citylog
The E-
Edition:
CW
page
by page

Tumblr.jpg Google_Plus.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Gavin's Underground

Puddle Mountain Ramblers, The Devil Whale, Band Of Annuals

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-11-04 -

Back into the concerts we go for a double-homecoming this past Saturday.

Still heavy in the Halloween weekend I stopped by The Urban Lounge to an almost sold-out event for three bands, two of which returning home from tour.  First the in-costume bluegress sounds of  Puddle Mountain Ramblers (who gave a very awesome version of Ghostbusters), followed by the returning alternative folk sounds of The Devil Whale, and finishing up the last of their tours for the year the country-indie favorites Band Of Annuals.  I got a chance to chat with all three bands, as well as take lots of pictures from the show.

Puddle Mountain Ramblers (Nick Boyer, Nicko Baron, Beau Uriona, Matt Stauffer and Matt Ligman)

http://www.puddlemountain.com/

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.


Beau: Beau Uriona - Banjo.  Gemini, eating food is a big hobby of mine, sometimes I do three or four times a day.

Matt: Matt Ligman, Bass:  Growing up in Utah County there wasn't too much to do.  So I starting playing the guitar and bass with some friends.

Beau: Also, Matt Stauffer plays mandolin and writes the majority of our original lyrics.  Nick Boyer plays guitar, Nicko Baron plays fiddle.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form Puddle Mountain Ramblers?


Beau: Matt Stauffer and I played in his living room a lot, Nick and I had some mutual friends and we decided to get together for an acoustic jam, he brought Nicko along.  Some other folks have filled out the band at one point or another, but about 3 years ago Matt joined us on bass and its been magical ever since.

Matt: I joined after Nick decided that he wasn't that into playing bass.  And after our friend Squirrley decided to move to Wyoming.  They were already playing mad gigs at places like the Cabana Club.

Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?


Beau: We all come from extremely different musical backgrounds and tastes.

Gavin: Not many bands take a chance and do more rustic forms like bluegrass. Where did the idea come from to do this?


Matt: Because not many other people in SLC were doing it.  It was/is exciting to be something other than another mediocre rock band.

Beau: I love bluegrass, I love to pick in jams at music festivals, our band is like a slightly more organized version of what you'll see at any bluegrass festival. Its what I love to do so might as well get some free beer, right?

Gavin: What's the usual reaction from the crowd when they see you guys in the mix with folk, rock and alternative acts?


Matt: Either blank stares or an uncontrollable urge to tap your feet and clap your hands for upwards of 3 to 5 measures.

Gavin: You've played the Desert Rocks Festivals for a couple years, and it looks like you'll be doing it again in 2009. How did that gig come about, and what keeps you going back?


Beau: Friend of a friend of a friend, who is now a good friend of ours got us the gig.  Its a blast!

Matt: Shot-Ski!

Gavin: Right now you have a number of singles recorded on MySpace, but no albums. Are you recording one or plan to down the road, or are you kinda straying away from that?


Beau: We recorded ten tracks or so at the Salt Lake Recording Studio (shameless plug), but have been lazy in finishing it up.  We kinda rushed into because Nick was leaving for a year of travels, now he's back so we hope to get more serious about it soon.

Gavin: A little local, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?


Beau: Lots of musicians, lots of talent, not enough support.  GO SEE LIVE MUSIC!  The band that will change your life is out there but you'll never see em if you don't shell out five bucks at the door.

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


Beau: Lots of bands get jaded because a promoter will screw them over, or a bar pays them just enough to cover gas.  So they quit playing together, opting for formats that make more money, this does not necessarily translate to a better music scene.  The work to reward ratio is pretty harsh in Salt Lake.  Very few bar owners appreciate the business that a band brings in.

Matt: Support your local, starving artists.

Gavin: Moving to the music industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?


Beau: Ever puked just a bit in your mouth and swallowed it before anyone noticed?

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?


Beau: Don't care for the radio much.  Unless its the golden country AM station.

Gavin: What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?


Beau: For us its great, instant free access to our music, if folks dig it hopefully they come to a show.  We hope to eventually pull a D-bag move and bring people to court like Metallica, but thats a ways off yet.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys for the rest of the year and into next?


Beau: Ethanol fueled intox-o-grass, hopefully we don't bring the price of corn up too high!

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


Beau: Election Day at the Star Bar in Park City, 10-ish.  Come celebrate or lament our new president with PMR!


The Devil Whale (Jake Fish, Cameron Rynyan, Kris Taylor, Bronton Jones, Chaz Prymek and Wren Kennedy)

http://www.myspace.com/devilwhale

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.


Brinton: We are Brinton Jones, Jake Fish, Cameron Runyan, Kris Taylor, Chaz Prymek, and Wren Kennedy. Cameron and Brinton are from the Midwest. The rest are from Utah. In addition to playing with the Devil Whale; Chaz, Wren, and Cameron all have solo projects. Kris and Jake play in Blue Sunshine Soul. Cameron also plays in Location Location with our former guitarist Marcus Bently.

Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?


Brinton: Early on in my adolescence I get really into the whole early 90's alternative rock thing: REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Beck. By the time I hit the age of 14 I was rejecting all of those things in favor of Sebadoh, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Jon Spencer, Dinosaur, Jr., Jesus Lizard, Shellac, etc. When I started writing songs my tastes shifted to more singer/songwriter oriented stuff; Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Counting Crows. You know. The hits. And when I was a sixth grader I really liked Boyz II Men and PM Dawn.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form the band?

Brinton: Many moons ago, I was living in Provo. I did house shows at a friend's house every Wednesday night for over year, and met Jake through those. I moved to Alaska for a summer and when I returned we started playing together. Cameron got on board years later--about two years ago--after we'd completed recording "Like Paraders." Kris, Wren, and Chaz are very very recent additions. Lovely people.

Gavin: Originally you were called Palomino, but changed the name for fear of a lawsuit. What exactly happened there?


Brinton: Well, while we were preparing to release the new record I started getting paranoid about the availability of the name Palomino, because there was another band of the same name that existed on iTunes. We'd had a coupe of friends get involved in similar legal webs at around that time, and it kind of heightened my awareness. The Palomino in question was like a German dance band, or something, but they were on Warner Bros., or some major. I tried contacting the label, the band's management, etc., but they appeared to be defunct and I got no results. I talked to a couple entertainment lawyers who recommended we change the name. Then I found an online copy of lawsuit filed by that band against a DIFFERENT band that had also attempted to use that name. Long story short, it just seemed easier to change it and not worry about it. Plus, The Devil Whale sounds cooler.

Gavin: I know Brinton, you had some health issues last year with your throat, but eventually you got it fixed up to where you could sing again. What exactly was the issue and what did it take to heal it? And also, how are you doing now and what's your throat like today?

Brinton: Throat feels great. What I had were a pair of polyps on my vocal chords. I went through several months of speech therapy, vocal coaching, rest. Some naturalistic stuff. Tried lots of different things. In the end, I got them removed surgically just over a year ago. Best thing I ever did.

Gavin: What was it like getting into recording the album after the illness, and recording the album in general?


Brinton: We actually tracked the record before the illness. Initially, we had planned on releasing the record in the spring of '07. January was when I started having problems, and so we delayed the release until we knew we'd be able to play shows with regularity. It seemed to pointless to us to hurry and release the record while we couldn't play. So we waited and waited and waited. Glad that's over.

Gavin: Earlier this year you put out Like Paraders. What was the reaction to it when it came out?


Brinton: The reaction was, “FINALLY.” It was 18 months from the time we started tracking until the official release. So. It was very very nice to actually have the record in the hands of everyone else, and not just our own. Beyond that, the reaction was pretty good, I think? I don't know. I may not be the best person to ask.

Gavin: You recently took off on a tour as well. How did that go? Any stories from the road?


Brinton: Tour was fantastic. What a year-long hiatus at the hands of uncompromising medical circumstances will do is make you realize how much you miss playing music. So, throughout that whole period of musical emptiness I spent countless hours thinking about how much time I'd wasted in the past, promising to myself that we would work hard and tour with regularity when we were finally able to do so. Last month was the beginning of that.

Gavin: A little local, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?


Brinton: The local music scene is fantastic. It really really is, and people in different parts of the country are starting to take notice. So many great bands here. It's a good time to be playing music in this city.

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

Brinton: We could get a new place to replace In The Venue. That would make things better.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?


Brinton: Tolchock Trio, Band of Annuals, the John Whites, Future of the Ghost, Joshua James, Location Location, Eden Express, Coyote Hoods, Boots to the Moon, Vile Blue Shades, BIRTHQUAKE. Oh yeah, and the Used.

Gavin: Moving to the music industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?


Brinton: You know, I think there are people out there that pay way more attention to it than I do. I play music and buy music because that's what I love doing, and while I try to be semi-conscious of the industry aspect of things, that's certainly not where my interest is. So. I really don't spend much time thinking about it. That being said, I feel like there is a tremendous amount of opportunity right now. As saturated as things have become, social networking sites, blogs, etc., make it much easier for a no-name band from Salt Lake City to get recognition from pockets of people all across the country. I like that. Beyond that, I don't have many thoughts about the industry.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?


Brinton: These days, I just listen to talk radio. That way instead of getting jaded towards the state of modern music, I get jaded towards the state of the modern world in general.

Gavin: What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?


Brinton: I think file sharing is great for bands that are still relatively obscure. As a music fan/listener, I have discovered dozens and dozens of bands through the evil practice known as file-sharing, and in doing so have ended up buying their records, going to their shows, etc. A lot of times now days people use file sharing as a way to get their friends to check out bands that they are into. If the Devil Whale shows up to play a show in some random city where an exuberant 20 year old has dumped our mp3 onto a dozen iPods, and subsequently bred a dozen more exuberant 20 year olds, and they all show up to the show... I mean, that'd be cool with me. I wouldn't feel robbed, that's for sure. I think people view it in terms that are too black and white. They see an album on an mp3 player that wasn't paid for, and immediately view it as cash out of pocket from the artist. A lot of times that person wouldn't have bought the record anyway, but now at least they have the audio files and may listen to them occasionally. I just view it as another way our music may spread and get promoted without any extra work on our part. Plus, Metallica hates file sharing. And if they hate it, it must be a good thing.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys for the rest of the year and into next?


Brinton: More touring. Three weeks of southwest/west coast dates in February. Lots and lots of more new songs. We'll start getting the ball rolling on more recording in the winter time.

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


Brinton: I would like to promote peace and love, and a higher understanding for all. Those are three things that I can really get behind. And I'm being serious.


Band Of Annuals (Jeremi Hanson, Jay Henderson, Jamie Timm, Brent Dreiling, Charlie Lewis and Trever Hadley)

http://www.bandofannuals.com/

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.


Trever: We are a ramblin' folk/country/rock band based out of Salt Lake but touring about five months out of the year.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form Band Of Annuals?

Trever: We were all bands becoming defunct. It just kind of happened. Jer, Brent and Trever had played together and joined up with Jay and his drummer Eric.

Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Jamie: Johnny Burnette Trio, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Brian Setzer, Led Zeppelin, Roy Buchanan.

Jeremi: Neil Young, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle, Tom Petty, CSNY, Mamas & The Papas, etc.

Trever: I was kind of raised on Guns & Roses, AC/DC, The Cars.

Gavin: Its become really interesting to see in a rock-driven scene, that a country folk band is one of the most popular. What made you decide to do this kind of music, and what do you think of the reaction from the audience to it?


Brent: It was common ground to most or all of us, we all brought in a different elements- mine being the pedal steel.

Jamie: I don't think we ever really decided to sound this way or that way. We sound the way we do because we each bring our own influences and styles to the music and the result it "our sound.”


Gavin: You did the Live Warehouse EP back in 2006. How did the opportunity come about to do that album, and what was it like recording it?

Jeremi: We basically just recorded a live show in the spot we practiced/a few of us lived.

Gavin: About half a year later you put out Let Me Live. What was it like making that album, and what was the reaction to it when it first came out?

Jeremi: We focused on getting the songs how we wanted them before we went into the studio, then went in, set up & recorded it live in 4 days with Scott Wiley.

Brent: We wanted to catch a vibe similar to Neil Young's 'Harvest' album, I'm not sure how close we really got to that, but we all love how it came out.

Jamie: I think making “Let Me Live” really made us tighter as friends and as a band. The actually recording went real smooth and was fun to make.


Gavin: What was it like doing the first tour for the album?

Brent: It was like we were a new band at that point, (touring with the band that played on the record) with a solid record to back it up.

Jamie: We've done so many tours they all kind of melt into one... I do remember being really excited about selling the new CD and the idea that a lot of new people were going to hear what we had so hard on. It felt rewarding.

Jeremi: We've done quite a few tours for that album, but the first few I remember going back to recording the songs in my mind while playing them live. And it was cool to feel like we had something good, that we were proud of, to sell/share with people.


Gavin: What eventually led to doing the KXCI album, and how was it recording that down in Arizona?

Jeremi: We were playing at plush in Tucson and a DJ at KXCI (Dr. Dan - The Road Show) contacted us about doing an in-studio. He'd heard the album and liked it. We recorded 3 songs from “Let Me Live”... Casey Jones, Something True, and Blood On My Shirt. Live without drums (our drummer couldn't make the tour) and answered a few questions. We included Casey Jones from KXCI on our recently released EP, which should be available soon at Slowtrain and Graywhale. You can also get it at live shows (Nov 7th and Kilby, Nov 21 or 22 at Velour).

Gavin: You recently were one of the main acts for the second night of the Utah Arts Festival. How were you picked to do that, and what was it like coming back to that crowd?


Jeremi: We just submitted to play the arts festival and were picked. It was awesome to play to such a big crowd of friends, family, and festival goers.

Gavin: You recently took off on another tour that ended rather abruptly. First, how did the majority of it go for you? And what brought it to an end?

Jeremi: We did one tour in May/June and just got back from another in Sept/Oct. There were ups and downs both tours, but overall we had a great time and had some awesome shows. Highlights from this last tour were NYC, Nashville (AMA Festival with Ben Kweller), Seattle (with Minus 5). Sadly the tour was brought to an end early by our dear van, Galactigone. She was sick and in the shop for about a week which caused us to cancel the last week and half of tour, but at least we were stuck in Seattle and not Manhattan, Kansas. We have really great friends there who took care of us while we were stranded.

Brent: Missoula Montana was an amazing show, we have been getting good radio play, and the station sponsored the show.... A few hundred people out to see us on a Tuesday night, not bad...


Jamie: Touring is really what we all live for. I know that I would rather be in Iowa City playing to four people then be at home. When we were stuck in Seattle and had nothing to do I really wanted to come home. Then the day we got in the van and started driving it just didn't fell right to be going home; I wanted to keep going.

Gavin: A little local, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Jamie: Salt Lake has an amazing number of incredible bands.

Jeremi: I think the scene in Salt Lake is awesome. We have a really supportive community, Slowtrain has really helped push local music. We love them for that.

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


Trever: SLC bands need to tour more.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

Brent: The Devil Whale, The Black Hens, Furs, Comedown, Tolchock Trio.

Jamie: I'm biased, but I would say The Devil Whale, Tolchok Trio, Red Bennies, Purr Bats.

Gavin: What's your opinion on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?


Jeremi: Obviously it costs money to record and tour, but it's more important to get your music passed around to as many people as possible.

Gavin: Are you looking to record a new album soon, or just relaxing for now? And what can we expect from you in the coming year?

Jeremi: We're writing music for the next album now, we're hoping to record next summer, but we'll have to just see how it goes! If all goes according to plan we'll have a new record next fall.

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


Jeremi: Kilby Court Nov. 7th with Glade & Brinton Jones. Nov. 21 at Velour in Provo with. No Depression review on new EP. Purchase “Let Me Live” and “Repondez” (remixed & remastered 1st album with bonus tracks) on iTunes and at Slowtrain and Graywhale. The EP is also available at MySpace.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post a comment
 
 
Close
Close
Close