Interviews

I feel like an oaf for not writing up this interview until now! Work has been busy, yet that is seriously no excuse because this is good stuff and should not have to wait.

On My Honor
About ten days again I had a phone interview with On My Honor’s drummer, Tobias Campbell.  And it was a complete pleasure. Tobias is a genuine, down-to-earth, nice guy – unless he faked it pretty good over the phone, which I highly doubt. When we talked the band was staying the night with a friend in Poughkeepsie, New York while on their way to Canada as part of their tour.

When asked about the start of the band Tobias explained that there were 5 members of the band, all of which were from Knoxville except for him.  Tobias was working in Boise and wanted to get into the music scene.  He saw an ad the band had sent out in search for a drummer. He auditioned and made the cut. It was as simple as some good clean advertising. Does the job.

Here’s how the rest of the interview went:

Q. How does the band come up with it’s music?
A. The music is all collaborative. Drew (lead singer) writes the lyrics. Lucas (lead guitar/back-up) occasionally writes tracks.

Q.Where’s your favorite place to tour? Tell me a little about touring.
A. Personally, I love Philadelphia. We’ve had 3 really good shows now. Far From Proper – played with them in Poughkeepsie, Knoxville, Louisville Kentucky. Thankfully we shower everyday, unlike other bands. We always have people that let us stay at their place. We have a sweet 2007 Ford van and trailer called Mufasa (like in Lion King) that we travel in.

Q. What do you do have fun in the car during tour?
A. Sleeping is really awesome! Another thing we do, we have mad-libs.
Phones. Although, we wont have our phones in Canada. That will be weird. We have 3 different ipods with different bands we have made friends with or listened to growing up.

Q. Who are some of On My Honor’s Idol Bands?
A. New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, MovieLife – Early 2000s – Drive-Thru Records

Q. What are some your personal Idol Bands?
A. Fat, NOFX, Vera, Sweller – a reason why I wanted to start music career.

Q. What kind of genre would On My Honor like to be known as?
A. Imagine if Jimmy Eat World was a Pop Punk band.

Q.What do you hope to have people get from your music?
A. Pop punk. This is why I got into this. I started listening to Blink, New Found Glory,… I listened to these bands and shows because I felt like I fit in. I want people to feel like they fit in if they don’t feel like they fit in everywhere.

Q.What is your favorite song to play live?
A. On the new record: Summer, or Rafters. Nature & Nurture, Under Yellow Lights, and Footholds.

Q. Do you have any stage traditions?
A. I like the watch the bands who play before us. During the band right before we play I start stretching out. I had a buddy who died of Cancer this summer. I wrote his name on my snare and I touch it before the show.

Q. What did Property of Zack mean when they said, in January 2013 “The guys in On My Honor adhere to a strict diet of dedication and labor”?
A. When home we practice 2-3 days a week, 2-5 hours a day. We tour a lot and very very heavily.

Q. What is On My Honor’s next goal?
A. A European headliner. Also working extremely, extremely hard to do Warped Tour next summer.

On My Honor has done a great job at gathering a following. They currently have over 18,000 followers on Facebook. Tobias explained that East coast tours were much easier than West coast as the cities are closer together and thus a cheaper tour. I’m hoping we can change that so the band can come play out here in Salt Lake City, Utah.

They have 4 albums/EPs that I know of. The latest is I Never Deserve the Things I Need, which came out in June this year. Check out an acoustic version of their new song, Rafters. It just came out this week.

If you like the honest Boyscout band, “On My Honor,” like them on Facebook, help them be a part of Warped Tour and bring them to the west coast.

Thanks for the interview Tobias. Best of wishes.

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Garrett Lee Robinson

Friday is the last day to contribute to the Kickstarter for Garrett Lee Robinson’s first album “Future Classics” releasing January 14th, 2014. This four-man rock band located in Los Angeles, California will mark two years together as a band during their CD debut.  They are ready to see the growth so many entertainers seek after in Los Angeles and are diligently working towards this goal.

Last night I had the chance to chat with the lead singer and guitarist, Garrett Robinson, as well as the bassist, Matt Rowe. It was a delight speaking with both guys, as they were both polite. Here’s some of the conversation we had:

How did the Garrett Lee Robinson band get started? Garrett met Matt and Shane, who were both already in another band together, two years earlier than when the band got started.  Right away they started playing music together.  Garrett explained the band would have started in 2010 rather than in 2012, except that he was too young and rambunctious.

Initially the band started as the three of them, but Garrett felt the need for a keyboardist and quickly taught Junior the songs and started bringing him along to band practice.  Soon Matt & Shane couldn’t help but accept Junior who know all the band’s songs flawlessly! They are happy about the four-man band decision now.

Tell me about the band name, Garrett Lee Robinson?  How does the band being named after Garrett work for the band? Talking about himself and Shane, Matt said, “We actually pushed Garrett to change the band name to Garrett Lee Robinson.  Band names are too cheesy now; I think it is cooler to be yourself.  That is his name and the coolest rock n’ roll name.  It’s never been an issue.” Garrett chimed in, “I give these guys as much if not more credit, because they make the parts better.”  Garrett never wanted to be a solo artist.  Over the phone he made sure to emphasize that the group as a whole is the Garrett Lee Robinson band! They work together and deserve collaborative praise.  This reminds me of bands like The Dave Matthews Band, whose true fans really do recognize the band in its entirety.

Tell me about the collaboration that goes into your songwriting? Up until now Garrett wrote the songs and compositions with little tips from the band here and there. However, after being together for almost 2 years now, the band has become more unified in sound and style, thus becoming more collaborative.

How often do you tend to book a show?  “Twice a month. It was once a week and then we started buckling down on the record.  We don’t want to play locally too often.  Right now we are sticking to certain markets.” said Garrett. They are primarily focused with LA areas such as Hollywood, as well as San Diego.

Any advice/words of wisdom from other bands? Garrett was excited to answer this question.  He explained that Kings of Leon was his first CD growing up.  One day he found himself hanging out at a hotel he was staying at with the band, and in particular Matthew Followill the guitarist.  After departing from chatting with Matthew Followill for over an hour just about life and music Matthew re-approached Garrett with a hug, his hand on his shoulder, and these words of advice, “Hey don’t give up. If I can do it, you can do it.”  This message resonates with Garrett.  When passing advice on to other musicians Garrett echoes these words.

Daytime jobs? Garrett is currently working in real estate services. Matt does contract work. Junior does yoga instructing.  And according to Matt, Shane has a new baby and is thus, “Mr. Mom, a drum teacher on the side, a whatever. He’s there for whatever.”

Dream Tour? The band currently is very happy playing concerts with the Lucky Lonely and they hope to have them open for their concerts way more often.”Coolest thing about tour is you don’t know the bands you’ll play with, but you end up making best friends.” said Matt regarding touring. They would also love to play with Kings of Leon.

Matt & Shane are both originally from OPM, another band in Southern California.  Question directed at Matt: Is that difficult balancing both bands? “Not really. It just kind of depends. We did a tour in Europe for 6 weeks, but then we are open until like next summer, so now we have time.” said Matt. Sounds ideal.

The Garett Lee Robinson band “Want to be the king or rock and roll… want to be the godfather of soul,” and they are working towards that with the creation of this new album, “Future Classics.” The title demands a lot out of this small California band.  However, if they can deliver, things could be moving forwards and eastward for this band. I wish these guys the best of luck and hope they play in the SLC area sometime soon.

To learn more about Garrett Lee Robinson check them out on Facebook.  Also, help the band accomplish their minimal goal of $5,000 on their Kickstarter that ends Friday!

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The Sundance Film Festival 2011 has officially set up shop and will be gracing Park City with its presence until January 30. Obviously, this is an event that is packed with creative expression and groundbreaking cinematic works, but many do not realize that it is also a medium for the listening of talented musicians.

Sundance ASCAP Music Cafe is returning this year as the main musical venue where both emerging and well-known artists, solo acts and bands, come to showcase their talents and gain new fan support. Any festival credential holders that are 21 and older who pay a visit to Park City can drop into the Cafe and have a listen at the many different acts that will be performing throughout the week.

The place opens at 1:30 PM and closes around 6, so make sure to get there early to avoid missing your favorites. Visitors should know that the venue has a limited capacity and will have to be closed off when this number is reached.

ASCAP Music Cafe has welcomed artists like Damien Rice, Rachel Yamagata, Gin Blossoms, and Rosi Golan in past years, and is always a place to showcase some of the best new talent. Artists that will be present throughout the week at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival are Guster, The Secret Sisters, Danko Jones, Josh Ritter, Tin Hat, and St. Vincent, along with many others.

Make your way to the Festival in Park City; you might just discover your new favorite group or musician!

Rosie Golan @ Sundance 2009 from Palestra Creative on Vimeo.

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