INTERVIEW: DEAD CONFEDERATE
Heres a short interview and introduction to Athens new down home boys, Dead Confederate. Brantley Senn caught up with F5F for a little bit to help give our readers an introduction into the band. They are playing tonight in Baltimore at The Ottobar with Manchester Orchestra, at which I was supposed to do a follow up interview, but I’m still in NOLA so looks like that will have to happen next time the boys are back in town—>
F5F: How did the idea to start the band come to life?
BS: I always hate answering this question or ones similar to it. I guess it’s like someone asking “Hey, remember that time in high school when you threw up on yourself in class?” (not that that ever happened). I guess we’re all a little embarrassed about our humble beginnings. We’ve known each other for a long time. We all grew up in Augusta, GA. We played in a band together in college called The Redbelly Band. The musical focus was more on improvising and extended jams, and not so much on songwriting or lyrics. I guess with age comes maturity and at some point we got tired of what we were doing and started writing lyric-centered music. So we dropped our old crappy name and came up with a good one, and then we ditched all our old songs and came up with a whole bunch of new ones.
F5F: You probably get this all the time, but why Dead Confederate?
Hardy came up with the name. I don’t know. It sounds cool. It reminds us of us. It’s morbid and it’s southern.
F5F:Athens is a hot bed for indie rock bands, how has DC carved their niche into that scene?Athens is a really tight community.
BS: It’s not that difficult to get to know people there. The musicians and people that work in music community there are all very outgoing and friendly. Athens is probably the only scene I’ve witnessed in the country where there is very little competitive attitude. We didn’t have to really do much other than be ourselves and help support the other musicians where we could.
F5F: What are the biggest influences on the band?
BS: Individually we all have different tastes. Probably on the furthest ends of the spectrum you have Jason (our drummer) who loves Metal and Stoner Rock, and then there’s myself, who listens to a lot of Rap and Electronic-infused music. As a band though, we bond over the stuff we grew up on (like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc.) or the music our parents taught us to love (like Pink Floyd, Neil Young, etc.)
F5F: What’s your favorite part about bring able to perform music in a live
BS: Destroying our gear when we get in the right moment. Although, the next day it’s really depressing.
F5F: Bourbon on the rocks, or bourbon and coke?
BS: Whiskey and Diet. I’m not big on sweet drinks. Just give me something with some sting. Tequila is also good.
F5F: What’s your favorite place you have played for the first time this tour?
BS: The Southgate House in Newport, KY! It’s old as dirt and has a lot of history. Really unique place.
F5F: Who are your favorite up and coming artists?
BS: Twin Tigers from Athens. There is no doubt in my mind this band is going to blow the fuck up. They’re really amazing. Do yourself a favor and go look them up online, NOW. Thank me later.
Nick Krill, lead guitarist and vocals from The Spinto Band took some time to do a short preliminary interview with us and will be stopping by Baltimore on December 13th to play at The Talking Head. Hope to see ya out there!
F5F: How did the idea of the band come about?
NK: We started the band with the idea that we would make a bunch of music for haunted houses. We sort of trailed off that idea, but it comes up again from time to time.
F5F: What are the biggest influences on the band as a whole musically?
NK: Our influences are always kind of changing….On top of that there are
so many members that we each bring different musical influences with
us it is hard to narrow it down to a list. I can’t speak for everyone
but right now I am influenced by instruments with strings tuned to the
same notes, the sounds of rim shots, instruments with nylon strings,
cuba and instruments with really short sustain.
F5F: The band started out of Wilmington, DE, where does the band reside these days?
NK: We are a bit more spread out now, I still sleep in Wilmington, but
most of us have moved up into Pennsylvania.
F5F: What is your favorite thing about being able to travel and play music
to people all over the U.S?
NK: Seeing how the landscape of the united states changes. We drove
through Montana for the fist time on this last tour, and it was
really amazing to see that area. I also love driving from California to
New Orleans on I-10. You drive through the desert and then end up
driving over swamps.
F5F: What’s your favorite up and coming act?
NK: Boy there are a few. Some of our favorites are: and The Moneynotes,
Buried Beds, Born Ruffians, Ball of Flame Shoot Fire, National Eye and
The Capitol Years.
F5F: Who would you most like to set up a tour with?
NK: Frank Zappa if he were alive and didn’t think we were chumps.
F5F: I think this is appropriate for this time period, what’s your favorite
part about the holiday season?
NK: Well there are a lot of good songs, but the best thing is smelling a
wood fire burning.
F5F: If you could get anything for Christmas what would it be?
NK: Jeff wants a new lab top computer.
Here it is, the start to the new section on F5F. If you didn’t already know by my hint in the last post, My first preliminary interview is with Ra Ra Riot. They will be gracing us with their presence on December 16th at The Ottobar, and at which i will be following this post up with an in person interview and show review! I hope to see some of yall there.
F5F:I know you started the band as a project in college up north, how did this progress into a full time venture?
RRR: Well, we started the band with the intention of simply having fun, and it ended up being more fun than anything else we were doing. So at the end of the semester, when most of the band was graduating, we decided to keep it going and see what would happen. We were just kind of winging it!
F5F: What were your musical influences growing up? And what are the biggest influences musically on the band as a whole?
RRR: My mom would always sing Beatles songs to me, and I remember listening to a lot of Robert Palmer with my dad. As for the band, everyone has pretty different tastes, so our biggest collective influences are pretty classic artists that we all grew up with – The Beatles, The Police, U2, 80’s pop, stuff like that – and we’ve all been getting progressively into Kate Bush.
F5F: Recently we have seen a lot on indies coming out of the college grass roots scene, how do you think Ra Ra Riot stands out in that pool of artists?
RRR: What’s interesting to me is that most of these bands seem to share pretty specific rhythmic and melodic sensibilities – I like to think that we offer a unique take on them.
F5F: What is your favorite part about being able to perform live?
RRR: Pretty much everything about it is wonderful – you get 45 minutes to play music with your friends in front of people who (ostensibly) enjoy and appreciate it. I also love it when I have a lot of room to run around – but I suppose if I’m being entirely honest, my favorite times are when my bandmates ask me to turn down my bass amp, and I just pretend to and get away with it.
F5F: Who are some new artists that you really like? And if you had to choose, what other acts would you pair yourself with in putting together a tour?
RRR: There are too many to list here – we’ve been listening to a lot of The Virgins lately, and some of us have been really into White Denim as well. Vampire Weekend have always been favorites of ours, and right now we’re touring with a band called Princeton who we’re all really excited about. We’ve been lucky enough to have played with all of those bands! As far as choosing bands to tour with, I always vote for The Fall and/or U2.
F5F: On a lighter note, what is something you cannot leave home without when going on tour?
RRR: I always bring a book by famed beer expert (and NOT pop sensation) Michael Jackson. It’s a guide to his 500 favorite beers – most of which, co-incidentally, are impossible to find on tour. I usually just end up reading a few pages before bedtime so that I have wonderful dreams.
F5F: Now that we have a new President, what are you doing to celebrate on January 20th for the inauguration?
RRR: I think we’re all going to be at Wes’s house at that time – one of our favorite band retreats. I’m not sure what the plan is, but there’s going to be a celebration for sure. We’ll probably make a pinata that symbolizes the Old World Order and then smash it.
See Live Music,