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Gavin's Underground

Tupelo Moan, Joshua Payne Orchestra

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2011-06-26 -
So... If you haven't caught on by now, the Utah Arts Festival has taken over downtown SLC, and a lot of our website and paper as well. In fact, I believe this is the most coverage City Weekly has given to the festival in quite some time. Dan's guide, music profiles, tidbits on food, crowd reactions -- we've even taken over a section of the Main Library with our boxes. Not too shabby for a media partner, huh? Let's keep that ball a-rollin' today with the first of two posts as we enter the last day of the festival!
As has been the case since this blog started, we're covering all four days of the festival, even if it kills me. (Which it came close to doing last year as I was almost run over by a golf cart, and nearly impaled on some metal-works in the same day, but that's another story to be told later.) This year, we're interviewing a band for each day of the festival while giving you as comprehensive a photo collection we can of all the art to be seen. (Or at least of the artist who allowed us to snap pictures.)

Today, we chat with Southern-vibe rockers Tupelo Moan (with half of The Chickens joining them on stage) from Thursday's showcase, and the special nine-piece edition of the Joshua Payne Orchestra from Friday night. All with pictures from Day 1 and Day 2 galleries, which includes the booths from Library Square and 2nd East, both bands, the Urban Arts area, The Old World, the Mayor's Awards and some other pictures here and there. More on Tuesday...

Tupelo Moan (Dave McCall & Brad McCarley)

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

Brad: My name is Brad McCarley and I’m a pretty big deal around here. I play guitar and sing.

Dave: I’m Dave Fuckin’ McCall. Who gives a flying fuck, anyway? I play drums in bands and love burritos.

Brad: Dave also plays with Oldtimer and the Fucktards. He used to play for The Corleones.
Gavin: What first got you each interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Brad: If I rode anywhere in the car with my Dad growing up, it was always country: George and Tammy, Waylon and Willie. As I developed my own tastes, I got more into harder rock like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Guns N' Roses. When I left the South, I became interested in Delta blues singers like Charley Patton and Fred McDowell as well as more modern Hill Country blues. It was like my antidote for homesickness. That’s when I started learning that style of guitar.

Dave: I found an Eazy E tape on the ground in second grade. Since then, I’ve always loved kick ass music.

Gavin: How did you both meet each other and get together to form Tupelo Moan?

Brad: I actually formed the band with another drummer, Jason Roberts, whom I had worked with on a few recording projects. I originally knew Dave from recording the Radio Rhythm Makers. Then we played together in a band called My Three Sons of Bitches. He had subbed for Jason on a few gigs and was a natural choice for a replacement.

Dave: I met Brad at his studio, Salt Lake Recording Service. Like he said, that’s where the magic happens.
Gavin: What was it like for the two of you hashing out your sound and finding that Southern-rock vibe?

Brad: I grew up in the Mid South (Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee). I play slide guitar in an open tuning and I sing with a drawl, so I guess that’s just what comes out of me when I sit down to play and write. All of the dominant popular musical forms of the 20th century (blues, country, jazz, and rock) originally came from the South, and I think that we mix all of those together pretty well. So if you mean that we’re a hard rock band with a twang, then I’d agree with you, but I don’t think that we sound much like “typical” Southern Rock bands from the '70s like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, or the Marshall Tucker Band because all of those bands were very guitar-solo based. We’re more rhythmically based, and if I ever play a solo, it’s never more than four measures long, and comes closer to Tom Morello than it does to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Dave: It just happened. Kind of like in that movie when that dumb guy started running.

Gavin: What made you decide to work simply as a two piece and not form a full band?

Brad: Mostly because we don’t need to. The whole concept for us is “huge guitar, huge drums,” so we end up playing very loud, and the guitar and drums compensate for where the bass would be. I’ve played in really big bands before, and scheduling is a huge pain when you have more than two or three people. The original vision for the music tends to become watered down as you add more and more people because everybody has different ideas about where it should go. A two-piece is just so much easier in so many ways.

Dave: We don’t need a bass player just because you people think we do.
Gavin: Late last year, you released your self-titled album. What was it like recording that album, and what issues did you have to deal with along the way?

Brad: It was pretty easy. We did it at my studio, Nathan Tomlinson, B.B. Melanson, and I engineered. Dan Nelson produced, keeping us on time and in tune, and offering constructive criticism that really helped make the songs better. So it was a real team effort, and it went quickly. The hard part has been keeping physical copies around.

Gavin: What did you think of the reception and attention the album got when it finally came out?

Brad: We have no more CDs left. Hopefully, we’ll be able to afford to make more soon. There have been way more downloads of the album than I ever thought there would be. We made some local end-of-the-year best-of lists and the one review we’ve gotten was positive. I’ve been really happy with it all.
Gavin: Are there any plans in the works to record an EP or another full-length album in the works?

Brad: We are recording the second album, as we speak.

Gavin: Down the road are you thinking of heading out on tour, or sticking to home for now?

Dave: Hit the road ASAP when we get more merch to sell at shows.
Gavin: Going statewide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Dave: There’s tons of good bands in Utah but a lot of people are too broke or too cool to care about them.

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

Dave: More local record labels and promoters to help bands from Salt Lake City.

Brad: What it needs right now is an infusion of money and talent in the publicity and distribution areas. We have amazing talent and excellent recording studios. And because of that, we have tons of fantastic product – but it never sees the light of day because most of it never goes beyond the state border.
Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Brad: There are so many, but here are some highlights for me: The Rubes, The Chickens, Triggers and Slips, Monkey Knife Fight, Muckraker, Never Say Never. In more of a straight blues vein, House of Cards and Blues 66 are pretty cool.

Dave: Cornered By Zombies, The Numbs, ABK, Thunderfist, All Systems Fail, Handicapitalists, Irony Man, Los Rojos, Speitre.

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

Dave: KRCL does a great job playing local music.

Brad: It's done nothing but good for us.
Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and as music lovers?

Brad: Download Tupelo Moan’s first album for absolutely FREE, at this link. I think it’s great. A lot more people have been able to listen to our stuff because of it. And that’s the goal, right?

Dave: Fuck it. Who cares. I collect vinyl.

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

Dave: Hopefully, a Tupelo Moan tour and a new Oldtimer CD.

Brad: A new Tupelo Moan record and some touring. I just finished recording an album with The Chickens that should come out soon and I’m really proud of that. I’m currently working on Triggers and Slips’ first album. Hopefully, that will be finished and released soon.
Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Brad: Dave Borba does amazing artwork. He did our cover. Patrick Patno’s socks. They’re fucking awesome.

Dave: Molca Salsa Mexican Food. Oldtimer. Not the Fucktards. Remember to have your pets payed or neutered.


Joshua Payne Orchestra

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

Joshua: The Joshua Payne Orchestra consists of myself on guitar, Dan Thomas on drums, Ron Harrell on upright bass, Dave Bradshaw on bari sax, David Payne on tenor sax, Patrick Buie Don trombone, Logan Hone on alto sax, Bret Jackson on trumpet and Scott Moore on clarinet.
Gavin: What first got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Joshua: I come from a musical family. My dad, Marvin Payne, is a singer-songwriter and I used to listen to his records growing up.

Gavin: How did you all come together to form the Joshua Payne Orchestra?

Joshua: I've got the best bandmates anyone could dream of. It was so scary to ask them to be a part of all this madness. Each band member is so dedicated and I feel I owe my life to them. I'm so grateful.
Gavin: Considering everyone comes from different background and bands from hard rock to folk, how hard was it nailing down a cool jazz sound?

Joshua: I think that is the reason our band has such a great sound. We're not the "usual suspects." It has been so fun to try and take advantage of everyone's unique talents. I try and write like Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus would have. I write more for the individual and less for the instrument.

Gavin: You mainly play as a trio, but the band has gone up to nine members for special performances. Why bring in the extra musicians from time to time, and who do you usually have play with you?

Joshua: I would say our main thing is the nine-piece band. Our hearts are more into it and we only do original music. The nine-piece band has a mind of its own. It's wild as hell. We play every single week no matter what, whether it's in the street at midnight or performing at clubs downtown.
Gavin: You've also gone out of your way to create an online presence, specifically in videos of live performances. What influenced making those videos?

Joshua: We're surrounded by great friends and artists who want to help us out. We try and record shows when we can and make fun videos.

Gavin: Last year, you released a self-titled 7” for a special engagement at the Rose Wagner. What was it like recording it, and what made you choose those two songs in particular?

Joshua: That was a very special performance. We recorded it for fun and it ended up sounding so great. We're always learning new songs for fun. “Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed has an incredible main hook. I've always loved that song. I heard “Break Up” by Mario on U92 and was blown away by some of the clashy notes on the chorus.
Gavin: What did you think of the reception and attention the album got when it finally came out?

Joshua: It has been just great. We feel surrounded by love. People want us to do well.

Gavin: You've got a number of songs in the works, and rumor has it you've got a new album on the way. What's the official word on all that?

Joshua: We have a full-length 12" LP due out tomorrow. It features all original music and is called Zoom. It's the full nine-piece band.
Gavin: Going statewide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Joshua: I'm always blown away with the scene here in Utah. It's amazing. I love it all. There's no bad. There are so many up-and-coming artists here. It's overwhelming. Everyone has something special to share.

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

Joshua: I don't know. Sometimes it takes history a while to catch up with amazing. I think the scene here will be regarded as prominent.
Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Joshua: Pretty Worms, Night Sweats, Red Bennies, Derek Howa, David Williams, and so much more. There's way too many to name.

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

Joshua: I think it's incredible. Again, I think we're a community that wants to support our local artists and help each other out.
Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?

Joshua: It's hard to file share an actual vinyl record. I love vinyl so much. Not just the sound, but the physical nature of it.

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

Joshua: Tons of performances, new songs, and record releases.
Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Joshua: Watch out for Zoom. If you're wandering the streets of SLC after midnight on a Friday, come find us. I always tweet our location. Our twitter name is @jp_orchestra. We love you madly!


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