Really happy to have “discovered” this Florida-based band when viewing club listings a few weeks ago and seeing them listed as the opener for Dead Confederate at The Basement on Wednesday night. Any band with long hair is good with me and Roadkill Ghost Choir not only have the look but the sound to boot. And while you’re probably not going to be too surprised to discover these guys fit nicely into the “bearded folk-rock” genre (ie Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, Ponderosa), I suspect there’s a louder – more raucous element – that surfaces during their live performances (and I’m hoping to confirm that when I see them Wednesday night).
Singer Andrew Shepard (who started the band after deciding that, in order to translate the music he was writing into a full-on live experience, he’d need help) took a few minutes to answer some questions via email in the midst of the Dead Confederate tour.
Uh-oh. First thought when hearing the banjo intro of “Beggars Guild” is “here comes another Mumford and Clones” band.
But, very quickly it becomes obvious that you’re not trying to be Of Lumineers and Men. Did it cross your mind at all when writing that song that people might think of you as the latest in a line of banjo-heavy folk rockers?
No, can’t say I thought that would be a comparison. It’s funny that bands like Mumford & Son break into the mainstream and all of a sudden banjo is some new, trendy instrument. Being categorized based off the first 30 seconds of a song is quite strange, indeed. No offense to those bands, they do their thing obviously very well… we just don’t think we’re all that similar.
Tell me that some (all?) of you have been in other bands that have released material. Please!?! The EP certainly doesn’t sound like a band’s first release so I have to believe that this isn’t your first go-around.
We’ve all played music either by ourselves or in groups. Garza, our lead guitar player, was in a band called “Introduction to Sunshine” before joining Roadkill. I mostly recorded home solo demos before starting the band. Some of those might be floating around the interwebs. This EP was all of our first go around in a proper recording studio. It’s also our first real release.
Does touring with a band like Band of Horses right out of the gate spoil you? Is it hard to go from playing sold-out theaters to performing in front of a few dozen college kids in a basement-sized club?
We’ve been a band since early 2011 so we’re used to playing in front no one. The Band of Horses dates were pretty incredible for us. Really inspiring to see those guys take the stage each night. We were completely lucky and grateful to have that opportunity.
You’ve referenced some bands as influences (Wilco, Radiohead, Gram Parsons), all great bands to serve as inspiration. Can you name an influence that most people have never heard of, maybe a local band that you used to go see a lot before starting your own band or some band you discovered on some blog?
For the most part, we all dig those 70’s Krautrock bands like Neu! and Faust. They are pretty big influences on the new material.
Do you think that if you weren’t in the band, your parents would like the style of music RGC performs?
I like to think so. We all have pretty hip parents.
Finally – have you arm wrestled Dead Confederate yet and, if so, who won? (for reference, check out the 2:33 mark in the interview Dead Confederate did with KidsInterviewBands.com)
We actually have. Walker has the strength of 12 robot gorillas. He is an unstoppable force of nature. He must be destroyed.