Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Velour's Summer BOTB: Coin In The Sea, Brumby, Queenadilla

Posted By on June 24, 2014, 3:02 PM

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Hey kids, this is Part 2 of interviews with all the finalists from Velour's recent Battle Of The Bands. --- If you missed Part 1, click this link to read interviews with The May Reunion and Static Waves, unless you've already read it, and in that case, press on!

Coin In The Sea ()


Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

John: Yeah, I guess basic get-to-know-you stuff, we’re kinda from all over the place. I’m from the Kansas City area originally, came out to BYU, and that’s where we’ve all met. Provo is a great place to meet talented musicians, but we’ve also discovered that people don’t necessarily stick around, especially when they’ve come in from elsewhere. So we’ve had a considerable amount of turnover, as far as members of the band go. But we’ll settle in. Coin In The Sea started about a year and half ago, and has evolved into what it is now. As for our artistic identity, the band is all about concept albums. I won’t go into it all right now, but I feel strongly that music is more powerful when it exists within a defined context. We may do some singles down the line, released individually, but the art that we want to be known for is the concept album. The industry is less and less interested in an album of songs, but we still believe in the artistic value, and even marketability, of the Album – capital A, if that makes sense. One song sets up the next, and is, as a result, more than just the song in isolation. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on that, but I’ll leave it there for now.

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

John: I grew up in a very musical family, mostly formal violin and piano training, etc. I did some of that, too, but also got turned on to acoustic guitar in high school. A buddy of mine and I started a band, and that got me started, but I’m still mostly self-taught. My dad always had Beatles’ tapes on in the car, anywhere and everywhere we went. And I couldn’t be more grateful, to be honest. Whether or not it’s expressed in my songwriting, they are a foundational element in my music-self. Then in high school, when I discovered Radiohead – that was a game changer. I got my degree in Sound Recording Technology, and I would credit Radiohead for my decision to do that. Again, not really overtly expressed in my music, but they’re a huge part of why I do what I’m doing. More closely related to what you’ll hear from us, Nickel Creek and Iron & Wine have also really shaped the sound I want to create.

Gavin: How did you first come together to form Coin In The Sea?

John: That was my original passion, and it kinda goes back to the whole Nickel Creek and earlier Iron & Wine stuff. And I had a great partner to perform with back in Missouri. I really love the band thing, but the core of the sound lies in the harmonies, or the relationship between the vocal parts. I never really did like performing solo, and I think most Coin songs can stand alone performed by a duo. And that’s really practical.

Gavin: You've described your sound as New Folk. What was the process like for you in creating this kind of approach to folk music, and doing it as a five-piece?

John: Louis Armstrong’s quote about folk music has almost become cliché now, but I love that sentiment. And I’m in love with the organic feel of traditional folk ensembles. So we’ve got acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, but then we add other instrumentation that fills out the arrangements without detracting from the natural aesthetic. We use organ, most of the drumming is done with brushes or rods rather than sticks. We’ve always sought bass players who can play upright. Lately we’ve been experimenting with the sound. It was kinda a big departure for us to use electric guitar at the Battle of the Bands, but it worked. It was just a different sound, and we’ll evaluate what we want to do with it. Then there’s the issue of the songwriting. As the primary songwriter, I can’t help but write what I write. I don’t really manipulate the songs much more than “that’ll work” or “that doesn’t.” And this New Folk thing, I guess that’s how we like to describe the sound that results.

Gavin: You released your debut EP, Flint & Steel, back in March of this year. What was it like recording that album and what issues did you deal with along the way?

John: We recorded at June Audio with Ryan King, which was a blast. We would have recorded a full-length album, but we didn’t have the budget right then, and didn’t want to wait any longer to release some of our music. I also had never seen the process of mixing and mastering songs to have gapless transitions, one into the next. That was fun to see those ideas realized.

Gavin: How has the public reaction been to it, and do you have any plans to put together a new EP or full-length?

John: Though the distribution has been very small-scale, the reception has been extremely rewarding. I’m doing Coin because I have to, I can’t say no to it. I would be making music even if people were neutral about what I do, but it’s a wonderful feeling to know that people enjoy it. And it makes it more meaningful, the creation process. Not as self-centered. We’ve got some really cool plans for a full-length release, sometime before the end of the year. It’ll be a concept album, and we’ll be talking about more details as we get closer to its release. But definitely something people will want to stay tuned in on.

Gavin: Now that we're in summer, do you have any plans to tour beyond the Wasatch Front?

John: Yes! But again, the specifics will be published soon on our website and social media. We’ll be getting out of Utah, and hopefully we can get a good route going that we can routinely work.

Gavin: How has it been for you guys participating in this summer's Battle Of The Bands?

Skylar: It was a lot of fun and humbling to be able to play with such talented musicians and bands. Velour is a great place for musicians to showcase their art.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?

Skylar: Provo is an amazing place for local bands to play lots of shows, collaborate, network, and record. We're lucky to be a part of it.

John: As unexpected as it may seem to someone unfamiliar with the Provo scene, there really is something about Provo specifically. Musicians are drawn here, and there are so many wonderful people here to give the musicians opportunities and resources to succeed.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to improve the local music scene?

John: I’m no expert, but I’d say Provo just needs to continue growing as it has. The thing is, Provo has a great scene, but it’s not a music city like LA or New York or Nashville. I know we can’t be L.A. or New York because they are huge cities. But take Imagine Dragons or Neon Trees as the clearest examples, they had to leave Provo before they could be mainstream. Provo bands are going places because they are literally going other places. A mid-sized venue may be a good start, I think – attract more national acts that would draw bigger audiences, and then have local acts open for them. It’s a very lofty goal, keeping and attracting the really big acts, but I think it’s something we could incrementally move towards.

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

John: Oh gosh, perhaps too many to name really. Maybe I’ll just say that there’s a way cool show coming up at Velour on June 27, Bat Manors is releasing a record, with Book On Tape Worm and Officer Jenny. You’ll want to check that show out for sure.

Skylar: Eyes Lips Eyes aren't in Provo anymore but they're my favorite group to come out of Provo. I also really like John Lane, The Echo Chorus, Brumby, We Are The Strike, Mimi Knowles and She's Got A Gun. I’m kinda biased towards the last one, though, cause I play with them.

Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?

John: It’s just how it has to be right now. People are always talking about how the label system is breaking down, and how the traditional models are no longer valid, that we haven’t figured out what the solution is yet. If you ask me, we may have reached the new model a while ago – meaning the landscape will always be changing. So that means the artist has to focus on writing good music, working hard, and doing his or her best to make informed, wise decisions. Well, that’s not new at all. It’s confusing and maybe a bit discouraging for artists without a big budget, but musicians need to have a good head for business.

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

John: Look for news on the full-length album, and we’ll keep you updated on our show schedule. You really can expect big things, you’ll just have to stay close to us.

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

John: We really just want to facilitate communication with our fans. Go check out our music at our website. Then sign up for our monthly newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc.

Brumby ()


Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

Oliver: Well, we like to play songs. I'm Oliver. Tyler, Spencer, and I are cousins and Dylan came around when we were five. So we've been friends about as long as we can remember.

Gavin: How did you first come together to form Brumby?

Spencer: Tyler, Oliver and myself are cousins, and we lived in the same cul-de-sac as Dylan since the time we were five. We were friends long before we were bandmates. The four of us starting jamming together when we were in high school, and after a few months decided on a name and decided to be band.

Gavin: What made you go for more of an alternative sound, an dhow was it putting that together as a group?

Dylan: All of our collective influences have a sound, or an x-factor that is difficult to define. It was natural for us to strive for that together. More than anything, we like to express ourselves. We go to great lengths to make sure we write something we love. If that comes off as "alternative" then we're fine with that.

Gavin: You're originally from Las Vegas, what made you get involved with the Utah music scene?

Oliver: We are. And we love Las Vegas. We came up to Provo for school originally, but the music scene here has really proved itself as THE place to be. The caliber of musicians/bands in such a small area is really abnormal, actually. And I feel like Provo has really adapted to create an environment suitable for such talent.

Gavin: You're currently in the last stretch of doing a Western US tour, what are your plans once that wraps up?

Spencer: We’ve been playing as many shows as we can through the summer around the West. In Fall, some of us will be taking university classes again, we plan to still be very busy with Brumby. We’ll keep planning regional shows and consider any other opportunities that come along.

Gavin: How has it been for you guys participating in this summer's Battle Of The Bands?

Dylan: Velour's Battle of The Bands is a great way to both immerse and connect yourself in Provo's great music scene. There's a bit of legacy behind the winning title (ala Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees), so it felt exciting to follow in the footsteps of the Utah greats.

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

Spencer: We’ll still be booking gigs during the rest of the year. We don’t have any concrete plans for more recordings, but those will definitely come about sometime in the future.

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

Dylan: You can buy our EP, The Westwind Kid, on iTunes and stay connected with us on our Facebook page or website.

Queenadilla ()

Queenadilla on Facebook

Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

Chase: We are a south-western blues-rock band from Orem with an audience that ranges from pubescent teenagers, to hipsters in their mid twenties, to burnt out hippies, to old fogies, to cops.

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

Jeffrey: My parents are both musicians, so music has always been around the house. I learned to play the drums by coming home everyday after school and playing along with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix for hours on end. I'd say that's the foundation for my drumming.

Nick: David Gilmour was the guitarist who inspired me to play lead guitar. Comfortably Numb was one of the first guitar solos that I learned and I fell in love with it immediately. It was artists like The Black Keys, Ash Grunwald, White Stripes and Black Pistol Fire that really got me into blues and playing blues guitar.

Andrew: With my first iPod, I had a bunch of random songs that I thought totally sucked. They were mostly pop and techno songs, but after shuffling for a few days, I came across Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja by Lostprophets, and I knew that rock was by far the best genre for music. After that, I ended up getting a guitar and ultimately getting bass guitar. Between lighter rock like Song About Jane and heavy metal like The Devil Wears Prada, rock was definitely the best genre and I really clicked with how rocking Queenadilla is in essence.

Gavin: How did you first come together to form Queenadilla?

Chase: Nick and I are actually actually second cousins.  We hung out in pre-school all the time, but we didn't really see much of each other after that until we caught each other in college a year and a half ago.  It was kind of funny because I didn't see him at school until the day after I bought my first electric guitar, so naturally I asked him to jam.  After that we spent a few weeks working out some songs and looking for a drummer.  We eventually found our drummer, Stacie, and played our first show in one of the Osmonds old house.  Don't really remember which Osmonds house it was but we had a great time.  After that we picked up Andrew somewhere, and then right before Stacie left on her mission earlier this year, she introduced us to Jeff and here we are! Queenadilla.

Gavin: What was it like forming an alternative kind of blues-rock sound as a four-piece?

Nick: Becoming a blues rock band with four people was a completely natural thing for us to make. Everything just sort of fell into place. Originally we wanted to just be a strict blues band but, after a few jam sessions, we couldn't help but add some rocking vibes to our sound. Being a four piece band is perfect because it gives us all of the diversity we need to sound like a full rock band while still being able to keep it simplified.

Gavin: You've been together about a year and a half now, how has it been building up an audience?

Andrew: There hasn't been much demand for blues rock around Provo, but that has been steadily changing in the months since Queenadilla has been playing. Blues rock bands have been emerging more frequently into the local music scene in the last year and a half, and it has recently been improving Queenadilla's ability to build an audience. Queenadilla has had the opportunity to play with blues rock bands such as Red Yeti, Gypsy Cab and BB Gun. It was slow building an audience at first, but our exposure has been increasing, and so has our audience.

Gavin: Back in February you launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund your debut album. What's the current status on recording and when can we see it come out?

Nick: Never, we pocketed the Cash. Haha.

Chase: Seriously though, the album is coming along great! We've got most of the tracks laid down already. Right now we're just finishing up the back-up harmonies and adding some miscellaneous sound effect and song transitions, after that its off to mixing. We're really excited to be making this album. It's been a dream of ours for a long time and we're really excited for everyone to hear it. Right now we're hoping to release it this fall sometime.

Gavin: Once the album is complete, are there any plans to tour or will you stick to Utah for now?

Chase: At this point we haven't given a tour much thought. Just trying to focus on the album at the moment. But my sister does have a boyfriend in L.A. who has a band and says we should come play some shows with them. So that's kind of like a tour right? We'll have to see how it goes once the album's out. But hey, if there's any bands out there looking for an opening band to tour with, let us know!

Gavin: How has it been for you guys participating in this summer's Battle Of The Bands?

Jeffrey: Well, we had some minor setbacks at first: Chase's voice was shot from singing the night before in the preliminary round, we were late to soundcheck because of traffic from Summerfest in Orem, and to top it off, Chase's car got a flat tire right after we set up. (Shout out to the huntress, sorceress, and orcs, and master chief from fantasy-con who helped change the tire.) Despite all that, Battle of the Bands was awesome. We had a great turnout with all of our fans and I feel like we played to the best of our ability. We were stoked that we made it to the finals and were able to play with some other great local bands. It was a good opportunity to get our name out there and get some positive feedback from the judges.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?

Chase: We love the Provo music scene! There's a lot of music lovers around here and it makes it really exciting to be a local musician. We especially love Velour. Velour is the bomb! With opportunities like the BOTB for smaller bands like us to get into the scene, and with bigger bands like Desert Noises and The Moth & The Flame coming back to play, Velour is always a great place to hear some quality musicians.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to improve the local music scene?

Chase: The only problem with the local music scene is that there's this weird competitive attitude that sometimes looms over it, and it kind of makes it hard sometimes for the smaller bands to break into the scene. In my opinion, competition doesn't really have a place in any kind of art. There's never really winners or losers, just people trying to connect with each other through stories and emotions, and I think if we stopped trying to be better than each other and focused a little more on that, it would make for a much more enjoyable music scene. Also, we should all sign a pledge to not to try flushing the paper towels down the toilet in Velour so that we can all dry our hands on something other than our pants.

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

Nick: Gypsy Cab, Mad Max and the Wild Ones, Desert Noises, BBGun, Big Giant, The 2:13's, The Danger Kids, Shrink The Giant, and (after playing with them at the BOTB the other night) Jack Pines. Basically anyone that loves Rock n' Roll as much as we do is a friend of ours.

Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?

Jeffrey: I think it's great that anyone can get there music out into the world for anyone to hear. It's a pretty exciting time for any kind of artist right now because it's no longer limited to face-to-face interactions. Granted, we still think that the best way to enjoy music is live, but it's nice to be able to have such an easy way for people to check out any band, no matter how big they are, instantaneously. Just the other day, I found a band from L.A. called Will & The Wont's (awesome name!) just because they had a jack white cover on YouTube that I happened to see. I hope to see them live one day.

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

Jeffrey: Rock n' Roll!

Andrew: We're just going to keep doing what we love to do, writing and preforming music and just bringing people together to have a good time! And our album of course, be sure to keep an eye out for that. It means a lot to us and we can't wait for everyone to hear it.

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

Nick: Honestly we could really use a better web presence. Promotion is definitely not one of our strong suits, so be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so we can keep you up to date on all the Queenadilla news, upcoming shows, and especially our new album, which, if you haven't already guessed, is what we're focusing most of our energy on promoting. So stay posted! Just type in Queenadilla on your favorite social media site and chances are, we will be the only thing that comes up and then just hit like and we'll see you at the next show!


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