If you wanna make it in the music biz, you’ve got to do two things, explained the Nashville-based band’s bassist and backing-vocalist Gabe Anderson. “Number one: write songs and number two: play shows.” Seems intuitive, but the point is that the fundamentals are important.
Writing songs takes practice. Your “first songs are probably going to be bad, but it’s like going to the gym and using thos muscles. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were writing songs when they were 16, but no one has ever heard those songs” — for a reason. The second part, “figuring out how to play shows, isn’t easy, but if you can do that too it’s a game changer,” he went on. “Even if you don’t have a record, go out and play a million shows,” to get the hang of it.
Seemed to have worked for these guys. Anderson picked up the guitar as a kid — his father had a lost and found at work and someone had left an acoustic guitar there. They waited long enough, and his dad was able to bring it home. “I started by learning to play other people’s songs and in high school I bought a bass guitar. I would play the high school talent show — chili cookoffs, whatever I could find.” At school in Nashiville, he realized “the music business isn’t quite what it looks like, but I ended up meeting the guys in the band. We were friends, all solo artists, living togther, but eventually we realized we were better playing together.”
That was about four years ago. Their first album, The Rise of King Richie came out in 2009. When asked about their writing process, he laughs. “I always want to hear this answer when I read interviews with people like Sting.” For them, “one of us will have chords or a melody or a verse — something we’ve come up with on our own. We bring it to the rest of us and we talk about where it should go, or sometimes two people go off to work something out, it’s a little of everything. But excitement in any platform is contagious, if someone is amped up about something, it ignites a spark.”
Their new album, Tonight Changes Everything is the product of all that writing and is out this week. “This one took a little longer than last time, the sessions were more spread out, but there is a passion behind it,” he shared.
“We want people to hear one or two songs, but if you turn on the album and listen to the whole thing you’ll get an accurate picture of who we are. The record is all encompassing.” You can get started hearing that passion — and getting a sense of who they are — by listening to the tracks right here. You can also keep up with the band as they start their tour on their website or on Facebook.
“Hard to Believe”
“Right from the Start”
“Live Fast Die Young”