Influences / Lessons

So we played at The Cabin on UW - Eau Claire's campus this past Saturday, and had an absolute hoot doing it.  We have a lot of friends in Eau Claire, and it is always nice to be in a place where it all feels familiar.  While we were there we got interviewed as a band for the first time, which was probably something we'll all need to get used to.  Meghan Hosely from the Spectator at UWEC took the time to ask us some questions after the show, and one that we never really thought about is our influences. 

I jumped in right away, saying that those hours in the truck with grandpa or dad listening to the oldies and classic country had an affect on me, regardless of how long I tried to resist. On one hand you have Merle, George Jones, and the man in black, while on the other you have The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the like.  Now that I've found my sound, I realize I'm not afraid of the twang, or the big ol chorus.  It's what I was raised on.  

But then, on the other hand, you have Beau and Michael's love for classic rock. You can almost hear that soaring lead guitar every time Beau goes up and down the neck of his banjo.  You can feel the groove of Michael's bass, expecting a leather-clad lead singer to start wailing over the top.  It feels like a rock band, despite the instruments we're working with.  Hell, everytime Jens fills in a harmony with that deep bass voice of his its hard not to think of a choir behind you, swaying in time.  

When the question came up where we got our sound, we responded that it pretty much came out of the instruments we played. I've always been an acoustic guitar guy and Beau's banjo just seem to fit.  Add in the mando and bass, you are kind of limited to the sounds you can get.  When we went into the studio, we made the conscious decision to not let our instruments limit us.  If this song called for an organ, we'd add it.  If we needed a little something extra that fit the theme, we'd add it.  I like to think we took some chances with this record, and I sincerely hope you guys like what the final product is.  


Now for lessons.  A couple of weekends ago we played a wedding down in Soldier's Grove.  Underneath a tent in the middle of a field nestled in between the bluffs on each side, we celebrated the love of some new friends of ours.  We played two sets earlier in the day, but when the party really got going, we felt like we needed to give them their money's worth.  We set up sans amplification and played a marathon set, with little break between songs.  We played just about every cover we knew, along with some we didn't (David Bowie? Really?) but had a hell of a time doing it. 

Problem was, at the end of the day we had played about five hours of tunes, with three hours without amps, and had to play 3 hours the next day.  Oh and we slept in a tent that night.  We all ended up sick as dogs, but toughened up and played well the next day.  At the end of that Sunday, I felt like I could have slept right in the damn parking lot.  Maybe next time we take it a little easier.  We love the craziness that comes with being in a band, but maybe next time we should at least pack a little booze to help us through the day.  Next time.  

Hope fall is treating ya well. We'll see ya soon!


- Soren