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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I don’t know if any band has made me want to grow a beard more then Titus Andronicus. Now true, one’s facial hair has very little to do with how good their band is. In fact there is a band actually called “The Beards” and they all have facial hair and honestly I hate listening to them.  However Titus Andronicus simply makes great music, beards or not.

Named after Shakespeare’s tragic play, the now 4-piece band just played in Salt Lake City’s Kilby Court Monday night. Kilby Court, best described as a two-and-a-half car garage, has hosted the New Jersey natives each of the three times they have played in the state of Utah. Despite Rolling Stone naming them one of seven best new bands in 2010 and giving their latest album “Local Business” a 37th placing on their top 50 albums of 2012, they don’t draw much of a crowd.

I talked to lead singer Patrick Stickles before the show who said when they first played Salt Lake City in 2008 there was a 6:5 Titus Andronicus to audience ratio…six band members to the five people in the crowed. However, this didn’t prevent them from rocking out as if there had been tens of thousands of people there and Monday night’s show was no different. Though more then 5 people showed up this time (about 50) they again played with the kind of energy and emotion I see in few bands. It’s almost like they are able to become more intimate because of the small crowd and transfer their energy and emotion directly to the audience.

It was somewhere between debating with him before the show about if the quality of sound when listening to an actual CD out beats the convenience of having all your music digitized, his insistence that the size extra large should actually be what a large is and just seeing him wear sweat pants and a fanny pack talking about how they just got a CD player in their van that I realized he is as honest and sincere as the music he writes.

The song ‘My Eating Disorder’ off their latest album becomes extremely honest about Stikles eating disorder known as selective eating. Never wanting to talk about the issue, Stikles decided to write a song about it as a way to force himself to talk about the issue.

“In art, there should be no secrets, really, so I decided to play out that concept in the most personal way for myself and see what was there, and hopefully in the process maybe empower some of our fans that might be dealing with similar issues.”

Somehow I find myself, along with everyone else around, singing as loud as I can “Spit it out!” along with him almost as an anthem for the thing each of us struggle with in our own lives.

If you have not heard any of Titus Andronicus’ music, I implore you to give it a chance. If you like Neutral Milk Hotel or wish Conor Oberst wrote songs that rocked a little bit more, chances are you’ll get into Titus Andronicus.

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Local Provo band, Parlor Hawk released their new CD last night.  After months waiting while Parlor Hawk recorded, fans lined up at Velour Live Music Gallery for the album release.

Parlor Hawk clearly altered their sound with the release of this new album.  What once was the sweet indie folk Provo band, has now progressed their sound to be maybe even more distinct in an age of so much good indie, folk music.  This album took on more synth and more rock than the last.  Parlor Hawk swore off ever again singing Every Bone, a hit from their last album.  Their sound has changed and there is no going back.

It seems this new CD took their Saddest Song and personified it.  The album has a very distinctly sorrowful sound.  This is a brilliant bold move for their music.  In Saddest Song they exclaimed,”Would you have me?”  This new lamenting sound is just the kind of thing the band needs to stick out and make record labels and music-lovers need to “have” Parlor Hawk in today’s overly-cluttered music scene.

Note the tragedy in the lyrics, the cinematography, and chord-structure, of the following video clips from some of Parlor Hawk’s new album songs:

Maryanne – seems to be their new single

Silhouette

Son

Lucky for you (and me) if you regretfully missed Parlor Hawk’s album release concert like I did, don’t worry, Parlor Hawk is doing an encore show Monday night, 8pm again at Velour.  Man, are they good to their fans! Hope to see you there.

If you haven’t already liked Parlor Hawk on Facebook, or followed them on Twitter or Instagram, now’s your chance. Like them before they get big. 😉

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