NEEDMORE of Nashville recently took some time from their tour to chat with I am tuned UP about their goings on. We believe that this band has great potential to explode and be relevant to the scene in the coming years so a big THANK YOU to the guys for taking some time out of a Saturday to chat!
So, how’d you like Columbus?
GARRETT: I loved Columbus, the turnout was fantastic!
Oh, really? that’s great! Yeah, my original plan was to just come out and interview you guys there but a business trip came up for my normal job! So sorry I couldn’t make it but I’m glad the show went well.
GARRETT: Yeah, thank you!
If you had to summarize the mission statement of Needmore just really quickly what would you say?
GARRETT: Uh, to inspire.
To inspire, OK.
GARRETT: Yeah, that translates from everything from the music that we write to the character of the band as a whole.
Who is your audience and compare/contrast that to who, from your impression that has been resonating with (well)?
GARRETT: Yeah, I would agree with your statement about being pop-rock. It’s probably, we don’t really try – we just write radio friendly songs. Thats the way that they come out and in the long run that means we can reach a LOT of people that way. Uh, what was the second part of your question?
Compare and contrast your target audience to who has responded so far. In other words, has the fan response been in line with what you are going for or have there been some surprises?
MARK: The one thing that I’ve noticed from the fans, especially on the beginning of this tour, the first couple of shows we’ve played – I know I have – had four or five people come up to us and express that when they watch us and when they listen to our music that it invokes emotion. And that’s the one thing that for us as songwriters is really encouraging, um, because along with our mission statement of being able to inspire, we want to make sure that our music evokes emotion and does something more than just play nice sounds. We want something that a fan can actually connect with and feel something when they listen to it.
OK sweet! Well you’ve already sort of answered my next question but tour is going well so far?
GARRETT: Yes! Um, the tour has been fantastic. Packed houses, just been one of those things where the response has been overwhelming.
Would you attribute that to good promotion, or a widespread fan base or maybe a combination of both?
GARRETT: Well, I think its a combination of both. The promotion has been pretty good, I mean radio interviews, different articles, and things like that. A lot of fans have been following us since 2009.
What radio has been hitting you up so far? What markets?
GARRETT: Since we’re only 4 days in (to the the tour) Columbus, Indianapolis, Southwest Indiana. But we have a lot of radio and written press for the entire tour.
When I was doing my research for my little preview feature for Columbus, one of the things I noticed is that you’ve been invited back to every venue you’ve played at so far. What do you think you would attribute that to?
GARRETT: You know, I think we put 110% into every show. Regardless of sound or whatever we put all of our effort into it, and we’re respectful of every single venue. We try to leave it better than when we arrive. A lot of fans trash the venue or don’t really give much mind to the people that are working there but we try to be so personable with everyone because ultimately its everyone’s goal to win. So if we’re personable with the staff they’re gonna be personable with us back because they see that our professionalism comes across not only in our music but also in our performance and they way we carry ourselves.
Cool! Have any good tour stories so far? Any highlights or lowlights?
GARRETT: Since we just started, our van was in the shop so we had a driver that would take our stuff from venue to venue. Kinda different for us since we didn’t have our regular touring vehicle.
Alright, so now you’re at the point where you’re still relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things but in my impression at least you’re breaking into the open a little bit more, getting some good ad placement, media placement. What’s been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?
GARRETT: Most surreal moment?
GARRETT: That’s tough, because I mean we’ve had a lot surreal moments on tours in the past. I don’t even know, what do you think TJ?
TJ: To look out at shows and see people singing along to songs that either haven’t been released yet, and they know them like its their favorite thing and they listen to it all the time and to know that music is playing that kind of role in people’s lives is extremely inspiring and one of the things that keeps us motivated and keeps us active in this career.
MARK: Me too. This past year with the single “Lost My Way” being added on radio, we had people reaching out from random places across the globe, really, from people who have heard the single. we had a radio interview via the web from Australia or New Zealand, I don’t know I think it was New Zealand. We had people reach out – Canada, the UK – so for us it was kinda cool to just see the single take off on its own without a lot of push. And fans from across the globd just reach out and tell us how appreciative of the song they are, and that’s exciting for all of us.
GARRETT: One more thing, definitely hearing your music on the radio. That was a pretty surreal moment for me. So we kinda came full circle there. You know when you hear yourself on the radio, its something you just can’t believe is happening.
Explain real quick the meaning behind NEEDMORE.
GARRETT: The meaning behind NEEDMORE?
GARRETT: The name can mean anything, a number of things. It’s something that can be relatable to anybody’s life, so we try to make it as open and transparent as possible. So you can kinda derive your own meaning.
TJ: Its also kind of an approach to our songwriting and our lyrical writing like Garrett was saying there’s a lot of relatability (sic) and a lot of the stuff that we write – it creates the opportunity for the listener to get their own experience and to form their own relations with our material so that it becomes more applicable to a wider audience.
So now that you’ve given me your updates for what’s going on right now, what’s next for Needmore?
GARRETT: Sure, I mean we’re obviously on this tour for a while. After that we’ll be writing a ton.
*At this point in the interview there were some technical difficulties, so I won’t try to paraphrase but suffice to they have have a lot of new material in the works and a lot of touring coming as well*
Couple more questions – obviously the music industry as a whole right now is very much in transition. People are looking for new ways to promote, to sell, to do pretty much everything! So, from your point of view as an up and coming band what are the best and worst aspects of being in music, just at this point in history?
GARRETT: I think what a lot of people don’t realize is being in the music industry is not a job, its your entire life. So for us its fantastic but its hard being in the industry because it consumes you. As far as the market goes right now, its just about finding new ways to generate revenue streams, and keeping yourself close with the changing markets. You have to change your approach, and we’ve done several things that have allowed us to begin that transition.
MARK: To answer your question about what we think is bad about the changing industry is that, we’ve kind of had our hands in different areas of the industry before we found ourselves in Needmore but we’ve found that everybody kind of wants to have their hand in what you’re doing, which is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. They’re not only interested in your music but they’re more interested in the money that can come from it. As an artist we look out for each other and we want to make sure that our vision and our goal is on the music and not the money. Its our job so obviously we want to create music and be able to support our lives for ourselves and our families but number one as a group we definitely try to make sure our focus is on our music. One of the things we’ll keep doing is just continuing to create music that is gonna evoke emotion in people.
Yeah, I can definitely relate to that as an aspiring music journalist. Obviously that’s not my job, I have a day job that brings in the money and this is kind of a hobby right now and I’m hoping for this to become something more in the future, down the road but people keep telling me “how’re you gonna make money?” It’s like you said its a catch 22, you want to do it because you love it but at the same time you want to be lucrative.
MARK: Yeah, and I think that if that’s your goal – to create music that connects with the masses hopefully that will be rewarded and that’s why we’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing.
I have one last question – you’ve already sort of addressed this but if someone’s reading this interview and decides to come out to a show on your tour, what can they expect from a Needmore show?
GARRETT: They can expect a lot of energy, and in watching they can hear the emotion that- kind of an outpouring in our lifestyles. Tight musicianship, and just good quality music.
Any last thoughts you want to add for readers of the blog?
GARRETT: Yeah! Thank you everyone for reading, and thanks for supporting us and following us through the years and please check us out at Needmore.net. Follow us on Twitter @NEEDMOREband , and check out our new record. There’s a lot more coming!
Their new record Back at the Start is out now, and everything else related to the band can be found at Needmore.net, including tour dates for the current run they are on with support from Vanity Theft.
NEEDMORE is Garrett McArthur, Mark Siegel, and TJ Hartmann