Pändo, Moody Pulp, Motion Coaster | Buzz Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pändo, Moody Pulp, Motion Coaster

Part 1 of interviews from Velour's 2016 Battle Of The Bands

Posted By on June 27, 2016, 6:30 PM

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This past  weekend we saw the latest Battle Of The Bands in Provo hosted by Velour. This competition has become one of the most sought-after placements on a bill, as many of the bands who compete in it take off regardless of whether they even make it to the finals. This year's event was a bit unusual, as most of the bands involved had never played Velour (or at least some musicians have, but not in their current bands). Today is part one of our two-part chat with all five of the finalists, including the winner MMEND, along with pictures for you to check out.

Pändo
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Pändo on Facebook

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

Adam: Pändo has been playing together since January 2013, but for the most part, our roots go back further. Mike and Jonny first met back in 2009 as freshmen together at BYU, where they played together in a different band. After living out of the country for a couple years, Jonny was back in the Provo music scene at the end of 2012 looking to start a new band. He worked alongside Mike and former Pändo member Dave Vance, Jonny's brother, and began to recruit band members. Looking for a drummer, Mike began asking his contacts in the Provo music scene for referrals. Friend and musician James Meiling had previously played in a band with me and recommended me for his drumming talent and overall musicianship. After jamming together in Adam's recording studio, he passed the unofficial test and was invited to join the band. Over the Christmas holiday, they jammed with Dave's friend Nate Hardyman, and there was instant synergy. It was clear that Nate's guitar, vocal and songwriting talent would be a great addition to the band. In 2014, my brother Mark Hansen joined the band as our lefty bassist. Mark and I are from New Hampshire. Jonny and Nate are from Idaho. Mike is from North Carolina. We're all students or former students at BYU, studying a wide range of fields: illustration, genetics, business, advertising and computer science.

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What first interested you in music, and what were your biggest influences?

Mike: Our influences are wide! Adam first became interested in music at the age of three when he upgraded his Wee Sing Silly Songs tape to a Styx Greatest Hits tape he found on the floor of the linen closet. Actually, his first word aside from mom and dad was "be there", said when jamming along to Michael Bolton's cover of "Reach Out I'll Be There". He's played jazz, funk and rock in various bands over the years, and used to run a recording studio. Honestly, I think it's difficult for us to identify specific influences as a band, since our musical tastes are so wide.

Mark: My interest in music comes from growing up partially deaf! Joking aside, our bassist learned to read lips before he learned to speak, and growing up in a musical household was a sure-fire way to jumpstart him. His influences include Good Charlotte, The Early November, Jimmy Eat World, The Killers and Sufjan Stevens.

Jonny: Some of the artists that have really influenced my songwriting include Local Natives, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Lorde and The Shins. I guess I'm just really drawn to unique harmonies and melodies.

How was it for each of you breaking into the local music scene?

Adam: For us, breaking into the local music scene was straightforward at first. We quickly recorded a few quality demos and sent them over to Corey Fox at Velour in Provo, in hopes of landing a spot opening for a local band. He liked our demos and gave us good feedback after out set, which helped shape our sound moving forward.

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What was the driving force behind the sound you have?

Mike: We're all about relationships and emotion. We are emotionally invested in our music and strive to convey who we are to our fans through our music. The sound of our music is really shaped by our personalities.

Jonny: Man, we just love connecting with our fans—whether it's a driving anthem or a ballad. In fact, in Latin, Pändo means "I spread." So we try to spread ideas and emotions that are meaningful to us and we hope our fans find them meaningful as well. 

How has it been playing around Provo and the Utah music scene as a whole for the past few years?

Mark: It's nice to know that not all of your sets will be in a dive bar, where the only attendance will be so drunk that they won't remember your set. Growing up outside of Boston, playing and attending shows was very different in this regard. There's a lot more variety here. Take house shows, for example; I've never heard of anyone playing at a house show back east. Having said that, the music scene here is still very much growing, and along with that comes the occasional growing pain. We feel part of the scene wants Utah wants to become a launchpad for national acts, whereas another part of the scene is more supportive of developing local niche genres. At times, these two goals are directly at odds with each other.

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Do you have any plans down the road to record an album or EP?

Mike: We recorded an EP called Trembling Giant back in 2013, which can be found on iTunes. The album was self-produced at Adam's former studio, Provo Productions. We're in the process of recording more material currently. It's still up in the air how and when we release this. But stay tuned.

Any thoughts to touring? Or sticking to home for now?

Mike: It's up in the air. Adam is moving to Houston soon, so we know we'll need to find a new drummer before doing future shows.

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What are your thoughts on being one of the finalists at this year's Summer BOTB?

Adam: We are grateful for this opportunity. We loved playing in the finals three years ago, and it's humbling to have the chance to play a second time.

What are your thoughts on the other bands performing?

Adam: Great musicians, great people. We've played with Kitfox on multiple occasions over the years, we used to be neighbors. We've always been big Kitfox fans.

Mark: They're awesome! We're grateful for the chance to get to meet so many talented new artists in the local scene. After a long hiatus, we've been a bit out of the loop. Being able to spend this whole week working with and around the other bands has been wonderful.

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What can we expect from Pändo over the rest of 2016?

Mike: Pändo will release new music during 2016. We're not sure yet whether we'll release individual singles or put together another EP. You can also expect to see a new drummer, as Adam is moving to Houston to pursue a Ph.D. in genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.


Moody Pulp
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MoodyPulp.Weebly.com

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

Ben: Our band consists of Josh Harmon (Kiwi) who is 16, Jake Breeze (Tangerine) who is 18, myself (Grape Juice) who is 16, and Scott Harvath (Peachy) who is 17. We are based out of Heber city, Utah.

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What were your biggest influences that got you hooked on music?

Jake: Muse, Grouplove, Black Keys, the new electric sound, and all of our music friends in Heber who support us.

You're all from Heber City. When did you each meet and become friends?

Scott: We knew each other and had been friends; it’s easy in a small town like Heber. All of us were in different bands that existed in the Heber Valley. All of them were doing alright and having various forms of success. Jake, Scott and Nate (the singer from Scott’s old band) wondered who would be the next big rock band. After a lot of discussion on what people would be the best, they decided that Josh Harmon would be a great addition to the group. Our first practice was held September 16, 2015. The practice was between Josh, Jake and Scott. Nate had the vision, but not the ability to be part of it. During our first practice, we created the song Moody Pulp. After the practice, we decided that we needed another member who was very versatile in his instruments. Ben was called the next day.

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How was it for each of you getting involved with the local music scene?

Josh: Exciting. It feels like a relief to be able to show talent to people other than our friends in a barn back in Heber. It’s sad in a way to experience the competitive side of music, but we hope we can unite the music scene in Provo just like we did in Heber

Scott: Challenging. You have to have a tough skin to take some of the things people tell you. If you let them, they will bring you pretty far down. But once you can prove that you have what it takes to walk amongst these amazing people, you feel respect for all of the amazing things that these people do.

Ben: Its been a new experience. I am the first person in my family to be involved in any type of music. So I'm really on my own when it comes music. Which isn't bad, necessarily. So far, it's been a great journey. I've really enjoyed expressing myself with music, and I encourage all those who are having a tough time in life to try and learn how to make music that is unique to them. Overall, it's been great being in the music scene. I love music and I love my band.

What made you decide to form a band? Where did the name come from?

Josh: Rock music has been a very amazing thing. In the '70s it was the pop music of the time. Now, pop music consists of very similar musical styles and very simple lyrics. We strive to be as diverse and interesting as rock music but also as universal and fun as pop music. The name was just something Jake came up with.

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What was it like playing around Utah and earning a following?

Scott: Utah is a very musically diverse place. We have not played outside of our humble valley very many times, but the two times were very different. Our first time playing in a venue was on Tuesday at Velour. We are proud to claim that wonderful venue as our first venue! The other time was a benefit concert in Foothill. As many know, we are very loud and energetic, so we got shut down.

You recently released an EP called Screw The Stew. What was it like writing and recording that album?

Josh: With it being our first release, we had worked on writing it from the very beginning of our band. We have written and finished a good 10 songs, but had a limited time, so one of the hard parts was deciding what songs we wanted to record. The recording process is often very time-consuming and stressful, but ultimately rewarding. We came out a better, stronger band, and we were ready to share our love of music with the world.

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What's the reaction been like to the EP so far?

Scott: The reaction has been very positive overall. Having good recordings opens an immense number of doors for us. It gives people outside of our little valley the ability to enjoy our music with very little effort. It gets people very interested.

What are your thoughts on being one of the finalists at this year's Summer BOTB?

Josh: Truly an honor. We are a very young group. It was amazing to play alongside some of the best. MMEND are a great group of people and it was fun to meet and talk to them.

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What are your thoughts on the other bands performing?

Scott: The competitive nature of a battle of the bands can hurt the first impression when meeting these groups. But all were very nice and constructive. We were amazed by the amount of diversity and talent shared between all of the bands that competed. If given the opportunity, we would perform with any one of them in a heartbeat.

What can we expect from Moody Pulp over the rest of the year?

Josh: At the moment we are preparing to lose our guitarist, Jake, to serve an LDS mission in Tokyo, Japan. There may be a restructure of our group but you can expect the same amount of intensity and fun no matter what. We plan the keep playing, taking what shows we can get and having a great time doing what we love!


Motion Coaster (Dee Kei Waddell; Lead singer, Bassist, Ben Walbrecht; Lead Guitar, Bao Ha; Trombone, Kamen Myers; Trumpet, Mike Nishiguchi; Sax)

Motion Coaster on Facebook
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Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

DK: I would say that we are the craziest people and one of the craziest bands in Provo! Every single one of us is absolutely insane and we love to party. As for myself, I am a student at BYU originally from Okinawa, Japan. I own a studio here in Provo and I love to make people dance!

BH: I'm a Provo native. I'm Vietnamese. I'm studying exercise science and I'm single. If you know anyone, let me know.

BW: I'm from Virginia. I like to party. I'm studying marketing at BYU. I once had my eyeball licked by a girl.

KM: I'm from Arkansas. I'm a South African-American who plays a lot of soccer.

DK: Also, Kamen is a great comic! He told us one day he has a standup comedy sketch ready to go anytime, haha.

MN: I was born at a very early age in Washington. I study IT at BYU.

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What first got you interested in music and what were your biggest influences?

DK: Ben and his brother asked me to be in a band with them in high school. Yes, we went to high school together. I joined as a sophomore and that's when I started my music career. I love reggae and jazz. I love bands like Vampire Weekend and Givers.

BW: I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was 12. I got addicted to playing. Some of my influences are Queen, Panic! At The Disco and The Beatles.

BH: As a Vietnamese child, my parents forced me to play the piano. I hated practicing so I took up drums and I also hated practicing that. And then in 5th grade, I joined the band class and the only instrument they had left was a trombone so that’s how I got started. I absolutely love Muse and the Killers.

KM: I started playing trumpet in 6th grade. From then on my plan was to be a band director. I studied Music Education at the University of Arkansas for a year and a half before transferring to BYU. My musical influences are Maynard Ferguson, Aaron Copland, Avett Brothers.

MN: I started playing sax when I was 12 and studied music until about a year ago. My influences are John Coltrane, Chris Potter, Wynton Marsalis.

How was it for each of you breaking into the local music scene?

DK: Everything happened way too fast. We started as a trio with no brass in February. We got to the finals at The Wall’s Battle of the Bands. and that was fun. After we added the horns to the band about a month and a half ago, we took off! We’ve played two shows a week for the last month and people seem to love it, but more importantly we love it.

BW: For me, since I tried for a really long time to get into the music scene in Virginia, it feels like everything is paying off now. Ever since we started the band in Provo, things have been going great!

BH: Honestly, it’s been crazy. It’s always been my dream to be in a band. Playing at places like Gezzo Hall and Velour in the first month in the band has been super surreal for me. I’ve always wanted to take the stage at Velour and I’ve done it three times now!

KM: Dee Kei called a friend of mine asking if he knew a trumpet player, and I was sitting next to said friend, he handed the phone to me and it’s all history from there.

MN: Dee Kei found me while I was playing in another band. And it’s fun appealing to a larger audience.

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When did you each meet and eventually become friends?

BW: Dee Kei and I met in high school about seven years ago. He joined mine and my brother’s band and we’ve been good friends since.

MN: We didn’t really know each other [the horns] until we joined the band.

How did you come together to form Motion Coaster?

BW: Dee Kei and I returned from our missions and soon after met up in Provo, where we started Motion Coaster.

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What kind of challenge did it present putting together a six-piece band?


DK: Luckily we didn’t have much trouble finding people. It just kinda clicked.

BW: It was a bit of a challenge going back and writing horn parts for songs we already had.

BH: It was weird learning the parts because we really didn’t have it written out on paper so we did most of it by ear and that’s been the biggest challenge for me since I’m used to having the music right in front of me.

Being a six-piece, what's the writing process like for the group?

DK: I write the melodies and the lyrics. Most of the time, I show Ben what I have in mind and we collaborate. I often go by feeling.

BW: Sometimes the horns have some ideas and we just kinda throw things out during practice and see what it sounds.

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What was the biggest influence behind your indie-rock sound?

DK: I literally wanted to write something different from everyone else. We aren’t ska, and we aren’t rock. But we definitely make people dance. I really enjoy bands that help people get up and dance and have a good time.

How has it been for you building up a following around the state?

DK: It’s mostly Provo for right now. It’s really difficult to reach so many people but the nice thing is that our music is different and exciting and that makes it easy to make fans.

BH: There's just so many bands in Provo. So when I tell people I'm in a band or invite them to come to a show, they are meh about it. But when they do come, they really like our music and they always have a good time.

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You've released some works online, any chance of seeing an EP or full-length soon?

DK: Yeah! Were actually doing an EP release in September at Gezzo Hall! They have agreed to paint our logo on their wall and promote for it. We are ultra excited for that. We might actually do a couple EP release parties in multiple venues across town and Utah.

Are you thinking of doing any touring yet?

BH: Actually, we have a show in Rexburg in a couple weeks, and it looks like we are the main act, which is really exciting. And I've also never been to Rexburg, so I'm pretty pumped for that, too.

DK: We are actually planning on touring next spring or summer for sure. Details are yet to be sorted out, but that is the direction we eventually want to get too. We first just want to build our fan base here first. I mean, we are still a very young band.

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What are your thoughts on being one of the finalists at this year's Summer BOTB?

BH: I'm on cloud nine. Its such a big deal to be a finalist at Velour's BOTB, to me at least.

DK: I'm so humbled. All the bands have been incredible. I can’t say myself that I think were better than anyone else. The talent this town has is unreal. But I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t sacrifice a ton to make it to the top.

What are your thoughts on the other bands performing?

BH: Honestly, growing up, I didn’t go to a whole lot of shows just because I didn’t think I'd like the music that other bands would be playing. After going to a couple of the nights, I've seen that there are a lot of really really fine bands, and I'm planning on following and going to their shows. I am also The Solarists’ #2 fan. I really liked MMEND, Grove, and The Cold Year.

DK: Every band that has performed has sooooo much talent and potential. Every show I have watched this week has really impressed me. I have learned so much from each performance, and I hope to someday take what I have learned from each band and use it to make our band even greater in the future.

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What can we expect from Motion Coaster over the rest of 2016?

BH: A Christmas song. Haha. Just kidding, I don't know. I would like to start expanding out of Provo and play a couple shows in SLC or other cities around Utah. Basically, just expand.

DK: One thing you can expect from us is better shows. We are so new that every show that we have played has been a drastic improvement from our last. And I don’t see us stopping anytime soon. You can also expect some more videos and music. We still need to write more songs for our full-length album, coming out eventually in the future. Just like our Facebook page and we will keep everyone posted about that. For now, we just want to get people dancing and recognize our name! We don’t write music to be cool. We write music so people will dance!

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