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INTERVIEWS THE FRONTIER BROTHERS|
PRETTY F__KIN' COOL!!!
MARSHALL GALACTIC OF THE FRONTIER BROTHERSI don't know what to make of THE FRONTIER BROTHERS, but everyone else seems to have an idea. VIVIEN GOLDMAN of BBC AMERICA has declared that THE FRONTIER BROTHERS "cover the territory between THE BEACH BOYS and THE KINKS, with just a touch of mad SYD BARRETT", while BD FISCHER of AUSTINSOUND.NET exclaims that the band's music is "...as good an indie pop virus as you could find, catchy/hooky like flypaper, and then never want to let go." All of this is well and good but the band's press release goes a step further in declaring the three lads from Austin, Texas, pop prophets from outer space that have have come here to show the human race how it's done (music that is!).
TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT THE NEW E.P. 'SOLAR POWER STRUGGLE'
THE MEANING OF 'INDIE'
MAKING THE MOST PLEASING MELODIES
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED chose to see beyond the psuedo-science fiction b.s. and get to the real story. THE FRONTIER BROTHERS are your average garage band with their eyes set on "getting the message out there", according to vocalist MARSHALL GALACTIC. With the barest of equipment and a frightening surplus of imagination, THE FRONTIER BROTHERS have released their second E.P. SOLAR POWER STRUGGLE, and these fellas will have you wishing that this oddly beautiful confection of electronics, psychedelia, and guitar riffs lasted a lot longer than five songs.
MARSHALL GALACTIC spoke with ROCKWIRED over the phone one night. Here is how it went.
Yeah, I've got a little bottle of scotch here.
And I'm just having a Merlot. I just got in the door. That's what I love about ROCKWIRED, I can actually drink while I'm doing it.
Ussually I don't drink. Even after a show. I never get to drink afterwards 'cause I end up driving everyone. BRETT's (MOSES, keyboardist) always wasted.
Why is he always wasted and not you?
I don't know. He's always got a drink in his hand.
I have a picture of you guys but I don't know who is who.
The medium sized man is myself. TRAVIS (NEWMAN, drummer) is the biggest guy with the longest hair, and BRETT MOSES is the smallest guy.
Maybe he gets drunk faster because he is smaller.
That's probably true.
Right now, you guys are doing a bunch of shows in Texas right now. How are they going?
They're going really well. We're getting better everytime. Some of them are wierd gigs. There are all of these wierd places to go and people to talk to. It's kind strange sometimes, but at the same time, every show that we do is fun. They're kind of odysseys cause of all of the bullshit that goes into driivng there.
What makes them strange places to play? Is it because you're music doesn't fit them or is it because they're atmosphere isn't right for your music?
It's just sort of a fish out of water thing where you play at a new place and there is always a bartender, and a bouncer and I don't know. Maybe it's just my own emotions but it makes for fun gigs because we get up there and fuckin' rock out and we're all cool with everyone by the end of it. You come to a gig and when you start talking to them, buy them a drink and start playing for them, they become your best friends. That's what's cool about being on the road.
This E.P. SOLAR POWER STRUGGLE is great. I wish it was more than five songs but then it wouldn't be an E.P., would it?
That's definitely true.
You guys had an E.P. that you released before this one. Why not an L.P.
I think it's about time that we did release one. When we recorded ELECTRONIC PROGRESS we were recording in a living room. All of that stuff was recorded pretty much D.I.Y. For SOLAR POWER STRUGGLE we recorded it with this guy named CURTIS ROUSHE.
How did this band get started?
When BRETT and I first met, I played the guitar and he played piano. We got together to play for this festival and the first song we ever wrote was was TECHNICALELECTRONICSUPERSONICROBOT (T.E.S.S.). It was written on acoustic guitar and a synthesizer. We were playing for this festival at school and we were inside of this huge tent and we were the headline act. I don't know why, but we were. For our first song we did a cover of MEATLOAF's BAT OUT OF HELL and we rocked the shit out of the place. Then we played T.E.S.S. but we messed it up and had to start all over again but everyone loved it. We got a standing ovation. That was the begining of the band. Then TRAVIS came on board.
Talk about BRETT and TRAVIS. What do you think that each of them sort of brings to the band?
TRAVIS played guitar before he played drums and I used to play in a band with him. I think that because he used to play guitar he understands the songwriting aspect of being in a band. Most drummers don't know what the fuck goes into wrting a song but TRAVIS is always there coming up with ideas. BRETT is the keyboardist and songwriter. In terms of songwriting, he's the know-how. He's the base. He's kind of a really wierd guy where TRAVIS is the guy that gets all of the girls. You've seen him in the fuckin' pictures haven't you?
TRAVIS has a huge fuckin' head! You need to print that. He's a superstar. It's the big heads that make people handsome. That's my theory personally. He gets all the girls but he's really fuckin' smart. It's not like he's some playboy or something. I wasn't trying to say that.
You have this really interesting sound with THE FRONTIER BROTHERS. Have you guys put much thought into doing something visual with it. Like a video?
We have this friend of ours TODD WISEMAN who does all of our graphics. We've thought about doing one with him. We've thought about doing videos in the past but we tour a lot and there is never any time to put one together. But I think it would be awesome. I don't think we'd have trouble in front of the camera. I know a lot of people are scared of doing that, but whatever. In the meantime, we're just going to up the concert thing.
Explain it to me, if it's explainable the creative process. What all goes into writing for this band?
I'll come up with a riff and some words and get locked onto the essence of it and then BRETT grabs onto that and then TRAVIS comes in with the drums. Things are rough when we try to work from jamming. It's a huge improvisational process and everyone accounts for their share. It ends up being pretty fucking cool!
The band is based in Austin, Texas?
Austin and Forth Worth. But mostly Austin.
Austin is famous for it's music scene. It's ascene thats' marked by its diversity. Is that still true?
You know what? I don't know what the personality of the music is like. Whenever I go down Sixth Street all that it is is a bunch of wild people who are wasted. The indie music here is "indie". You get what I'm saying? "Indie" means independent. Now it has become a classification.
Like 'Classic Rock'.
Yeah. It's like it's not "indie" unless it's sung like you have a British accent.
What do you want a person to come away with after hearing your music?
I want people to be excited by what we are doing. I had this friend who was really big into things like THE FOO FIGHTERS and I got him into THE FLAMING LIPS and their album CLOUDS TASTE METALLIC. My friend listened to it and at first he was skeptical and then he said "this is weird, but I like it!" I love melodies and I love pop. I always want to make the most pleasing melodies, so I guess it all works out.