Welcome to our semi-daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Okay, sometimes we miss a day, but it will be four each week.
After our social media followers get the first word, we post a wrap-up here at the site and archive 'em here. This week check out Q&As with Choir Vandals, Royal Thunder, Horsebites, and Toby Driver.
Austin McCutchen (Choir Vandals, vocals)
SPB: What is your favorite cover to play? Why?
Austin: Choir Vandals as a band has actually never done a cover, but for me personally I love covering any Elliott Smith song. Most of his songs are decently difficult so I feel accomplished after learning them and I feel such a strong connection to all his songs which makes covering him a real pleasure.
Josh Weaver (Royal Thunder)
SPB: Do you have a favorite type of van or bus?
Josh: Dodge Ram vans are definitely our favorite vans. I bought a ‘95 full luxury Dodge Ram van from my friend Johnny Collins for $200 around 2007-2008. It had 200k original miles on it and Johhny's band, Thunderlip, had used it for years. Johnny bought it from one of the Squirrel Nut Zipper guys and apparently, the Squirrel Nut Zippers got it in '95 new as a sign-on bonus with their label. We used it and drove every day for at least 3-4 years. It had 350k miles on it when it was retired! The motor still ran great, but the rear end gave out. After the '95 Ram was so good to us we bought a 2002 Dodge Ram cargo van. The guy I bought it from said they used it to transport frozen goods and dead bodies coming into the country from Jamaica! It's already been a great van and got us across the US at least 3-4 times!
Richard Minino (Horsebites)
SPB: Do you think the digitalization of music has negatively influenced your trade as there is less emphasis on cover art?
Richard: Not necessarily because now bands are putting a lot of that lost income in their merch. If their record sales are down because of downloading then they just make other stuff for people to buy and you see these bands touring more because that's where the money is at now. I'm not going to lie, it's sad to see those days going away where bands really cared about the entire layout of the album but, as time goes by, everything changes and they adapt. I actually don't mind just doing a lot of shirts now because it's a one day job and then I can move on to the next project.
SPB: How have your musical taste evolved over the years? Do you think your “high school self” would appreciate the music you make now?
Toby: I think my aesthetics are still similar to what they were when I was in high school, but I'm quite a bit more open-minded when it comes to the social implications of how personal identity is attached to musical preference (to put more simply, not caring how people judge what I enjoy listening to). That's an obvious result of just having become more comfortable with myself than I was when I was a teenager. I'd say that even to this day I'm still trying to figure out how to balance what seem like two opposing ethea (sophisticated music versus popular appeal) and figuring out how to turn that struggle into something that I actually enjoy for my own sake.
I think my high school self probably would have found that interesting, too. One major aesthetic difference though, is that my high-school-self was interested in extremity for extremity's sake -- e.g., the darkest music, the heaviest music, or even the most relaxing ambient music. I'm not actually very interested in extremity in music at this time, other than it being "extremely good."
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