It’s been a few years since Rooney released their debut self-titled album and many fans were starting to wonder if we’d ever hear another from them. But Rooney (Robert Schwartzman on vocals and guitar, Ned Brower on drums and backing vocals, Taylor Locke on guitars and backing vocals, Matthew Winter on bass and Louie Stevens on keyboards) may just take the award for hardest working band in the business. Not only do they have a new album coming out on July 17th titled Calling The World, they scrapped two entire albums prior to this one, simply because they felt they weren’t good enough. The band demands perfection on and off the stage, so it should come as no surprise that they would be the first to scrap an entire album and start all over again, but one would have to start to wonder, when is good, good enough? Some bands may be okay with good, but Rooney strives for nothing less than their best, and their best is what they give you with Calling The World, from beginning to end.
The first single When Did Your Heart Go Missing and it’s accompanying video are already eating the faces off of pop fans everywhere. The song, the perfect summertime anthem, oozes fun, dance, pop beats, all the while hitting you right in the gut with the Rooney lyrics we’ve all grown to love – a recipe of half tongue in cheek, half clever and add a dash of wit. The rest of the album follows in the lyric department but the music offers a few new things that we haven’t heard from Rooney in the past. On I Should Have Been After You you get what is being referred to as Rooney’s first mini rock opera and the album closes with the poignant ballad Help Me Find My Way which will leave even the coldest of hearts with goosebumps.
The album gives you a full feel of what this band is really all about as far as what they are capable of musically and how much Schwartzman has magnified his songwriting over the past few years. Never fear though, their California spirit and carefree vibe is evident throughout; they’re not going to let you forget where they came from.
The band garnered many new fans last summer opening for Kelly Clarkson and is currently on tour with Fergie. While this may seem a bit off key for the band, they have been filling in their off days with headlining shows for everyone and promise to be back on tour just as soon as this tour finishes up. In fact, if they had it their way, they’d be on tour forever!
Frontman and chief songwriter Robert Schwartzman recently sat down with TWRY staffers Mary and Stacie to answer our questions about the past, the future, and all things Rooney!
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | June 2007
Fountains of Wayne (Chris Collingwood on lead vocals/guitar, Adam Schlesinger on bass/background vocals, Jody Porter on lead guitar and Brian Young on drums) hit the mainstream with their hit single Stacy’s Mom, bringing to life every boys childhood fantasy. But Fountains of Wayne have been around a lot longer than Stacy’s mom. Band co-founders Schlesinger and Collingwood would first meet in college, jam a bit, and go their separate ways. It was in the mid 90s that they met up again and formed Fountains of Wayne. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1996 and was followed up by Utopia Parkway in 1999. Shortly thereafter, the band took a brief hiatus going there separate ways. In 2001 they would find each other again and release Welcome Interstate Managers which spawned Stacy’s Mom.
Fast forward to 2007, and their latest release Traffic And Weather, picking up right where they left off with power pop indulgence. One of the main things that sets Fountains of Wayne apart from the rest is their ability to write lyrics that tell a song and tell it in a way that you become attached to the characters and the story. Never knowing if the character is real or fictional is part of the fun.
Traffic and Weather oozes of 60’s and 70s and even the 80s infusion while still keeping it fresh and offering up a little something different for pop fans. Check it out!
Recently TWRY Staffer Lexi sat down with Adam Schlesinger to pick his brain on all things Fountain of Wayne!
Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | June 2007
Brooks Wood – Rhythm guitar, lead vox, & Teacher of all things BAMF
Miah Wander – Bass guitar, vox, & PhD in Groove Engineering
Greg Holzer Keys, vox, & Pupil of Paul Ottinger
Danny Shampine – Drums, cowbell, & “Show me what ya workin’ wit”
Paul Sheeran – Lead guitar, Dr. Z, & Miles Davis T-shirt
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty
For our readers who don’t know you, describe how Brooks Wood Band formed.
We were all babies once .. then we grew into childhood .. and eventually with the help of vitamins and minerals, we became the people we are today. None of us are deformed either .. at least not physically. Mentally .. maybe.
Your sound has been described as ‘acoustic-soulful-funkadelic-country-rock’, a great fusion of sounds, elaborate on this for a moment.
Greg: Yeah, more often than not, when people hear our sound, the first thing that comes to mind is “a good different” which we love to hear because it separates us from the everyday stuff you hear. We know our roots and we don’t try to fit ourselves in a certain genre, but we ARE heavily influenced by some of favorite artists of old and new. Some that personally come to mind as a keyboardist are Bruce Hornsby, Billy Joel, Elton, Blessid Union of Souls, and as of late, Jon McLaughlin and such.
Brooks: Our influences are all over the board. My roots are deep with the southeast americana/acoustic-rock movement of the early to mid 90’s – bands and artists such as DMB, Edwin McCain, Pat McGee, Mike Corrado, The Drive, Angie Aparo. Since moving away from home for college, my music world was turned upside down when I was introduced to jazz, folk, bluegrass, etc. Pretty much anything I could get my hands on, I was listening to it. I know where my roots are, and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t shake them, but all the sounds and music I’ve been exposed to in my life are some kind of influence on me.
Miah: We’re really fortunate in that each of the guys in the band comes from a varied musical background – everything from bluegrass to hardcore runs through the veins of our band. It gives us the opportunity to draw from so many directions when creating a sound of our own. What’s come out of it all at the end is something I think we’re extremely happy with and proud to show to our fans.
Danny: Yeah basically what we do is get all hopped up on drugs and alcohol and just hit stuff, and this description really captures that sound. Just kidding… we all come from different backgrounds and likes/dislikes and you can really hear the influences in our music.
Paul: Part of the lifeblood of the band musically is being able to pull sounds from such a rich history of musicians in many different fields. For the most part the acoustic and soul influences come from Brooks (who we also credit for the country influence) and Danny, while the funk and rock come out from Miah and me. Greg’s great – he’s a chameleon of sorts and seems to be able to come up with creative parts for just about any style, so ultimately we end up with a mixing pot of musical goodness to serve out night after night.
What are you favorite tunes to perform and why?
Greg: Is it boring to say all of them? The slower songs play on the heart strings which evoke good vibes from the crowd while the upbeat groove tunes are always there to wake everyone up and remind them that we’re here to have a damn lot of fun!
Brooks: I love our new tunes. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all our babies and we love them all. But I really love how the songwriting is going now. We actually have more material that we know what to do with and we’re having to slow down with the music so we can catch up on the arranging and lyrical work. But to answer your question more concisely – “Good Timing,” “Let’s Go,” “Carolina Air,” and “Home To You,” – all unreleased songs.
Danny: I like the fast ones! And the slow ones, and a majority of the medium ones… I’m with Brooks also on favoring the newer songs. The newer songs have a more mature sound and capture every member in the band’s input.
Paul: I think the songs of ours with the most emotional weight are the ones that speak to me the most while we’re playing. When we play other people’s songs, we usually have the most fun pulling from a lot of the soul singers from the 70s and 80s like Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers. We can usually rock them up a good bit so they end up being fun to play and a blast to listen to.
Brooks, you are the self proclaimed BAMF of the group. Are you a BAMF?
There’s no other word in the English Dictionary that describes me better. Actually, don’t look “BAMF” up in the dictionary – it’s not in there… yet. I’ve been lobbying for them to do so for a while now… with minimal success.
Are you looking to be signed or just out having a good time with where you are right now?
Greg: We’re looking to do what’s best for the 5 of us and what makes the most sense. We’re keeping our options wide open but the underlying motive here is to have as much fun as we can while busting our asses and putting in as much leg work as possible on our own.
Brooks: The music industry is ALWAYS changing and there are pros and cons to anything – as with life. If getting signed is the best thing for us, then we’re definitely out for that. I can tell you this: we ARE in fact having a good time, but we know this is a business – now more than ever. This is how we make a living. So are we out JUST to have a good time? Sadly, NO. That would be fun. But yeah, we gotta keep the lights on somehow.
Danny: I think it really depends on what opportunities are presented to us if a label would like to sign us. I know we’re having fun now and would want to keep that going no matter what.
Paul: Getting signed could definitely be in our best interests in the future given the right deal, but I think as a whole we tend to distrust most of the goings-on in the industry. Because of that, I think we’d end up being pretty selective about what comes our way. There are lots of independent artists out there who make great money doing what they love and don’t have some of the downfalls that can come with being signed – they have complete control over what they do. That’s a pretty attractive option if you can swallow the fact that you’ll probably never reach the level of exposure that a band like Maroon 5 gets.
What is your take on the current music industry?
Greg: It’s the same as it’s always been in regards to radio in my opinion. You listen to what they want you to listen to. Which is why we’re so lucky to be living in an era of myspace, youtube, and the endless number of other social networking sites out there that allow artists to connect with fans all over the world in ways never before possible. If there was ever a time to try and make it big on your own with the highest probability of success and without the help of huge recording company conglomerates, that time is now.
Brooks: It’s a cut-throat business. I’ll leave it at that.
Danny: It’s 90% who you know and how well you run your business. With the remaining 10% allocated to talent/musicianship.
Paul: I think the industry is in a pretty unique place right now – the role that modern large-labels are playing is changing drastically in the face of all the promotional power artists have at their fingertips. It’s amazing that we now have ways to sell almost directly to the people who listen to us all over the world. It’ll be very interesting to see how the music business changes as smaller labels begin to gain power and artists are better able to sustain and promote themselves. I think ultimately it could lead back to a market that fosters talent and new ideas more than the current one does.
Favorite bands to share the stage with currently… and bands you’d love to tour with in the future.
Greg: We’ve shared the stage with some pretty incredible bands and all of them have been worthy of noting. Some of the more memorable ones would have to be Virginia Coalition, Honor By August, & Gin Blossoms.
Brooks: The Rock Boat is a concert cruise that hosts many bands in our genre – Sister Hazel, Bain Mattox (who we’ve also shared the stage with), Marc Broussard, and so on. That would be a pretty great honor, to get on that boat. We’ve also talked with one of our favorite bands, Virginia Coalition, about possibly touring with them. For the time being I think it’s best if we take whatever we can get, spread our name to the masses, and see what happens. Cream rises to the top. I think we got some good cream.
Danny: I love playing with Virginia Coalition. They’re some of the nicest guys we’ve had the pleasure of playing with.
Paul: Along with the ones the other guys mentioned already (Vaco), I always love playing with bands that have very dense soundscapes like SeePeoples. The guys from Colourslide and No Second Troy were great too. I think we’d do well on tour with artists like John Mayer, Edwin McCain, etc…, but if it came down to who I’d want to be hanging out with backstage it’d probably end up being people like Mike Doughty, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and Clutch for me (although admittedly there’d be little crossover audience).
What is coming up for you guys this year?
Greg: Lots and lots of shows. And tunafish sandwiches. With mayo.
Brooks: Lots of long nights driving in our crappy van. And yeah, sandwiches…sandwiches…sandwiches…
Miah: I’d have to add about 25,476 hours of driving, a bunch of shows, and more inside jokes than you can shake a stick at. The best part of playing with these guys is that before we were business-mates or band-mates, we were really great friends. The laughter is contagious and never ending.
Danny: The beginning of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do what we absolutely love for a living. And of course tuna fish sandwiches…
Paul: Struggling to pay rent, discovering new instruments, new people, new places, new experiences, breakdowns, equipment failures, emotional highs and lows, hanging out with 4 of the best cats I know, and loving every minute of it.
Memories from your best gig/worst gig?
Greg: So does that mean you have to actually make it to the gig? Cause if not, i think the winner just happened this week!
Brooks: Yeah we got double booked this week and drove all the way there, and all the way home without playing a note… We learned a valuable lesson that day… CALL BEFORE YOU HAUL!
Miah: We learned another lesson as well. Take the gasoline hose out of the car before you try to drive away. I think some of our best musical memories were when we had a short touring stint up to NYC and back a couple years ago. By the end of that time, the band was so tight musically, that shows we’re just a blast. No worries, just antics and a damn great time.
Danny: Yeah driving a couple hours, in the wrong direction, and then ending up not being able to play the show due to being double booked isn’t exactly an ideal gig. Although it was still fun and the best 2 hour excursion to Taco Bell I’ve ever had.
Paul: I still think the worst one we had was at a biker bar somewhere in Virginia that we left without being paid. My personal favorite was when we released our latest EP and sold out the Pour House in Raleigh to release it. Definitely a landmark for our progress in the last 2 years..
Describe each other in one word:
PAUL on others in one word: Brooks – Driven, Miah – Genuine, Greg – Wise, Danny – Honest
BROOKS on others in one word: Greg – funny, Miah – sexy, Paul – engaged, Danny – splashmaster
MIAH on others in one word: Brooks – workin-it, Greg – hi-freakin-larious, Paul – good, Danny – spastic
DANNY on others in one word: Brooks – BAMF, Miah – smart, Paul – calm, Greg – monkey
GREG on others in one word: Brooks – Vogue, Miah – Admired, Paul – Intuitive, Danny – Superman
Last words to our readers & your fans:
Greg: Three things.
1. You are the reason bands exist. Embrace your local bands. They are the “real” in that overused “Keep it Real” cliche.
2. Don’t eat the yellow snow. You’ll get sick.
3. I forget the third one.
Brooks: We are allowed to do what we do because of you, so first off – “THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! WE LOVE YOU!” Secondly, whatever you can do to help spread the word, it is mucho mucho mucho appreciated. Join up on the street team, put our banner on your myspace, just tell a friend about us, whatever you can do!
Miah: Support live music. Go to shows, buy merch, write emails, ask for autographs, do it all. It means so much. If it’s not us, do it for somebody else, because just like our wonderful crew in Raleigh and throughout the south has done so much for us to be able to do what we’re doing today, you could be doing that for somebody else.
Paul & Danny: Thank you, thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU!
Upon first glance, frontman William Beckett may look like just another musician rolling through on just another tour. But, to take The Academy Is… or William Beckett at face value would be your greatest mistake. What you don’t know about this band is their intensity for every song they write, their passion for their fans, and their ongoing effort and competitive spirit to outperform themselves night after night.
The Academy Is.. (William Beckett on vocals, Adam Siska on bass, Michael Guy Chislett on guitar, Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek on drums and Mike Carden on guitar) recently released their latest effort titled Santi on Fueled By Ramen Records. For fans looking for Almost Here, Part Deux, you’re not going to get that. Santi offers up raw, in your face songs from track to track. Not quite as polished as Almost Here, Beckett offers up a reason for that – “It doesn’t sound like it’s been run through a computer, no auto-tuning and all that. Most of what you hear on the record is one, two, or three takes.” Not something you hear too often in today’s high tech age of endless gadgets and tools to perfect ones craft but a definite breathe of fresh air to music fans that are sick of albums driven solely by protools and not by soul.
William Beckett’s confidence soars throughout Santi and the addition of Michael Guy Chislett is a blessing that Beckett refers to as the fifth point on their creative star; the puzzle piece they’ve been missing. Not to cast a shadow on the rest of the band, they’re no slouches either; in fact, it’s drummer Andy Butcher who’s brainchild Bulls In Brooklyn is being compared to T-Rex in review after review. Sure, some of TAI’s fans may have never even heard of T-Rex, but it’s this comparison which may drive new fans to take a chance on TAI, and believe me, all you need to do is take the chance, they’ll do the rest to pull you in hook, line and sinker!
The Academy Is… is currently out on the Honda Civic Tour with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship, +44, and Paul Wall. William Beckett recently sat down with TWRY Staffer Ellen to discuss the new album, the changes in the band over the past year, a personal look at some of the songs, and his very honest approach to writing, lyrics, and all things TAI.
Look out Warped tour, the Welsh are coming to rock your world! The Automatic Automatic have been tearing up stages in Europe for quite some time now, but for some reason, our glorious country hasn’t had the privilege..until now! Their album “Not Accepted Anywhere” is about to be released on Columbia Records in the United States and the band will join a leg of Warped tour to bring their music to the people. They may be the new kids on the block but they welcome the challenge and embrace the opportunity to win over new crowds and gain new fans. With huge hits already under their belts in Europe and sell out crowds showing up to get a taste, it’s only a matter of time before we catch on over on this side of the pond.
The band (Rob Hawkins on lead vocals and bass guitar, Alex Pennie on synths, keyboards and vocals, James Frost on guitar and vocals, and Iwan Griffiths drums) mixes rock elements with synthesizers and a unique blend of vocal melodies that are almost hard to describe. Catchy choruses and songs that move into your mind and take up residency for awhile resonate from track to track.
What’s not to love about a band with a unique sound, great accents and best of all – a David Hasselhoff shrine at each of their gigs…nothing I say. Nothing. I recently talked to Rob about the upcoming U.S. release of the album, Warped tour, and what exactly qualifies as an appropriate shrine to “The Hoff”….
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | June 2007
Confident that they are delivering their best material to date The Starting Line is getting ready to unleash their new album titled Direction on Virgin Records on July 31st. It’s been a long time coming since their last release on Geffen and it hasn’t been the easiest road traveled. Not only has time passed but many things have changed in The Starting Line camp. The title of the album dictates just that, a new Direction.
While going through a label change, the band (Kenny Vasoli on bass and lead vocals, Matt Watts on guitar, Mike Golla on guitar, and Tom Gryskewicz on drums) held tight to the belief that their fans would weather the storm with them and be there through thick and thin. When the band debuted their first single “Island”, I think it’s safe to say that the fans never wavered. Nothing but rave reviews for the first single and the forthcoming album that delivers a solid punch right to the musical senses.
Guitarist Matt Watts took some time to talk to me about the new album, the video for the first single, Warped tour and the general status of The Starting Line…
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | June 2007
Let’s start off with why you chose the name “Down the Line”. Who thought of it and what’s the meaning behind it?
Derek proposed the band name after listening to an old blues compilation (Alligator Records, I believe), where a crooner sang something like, “Meet you down the li-i-i-i-ine!” We all agreed that it implied good things to come in the future, or at least we hoped.
You just got back from doing a tour with the band “America”. What was that like? And what did the crowd think of you young guys tearing it up?
Touring with America was really thrilling. America was generous with their time and their music, and invited us on stage to perform “Horse With No Name” alongside them every night. So not only did we get to see their fantastic show nightly, but they made us part of it too. We met all sorts of great people–their fans–and they were all very receptive to our music. Just thrilling. We hope to play with them again.
You’ve just released your third full-length album, “For All You Break”. How does it compare with the first two?
I’d actually be curious to hear how you think it compares to the first two! We spent many many many months recording the first two albums. This time around, we decided to try to hit the studio and be done in two weeks–just to keep things exciting, energetic and new. We were pleased with the results, though the process was tremendously intense. Songwriting-wise, I think the collection is more cohesive than our previous two. Dan and I were demoing songs together and realized we had a collection that could be an album, but we worked hard to limit our choices to songs that sounded part of a greater whole. Levi contributed one other beautiful song that really completed and rounded out the collection. As a band, I think we worked with a singular vision to make it all happen in the two week goal. But again, what do you think?
You guys really pride yourselves on playing pure, acoustic music. Does this stem from a love of classic rock? (and if so) Who are some of your favorite groups/bands? Do you think being an “acoustic band” has hindered “Down the Line” at all?
We definitely have a love of acoustic instrumentation, and classic rock too, though if you asked for our personal favorites you’d hear a lot of non-acoustic stuff…I’d mention Van Halen and The Police, personally for starters. But, we all would agree that the band is sort of stylistically in the mode of an Eagles or Fleetwood Mac, with the shared vocals and acoustic blends, combined with the power pop of The Cars or perhaps Fountains of Wayne…at least that’s the goal. Those groups are all favorites. I think we sort of landed on our acoustic blend more through our combined personalities than say a purposeful intent right away, but we soon recognized it was a nice thing. I wouldn’t say it’s hindered us, but we certainly struggle from time to time with genre labeling. We’re acoustic but we’re pop too.
How and when did all of you meet to form the band?
Dan and Derek went to college together in Michigan, where they studied music and got the chance to sing together. They met Levi doing a music show together in Traverse City. Eventually they all migrated to Chicago, where I was already performing. One weekend I was hired to play bass in a funk band that Dan was already singing for. We immediately had a spark, and he eventually introduced me to the other guys. Derek, Dan and Levi had a show booked as an acoustic trio (“The Britton, Fawcett, Myers Project!”) and they invited me to sit in on bass. I still get excited when I think about our first time performing together because I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing.
I read that you had a couple of your new songs played on XM radio’s XMU station. What was the response from that?
All good, thankfully!
Do you prefer playing at home in Chicago or touring? Favorite location to play (if not Chicago)?
I love both, honestly. Touring is always exciting because of the new people we meet and the new musical opportunities. Plus, we tend to try every regional food under the sun, so we eat well too. But our hometown crowd consists of so many friends and family that we don’t get to see often enough. Chicago will always be special. I love performing in New York (where I’m from) and Nashville is a city I really enjoy as well. But there are so many others.
What are each of your dream bands to play with, either on tour or in the studio? And who’s the favorite band you’ve played with so far?
Again, we’d probably all answer this differently. I’d love to tour with Fountains of Wayne, a personal favorite. The Eagles or any of the members of Fleetwood Mac would be a thrill. Sting and Randy Newman are personal faves too–guys, I’m available. And I’m still buzzing from America, so that’s the favorite so far…though we play with Pat Benatar tonight, so my answer may change!
And a “They Will Rock You” question we’re asking everyone on the site: What were the first CDs you ever purchased for yourselves? Any stories behind them?
Men At Work, “Business As Usual.” I still have the cassette somewhere.
Some random questions for our readers to get to know you on a deeper level…
Down the Line at SXSW
If you were a superhero, which one would you be?
The Hulk. He was so misunderstood.
Along those lines, what superpower would you most like to obtain?
Stevie Ray’s guitar ability?
What was your first paying job growing up?
Carvel Ice Cream. I worked until I could buy my first electric guitar, then I quit…I was 30lbs heavier.
Down The Line on MySpace
You can purchase the album on their website: http://www.downthelineband.com
*All photos used courtesy of Down The Line’s official webpage and MySpace profile
Cobra Starship, the brainchild of former Midtown member Gabe Saporta, burst onto the scene with their crazy fun pop-punk anthem “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)” which was a party til you drop tune that accompanied the movie starring Samuel L. Jackson. The video, not to be outdone, had more guest stars than a lost episode of Love Boat. While that song may have been their initial introduction to much of their current fanbase, it really was just the appetizer. Cobra Starship (Gabe Saporta on vocals, Ryland Blackinton on guitar, Alex Suarez on bass, Nate Novarro on drums and Victoria Asher on keytar) vow to bring fun back to music. Hey remember that kids – fun? Their live set is unmatched in infectious energy that makes even the whitest of white folks want to get up and dance. I mean, they have a hot chick rocking the keytar. How many bands can really say that on any given day. Exactly, not many.
While most of the material on their album While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets was written as a solo effort by Saporta, the band reports that they are already working on writing a lot of new material as a band that they can’t wait to feed to the rabid masses. Until then, they’ll just rock your socks off every night on the Honda Civic Tour. Recently, while playing here with with Fall Out Boy, +44, The Academy Is.. and Paul Wall the band sat down with TWRY staffer Ellen for some tongue-in-cheekiness. Items up for discussion – life on tour with all of their friends, their new video, their future broadway musical hit – Snakes On A Plane, and oh yeah and their desire to have a fan shave a cobra into their head. Come on, how can you let them down! There are still many shows left on this tour to show your Cobra heads. Just sayin.
There are a few things you can count on from a Josh Logan show. First and foremost, expect to be impressed by his voice. (Dude has some serious pipes). Then there’s the stellar original material that showcases the longtime Manchester, New Hampshire resident’s trademark blend of soul, funk, and rock. Complementing both is Logan’s unique mixture of cover tunes — his choices range from Sublime to Snoop Dogg to a version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” that’s so good it gives you chills. And no need to worry if the power in the club goes out, as it did momentarily on the night I saw Logan and his band perform — it didn’t faze him for a second. He continued the show without missing a beat, literally.
Of course, this shouldn’t really come as a surprise; Logan’s had a good deal of practice. He’s been at it since the age of 15, when he began his career as lead singer of the band Gunshy. After a few years together, Logan went solo to further develop his talents as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In 2003, he formed his own band, Josh Logan & Nobody’s Business, releasing a self-titled album the following year.
In the summer of 2006, Logan came to the attention of music fans nationwide as a top ten finalist on CBS’ “Rock Star: Supernova,” the show that sought to find a lead singer for a supergroup comprised of Gilby Clarke, Jason Newsted, and Tommy Lee. Building on his success from the show, Logan next toured Canada and Iceland with some of his fellow “Rock Star” finalists.
Currently, Logan and his new band (guitarist Nate Comp, drummer Ryan Barrett, bassist Matt Reignkin) are applying the finishing touches to his upcoming album, “Gone Tomorrow, Here Today,” which is slated for a summer release. I had a chance to sit down with the guys recently to talk about Tommy Lee, why they’re so excited for fans to hear the new album, and how long, annoying airport layovers can be surprisingly inspiring.
Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | June 2007
Beginning on a concerned note, you had throat surgery on May 15th. How are you doing now?
The throat surgery went very well. The recovery process has been pretty rough, however it’s just part of the process. We are fortunate enough to not be missing any shows!
With all four of you being 18-19 years old, I think you’re the youngest band I’ve ever interviewed. At what age did you first pick up your current instruments?
We all started playing in our middle school years, except for Zane. Zane started playing drums when he was 3 yrs old…….he is obviously the best of any of us at his instrument.
You say on your Myspace page, “About two years ago I decided that all I wanted to do with my life was play music.” Were you ahead of your time or catching up? (This would be the creative journalist’s way of asking, “how long have you been together as a band?” haha)
haha No I was not ahead of my time. I joined the band in August 2004….it was about a year later that we collectively decided that this was something we wanted to pursue as a career.
Carawae was formerly known as The Useful Sound. What prompted the name change, and how did you come up with the new name/what does it mean?
Up and coming bands such as “The Hush Sound”, “The Jealous Sound” and “The Sounds” were the main reason for the change. Although we had our name before these bands made it big, people would get us confused and we didn’t want to be labeled as stealing another bands name. The name came from a friend of ours, Scott Cline. He had recently found out his wife was pregnant and he shot some names at us he had thought about naming his kid, but decided against. One of those names included “Caraway.” We really liked the sound of that, but because the website url’s were taken, we decided to add our own spin on it and change it to “Carawae.” Otherwise the name has no specific meaning.
Share your writing process with us..?
Usually Kyle or I will come up with a chord progression/idea for a song. We’ll bring it up at practice and we write the song together. Most of the time the songs are accidents. We rarely sit down with the intention of writing…..I’ll like what Kyle’s warming up with and I’ll say, “lets do something with that.” Sometimes the best songs are complete accidents.
Who or what are some of your biggest musical inspirations or influences?
I think this is the most unique part about our band. We all have such a different and wide range of musical influences. Bands like Copeland, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and The Early November had major influences on me. We listen to everything though, from Damien Rice to Norma Jean, we love it all. I think that adds a lot to a band’s creativity.
How would you describe your live show to someone who’s never seen you perform before?
Very energetic, fun, and personal. We like to get the crowd involved.
The band’s Myspace tells us you’ve got over 300 shows under your belts already. Who’s been your favorite artist to tour with so far? Who would you love to hit the road with that you haven’t yet?
Our best buds in The Confidence were amazing to tour with last year. We’re excited to go out with our buds Asteria and Foreverinmotion this July! I would love to tour with Anberlin, that would be really neat.
July 5th kicks off the tour you just mentioned with Asteria and Foreverinmotion–through the 31st. Any pre-tour thoughts you’d like to share with everyone?
Honestly, we can’t wait. The road is where we love to be. Our time at home is just the time we spend waiting to get back out there.
You’ll be selling a limited edition EP on this tour; give us the details on that?
We are pressing 500 limited edition copies of our new EP called “The Struggle” just for tour. This is a good chance to get it before the official release in late summer……so make sure to come out! The EP will be selling for 5 dollars.
You’re in a music video…not your own. Tell us a little bit about that.
The guys in Rookie of The Year are really amazing. They deserve every bit of success they get and we are so happy to have developed such a good relationship with them. The “Liars And Battlelines” video shoot process was a lot of fun. ROTY does it right, it was basically a party the entire time. Unless you were in the shot they were working on, you were partying….great fun.
Are there any misconceptions about your band that you’d like to clear up? Any little-known facts you’d like to make public?
Just because our bass player has dreads, doesn’t mean he smokes pot. Also, you wouldn’t think it, but Mike is extremely smart and should probably be going to a really good school, instead he decided to spend a good chunk of his life with us. We are very grateful.
If Carawae didn’t exist, what would you all be doing right now?
I would be going into my second year of college. Mike would probably be going to some amazing school to become a marine biologist. Kyle and Zane would probably be in other bands.
Myspace and file sharing: more of a help or a hindrance to an indie band trying to get their music heard, yet still make enough money to tour on?
I think Myspace is a great thing for bands. For us, it helps us interact with our fans a lot more personally. If you have good fans, they will buy your CD. Ultimately, if you’re in the music business to make money, you’re in it for the wrong reasons and you’re going to be surprisingly disappointed.
What’s the worst or craziest thing that’s ever happened to you guys as a band?
On tour last summer we blew two tires and the alternator on our van in two weeks. That really sucked.
What do you love most about being on the road? What do you dislike most?
Seeing new things and meeting new people is definitely a highlight for me. I absolutely love road trips and adventures which is really what touring is. You never know what is going to happen, where you are going to be staying, how the show is going to go, or who you’re going to meet. One of the worst parts would definitely be missing people back home or not being able to eat/sleep when and where you’d really want to.
How do you pass the time in the van between venues?
Music and sleep. We also like to make signs and interact with the other people on the highway….thats always hilarious. I think my favorite one was, “You + Me = Picnic?” or stuff like, “Nice Boobs.” Just whatever we can think of that will get a funny reaction.
You hail from Michigan, so I have to get your opinion on this: what do you think is the greatest strength and weakness of the Detroit music scene?
Michigan in general is just a bad place to be as a band, unless your band name is Chiodos. haha. I think if you’re going to be a band in Michigan, Grand Rapids is the place to be. I don’t have many kind things to say about the Detroit scene. Unless you’re a much bigger band, the crowds are mediocre.
TWRY wants to know: what was the first CD you ever purchased, and what special memories are attached to it?
For me it was Boys II Men. At that age I just wanted something that had a cool cover. My first choice was Poison, but my parents overruled and got me Boys II Men. I’m very grateful of that decision.
Famous last words..?
COME SEE US ON TOUR!!
http://www.purevolume.com/carawae – add them as a friend and get a free download of “The Struggle” (single)