Interview: The Missing Frets
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Growing up I loved listening to music and was naturally drawn towards rhythm. I remember reading a book, The Way of the Drum on one of my adventures overseas written by Buddy Helm and it set my path forward. I probably would have been doing some crazy adrenaline sport.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like being outdoors, hiking in nature or being by water where I can swim or surf. It feels like it cleans the slate and hits the reset button allowing for a neutral palate to create from.
How long has your band been around?
The Missing Frets have been around since 2013.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Durban, South Africa during the time and end of Apartheid. That had a huge impact on my life in general living during a turbulent time and watching it shift. There is a natural rhythm that breathes in SA which can not be found anywhere else. I would say this natural rhythm that pulsates in the land and the people has influenced my approach to my writing and playing.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
We like the idea of being a substitute for a missing entity and looked for missing parts on the guitar and the name kind of stuck.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
One of the best and favourite shows was the Cape May Beer Festival in NJ everything was just perfect, the sound crew superb and the place was packed. The worst show we ever played was at this venue called Sweeney’s in Philly, to nobody except the bartender reading his newspaper.
Tell me about your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Our favourite regular Philly venue is The Grape Room cause the crowd is always amazing and it is the best place to catch original bands. Anywhere now due to the Pandemic. But we would love to play some national festivals once the world reopens.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Angus and Julia Stone, Larkin Poe, The Record Company.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Write good songs enough to fill a 45 minute set. Practice the hell out of them. Film your practices, then get out there and play live as much as you can. Oh and don’t try to be anyone but YOU!!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Less is more and don’t worry about what others think.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Cartel Sage would be the most meaningful because it reflects aspects of my own life experience.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
Favourites to play Cartel Sage, Bodhi Tree, Crossroads and the most requested is Bodhi Tree.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I come up with lyrics and the basic song idea on guitar, then I bring it to the band. Bindu writes a bass line. Once we have something solid we play it for Johnny where we finalise the arrangement and drum groove etc. I gain inspiration from my general life experience.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Stand by positive vibes, introspection and adventure in life.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We don’t really have disagreements among us. If something does come up we talk it through. We are pretty good at hearing each other's points and perspective on issues and approaches to the creative process.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Plans for the future are kind of up in the air considering the state of the world. Once it does open up we hope to be back on a live stage and playing festivals again. Till that time, we are doing live streams on a few platforms and doing online benefit gigs. We are working on quite a few projects that will be released this spring and throughout the year. In a few weeks we are about to record two new songs and a few music videos. We recently released our official music video for the song Nothing in Between on YouTube exclusively. Check it out on our channel and be sure to subscribe.