I sat down with the bands Night Moves and Carroll, part of this week’s Thursday Night Out concert series, brought to campus by Blue Devil Productions. Night Moves and Carroll had a lot to say about how their bands came to be, what they’ve experienced, and their spirit animals.
First Up: Carroll
Charlie, the man on the drums in Carroll, explains how Carroll got its start. “Me and Max (guitarist) were kind of playing in this bar band and we didn’t really like what we were doing very much. I mean, it was fun, but we wanted to do something more creative fulfilling. And then one day at like, a community rec center in Minneapolis, we saw Brian (singer, guitarist, keyboard player) doing like a solo set where he stripped all of the keys off of a keyboard and was using the space bar to trigger samples, and playing guitar and singing.”
Charlie continues, “And we were very captivated by it. Max and I didn’t confer, like we didn’t ask if he wants to make a band. We both, behind each other’s back, separately asked [Brian]- Ha! Brian was writing some of the songs that became our first EP before any of us were involved.”
Charles, the bass player, commented, “Meanwhile, I was biding my time elsewhere, waiting to be summoned. It was a grand summoning if you will.”
The band members of Carroll were all brought together from different parts of the country to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Max from Philadelphia, Brian from Seattle, Charles from Lincoln, Nebraska; also, Charlie from New York.
The guys have developed their own terms to describe their touring. Brian mentions, “We’ve been on a lot of tours and we’re continuing to do that. Right now, we’re on like a four day [tour]- we call it a jaunt.” Charlie jumps in, “A mini jaunt really.” Everyone laughs as Brian continues, “Yeah, we’re half a show short of a jaunt. But yeah, we’ve toured a lot. We’re going back to SXSW in March, so we’re going to be leaving Philly, which is where most of us are based and playing Atlanta and New Orleans for the first time.”
One of the perks of touring is getting a sample of food from everywhere. Max chimes in, “Some of the food we get to eat is amazing. I mean, some of the food we get to eat is the worst food on this planet, but some of it is amazing.” Brian comments, “You aren’t aware of it. Like you’ll be driving all day, you don’t really have that much to focus on -you’re hungry- so we show up in a city and we’re like ‘Okay, what are we going to eat?’ It becomes a production and sometimes we strike gold.” Max adds, “True gold.”
While you might catch your favorite artists on Twitter, Carroll found a niche in a different social media outlet. Brian laughs, “We actually might be true pioneers in band Yelp pages.” And it is true, you can actually find the bands reviews on Carrollmusic.yelp.com. Max says, “We Yelp all over the country.” The band reviews restaurants, rest stops, and the occasional Wendy’s.
Max summarizes, “I might Yelp Brew Devils later.” Brian reassures that they will give a good score.
If you find yourself taking a roadtrip to Austin, Texas, catch Carroll in the six day South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in March. If you’re staying in Menomonie, you can still check out their website to hear what they’re all about.
Up next: The two frontmen of the headliner Night Moves, share their story on how the band formed.
Singer and guitarist, John, explains, “We formed out of other bands we had in high school.” With some rough patches to follow, the band realized they still wanted to do what they love. John continues, “We wanted to keep playing music, so we kept it up and wanted to get better at it. You know? So, the next effort that we did was put out the Colored Emotions record.” Despite the fact that it had a few years in the making, the guys still had “a desire to play music and write songs that [they] dig,” says John.
Their 70s, cosmic space-rock inspired music has brought them around the country on tours, with places like Montreal and New York, making the top of their lists. One of their favorite parts of touring is playing a sold out show. John comments, “A lot of those sold out shows are mind blowing.” He continues, “I mean, granted we were opening up, but it was pretty cool to be able to be part of that… And have a bunch of people not really know who you are, but then afterwards, a bunch of people come up to you; interested in what you’re doing.”
Emotions turned colorful when I asked the group about their spirit animals.
[Editor’s note: Night Moves have a record titled “Colored Emotions.” You know that if you’re hip enough to listen to bands like Night Moves and Carroll.]
Bass player, Mickey, questioned, “Is there like a chart to find that out? Or do you just guess?”
John: “Ah, I don’t know.”
Mickey: “Definitely a mallard.”
John: “Dude, mallards are like the worst animal out there, they’re so mean.”
Mickey: “Mallards are awesome.”
Mickey: “John’s an oriole.”
John: “A bird?? I’m not a bird. I always thought I was a bear of some sort, but maybe that’s a little too–“
Mickey: “Dude you’re like a Korean moon bear.”
Band member, Charlie jumps in, “That’s too mystical for you.”
Mickey: “ *Charlie appears and starts telling people what their spirit animals are* ”
The guys then turned and asked me what my spirit animal is and then I learned some insight on the process.
Mickey: “You can’t just choose your own spirit animal.”
John: “You have to be told.”
Mickey: “I think like a cool fish.”
Me: “A fish?”
Mickey: “Yeah, like one of the more exotic looking.”
If you want to keep up with the spirit animal experts by day, Night Moves band by night, take a look at their website and give them a listen.