Interview - Folks Like Them
What got you into music, and if you hadn’t gotten into music what would you be doing today? Great songs and great musicians got us into music. Hearing great music made us want to be a part of that community. In the beginning there is a magical quality in music that attracts people to it. We never lost that feeling. We can’t really imagine not doing music, but here goes, maybe work in a hat shop. What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity? Physical activity seems to help with creativity. For some reason movement is the key to great ideas. Running, going for walks, biking and driving are great for health and writing songs. Music is on our minds a majority of the time. How long have you been around as an artist? “Folks Like Them” is a new project, but we, being father/son have worked together our whole lives. Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? We are based out of three primary areas, Burlington VT, the Washington D.C. area, and Nashville, TN. We grew up in small towns close to the D.C. area and have worked in Nashville for the last ten years. The family, small town, and country influence is there from our childhoods. Nashville has been a huge influence on the path our songs take and because of the other musicians and writers we’ve met there. How did you come up with the name “Folks Like Them” and what does it mean to you? We wrote the song “Folks Like Them”, based on Chris’s grandparents, my parents. The song is a tip of the hat to hard working, community minded folks. We also thought that the name would be an inclusive name that would allow us to release any style of music that we were writing. The name means a great deal to us because of the family connection. Can you tell me about your songwriting series and how it can relate to your audience? The songwriting series is a glimpse into how we record our songs and hopefully gives our audience some inside information. We just want to be ourselves and share as much as possible with people. The series takes the demos from their initial stages all the way to finished records. We find the process incredibly interesting and we hope other folks do too. Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already. One of my favorite venues from a long time ago was Hammerjacks, in Baltimore MD. I believe it has been torn down. It was a great place to play with lots of energy from the audience. If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket? Bruce Hornsby, Allman Brothers Band, Robben Ford, Mumford and Sons, The Beatles, etc. There are so many great acts it’s hard to go down that path. There really isn’t enough space to list them all. What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? Always be open to help from other musicians. When musicians know you are sincere about wanting to improve your skills, they go out of their way to help you. Also being humble and nice to other people is at the top of the advice list. If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? That’s a tough one, but here goes. Practice your craft as much as you can, whether it’s writing or time on your instrument. Above all be yourself because each musician/writer has something to offer that is unique. Of your songs which one means the most to you and why? It is difficult to pick a favorite song, it’s like trying to chose one child over another. Two of our favorite songs are actually on the “Folks Like Them” EP. The title song Folks Like Them because of our family connection to it and “Broken Watch” because of the reactions we get from our audience. Which songs are your favorites to play and which get requested the most? One our favorites to play is on the EP, it’s called “One Of Those Towns”. “Broken Watch probably gets the most requests at this point. What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music? We don’t have a set process, but we are very consistent in the sense that we write together several times a week. Even on the days we’re not writing together we are still working on ideas. We are also touch base every day if ideas or song suggestions come up. Life itself supplies the inspiration. What kind of messages do you like to get across in your music? We love to write about characters based on real people in our lives. Sometimes it’s just people or situations we’ve observed. It makes us feel good about songs when they can touch someone in an emotional way. Also, if we leave a song open ended and the audience can fill in their own ending or relate it to their lives, that works too. Do you ever have disagreements in collaborations, and how do you get past them? We don’t have very many disagreements because we feel like the music and lyrics will dictate the direction of the song. We always try to allow that to be the guiding force. What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up? We just want to continue writing and releasing our songs. We will have some single releases coming out later in the summer and we will release another project after that.