of money and we are limited at the moment. We have met a few interns in sound engineering, and we’re going to try to work with them to get an album. It should be a mutual learning experience and I’m excited to partake.

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Gavin: Do you have any plans to start touring beyond Utah or will you be staying around home for now?



Flow: Staying around home, this is where we’re known. If we had a van, we would like to travel and share our sound.



Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Flow: I think it’s great that there are so many local bands; it’s hard to support them all, however. I don’t think you should support a band just because they’re local. You either like their sound or you don’t.

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Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Flow: More free shows and more thought when lining up bands. A blues band should never have to play with a metal band. It just doesn’t work.



Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Flow: Got to hand to Holy Water Buffalo, they are an excellent band!

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Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Flow: We have no problem with it; if you want to support the band then you can pay for merchandise and CDs. but everyone should be able to have our CD whether or not they want to pay for it.



Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?



Flow: We’re going to keep on playing and keep on getting better; hopefully, a studio album, as well.

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Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



Flow: Keep an eye and an ear open. Stay informed and stay involved -- also, the dinosaurs of Bountiful.





Your Meteor (Andrew Goldring, Zeke Hartmann, Stuart Gardner Thomas Roberts)

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YourMeteor.com



(For this interview, Your Meteor chose to answer off-and-on as a band.)



Gavin: Hey, guys. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



YM: We’ve been quietly lurking around SLC for the last two years, but we have relinquished all earthly pursuits to peruse the local population’s ear canals. We are a DIY fusion-rock band at the cellular level, but when seen only with the naked eye we appear to be four guys with a passion for making people sonically uncomfortable.

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Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Thomas: My dad and Rich Daigle.



Andrew: I used to run around naked listening to “Life In The Fast Lane” by The Eagles. From there, I grew up on The Beatles, the blues, singer songwriters and a steady diet of jazz fed to me by Rich Daigle.



Zeke: Looking at my Dad’s copy of Steely Dan’s The Royal Scam when I was a little kid.  He also introduced me to early 19th-century blues musicians. Plus early exposure to bluegrass from my extended family, Mike Henderson and Rich Daigle.



Stuart: An early obsession with boy bands until I was turned on to the skins and thus started delving deeper into music with soul and those good things. Mostly just looking up Weezer drum tabs and not getting enough sunlight. Some of our favorite combined artists are Pink Floyd, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Tones on Tail, Television, The Replacements, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, The Beatles, Modest Mouse, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius, Tom Waits, Final Fantasy series, Takemitsu, Stravinsky, the list goes on and on.



Gavin: How did all of you come together as a group to form Your Meteor?



Tom: Remember the meteor that went down in Moab back in 2009? Well, Zeke and I met Andrew in the crater. I have known Zeke since we were kids, and we have been playing music together for half our lives. Andrew was in the Spanish Fork blues scene when we were around 12 and I saw him open a blues fest with my pops back in the day. Coincidence or fate led us all to the same place that day in the desert, and we’ve been Your Meteor ever since. We want to share the incredible feeling that we had then: cosmic communion. Stu Gardner heard our story through the grapevine and quit Berklee School of Music to join up with us.

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Gavin: While based in rock, you don't really have a specific genre, as you tend to blend a dozen different ones together depending on the music. What made you decide to go that route with your sound?



Tom: The Retroscope is a coming-of-age album that was written over the course of many years. It pays homage to our favorite styles of music from many decades. I guess the decision to be multi-genre was made naturally through the culmination of our musical backgrounds and the hectic and frenetic nature of adolescence.



Gavin: Back in June, you released your debut album, The Retroscope. What was it like putting that album together and what issues did you deal with during recording?



Andrew: Recording The Retroscope was a long and tedious process, but a really valuable learning experience for us all. I had just begun learning about recording when we started, and the year-and-a-half process really refined my skills as an engineer. The downside of this was that a lot of inconsistencies took place with regard to the way we tracked things, and Tom and I really had to learn by trial and error. That’s part of the reason the album took so long to finish. That being said, I think we did a really good job with what we had and I feel proud of the finished product.

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Gavin: What did you think of the public reaction to it when it was released?



Stu: They were highly displeased. We were lucky to make it out of there. I’m being real when I say these people are like dogs.



YM: Stu is a real dog lover. We have had an overwhelming amount of support. The CD-release show was a spiritual experience for us. A hundred people crammed into an echoey barber shop just to see us was an incredible feeling. We hope that we ourselves can grow as our audience grows, and we're trying our best to make our shows an experience worth people's time and money. We've had some amazing reviews in the August issue of SLUG Magazine and on a national website, Muzik Reviews, which have both been radically helpful with reaching a whole new listenership.



Gavin: Are you planning to do any touring in the future or will you be sticking to Utah?



YM: Right now, we are nourishing our amazingly supportive fans and hoping the local bigwigs will take notice. Although there has been talk of an exclusive bowling alley tour, we’re here to put those rumors to rest.

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Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



YM: There is a lot of talent in our fine state and a prominent counterculture. But there is a lack of infrastructure to support all of that talent. Kilby Court is an oasis in a desert for all-ages shows along with a few other spots. We feel a bit displaced, as we don’t really have a specific niche audience we could access by jumping into a scene, but it leaves us plenty of room to be weird and do whatever we want.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Stu: I think there is plenty of room for more experimentation. More bands pushing the envelope and striving to express themselves and venues supporting that. It’s really a matter of how far do we want to push this collectively? The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to music, performance, and the grey area in between.



Zeke: The music scene is exclusively in the bars and I think there needs to be more collectively open spaces for people to express themselves in a centrally located spot in Salt Lake. Not necessarily a venue, or a bar, or a coffee shop, but someplace where all kinds of performance artists can do their thing.

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Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



YM: Grey Fiction, Golden Sun, Little Barefoot, Knowing We’ll Never Grow up, Treehouse, Dine Krew, Stag Hare, The Awful Truth, Tetris Fingers, Red Rock Hot Club and The Legendary Porch Pounders are some of the groups that we love.



Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



YM: KUER is what we're all about, love the late night jazz and the smooth DJs. KRCL is another great outlet for music. They have a wide variety and really do what they can to support local art and events. We played a live set down at the KRCL studio just recently, and it was an invaluable experience. Look up Circus Browns podcast on Google and you can hear our visit to KRCL in its entirety for free.

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Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and music lovers?



Tom: Piracy has pushed musicians to work hard again! It’s an amazing and exciting time we live in. Live music is back and it looks like it’s here to stay. It’s now possible to make a living doing what you love, and the reward is in the art. The industry is virtually dead. No million-dollar contracts anymore. I feel that it's now more possible than ever to attain a reasonable amount of success as an independent artist, especially with the newfound affordability and practicality of recording equipment. I would be happy if someone was interested enough to steal our music. Copyright laws are seriously Jurassic and need revision.



Stu: It is very reassuring to know that the music lovers out there are still buying physical copies of albums and not just downloading everything off Mediafire or fileupload. For me, having a physical copy of an album is much more of a complete package. I like to see that artists have thought it over, sweat on it and put their soul into it a bit.



Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?



YM: We are in the process of writing a new record from a conceptual approach. We will all be singing lead as different characters in a fictitious world. We will tackle modern issues we feel need to be addressed, trying our best not to be political or biased, and attempt to tell a good story. There are many more shows to come and we've been working on our stage antics. We want to give folks their money's worth.

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Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



YM: We just released a two-song single online, which you can download for free or for a donation at our website. We are playing the Awful Truth’s tour-kickoff show at the Pickle Factory on Sept. 21, and again at Kilby opening for a group called Hume on Sept. 24, and again on Sept. 27 with one of our favorite local bands, Knowing You'll Never Grow Up.





Lorin Madsen

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Lorin Madsen on Facebook



Gavin: Hey, Lorin. First thing, how have you been since we last chatted?



Lorin: It has been a minute since we last spoke, but I'm doing great.



Gavin: Getting right to it, Blackhounds broke up last year, but there wasn't a lot said about the reasoning. What happened with the band to cause the breakup?



Lorin: Well, a lot of what happened with BH was a bit out of left field for some of us. We had been a band at the point over three years and it was just a time when "life" had caught up to some of us. We all love each other and remain great friends today, but it was just time for us all to move away from BH and pursue own personal endeavors.

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Gavin: After that happened, what made you decide to start performing as a solo musician?



Lorin: Well, that's an easy one. I'm a songwriter/ musician. It's always been what I do for a release or my escape. I guess I just wanted to work on releasing all of these newer songs I was working on, and doing that with full control over it is something I felt like I was really ready to try.



Gavin: Was there any cooling period for yourself between acts or did you just pick up where you left off?



Lorin: I had a small handful of songs I had written when BH was breaking up that I knew just wouldn't work with that band. So, I guess I jumped right into things after just knowing I was ready to try and get these new tunes put out there. There wasn't much breathing room in between.

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Gavin: How was it for you going around and playing shows as an opener with just your guitar, and essentially starting over with your music career?



Lorin: Well, I started out as a touring musician when I was 19, traveling the U.S. with my chihuahua Zuko and playing as many shows as I could. It taught me a lot about myself and what I wanted to do with my life. So, I guess I don't even look at it like I'm "starting over" really, just another chapter of my book I looking forward to writing.



Gavin: Do you have an EP or full-length album in the works or are you just writing material for now?



Lorin: I'll be heading in to record two songs next month that I'll be releasing online for free in October, but I'll be selling the tracks on 7" throughout the live shows this fall/winter. But I do have plans to go back in and record a debut full length shortly after in the winter, looking at a spring release.

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Gavin: Have you given any thoughts to touring beyond the state or is that still a long time off?



Lorin: That isn't far off at all, actually. I have dates being booked for fall/winter with dates all over the western U.S. Not going to be doing any long runs until I drop a record next spring, but it'll help to start getting the ball rolling.



Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Lorin:  We have great talent here in SLC, of all genres. I wouldn't say there's anything "bad" necessarily. I would say, something I've always said, is that with all the talent here I would love to see more bands get out and tour and play live on a DIY level. I feel like it only can help them as artists and musicians, and it gives them a chance to show what great music and culture you can find here.

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Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Lorin: I guess my last response somewhat ties this one up a bit also. But I also feel like this "scene" needs good comradery amongst artists, whether your country, punk, metal, or whatever. If you're playing music for yourself and the right reasons, we should all be able to find something in each other and what each other is doing.



Gavin: Not including yourself, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Lorin:  I've really been into the band Triggers & Slips, a great country/Americana group I'm really enjoying. I've also just been enjoying going out to see bran- new acts all the time. There's some great stuff coming out.

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Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Lorin: We have great help from that angle here locally, but it's not just the radio's job to find the bands and put them out there. I think the bands need to realize that making those contacts and connections can only benefit them here locally.



Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Lorin: Honestly, it's a good thing. I think the fact that bands can release tracks or demos, or just song ideas at any time to fans, is amazing. I think it really keeps the connection between artist and fans "fresh." However, I do think I'll always be partial to releasing physical records and/or buying them. I know for me, like a lot of people, there's nothing like actually holding a piece of the record or art someone's worked so hard to put out.

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Gavin: What can we expect from you over the rest of this year?



Lorin: You can expect to see me trying to make some moves. I'm happier than I've ever been musically in my life, and honestly, I'm just ready to get back into the studio and straight back out on the road and playing live again.



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?



Lorin: Just that Nov. 30 is my first official full show at Urban Lounge and it's shaping up to be a great evening. Find me on Facebook and get your tickets soon, only $5. Cheers!





The Direction (Elan Bartholomew, Addison Aldous, Felicia Anderton, Amber Waldron & Nate Carlisle)

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TheDirectionBand.com



Gavin: Hey, everyone. First thing, tell us a little about yourselves.



Elan: Hey! I'm Elan, and I play guitar, keys, and sing for The Direction.



Felicia: Hello there, my name is Felicia Kalani and I am the vocalist for The Direction.

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Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Elan: Well, I've been playing music since I was six when my parents had me take violin lessons, but I really got a personal love for music when they taught me how to work the old record player they had. They'd kept around all of these Beatles records on vinyl and I just kept playing them and playing them, nonstop. My favorite by far was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.



Felicia: I have quite the eclectic family. Both of my parents are vocalists for 10 bands around town and are the owners of Voodoo Productions, a production company for bizarre entertainment, from mermaids to burlesque. We are the exact definition of a circus family, so growing up, I didn't have many other choices but to go into entertainment. Studying at Wasatch Music Coaching Academy, a school for music, is what really got me exploring different genres of music. I was, and still am, a lover of classic rock from Zeppelin to Heart; I go crazy for all that. But I also loved Motown and all the greats like Whitney Houston and Prince.



Gavin: When did all of you first meet each other and how did all of you come together as The Direction?



Elan: We all at some point started playing at the Wasatch Music Coaching Academy on 700 S. 400 East, just doing covers of classic rock songs -- kind of like School of Rock. It wasn't until three years ago, however, when Dave Murphy, the director of WMCA, had the idea to start a band that just did original songs. We all thought it would be an incredible time and gave it a shot, and things literally skyrocketed from there. Even though we aren't a part of the school anymore, we owe our life as a band to them.



Felicia: Wasatch Music Coaching Academy is and always will be our greatest influence and push to pursue music. Dave Murphy, the beating heart of the school ,taught us how to be professionals at age 9 with our precision, dynamics, stage presence and taste for good music. He is the reason for all of us coming together.

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Gavin: What was it like for all of you to originally come together to find common ground in music and form your sound without having years of experience behind you?



Elan: Thankfully, we actually did have a bit of common ground already because of having played covers together before that. It's definitely a different world writing music instead, but we could feel each other on a similar "wavelength" after already having played together for so long.



Felicia: Playing with The Direction is like no other collaboration I've ever experienced. As a group, we can listen, experiment and flow better than any group of musicians I've had the blessing to work with. Like any collaboration, we had our fair share of rocky beginnings with finding a mutual sound, but once we passed that point, we've continued to only grow and expand as a band.



Gavin: Back in 2010 you released your debut album, From VII & IV, on Spy Hop Records. What was it like making that album and what lessons did you learn from that whole process?



Elan: Recording with Spy Hop was a very eye-opening experience for us into the recording world. We’d done another EP before that, but the mixing and mastering was completely out of our hands; Spy Hop let us work with their students on all aspects of the music, which I think was a great experience for everybody involved.

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Gavin: What did you think of the public reaction when it came out and the attention it received from being a Spy Hop album?



Elan: Honestly, people were pretty surprised -- haha. I remember my girlfriend was looking through Slug Magazine one day and just happened to find a review about the album in there; the vibe was pretty much “Wow, I never would have guessed it came from them."



Felicia: We were genuinely surprised at the excitement of the public. We made the album because we like to play music; we never REALLY anticipated that it would push us to have a great following and need to tour. Spy Hop was a great supporter in the success we are experiencing today.



Gavin: How was the transition for you leaving Spy Hop and becoming independent musicians, and what has been the biggest difference for you as a band since leaving?



Elan: It was a lot like graduating from college, to be honest. Spy Hop is definitely an organization made 100% for students, and so embarking on our own was kind of like starting down an actual career path. I think the biggest difference has been the higher level of responsibility, which has been both challenging and empowering. We’ve had to buy our own equipment and software and coordinate with other companies on our own, but from that we’ve also become very well-versed in how this all works since we’ve got complete control over all of it.

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Gavin: You've just released your latest EP, Deal With The Devil. What was it like making that album compared to the first and why go with an EP rather than capitalize with a second full-length?



Elan: Deal With The Devil was a very, very different experience from our last release, mostly due to the fact that we handled every last bit of the creation of it. That’s both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it; we got a little over-obsessive during some parts of the process. We decided to go with an EP this time around for a couple of  reasons: For one, our sound has changed quite a bit since our last record and we’ve been playing the songs on the EP for over a year now. We plan on releasing a full album with more of our new material sometime in the next couple of years, but we wanted to give people something to listen to in the meantime that really showed the direction -- no pun intended -- we’re headed in.



Gavin: Now that you've finished recording and have established yourselves, will you be touring anytime soon?



Elan: We actually just did! We went on a run through Austin, Dallas, and Denver in support of the new EP -- it was a blast! We’ll be doing some more next year, too. We’re aiming for sometime during the spring and summer.

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Gavin: Moving on to statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Elan: Personally, I think Salt Lake is fantastic option for touring bands; we have a lot of dedicated music fans here that love going to shows. However, as far as local BANDS go, I think it’s very tough for them to get by here mostly due to a lack of venues. If you head down to Austin, Texas, you can find half a dozen places to perform just walking down any old street in the city. Here, bands have much more of a challenge getting a foothold in the scene, which I think could be fixed if there were just more places around town to play.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Elan: Like I said, I really think expanding the amount of venues would help tremendously in Salt Lake. People like Will Sartain have done an absolutely incredible job with places like Kilby Court and Urban Lounge, but we also need more people like Will if we want to make it grow even more.

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Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Elan: Locally, I’ve really come to love The Mighty Sequoyah; you can tell just from listening to them that they’re going to be huge. Outside of Utah, though, one of my recent favorites has been The Antlers. I just can’t stop listening to them -- haha.



Felicia: I can definitely agree with Elan in that Mighty Sequoyah kick some serious local music butt, but I also have taken a great liking to Your Meteor and have always loved Dirty Blonde. Nationwide, I'm loving all the chick rockers -- it only seems appropriate in my mind -- including Ani Difranco, Amanda Palmer and my ultimate love, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals; anything with a unique corky sound that can get me dancing.



Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how its affects local musicians?



Elan: I think it actually helps to expand local musicians' fan bases over to different demographics much more than the musicians expect. A lot of younger bands in Salt Lake don’t really give it much thought because a lot of their friends/fans just don’t listen to the radio that much. But that’s the whole point -- there are plenty of other people out there who listen all the time and in all honesty, they probably would never know you existed unless they heard your stuff on the air.

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Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Elan: Heh, well, it’s always a sticky subject with a lot of musicians, but we’ve honestly taken a pretty lax attitude toward it over the years. With each release, it doesn’t really take too long before we make back what we spent on it and start making money off of it, even though it’s not like that's huge an amount of money. We’ll probably care more about piracy once we’re touring with The Black Keys or headlining festivals, but we’re just happy people want to listen to our music for right now, haha.



Felicia: I wish we could live in a world where all music was free and the artists were still compensated! Until then, we try our best to support as many local artists as possible by buying their merch and CDs. Gotta help your brothers out!



Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of this year?



Elan: More touring! We’ll also be working harder than ever on putting our second full-length album together, but that may or may not be out by next year ... we’ll see!



Felicia: Though during the school year we're miles apart, we're planning to “postal service” it by sending each other files for our full-length album and working on them individually in each of our cities.

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Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



Elan: Check out our new EP, Deal With The Devil! It's $6 on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, or you can, of course, just listen to it for free on Spotify, as well.





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