Muse Music's 2016 BOTB: No Robot, Lost In Bourbon | Buzz Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Muse Music's 2016 BOTB: No Robot, Lost In Bourbon

Part two of two sets of interviews with the finalists!

Posted By on October 25, 2016, 9:00 AM

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Did you miss Part 1 one of this interview? Click this link to read interviews with Iceburgh and PACE, as well as see more photos from this concert.

No Robot (Zac Ence, Robert Brimhall, Tyler Christensen and Mike Moreno)
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No Robot on Facebook

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

Rob: Mike, Tyler and I met each other through jazz band in high school. Their passion for music brought them together for a project called Cyber Cowboy and the Flying Coffee Beans. The project was short-lived after Rob left for a mission less than a year into the band's creation. Rob knew Zac through another project and suggested bringing him on after everyone showed interest in starting a band upon Rob returning home two years later.

What got each of you interested in music. What were some of your favorite bands growing up?

Mike: I grew up in a musical family, and was always around instruments. Rob started playing guitar when he was 11 and has stuck with it since. Tyler started playing music when he got his first drum set at age eight, and Zac initially got into music through piano which his parents encouraged him to learn. The band all shared the interest of Modest Mouse and Red Hot Chili Peppers growing up, as well as Foo Fighters and Brand New.

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How did each of you first get involved with the Provo music scene?

Tyler: Each member was in their own band while in high school, and their first shows were in the Provo music scene; everyone has continued to thrive through this scene.

When did all of you eventually come together to form No Robot?

Rob: We formed last November after Rob returned from his mission. We knew each other from previous projects and collectively agreed to pursue something together.

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What was the driving force behind the alt/indie sound?

Mike's bass grooves combined with Rob's crunchy and experimental guitar sound.

Do you tend to write music together, or is it more delegated out and eventually you come together?

We write the music as a group, and Zac writes the lyrics himself after the song is structured.

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How was it when you first started playing around town and getting a following?

We immediately received interest for an original sound and tight group cohesiveness. A majority of us have a jazz background and found success implementing that into our music.

Back in July, you released your debut EP, Fruit Till Update. What was it like recording that album?

We recorded that album ourselves in Tyler's studio (Coffee Pot Studios). Rob slept a lot. We were able to take our time and move at our own pace, which helped to get to know each other more.

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Are you looking to do a full-length yet or just writing new material right now?

We are already in the process of recording a full-length. All of the material for it is written, and we are taking our time with it like we did with the EP.

Do you want to tour down the line or stick to Utah for now?

A west coast tour is already in the works for early 2017. We hope to get out often.

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What are your thoughts being a part of the finals for Muse Music's BOTB?

We're excited and surprised! The other bands are great and it will be a tough challenge!

What can we expect from all of you going into next year?

Next year you will see our full-length album come out, and hear about many tours. Hopefully, more if we're lucky!

Lost In Bourbon (Taylor Syddall, Chris Melhado & Matt Spencer)
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Lost In Bourbon on Facebook

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

 I was born and raised in Louisiana; I moved to Utah in August 2014. I started writing music in high school and never stopped. All those beautiful lyrics you hear are my own. My first band was called State Street Survivors back in college, and that really springboarded me continue playing Southern rock where ever I wound up. Lost in Bourbon is the first band in which I’ve been able to completely use everything I’ve written and put it on the stage. I find, in my eyes, Utah was a blank slate as far as Southern rock and roll was concerned. We’re bringing it back.

Matt: I grew up mostly in Utah. I was an explorative and restless child, and took that into my adult years as I’ve lived in places from Moab to Ft. Lauderdale. I find peace hitting trails on my dirt bike or exploring and camping in my Jeep. Other than music, my other creative outlets include drawing and wood working.

Taylor: My name is Taylor Syddall, and I'm from Denver, Colo. I've been in Utah for the past five years, studying the wonderful world of tax accounting. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to play with a wide variety of bands encompassing several different genres of music.

When did each of you take an interest in music and who influenced you the most?

I took interest in music in high school, and was most influenced by all of the crappy pop-punk bands that thrived back in the late '90/early '00s. I worked part-time at a fast food restaurant to save enough money to buy a half-decent instrument and learned how to play every Blink-182 song ever written. As time went on, I realized that I really just liked to play music in groups and that I didn't really care what we were playing.

Chris: I was always the little kid quietly singing along to the radio in the car. I never really expressed my singing voice until I actually got a guitar in my hands. I had always wanted to play guitar. My dad had an old one, and I learned simple things like the intro to Grease’s “Summer Lovin.” I got serious about songwriting in high school. My biggest influences were probably Jim Croce and whatever else my parents were listening to—Jimmy Buffet, Shania Twain. All these artists that were just great storytellers.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed music. My parents got me into the piano at about age six, but at age 12 I sat behind my first drum kit, and that was it—I was hooked on drums! I would put my headphones on and play for hours, rocking out to Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Green Day. My favorite drummer at the time was Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins). As I got older, I got into post hard core and fell in love with the sounds of Finch, Poison the Well, Glass Jaw and Dillinger Escape Plan, to name a few.

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What was it like breaking into the local music scene?

Breaking into the local scene was more a problem of figuring out where to play. I had no idea of venues or otherwise, being a transplant. I just knew Utah was a good place to be. I remember thinking, if I got a show at the Velour, I’d made it! Man, was I wrong. It was a bit of a struggle booking at first, as no one knew who we were. Our first show was a house show. It took a lot of emailing and open mic nights to get our point across that we were a great band to see live.

When did you all meet each other and eventually become friends?

I met Chris and Matt in February 2015 through a mutual friend from high school. We ran into each other at a restaurant in Sandy, and he asked me if I was still playing bass. He told me that Chris and Matt were looking to get something started in the Utah County area, and passed along my contact info to them. A few weeks later we were holding our first practice, and the rest is history.

Chris: I met Matt when I moved to Provo in 2014. I moved into the house he was living in. We jammed in the living room on one of those first nights and he enjoyed my sound. I enjoyed having a drummer again. Matt kind of got my butt in gear as far as forming a band. I wrote some songs, we jammed on them, and we had a band. We’ve only just become friends, though, haha. Taylor, I met through another roommate and a mutual friend. We needed a bassist, and Taylor happened to move back to Utah right around the time we formed a band. We were introduced, got a practice in, and became friends immediately.

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How did the idea come about to start Lost In Bourbon?

I had it in mind that I wanted to start a band upon getting into Utah. I actually had one started when I arrived, but there was no work being put in other than from myself. When I met Matt, I realized I’d met another quality musician, and I ran with it. I remember him distinctly saying, “Hey, I’ll make you famous,” and I’m currently waiting for him to make good on his offer. He pushed me to record Lost in Bourbon’s first song, “Princes Rule The World,” and that was the beginning of it all. We recorded the rest of our first EP after that and now have 2 EPs in the bank.

What influenced the Americana sound, and why go more the indie route than traditional Americana?

The sound came from a collective of Matt's and my previous band history. I had been heavily influenced by my previous band-mates into fully embracing bands like Zeppelin, AC/DC, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Airbourne. Thus hard, driving riffs and killer solos became what I wanted to write. The indie side of things shows because I've had many different influences over the years and I get to express them all here. As Lost in Bourbon is a collections of songs I’ve written, both old and new, a lot of songs reflect what genre I’m really into at the time. We have no real set structure or genre we’re trying to fit. We just wanna have the most fun possible while making great music. Honestly, I just want to make people move.

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How has it been for you playing around and building up an audience over the past year?

It’s been tough. Everyone that gets to see us loves us, but when we’re playing up and down the I-15, not a lot of people know who we are. We seem to have a solid fan base in Provo, but we’re still working on growing an audience that's not just made up of our friends. The only way I know how to do that is by opening for bigger bands with solid fan bases and putting on a show they won’t forget.

Last month you released your EP, Any Press Is Good Press. How was it for you recording that album?

Any Press is Good Press is actually our second release as Lost In Bourbon. The first was a four-song, self-titled EP that we released in March of 2015. This album was recorded pretty quickly. We’ve been playing the songs for a bit, so we knew how we wanted them to sound. I think I laid down all the guitar, bass and vocal tracks in a day! The goal of this album was to have it sound as close to being “live” as possible. Just really capture our raw sound. If you look at our live set up, we don’t use very many effects. It’s really just straight to the point, loud rock and roll, and that's what we tried to capture on this album. The album was recorded at Pulsar Audio and Rocket Tree Audio. Al Deans and Chris Burton really helped us accomplish this album.

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What's the response been like to it so far?

People are just stoked it’s finally out, I think, haha. I’d mentioned it so many times, but it took so long to actually release, that I think people are just relieved they can finally listen to it.

Are you looking to record a full-length anytime soon?

If we had the money to record it, we have 13 songs ready to put on an album. I’d love to get working on it, but I think at this point we’re looking more to grow our audience.

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What are your thoughts being a part of the finals for Muse Music's BOTB?

We’re stoked to be back again. We were finalists and runners-up last year as well. Muse’s BOTB brings out a lot of talent. Win or lose, we’re looking to put on a great show and have a good time. If you’re not dancing then we’re doing something wrong.

What can we expect from all of you going into 2017?

Chris: More shows, new songs and great outfits. I think 2017 will be the year of the tank top for LIB. Except for Taylor, of course. Matt and I are pretty sure he only owns baseball tees and a flannel. Look at our band photos, you’ll see what we mean, haha. I’m looking forward to more people singing my words back to me. That to me is truly the most gratifying experience I find in playing a show.

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