All artists go through periods where they seem to lack creativity, when you’re experiencing one of these phases, what do you do to get yourself out of it?
Connor Pohl: Personally, I’ve been very fortunate and haven’t had periods where I lack creativity, as crazy as that sounds. I’m not trying to sound snooty or pretentious or anything, music has always just really came to me with ease and I’m thankful for it. There’s never been a day I’ve picked up a guitar and haven’t been able to write something (knock on wood). For example our first LP Colours of You is about to drop, and I have close to 50 songs written for next album! Definitely hungry.
TJ Rountwaithe: I take my dog for a walk if I ever find myself in a kind of slump. The scenery here is beautiful and it’s good to clear your mind for a while.
What is your local scene like?
CP: Nonexistent! (Laughs). We originated in a town of a few thousand people; if you aren’t a country band most people aren’t into it. I’m willing to bet now though that, given our small successes as of late and growing reputation, that we would get a fairly good draw if we played a hometown show. Still, going somewhere when there isn’t much of a scene around us has certainly shaped our sound; we had a lot of time to focus on honing our sound because we weren’t out playing shows all the time. We’re excited to break out and gig a lot, though!
What are some of your earliest musical influences that have found their way into the music you’re currently making?
CP: Early on my mom introduced me to the all time greats, such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, David Bowie, etc. I love different things about each of those three acts. Steven Tyler is a wild frontman. — totally rock and roll. David Bowie was way ahead of his time, a true artist. Led Zeppelin is arguably the greatest band of all time; need I say more? I should mention I did have a Green Day Dookie cassette tape in second grade and a Blink-182 Take Off Your Pants and Jacket CD, so I had wide array of influences even at a young age!
TJR: Linkin Park and Blink-182 were the first bands I ever listened to. I hated classic rock when I was younger. The more I learn about music, though, the more I love classic rock now.
Do you have any in-band memes? Plzzzz share one.
CP: We do not, but we would love if you made one our behalf! Haha. We have a handful of fan pages on Instagram, and some of them have made Violet Night memes, though.
Have you ever tried to learn a new instrument or technique and just flat out failed at it?
CP: I can’t say that I have. Guitar’s been my focus since I picked it up, so I haven’t really tried anything else to fail it! Maybe some day, though.
TJR: I tried to learn the guitar and the violin. While I love the sound of both, neither instrument clicked that well with me. I gave my guitar to my little brother, and he’s been playing ever since.
What is the first song you ever wrote and did it make it onto a release?
CP: The first song I ever wrote, called “Break It Down,” is somewhere on YouTube, but I’m not going to give away the exact location to save myself the humiliation (laughs). It’s a mix of acoustic guitar and heavy metal, with both clean vocals and some screaming.
TJR: I wrote the music for “Wait” when I fairly young. Most of my early work was more classical, but there isn’t any record of it.
Without invoking genre, describe your music…
CP: Our music is compassionate, loving, cold and subdued, reckless and carefree. It’s everything a person can feel. Sometimes it feels like standing in the rain waiting for the person you love to come find you and bring you inside, and other times it’s like driving down the coast of the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by evergreens and the sweet smell of pine.
How was your high school experience? Were you in a band?
CP: For me, high school was a lot of fun. I have a lot of fond memories of playing Metallica and Led Zeppelin covers with my brother Michael (who is a drummer) in talent shows. I spent my high school years playing in a half original, half cover band called Atrium.
TJR: I enjoyed high school. I got to meet lots of interesting people and travel to Europe, which was offered for grades 11 and 12. I got to visit Germany, France and Italy, so I saw the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican and the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I also slow danced atop the Eiffel Tower and held up the Leaning Tower of Pisa haha! I had great teachers, but there was a lack of creative classes, unfortunately. I did not play in a band.
Lots of songs start out with a working title and are eventually renamed, what were some of the original names of your songs before they were complete?
CP: The song “Sparks” was originally called “I Saw Sparks,” “Secrets” was “The Secrets I Keep,” “Lions” was “Canvas on the Coast” and “Colours of You” was “Colours of Youth.” I know a lot of bands do joke working titles before they have the subject matter made, but that’s just never been something we do. The lyrical content is tied into the writing process, so by the time we’re coming up with potential titles we already have a pretty good idea of what the songs will be called, though that may evolve a bit, as in the aforementioned.
In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
CP: We create music without a genre or borders. If we come up with a really cool song that sounds more heavy metal than it does alternative/indie, it’ll still end up on a record. What we’re about is doing what’s real to us. Whatever we’re passionate about when writing is what will be on the next record. There are no rules. We don’t subscribe to a certain style or genre. We do whatever we want to do and I think that makes listening to our music exciting. Especially with our new album, “Colours of You,” as it’s quite the journey sonically speaking. It’s intended to be. I love listening to full-length albums, but I also love variety. If a band released a ten-song album where every song sounds the same, by the end of it I’m sick of the music and usually one or two songs will stand out among the rest. If you’re bold and experiment with fresh sounds and styles, you’ve got a bigger chance at reaching more listeners, keeping them engaged and ultimately — and this is most important to us — inspiring them.
Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Fences, SWMRS, Wolf Alice