Kid Theodore, INVDRS | Buzz Blog

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kid Theodore, INVDRS

Posted By on May 25, 2009, 2:28 AM

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Before we go into interviews, I need to be honest... May sucked for trying to cover shows. Everything I tried to book either fell through or had bands I already interviewed. I thought this was going to be an awesome month, but really a lot of the most promising shows never came to fruition. What's up with that? So... we're using digital duct-tape today, and I'm putting two bands from two separate shows together, call it good and hope like hell that June turns out better. ---

First up we have the indie-rock soundings of Kid Theodore, taken from three weeks ago at the Urban Lounge as they played with Tolchock Trio at the final show for the now officially broken up Future Of The Ghost. Then from this past Friday we have the punk metal band INVDRS as they played opening at Burt's Tiki Lounge for OldTimer and Tarrakian. Pics for KT are available over here, but you can check out INVDRS pics over here.

Kid Theodore (Ryan Darton, Cole Barnson, Gardner Stevenett & Brandon McBride)

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

We are Kid Theodore- a four piece rock and roll band, born and raised in the Utah of USA. We haven't always been the way we are now and wont always be like this. We're always growing and changing.

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

Ryan: Honestly I have my Dad to blame for this obsession with music that I have. I grew up listening to a lot of the the Beatles, the Doors, Boston, BTO, Bob Dylan. The classics.

Brandon: My brother got me into music by introducing me to Radiohead. Still my favorite along with the Beatles. I'm currently listening to TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, and the Rolling Stones.

Gavin: How did you get together and form Kid Theodore?

Ryan: Kid Theodore started as an idea that I had to gather all of the best musicians that I had become friends with since my teenage years. I wanted to have a band with all of the best so that we could push each other to stand out from the rest of the music scene. Since the first days of Kid Theodore we've had a lot of members come and go but we have been progressing with each change and while it's been hard to see some people throw in the towel it has been good for us in a way. Unlike the dinosaurs, we have evolved to survive.

Gavin: Everything you do is from a DIY approach. Was that pre-planned from the start of something you eventually fell into doing?

Ryan: I think it has been a blessing that we have generally always had band members with fairly good work ethic. We understand that success isn't going to fall into our laps. In my eyes, the amount of work and time you are willing to put into "making it" very much reflects how much you believe in yourself and what you are doing. I believe that bands that aren't so DIY don't really believe in themselves.

Gavin: What was it like for you guys recording the
Goodnight... Goodnight EP?

Cole: Recording Goodnight... Goodnight was a fantastic experience. For most of us it was our first real recording experience. It gave us a chance to really be creative in the production. Sometimes I will pull it up on the ol' iTunes and get some of those songs stuck in my brain for days. I am still very proud of it.

Gavin: What was the public reaction to it when it finally came out?

When we released our EP, we really didn't know what we were doing or trying to accomplish except for getting an EP out. We had no direction or real worry about getting it to the masses. So, we printed about 1000 and Ryan figured out a way to get them on iTunes. The next thing we know it is getting positive write ups national blogs, which if you follow blogs, many of the bloggers read other blogs to figure out what to blog about. This caused a chain reaction, and lots of people noticed Goodnight...Goodnight and loved it. I think in many ways our EP was excepted better than Hello Rainey.

Gavin: You also toured around a lot early on. How were some of those early tours for you?

Brandon: Our first tour I was actually a roadie for. I think it wasn't quite what we expected. It seems we thought booking the show was the end of the battle but we quickly found out a lot of hard work goes into touring. Those tours were cramped too because we were a 6 piece in a little van. Now we are a 4 piece in a 37' bus. Movin' on up.

Gavin: What was the feeling like when you were finally recording the full length?

Brandon: Hello Rainey was a lot of fun to make because we had a lot of great songs and even more ideas for them. The problems we had were with time. We were funding it ourselves so we had to knock it out pretty quick and had to have everything set before we went into the studio. Also, we had to record everything separate cause getting us all together for recording live would have been a nightmare. But we would have at least two of us on every session and we would have fun in Pairs.

Gavin: How did you take all the praise you were getting for
Hello Rainey?

Ryan: We put a lot of thought, money, time, arguing, sleeplessness, and sub sandwiches into the making of that album. To have people appreciate is fulfilling. It still puts a smile on my face.

Gavin: What did you think about making it into the
City Weekly Music Awards this year?

Gardner: We are always happy to work with City Weekly and are flattered by there continued support and coverage of our work. That's the kind of answer Public Relations people live for.

Gavin: I've seen you've been working on demos, how the next album coming along?

I am not quite sure. We have been writing on and off for the past year, and most of what we wrote was either cut or never grew to fruition. I think we are a little more picky about the songs we write which causes our songs to be more solid, but is taking awhile to build enough for a really good album. we have recorded those rough demos to get a feel of how the ones we like are excepted.

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

Utah is full of so many great musicians and artists. I'm constantly amazed. I feel that there are so many artists here that everyone in the world needs to see or hear. Off the top of my head- Lake Mary, Band Of Annuals, Joshua James, Devil Whale, Calico, Asher In The Rye. We love the Utah scene and especially Salt Lake. The hardest part about all of this is that while Utah has the cream of the crop, the industry is having a hard time seeing that. It's with a few rare exceptions that you see a band from Utah make it to the professional level.

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

Once Kid Theodore is international we'll start plugging Salt Lake nonstop. Uh. I'm not sure how but we've got to get the industry to look at our humble state.

Gavin: Who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Future Of The Ghost is now done which we are all sad about. But Will Sartain is always making great music. Laserfang is incredible dance music. Palace Of Buddies make some incredible tunes as well.

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

Me and our on-and-off sound guy have had great debates about this. It is my opinion that the current state of mainstream music is about to get shown the door by "indie" music. I won't go into all of it, but the similarities between now and the rock n roll boom of the early 60's are astounding. Within two years, pop will be good again. Heard it here first.

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

Brandon: We
have had great debates about this too. It is my opinion that it is just another platform switch. When vinyl went to tape, people freaked out. When CD-Rs came along, people freaked out. Now MP3's have people freaking out. But that's just what technology does. It advances, and consumers and businesses adapt. Artists, or business types that latch onto artists, will always figure a way out to get paid for their work. Its just a new medium. Calm down my little butterflies.

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

We are on a quest to play more shows then we ever have this year. we are moving to sunny California and trying to write enough songs to release an album.

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

I'm experimenting with an idea that, if it works, I will grow corn cobs from my ears. One cob per ear per season.

Brandon: We are moving our home base to California in June. That's fun. Also, Ryan's idea won't work. I am making sure of it.

INVDRS (Gavin Hoffman, Phillip White, Sean McClaugherty & Dave Moss)

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

Gavin H: Heh. Phil Summons demons with his throat, Dave and Sean provide ungodly tone with guitar and bass respectively, and I attempt to hold down some sort of a backbeat. We've all been in bands with varying degrees of success for at least the past 15 years, including, but not limited to, God's Iron Tooth, Clear, Iodina, Hammergun, Dirty Girls, Art of Kanly, We All Fall Down and Her Blacklist.

Phillip: My name is Phillip white and I sing for Salt Lake City’s only true black metal band, INVDRS.

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

Phillip: Seeing Iron Maiden on the “Number Of The Beast” tour when I was 8 years old. Also, I really wanted to be Simon Lebon when I was a kid but unfortunately I wasn’t as good looking and my vocal range wasn’t up to par. That’s why I stuck to metal. Growing up in my house there was music being played all the time. I grew up on the Stones, Sabbath, Otis Redding, Zeppelin, Hendrix and Pink Floyd. My mom was a huge soul freak and my dad was your typical rock n' roll dude. As I got older I followed the musical path of destruction, heavy metal-punk/hardcore-death/black metal and all things psychedelic.

Gavin H: Personally, I've been interested in music since my dad first played me The Beatles, who are one of my favorite bands to this day. What got me interested in actually playing music in bands, for audiences, was seeing an old SLC hardcore band called Reality play when I was in 9th grade or so. I started thinking to myself there might not actually be such a separation between seeing a band play live and being in a band people would come to see play live. As for influences, mine are pretty eclectic: anything from, as previously mentioned, Beatles to old UK punk (Crass, Conflict, Flux Of Pink Indians, and especially Rudimentary Peni), to stuff like Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and even Oasis, to first- and second-wave black metal like Bathory, Darkthrone, and Burzum, and obviously sludge/doom stuff like Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, and Greenmachine. For the record, the new Sunno))) album kills it.

Gavin: How did you get together and plan out that initial single session?

Gavin H: Dave and I started a band called Spur sometime in 2006, I think, after having a drunken discussion about starting a sludge metal project. When our bassist left that band, we entered into discussion with Sean about replacing him, and soon after found out Phil was moving here from Long Beach, California. It seemed almost too perfect... Sean and Phil had known each other for years, dating back to the old SLC hardcore scene when Sean was in Clear, and Sean and I had been in Iodina together, so we were already familiar with each others' playing styles. Coincidentally, both Sean and Phil were a part of the final Her Blacklist recording session/show. It was strictly an improv band, and we asked Sean if he'd like to play bass for the last performance, which was actually a live recording session with John Burdick, and Phil just happened to be in town that night on vacation, so we invited him to come down and do vocals. Regardless, we were all fans of one of Phil's previous bands, God's Iron Tooth, so we knew what he could bring to the table, so we decided to get together to make the loudest, dirtiest, heaviest, most gnarly music salt lake had ever heard.

Phillip: The rest of the dudes started to jam before I moved out here from Long Beach. I went to practice with them the first week I was out here and they played the one song they had. I did my thing to it and was like “what do you jerks think?" I’m pretty sure they knew I was going to be in the band before I even went to that practice.

Gavin: What made you decide to get a band going off that one set?

Phillip: I have known Sean for over ten years and we always used to talk about doing a band like INVDRS. So when I practiced with the dudes that first night, I think it was a given that this line up of heavy metal hordes were gonna kill.

Gavin H: Well, it was pretty much decided this was going to be an all-or-nothing band from when we all first talked about it. We didn't want to "give 'er the old college try." This was it.

Gavin: How was it in the early goings and learning to play as a group?

Gavin H: It was tough, initially. Dave and I had gotten semi-familiar with each others' playing when we were doing SPUR, and Sean and I were familiar with each others' playing from Iodina, but lumping all four of us together, especially considering the somewhat lofty expectations we all had for this band, was kind of a hindrance at first. It took us awhile to really nail down what we were going for. Regardless of what people might think, it's kind of strange going from slow, heavy, dirgy, 10-minute songs immediately into a 2-minute long punk jam, and doing it the way we felt it needed to be done was a little tricky. Thus far, we've been exceedingly slow in terms of writing music, which is mainly because we know what we want, and not every riff, beat, or vocal pattern we come up with is going to work the way we want it to. Call us a perfectionist sludge band, basically... if there ever was such a thing.

Phillip: We are very picky as to what we want out of this band. INVDRS end up taking our sweet time when it comes to writing and playing live. All of us have been playing music for a LONG time and we have all been friends for almost the same amount of time.

Gavin: What was it like getting on SLUG's Localized set?

Phillip: The SLUG Localized show was a ton of fun. We were fortunate that Angela let us pick the bands for the night; actually Jason Knott from Minerva was the one who set it up. It was the perfect gathering for all of our close friends to come out for a night and party their asses off. Dany Vespar and his band of amazing musicians killed it that night, Minerva played the best set of they’re short lived career and INVDRS melted some brains.

Gavin H: I personally had mixed feelings about it. since I write for SLUG, I had the obvious "favoritism" thoughts run through my head, but at the same time, I felt like it was an awesome platform for INVDRS. Sean and I were both doing Minerva at the time as well, who played that night directly before INVDRS, and having both of us pull double-duty was a bit exhausting, but it was ultimately an awesome show. It was the kind of show we try to one-up every time we play live.

Gavin: What led up to the “ill-fated” show at Red Light, and how did you get signed up on their label?

Gavin H: This... is an interesting question. Basically, the show we played at Red Light was shut down by the cops directly after our set, so we ended up being the only band to play there that night, which was a bummer. As for being "signed to" Red Light Sounds, this is a very tender subject right now. As it stands, we are releasing our debut CD, Electric Church, on a DIY sludge/doom/punk label from California called Corruption Recordings.

Phillip: The only thing "ill-fated “about that night at Red Light was it getting shut down after we played. INVDRS were never "signed" to the Red Light label and we are not doing our record with them. Our full length will be out this summer on Corruption Records out of Los Angeles. Jason from Corruption is a very old friend of mine from L.A. and has been running a DIY label for many years. Let’s just say he definitely has his shit together.

Gavin: What's the progress like on the upcoming album, and what's it like working with Andy Patterson?

Phillip: The record was put off for a little bit but now I’m ready to finish it up. I actually had a pretty funny conversation with A.P. a couple of days ago about it. Working with him is so laid back and it never feels like you’re under any pressure. We pretty much party the entire time INVDRS are in the studio anyways.

Gavin H: The process has unfortunately been a bit on the slow side. All instrument tracking is done - at least, for now - and we hope to have the vocals completed in the next week or so so we can begin mixing by early June. Working with Andy is always a pleasure; all of us have worked with him on past projects, with the exception of Phil. Andy's just one of those guys who, ahem, "gets" what we're going for, and he's always up for a challenge. plus, he's a great "ideas guy." Even when we rolled in to record with the massive amount of gear we have, he never suggested that we cut back volume or use less gear because he knows what INVDRS is all about. Also, our recording sessions with Andy generally degenerate into a big drunken party, so we're not really "working" when we record with him.

Gavin: Will you be planning any kind of a tour after the release?

Gavin H: We are booked to play the Outsleazed Fest in California in July, I believe, but we haven't discussed doing a proper tour, as such. All four of us have what most would consider to be "corporate" jobs, and Sean has a family, so touring just isn't as feasible for us as it would be for a band with younger members and fewer responsibilities. On top of that, doing a full-blown tour would be tough on all of us. It's hard enough having to lug our stuff from our practice space to a local venue every once in awhile... I can only imagine how gnarly it would get having to lug that stuff on and off stage every night for a tour! You never really appreciate the simplicity of a straight-up half-cab guitar setup until you triple or quadruple it and you have to move it whenever you play a show.

Phillip: Touring for INVDRS is leaving Salt Lake for more than one day. The only thing out of state we have planned is going to Long Beach to play Outsleazed Fest. We might do some other out of town dates this summer but that’s about it for touring. That is unless; somebody wants to pay for us to go over seas.

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

Phillip: Its no where near the size of LA but that's why I think it’s so special. You have all different types of music being played and there are a few great spots to play at. I could go out every night and see a band here. My biggest problem about playing music in SLC has to be with some of the clubs. YOU DON'T PAY SOMEBODY MORE MONEY TO PLAY MUSIC BETWEEN BANDS THAN YOU DO THE ACTUAL BANDS, especially if you call that person a sound guy and all you have is a vocal mic PA system.

Gavin H: I have to speak solely for myself here... I love, have always loved, and will always love the SLC music scene, but it seems like people have kind of sequestered themselves into whatever facet of the "scene" they feel they fit with, and they have a hard time stepping out of their comfort zones to experience new things. Salt Lake has always been that way, though. For instance, I also play the drums for a punk band called AZON, and I don't think I've seen more than a handful of the same people come out for an INVDRS show and an AZON show, when to me, they're both punk bands, essentially, and they both hit hard, so why wouldn't I go check out both bands? Unfortunately, I myself have a hard time getting out to local shows anymore, so I'm probably somewhat of a hypocrite, but that's mainly due to social anxiety as opposed to lack of interest.

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

Gavin H: The scene? Yeah. More all-ages shows, better turnouts and more support from people who follow local music, as well as people being able to expand their musical tastes and stop being so fucking pretentious. that being said, we are friends with a rather large consortium of local bands, musicians, and artists from varying backgrounds and with varying tastes, which I think is amazing, and it makes us all happy to know that people who wouldn't normally listen to something as abrasive as INVDRS will come check us out, and we in turn love being able to see good local bands play, or check their recordings out, even if they aren't "cut from the same cloth" as INVDRS, musically or personally.

Phillip: I totally agree with Gavin.

Gavin: Who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Phillip: I think Eagle Twin is about to change heavy music in the same way the Melvins did in the late 80’s. Iota is an awesome band that I don’t get to see play very often. All Systems Fail and AZON are probably two of my favorite punk bands playing right now, not just in SLC. I have always dug The Wolfs. I’m stoked to see Form Of Rocket playing again. Andale always put on a great show and I really dig their record. There are some really good bands around this town.

Gavin H: The upside to the local scene right now is that there is absolutely NO shortage of awesome bands. Eagle Twin is amazing! We go back with those guys a long way. IOTA is supremely underrated locally as well as nationally. OldTimer are rad kids, and are fun as hell to share the stage with. All Systems Fail is, in my opinion, the best punk band Utah has ever seen, and yet they never seem to get the recognition they deserve. Nine Worlds is rad, and, although they're from Denver, Black Sleep Of Kali is a band people should start paying attention to. I could go on and on, but I think I've name-dropped enough for the time being.

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

Gavin H: F&$% music trends. I've always felt that people who listen to mainstream radio aren't actually fans of music; rather, they are people who feel that they need to be spoonfed a soundtrack for their boring lives, and they need to stay current on whatever "hot jamz" they might be date-raping to at "da cloughb." I'm bombarded with music every day, seeing as I listen to it, I play it, I write about it, and I sell it (I have a part-time job at a local record store), so most people would probably consider me to be a music snob, but it's gotten to the point with me that I can spot one-hit wonders like nobody's business, and I feel sorry for most people, and their music tastes, because I know they're spending their hard-earned dollars on music that is manufactured, soulless, dull, boring, unimaginative, pointless, and is done by bands that couldn't give a fuck less about the people who buy their bullshit, so long as it gets sold. So-called "popular" music hasn't been even remotely good since the 70's, but hey, as long as people have something to shake their ass to, cry themselves to sleep to, cut themselves to, beat their chest to, or wear on their chest as a fashion statement, who am I to question the current state of music?

Phillip: I don’t pay attention to radio bands or trends. I leave that s#!% up to the teenagers and dudes in neon clothes with mustaches.

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

Phillip: The collector nerd will still buy the double LP Gatefold limited edition on 180 gram vinyl.

Gavin H: It hasn't really affected us to date. Personally, I think file sharing is a double-edged sword. On one side, I don't like the idea of "stealing" someone's work without their permission, but on the other side, I like a lot of music that is either to hard to find in a physical format, or is so expensive when I DO find it that it's just not feasible. I don't like feeling that I need to shell out a hundred bucks on eBay just to hear a record from a band I'm interested in. We actually recorded a three-song demo with Andy Patterson in 2008 that we ended up just burning onto CD-Rs, putting in hand-me-down digipaks, and giving away. For us, it's more important that people who want the music are able to get it than making money. Granted, we won't be giving the CD away when it's released, but I'd rather have someone who can't afford ten bucks or whatever it's going to cost be straight-up with me and let me burn them a copy instead of them downloading it online.

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

Gavin H: As stated earlier, our debut CD, Electric Church, will be out on Corruption Recordings sometime this summer, and they will also be pressing t-shirts and such, which will be available directly through the label or from us at shows. We would like to begin playing live more often, and we will (slowly) begin working on new material.

Phillip: More shows, new hate filled material, tons of BBQ’s this summer, whiskey bent and hell spent!

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

Phillip: Electric Church will be out this summer on Corruption Records. Check out the label and our new t-shirts.

Gavin H: Obviously, we'd like to plug/promote the CD, as well as encourage people check out Corruption Recordings by visiting their website. Fuck trends, fuck listening to what other people force you to listen to, and before you buy that next shitty t-shirt from Hot Topic or that next weak-ass CD from FYE, I'd strongly suggest you reconsider and save your money for something necessary or meaningful. Additionally, consider this an open invitation to anyone who might be interested in INVDRS to come have a beer with us, get loud, and get fucking ugly.

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