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)