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Small Towns Burn A Little Slower - 08.24.05

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Small Towns Burn A Little Slower - 08.24.05TOMMY’S ANSWERS:

First off, could you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in STBALS?

I'm Tommy and I play guitar. I did some piano on the record, too.

The new album "Mortality As Home Entertainment" just came out. What was the writing process like for this album?

Joel or I would have the basic skeleton of a song and bring it to practice, then everyone would get a hold of it and add their own magic. We'd demo everything we'd write so we could listen to the demos over & over, finding room for improvement. Danny generally writes all of the lyrics & melodies after the music is complete.

Did you guys come into any run ins with writers block, or did everything just seem to flow during recording?

We were running into a wall a little bit with "A Tune Of Panic," but we are happy with the way it turned out.

I love the artwork for the cd. Was there any meaning behind it?

I think it's a ghost girl, but I think Ryan or Danny may have more in-depth insight to this one.

I see that you guys are from Minneapolis. What is the music scene like there?

Minneapolis is awesome. There are a lot of different bands doing different things and people tend to help each other out quite a bit. It's cool when we can play a show w/ a rap group and a punk band. Minneapolis is a very DIY kind of town. Lots of great things going on there musically.

Did you guys find it hard to get yourselves noticed in your hometown?

It's like anything else. You have to start out taking whatever shows you can get and work really hard. You have to put yourself out there and give people a reason to notice what you're doing. In due time, hard work pays off. It was work, but I wouldn't say it was "hard". Just persistence.

I see you guys are signed to the amazing label Triple Crown Records. How did you guys get hooked up with the record deal?

We were on tour and a friend of ours told them to come check us out, and they did. At the time we were talking to a couple of different labels and we liked what Triple Crown had to offer the best.

And I see that you guys were on Rise records previously to that. What made you want to change?

Rise is cool, but they are primarily geared towards the Pacific Northwest.
We basically had a demo which Rise offered to put out for us as an EP. We told them that'd be cool but we may still keep shopping for other labels to do the full-length with.

You guys are on tour right now, how has it been so far?

Ups & downs. Strikes and gutters... I've actually been super, deathly ill on this tour otherwise I think I'd be enjoying it a lot more. When I get sick I get kind of crabby. I love touring and when I don't get to enjoy it due to an illness it's kind of a bummer. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery.

Do you already have any other tours set up after you get off this one?

Yeah, there's pretty much always something coming up.

What is life like on tour for the band?

It's usually a really enjoyable experience. We've gotten past our bad phases as a band. We have learned how to effectively communicate and work well together through trial and error. So now when we tour it's fun because we're either seeing old buddies from places we've all ready been, or making new ones in new towns. And I've gotten really good at living off of nothing. I'm the scam master w/ restaurants. I never pay for food.

So, I always like to hear about how bands get into music and what their influences were. Did you have a certain person or band that really made you want to work towards having a band as a career?

As a little kid, I always thought the older kids who lived down the street with guitars and drums were sooo cool, so that's the initial start of it all. When I got a little older (but still young), some bands like Fifteen or Smashing Pumpkins (weird mix, I know) helped me get through some really crappy times. In jr. high I got a drum set and started a band w/ some skater friends playing Descendents songs. I play guitar now, but yeah, that is kind of where it all started.

What was some of the worst jobs that you had previous to the band?

Data entry. Talk about a job that makes you want to kill yourself.

I was really impressed with a lot of the albums that came out this year. Is there any personal favorites that you guys had?

My favorite is from a little Minneapolis band called Hello Blue. It has this classic indie feel to it like Built To Spill or older SDRE. I think it's called "What It Takes To Wake Up" on Afternoon Records.

If I was to go into the tour van and turn on the cd player, what music would I find?

Anything from The Appleseed Cast to The Killers to Darkest Hour or Dillinger Escape Plan.

If the moon was made out of blue cheese, would you eat it?

No way, blue cheese is sick. I don't know how people can eat that stuff!

Are their any friends bands or any unsigned bands that you think we should know about?

Like I said earlier, Hello Blue. And if you're into hip-hop at all you should check out P.O.S. and SIMS at www.doomtree.net. They are from Minneapolis and they're DIY punk-as-fuck hip-hop and real sweet guys.

Thanks for the interview! – Tommy


DANNY’S ANSWERS:

First off, could you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in STBALS?

Danny, and I rock the mic.

The new album "Mortality As Home Entertainment" just came out. What was the writing process like for this album?

The songs were written over a year and a half. Usually Joel or Tommy would come to practice with the skeleton of a song, and then the rest of us would add our own parts.

Did you guys come into any run ins with writers block, or did everything just seem to flow during recording?

I had some trouble with lyrics for the last two songs we worked on (1970 and A Tune Of Panic), but one night I just decided I was going to get it done, and locked myself in my room with a notebook and a pen, and wrote for a few hours. Then I picked the stuff that I liked the best, and that fit the feel of the songs.

I love the artwork for the cd. Was there any meaning behind it?

It kind of goes along with the "Mortality As Home Entertainment" vibe, because it's a vanilla sky, and the title of our album is a quote from that film.

I see that you guys are from Minneapolis. What is the music scene like there?

Its awesome! Lots of dif kinds of bands/artists that can get along enough to play shows together, and not have it be a feud.

Did you guys find it hard to get yourselves noticed in your hometown?

Not too bad. We played a ton of shows when we first started. Played everywhere we could. MCS helped us out with that a ton, and had us play a show with them at The Quest. It was glorious.

I see you guys are signed to the amazing label Triple Crown Records. How did you guys get hooked up with the record deal?

We were touring our EP on Rise, and played a show at the Knitting Factory in NYC, and a friend told Fred from Triple Crown to come check us out. He did, and liked it, and made us an offer.

And I see that you guys were on Rise records previously to that. What made you want to change?

It was our intentions in the beginning to sort of use Rise as a springboard. Craig Rise is a good dude who likes to help bands he likes, and try to make a little bit of cash in the process.

You guys are on tour right now, how has it been so far?

It's been a good time. All the people in the bands we are touring with are stellar human beings. Plus we are making a lot of new friends at shows.

Do you already have any other tours set up after you get off this one?

I think there are a few things in the works. That's not really my department.

What is life like on tour for the band?

Well...Sean drives 99% of the time. We roll into the venue, set up our gear, rock our set, and then chill with the locals, with a few fast food/Star Bucks scams by Tommy thrown in there. Also, we get gas a lot...haha (that was not suppose to sound like a fart joke, and I'm sorry if it did).

So, I always like to hear about how bands get into music and what their influences were. Did you have a certain person or band that really made you want to work towards having a band as a career?

My dad was always a big influence on me when it came to music. He likes sooo much good stuff and still shows me new things to get into. Also, it was his idea that my parents get me a guitar. We were not a rich family, so my dad used his profit sharings (or bonus) from his factory job to get it, and it wasn't even my birthday or Christmas.

What was some of the worst jobs that you had previous to the band?

I think I have every one beat: 1. McDonalds 2. Telemarketing 3. Radio DJ 4. Winnebago Ind. 5. Ken Krouse Auto 6. Chicken hatchery (YUCK!!! I had rotten eggs blow up into my mouth) 7. More telemarketing 8. Even more telemarketing 9. Brand FX (they make boxes for utility trucks out of fiber glass. I'm pretty sure that job could give you cancer) 10. Then some more telemarketing 11. A night stocker at Wal-Mart (yes I was a cog in gears of the tyrannical machine that is oiled by the blood and sweat of the poor...PLEASE DONT HATE ME!!).

I was really impressed with a lot of the albums that came out this year. Is there any personal favorites that you guys had?

Limbeck, MCS, and Bruce Springsteen.

If i was to go into the tour van and turn on the cd player, what music would I find?

Appleseed Cast, Brand New, Saves The Day, The Boss, Botch, Armor For Sleep (Sean puts it in all the time).

If the moon was made out of blue cheese, would you eat it?

I would eat it with an asteroid made of crackers and an ocean of wine.

Are their any friends bands or any unsigned bands that you think we should know about?

The Lifestyle, The Western Front, Somerset and Ever We Fall.

Well, thats about all the questions I have for you guys. Is there any shout outs or anything you would like to say to all the fans and readers out in absolutepunk.net land?

I just want to say that I think it's awesome that there are websites that can help so many bands out.


RYAN’S ANSWERS:

First off, could you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in STBALS?

Hi I'm Ryan and I play the bass and do some vocals.

The new album "Mortality As Home Entertainment" just came out. What was the writing process like for this album?

It's basically a collection of songs we wrote over the last year and a half, two of the tracks were on our first EP.

Did you guys come into any run ins with writers block, or did everything just seem to flow during recording?

The recording went well. We usually have a good flow when we are writing.

I love the artwork for the cd. Was there any meaning behind it?

Yah, the sky colors and stuff were inspired by the movie Vanilla Sky, which also inspired the album title.

I see that you guys are from Minneapolis. What is the music scene like there?

Very diverse, lots of different kinds of bands playing together. It's great.

Did you guys find it hard to get yourselves noticed in your hometown?

It can be a little bit tough being from the Midwest and making connections and stuff. Most labels/industry folk are from the coasts.

I see you guys are signed to the amazing label Triple Crown Records. How did you guys get hooked up with the record deal?

When we played in NYC, a good friend of ours called up Fred (Triple Crown) and had him check out our show. He liked it and we signed a few months later.

And I see that you guys were on Rise records previously to that. What made you want to change?

We originally signed with Rise to do the EP and hopefully jump to a bigger label, and we did. Rise was a great starting point though.

You guys are on tour right now, how has it been so far?

Fun times, great people.

Do you already have any other tours set up after you get off this one?

Yah we will being doing some stuff with The New Transit Direction, Tokyo Rose, and some more stuff in the works.

What is life like on tour for the band?

Very fun, we have a lot of scams to get free food and stuff. Pretty much one big party of rock and roll fun.

So, I always like to hear about how bands get into music and what their influences were. Did you have a certain person or band that really made you want to work towards having a band as a career?

I'd say Saves The Day and The Beatles are 2 of my biggest influences.

What was some of the worst jobs that you had previous to the band?

Snow shoveling at an airport, I dunno... Danny has had the worst jobs.

I was really impressed with a lot of the albums that came out this year. Is there any personal favorites that you guys had?

Boys Night Out is awesome, so is Motion City Soundtrack.

If I was to go into the tour van and turn on the cd player, what music would I find?

Botch, Darkest Hour, Saves The Day, Get Up Kids, Led Zeppelin, The Cure, and a lot of others.

If the moon was made out of blue cheese, would you eat it?

I would put it in a salad.

Are their any friends bands or any unsigned bands that you think we should know about?

Cardinal Sin, The Lifestyle, Lies In The Effort.

Well, thats about all the questions I have for you guys. Is there any shout outs or anything you would like to say to all the fans and readers out in absolutepunk.net land?

Thanks a lot to everyone who has been supporting us, you are amazing.
 
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