The newest Badass Band is a little bit folk, a little bit country, and a little bit rock n roll. If you’re looking for something you can dance your ass off to and also get cozy with, Town in the City is the band you need in your life.
I first saw Town in the City a couple of months back. I happened to be at The Satellite for a night of Bones Muhroni’s residency and as I chatted up some friends, I saw a band taking the stage. What initially caught my eye was the violin. Then they started playing, and I was floored. Throughout their set they took us on a high energy packed musical journey with big sounds, unexpected sounds, and heartbreakingly beautiful harmonies. Their newest EP Safe + Sound will surprise and delight at the varying layers of musical delight that this band so expertly crafts. My favorites include:
“Hummingbird”- a fast paced, bluesy country tune with smooth harmonies. This track builds to a climax showcasing a sick drum breakdown, sweet harmonica, slide guitar, keys and its something you just can’t help move your hips along to.
“Full Circle”- light guitar lines, soft vocals, and harmonica that seems to steer the melody matching rhythm section. This tune really does well at making the harmonies the star during its climax, and I dare you not to belt out at the top of your lungs along with them, “I am a sinner and a lover. I am a hero and a shame. I look for goodness in others. I look for someone to blame. I see a cloud on the horizon. I see the sun show her face. I know my life is a failure. I know it’ll all be okay.”
I was lucky enough to get to hang out at the band house one night and chat up Town in the City. So read on to find out what book their name is derived from, how they all met and why they believe it’s important that bands have confidence in their art and not try to conform to trends.
When and why did each of you start playing music?
Matt: My dad is a musician. He’s been in and out of bands my whole life. I just assumed one day I would play an instrument. My mom wasn’t a fan of noise so I picked softer instruments, of course. I actually started with a violin as my first instrument. I could never keep my nails cut. I didn’t really like it, but I was into rock music. Yes was my first favorite band when I was nine. I was constantly the youngest one at Yes concerts. I felt cool about that, but I never had an outlet for it. Guitar, bass and then drums eventually came in because my parents were getting divorced and my mom would never have allowed me to have a drum set. I always say drums are a very situational instrument. You have got to have two parents that are cool with it and have a space for it. Anyway, my parents got divorced and I was like, “Dad, can I have a drum set now?” He’s like, “For sure.” He went to Sam’s Club and bought me a crappy drum set. I had that thing for 10 years.
George: I started playing trombone in the fourth grade because an older eighth grader that I really looked up to played it. It was my friend’s brother. I was just like, “Oh, Charlie plays the trombone, so yeah. Sure. It looks cool.” It was funny because I ended up being fairly good at it, but I had this horrible teacher that was just terrible to me. It was one of those situations where when you’re a kid, you’re like, “Why is she yelling at me?” It was actually because she thought I was really good and wanted me to keep doing it. I didn’t understand that as a kid. So, I stopped playing music until middle school when all of my friends were forming punk bands and everybody was playing guitar already, so I picked up bass.
It seemed like a natural transition because trombone is a bass instrument. I was like, “Yeah. I’ll just switch over bass guitar because it’s cooler, like hold in that low end.” College is when I transitioned to guitar mainly because I was listening to more Simon & Garfunkel. That’s when I learned to finger pick. I can’t even imagine not playing an instrument or what that would be like.
Julia: When I was three, I heard a violin on the radio in an orchestra setting. My parents listened to orchestral music their entire lives and still do to this day. They were doing a segment on the Seattle symphony, which is where I grew up. I heard a violin and I asked my mom, “What is that?” She was like, “Oh, that’s an orchestra. That’s a symphony.” I was like, “No. What is that?” She thought I was asking what piece it was. She was like, “I don’t know. You have to wait until the program ends to hear what they were playing.” I waited and I was like, “No. What’s that?” It was right as the violins came in. She was like, “Oh, those are violins.” I pestered her for a year to play violin. She thought three was way too young to start anything serious, rightfully so. Then when I was four, she finally caved after that year of pestering. I stayed with that five years classically and then I transferred to a bigger, more traditional studio. I was the only kid in orchestra when I joined the Seattle Symphony. I couldn’t read music. It was embarrassing and humiliating. It was one of the harder things I’ve had to do because you’ve been playing something for six years and then you have to change it completely. Then I decided to pursue violin at Juilliard Prep School at age 14.
Then I had a falling out with my violin teacher and fell out of love with violin but kept playing. When I turned 18, I decided to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston. It’s predominantly jazz oriented, then pop, and then classical way down at the end of the list. There’s 4,000 students there and probably maybe 50 who are classically trained. I was one of those 50. I think through Berklee, I learned how to love music again, and love violin. I think I should also mention that I started classical piano at seven and then opera at 13, so I am trained classically in that was well.
Shawn: I was horrible at sports. What’s funny is my parents tried every sport. They wanted me to play football, soccer, and everything. I was so bad at them. I started out playing piano then I started playing guitar. At one point I somehow managed to break my arm while I was playing music and not sports. The reason that comes into play is because I couldn’t bring my guitar to class for a while. My teacher spent two or three months just teaching me theory. It was then that I quit all my lessons. I was just like, “Well, I know all this stuff now so I don’t need lessons.” I taught myself for years and I just played off and on for fun. It was a fun hobby for years and then about two or three years ago, I started doing it full time.
Dan: As a youth, I was fairly shy at a young age and not very outgoing. That’s changed dramatically since then. You know when you do performances as a kid? Well, I played trumpet and I would throw up before I went on stage. It was terrible. It was a horrible experience. Then as I started to break out of my shell, I became very good at sports actually. That steered me away from music for a while and I listened to a whole bunch of junk. Eventually, that transitioned into good stuff and I started getting more and more into music as a listener. I was infatuated with it and I developed a strong ear for sound and textures and sound and being motive sense of music. After I graduated, I knew I was moving out to California but I didn’t know when.
I had a decent job in my college town. So I found out a way to stay in my friend of mine’s closet in his basement closet for six months. I would just go to work, go to the record store, come home, and listen to three, four, five hours of music. I wasn’t in school. I was just working for six months and all my friends had graduated. After that, I came out here and I was living with these guys yearning to learn. I’d picked up guitar in the past and played that for a little bit, but nothing serious. Then one day, I was just like, “Let’s learn a bunch of instruments.” I picked up learning piano, harmonica, and percussion. Eventually, I came across that Omni chord instrument that I just started playing in some of the songs and similar transitions, which is a hell of a lot of fun to play.
George: Whitt would say he started playing probably because of Jerry Garcia.
How did all of you meet?
Shawn: George and I have known each other the longest. We met when we’re 17 or so.
George: Yeah, in high school.
Shawn: Sometime in high school doing theater and became friends and started playing music and stuff.
George: We recorded a bunch of albums out of each other’s basements.
Shawn: Whatever you could record in one night, sure. But yeah, we met and then we both went to different schools. I went to school at OU where I met Matt, but only briefly. We didn’t really know each other in college.
Dan: George and I actually met studying abroad in London. Our college has a campus in London. We both had similar interests and the group was small. You’re in a townhouse and attending four to five classes.
You’re bound to meet just about everybody. My group of friends that I went there with and his group of friends that he went there with, we just got along really, really, really well. We had very similar taste in music, if not oftentimes, the exact same taste of music.
George: We’ve all influenced each other’s tastes in music respectively, which has brought us all together as well.
Shawn: Yeah. Then the three of us moved out here. We took a road trip out here. That was pretty much when I met Dan. Then I met Whitt when Whitt moved into of the house. He’s like, “I’m your new roommate.” “Great. Cool.” And then Matt, I knew him from college, and I knew a bunch of other people from OU here so he started hanging around because we had a practice.
Matt: Well, I did improv comedy out here for a while, UCB that stuff. A friend of mine who I went to in college with also went to college with Shawn and we wanted to start a musical improv team. They said, “Oh, Shawn Grindle did musical improv in college. Let’s just get Shawn to do it.” I’m like, “Okay. Cool.” We had practice here in the first night. That was my first time coming over here. I’d heard stories about this place. I come in and there’s a drum set set up.
George: I knew that if I bought a drum set, we would find a drummer. Literally after the drum set came. We bought it cyber week 2011.
Shawn: Then we booked some little show, he and I, at Bar Lubitsch. So, we were like, “Well, why don’t you drum for us?” So that was the first time the three of us got together.
Shawn: Then Dan was around for a while. He wasn’t really in it. He’s like a friend-ager.
Matt: He’s like our friend manager.
Shawn: He’s like, “This band’s cool. I’d do it.” and then as he started learning instruments, and he came in and then Whitt, who had been playing separately in his own world for a while.
Dan: He was playing acoustic guitar, very much like a bassist.
Shawn: Yeah and then one day, we went through a couple of bass players. Then one day we were just like, “We need a bass player, like a permanent bass player. You think he could do it?” He was sitting here, he’s like, and “I think I could.” We had a couple of practices and after day one, I think we’re all like, “Okay. This is it, the five of us.” Then it only got better from there. This girl joined.
George: I met Julia working on a TV show, a reality show. It was really funny because we had all been talking about how we wanted a female vocalist, potentially a violinist as well. Then Julia is like, “Oh yeah. I went to Berklee for voice and violin.” I just immediately was like, “Light bulb!” and not to mention she was really awesome and cool. I shot her an e-mail and was hoping maybe she would come over, she did.
Shawn: The first day she came over, I remember her being like, “Hey. I’m a violin player who wants to join the band.” I was like, “Great.” Then she plays the violin and we’re like, “That’s awesome.” Then we’re just talking here and she’s like, “Yeah, I sing, too.” “Well, sing something.” She sang something. We were all like, “Oh, great!” Literally, that day I showed her the chords for “Hummingbird” and we did the same harmony as we do now, the second time we did it, I was just like, “That was awesome!! That sounds so good.” We had been wanting a female harmony for a while.
Julia: Well, I had a trial period. George asked me in the e-mail if I wanted to play a show with them as a violinist. I was like, “Okay.” I came up to the house and it was just Shawn and George and myself. They played through a couple of songs. I listened to a few of their demos and their other songs on their earlier album online and watched the videos. I knew what to expect and I liked the sound of the group. I came out here, went through a few things and went, “Let’s see what comes out.” We did that. I think Shawn jokingly said, “Do you do anything else?” I answered, “Yeah. I sing and I play the piano.” Then, I started playing with them and our first show went pretty well. Then they asked me to be full time. It’s actually almost our one year anniversary.
Why the name Town in the City?
Dan: Well, it’s always a funny thing picking out a band name. It’s always an antagonizing moment really. We just thought about ideas, books, authors, anything under the sun. Compiling a list of anything we thought would be cool. Even if that thing could potentially turn out to be the lamest thing that ever came out of your mouth. Then we came across the collection of Jack Kerouac books and we noticed that one was called Town and the City. It’s a pretty good book. It just made sense with our sound but we thought that switching the and to in was probably a good idea, it just seemed to make more sense for a musical group. I think that with our folk rock sound, there’s a nice balance of both what you’ll hear in a small town than what you hear in the city.
Shawn: Rock being the city, town being the folk.
Julia: Also, we’re all from this towns near cities but we’ve all converged in the giant city of Los Angeles.
You’re all from smaller towns, so what has been the biggest challenge being a band in Los Angeles?
Julia: Oh, gosh. I feel like a level of expectation for LA is very high. I mean, everything, emotionally, physically, financially, everything. The bar has been set by the other 20 million people who live here. I feel like everybody holds themselves to such high expectations. I feel getting over that is a big part of what we do. It’s like as a musician, you’re going to make mistakes. There’s going to be songs that are not as great as other songs. You just have to be able to roll with it and not be so hard on yourself that you stop that creativity or you stop that energy that you have when you’re creating something with five other people. I think that’s one of the biggest things we’ve had to do. We still struggle with that. If we have a show that doesn’t go as well, we have to consciously make an effort to not just be so hard on ourselves.
Shawn: Yeah. I think it’s a blessing and a curse because there are so many bands in the city. Some days, I’m like, “You know, if we were in some other city, there’d be less of a pool to choose from. It might be easier for us.” Then there’s also the fact that there are so many bands and so many people to meet. There are so many bands you could potentially tour with or do this or that with. It’s a good and bad thing. You have to find where your network is. Finding your audience and finding your venue that fits that audience and finding other bands that have similar audiences is key. It took us a little bit of time to figure out the scene. Before it became all six of us, we’ve played a bunch of random venues.
Dan: People get out to shows, which is great. They actually make the effort to get out, but at the same time, it’s also a very trendy city. A lot of people like to ride the trend. If your entire set doesn’t consist of that trend, sometimes that’s a little bit of an uphill battle. What we’ve been doing is just staying true to our songs and our sound and just loving what we do and putting out there. People keep going to our shows. There’s a group of people which also love what we do, which feels good.
Shawn: I’ll say this too, it’s an untrusting city in the sense that if somebody says they are going to see a show, you’re skeptical if it’s going to be a good band. I’m guilty of this too, you jump more towards the negative side and a lot of people in this city do that. It’s the Hollywood way. You jump more towards that negative thing first rather than thinking I’m sure it’s awesome.
George: Probably the good thing for us is that people that I know have looked us up prior to going to shows. I feel like some people are conscious enough to do that around here and a lot of people that I’ve met who see us for the first time will say, “Yeah. I’ve never heard you guys before. I listened to one song and yeah. I’ll definitely come to this show.” Hearing that is especially reassuring in this city, where there’s so much going on.
How does your creative process typically work?
Matt: It’s constantly changing. It’s different for every song.
Dan: It depends. In the beginning, for the most part, a lot of aspects of the song were by both Shawn and George; individually one would have an idea for a song. They would write lyrics and the melody and basically everybody would mold around that. As we’ve grown as a band and as we found our sound really, we became more confident in that sound, so now we’ve gotten to a point where even just a small riff will start the fire. We’ll jam on it for 10 or 15 minutes and everybody will synch into their parts almost immediately. Then there’ll be tinkering and song structure and we’ll work out the lyrics. It’s a community driven effort. We all have our own little ways of thinking about music and playing.
Shawn: Lyrically it usually comes from one lyricist. We don’t usually write lyrics together. The other day, I brought in a song. I had a first verse and something else. We jammed on it. Today, I went in and listened in to the jam we did and wrote a bunch of stuff for that. It all informed each other.
George: You get into a structure how you do things. For a long time, I would just sit with my acoustic guitar and write songs. I would make sure I had all the elements of it as far as structure and then bring it to the band. As I’ve gone on and learned more about how parts fit together for me. I can now think of more overall scope. Like, I might be doing this now, but I can think about what the drums could do or the keys or other guitars or other layers. As I got better at thinking about music in that broad overall way, I realized how narrow minded I would be.
I started writing songs in different ways and challenging myself thinking like, “Well, why do I have to write the song on acoustic guitar? Why do I have to come up with the chords first? Why don’t I come up with the riff first or a melody?” Usually, it’s one of those things that just sparks you like a title or things when you’re driving home from work and you’re thinking about random words. Then something pops in your head that feels lyrically interesting and then you just go from there.
Shawn: When I’m writing something, I’m writing because I know these people. I know how Matt plays the drums. I’ve been playing with him for a couple of years now. I know what he does. I know what Dan’s tones usually sound like. I have that all in mind.
Julia: Coming into this band there were some of the songs that were completely polished. We already performed them a thousand times. But they let me do what I wanted with it. I struggled with myself and hearing wherever I could fit in. Nothing was really reworked very much. A few things were changed here and there but predominantly, the songs stayed how they were. Now that I’m at this point with the guys, I’m at the first step of every song. We’re all on the ground floor together now. We’re trying to be more creative about how we build them up.
What’s one thing you would change about the music industry right now?
Julia: I’ll say it and then I’ll explain it. Have confidence in your art, that is what I would change about the industry. I feel a lot of people don’t have that for how talented they are, which is sad to see. I think we were guilty of that at first, not believing in our group and our sound and our message. I have to do a shameless plug here. John Mayer changed my life in one sentence. I had a class with him at Berklee. He went there for a semester. He’ll come back once in a while and do classes. He said, “If you have something unique to offer the industry, they will always make room for you,” which is true. Especially going to music school, you see these other musicians and you get really competitive. It’s this negative competitiveness that’s really unhealthy for creative minds.
It’s so silly because everybody’s different. Everybody has something special to offer. If you believe in yourself enough to put yourself out there, other people are going to respect that. They’re going to like you for that.
Shawn: I don’t like the product creation. When I say that, I mean creating labels and record companies. When I say product, I don’t mean album, I mean actual artists themselves. These artists that don’t do anything, they don’t write their songs. They are spoon fed these hits that are written by a couple of people in a room somewhere. They spoon feed the general population to get all these songs on the Top 40. These bands, that don’t do anything. It’s so much of a money making, no talent kind of thing that just drives me nuts.
Matt: I remember growing up and being in awe of bands like Yes, Rush, that humans were doing that. Humans were filling stadiums with abilities that I could possess. It’s empowering to watch other people do that, watch that happen. Now, to see so many people with laptops fill stadiums is weird. I miss seeing humans doing extraordinary things on a grand scheme.
Dan: Accessibility is a bittersweet thing. We’re at a point in music and the music industry where music and entertainment is more accessible than it ever has been by a very large margin. Pop music was beautiful in the 60’s and the 70’s but part of the reason for that was real people were making it. It wasn’t quite as accessible. People went out and bought records but Buzzbands LA couldn’t be writing an article on 440 different acts in one year, back in the 60’s and 70’s. That just wouldn’t happen. People would be making music but the accessibility wasn’t there. The reason why I call it bittersweet is also because without that accessibility, I find that hard to believe that we’d be sitting here having this conversation right now.
It’s amazing that a lot of people have confidence in themselves and put out music because it’s more accessible to do so now than it was back in the day. It’s also a magnificent thing. That’s part of the reason why we’re a band now is our passion, but also our means to do it. I think that going back to the trends, I feel a lot of people they would rather be part of a group and help their likes in comparison to the group that they hang out with and part of the masses. They do this rather than really sitting down understanding the art form and being true to themselves and saying, “Well, I like this because I like it.” I think there’s a large community that does feel that way but the same time, I think the majority of the people would just rather be part of that group and say yes to what everybody else is saying yes to instead of being true to their own emotions and desires and tastes.
George: It’s annoying how the music industry has become almost has ADD in a way where nothing has longevity anymore. One hit wonders seem to be a lot more prevalent today. It probably stems from a mix of everything we’ve said. Maybe record companies aren’t investing enough time in developing artists anymore. They’re just going on with trends and what’s popular. It just stems from companies and then the industry having an ADD and just trying to find the next big 15 minutes type of fame type deal rather than serious talent. You don’t have bands like the Beatles who are still as relevant today as they were 40, 50 years ago.
One song you never get tired of listening to.
George: I was actually just thinking about this oddly enough. There’s two that I go back and forth between and they’re very similar because they have similar members. One would be “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, which is one that every time I put it on, it’s one I never turn off. The other one is “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes” because it’s just a masterpiece of a song. From start to finish, the harmonies, the melodies, the lyrical content, it’s just magical. Those are two that literally if I’m shuffling through or making a playlist, one of those no matter what time of year or what I’m listening to at the time, that’s going to end up on something.
Shawn: Love it. I have the same one, “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes”. That was the first one that popped in my head. It’s a great song. “Carry On” might be my other one.
Matt: Well, I have two. “Close to the Edge” by Yes. It’s a 20-minute opus that goes through all the ranges of emotions and all that. Every time I listen to it, sober or not, I’m always like, “This is the best song ever made. It has to be.” There’s that and then “50 Ways to Leave your Lover” by Paul Simon. That opening drum lick is one of the best drumbeats of all time. That’s why I love Paul Simon.
Julia: This is where my background is going to shine through. It’s a tie between “The Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller. I love it. It’s the one song that I cannot resist dancing to every time it’s on. I don’t care what mood I’m in, if I hear that song, it’s one of those things that you just have to move to. It’s one of the few instrumental songs that I truly feel to my core.
“O Mio Babbino Caro” is the only song that can bring me to tears every single time I hear it. It’s the most beautiful moment in the whole opera. She’s not going to be with the person that she loves. It takes you through every single range of emotion. It’s wonderful.
Dan: There was a very powerful moment that was accidental when I first heard this album. I’ve always loved it. I’ll always love it. It’s really quirky. It’s got a great message. There is narration and a complete line through the entire record. This is part of my six months staying in the closet. One of the people I worked at the record shop randomly was like, “I think you would really like this record.” It was affordable. It had a really neat cover. It’s an album called The Point by Harry Nilsson. “Think about Your Troubles” is probably the best song ever. It’s just so great. The key part is beautiful. He’s got, in my opinion, the best voice to ever come out of pop music in the history of time.
Another tough one, best live show you’ve ever gone to.
Dan: The most powerful show that I’ve ever been to actually is with George and it was Fleet Foxes right after their second album came out. They did a show in New York City up in Washington Heights in this beautiful theater. It was a sold out crowd. It was just so angelic and mesmerizing. I’ve never felt that way at a show before. It was absolutely incredible. Throughout the show, there was I think four standing ovations and I think some of the members were obviously weeping on stage because of how crazy it was. It was one of the powerful moments that I’ve been a part of. I was blown away.
Shawn: I was 15 years old and I had birds eye seats at some big amphitheater to see The Rolling Stones with Pearl Jam. I don’t care about Pearl Jam, but The Stones are amazing. I saw The Stones from the third row. It was wild. They put on a great show that night. They played for three hours. Mick Jagger looked like a skeleton. This was 10 years ago. He still looked old. I can’t imagine what he looks like now. He’s running around like a maniac and they played everything, everything you could think of. We were right on Keith Richard’s side. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, The Stones.
Julia: Mine is completely different. My favorite show of all time and I think forever will be a recital for about 50 people. It was my first violin teacher, my first music teacher ever, Yuko Honda. I took lessons from her for five years. She just became part of our family. After that, she spent holidays with us as she did not have a good relationship with her family. She was Japanese and her family was in Japan. We loved her, she was a great woman and she was diagnosed with cancer when I was in my later years in middle school. She had metastasized lung cancer. She never smoked, and it was pretty much everywhere when they found it.
The University of Washington Medical Center had this trial drug that she agreed to start on. It couldn’t have been more perfect. It was targeted towards Asian women older than 60. It was targeted at people who had metastasized lung cancer from being non-smokers. It was literally perfect and all of her tumors started shrinking. She made a huge turnaround but the unfortunate side effect was her fingernails would get really brittle and start peeling backward so she couldn’t play. She decided she wanted to do a series of recitals for her parents to make amends for their relationship. She wanted to do a trial recital in Seattle and then play in Japan. She stopped taking her meds to play in recitals. She gave up her life for her art. I was with her about two hours before she died six months later. It was a very powerful moment. That’s my favorite show.
George: I guess for me, I would go along with Dan. Other than that one, the Fleet Foxes show. I would have to say the first time I saw Dr. Dog at Bonnaroo 2010. It was one of those things where you’re seeing a band right after you get obsessed with them. You’re like, “Oh, yeah. I love that.” It was that perfect timing where you just learned their whole catalog. Edward Sharp played right before them. The crowd was so great. It was my first festival ever. It was one of the first shows I’d seen in a while with a modern band. One where I was like, “Oh, wow. Wait. There is good music being created now, today that I really need to be a part of.”
Matt: Well, I want to cop out a little bit. I have two moments at two shows that changed the trajectory of my life significantly. One, I was 15 years old and I was just starting to get into punk rock and ska. I went to a Goldfinger show. Goldfinger was awesome. They were rhythmically amazing. Their drummer is awesome. You have the horns and the aggression of John Feldman’s aura. When they hit the stage, it was the most professional energy you’ve ever seen. I thought, “I wish I could do that. I wish I had enough confidence and abs to do that.”
Then, I was searching for music in college and a friend of mine invited me to see Avett Brothers. They were playing at the Stuart Opera House, which is an old opera house in Athens, Ohio. This was before Avett Brothers were who they are now and they were playing at small venues. They played “Murder in the City”. They have a line, “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share on me.” The first time I heard that, I cried. For me, family is an interesting notion and an interesting thought because I’m an only child of a divorced family. To hear those words so honestly spoken was amazing. They’re two brothers playing music together, beautiful music. Here they are being so honest and candid about life and love and siblings and all that stuff. That’s a joy and a thing I’ve always aspired to feel.
Favorite things to do not musically related.
Dan: I cook. Only cooking for me. I like to cook. I think it’s a trait that our society should hold truer. It’s a skill that’s important. It’s so much fun once you learn how to do it well.
Matt: I love sports. I love watching them. I love playing them. I love being active. I like to tie it all into rhythm because I think it’s all interconnected but that’s just me.
George: I would say traveling. Yeah. Just going to different places, different cities, and different countries. Driving, I just love driving, which sounds so weird. When I’m not rehearsing or playing or going to shows, I’m planning trips to go places to see a show or hang out with somebody. When I don’t travel, I start to get a little bit anxious.
Julia: I think my favorite non-music thing would be building. I like building almost anything. I get stressed over the very presentation and have to make it be beautiful, like the bathroom that I’m currently remodeling. Something that I can throw myself into that’s purely visual, that’s just allows me to obsess on details and having everything be perfect. I know it sounds weird.
Shawn: I have two things but they’re completely opposite. I play music a lot during the week. I work doing it. I do it for pleasure. When I’m not playing, that’s my time. I like to go out. I like to go meet friends at some new dive bar I’ve never been to. I like to hang out with people I don’t see all the time. I love you guys, but I like to go meet new people and just have fun. I’m all about the uber, taking uber somewhere and see where the night goes. Other than that, I like the opposite. I like just doing nothing. I like me time, just relaxing.
If you ran Badass Bands Blog, what are some bands you would feature?
Julia: Chadwick Stokes. I love him.
Dan: We have a couple of friends that are a boyfriend and girlfriend act. Their album is just fantastic. It’s called Sumeau. The lead vocalist, her name is Kat Primo. Her voice is magnificent, absolutely fantastic. Chris Sousa, he is a multi-instrumentalist in a band. They’re a duo at the moment. He just writes wonderful melodies and lyrics.
Shawn: I’m a big fan of Decorator. Decorator’s great.
George: Yeah. I’ll put Son Ark on the table. I like those guys a lot. This other band we play with a lot. Chris who’s in Sumeau is also in that band. I really like The Bluffs. They’re just awesome sounding. Really great guitar tones, great rhythms, great harmonies. They’re just an all-around awesome American rock band.
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